When I was in grad school, I started dreaming about owning my own private practice. I thought maybe someday when I was in my 40s or 50s, I would get the chance to do that. I would think about what my office would look like, the clients I would get to interact with, the services I would offer, and how I would structure my company.
However, it wasn't until August 6, 2018 when I really felt prompted to take a leap of faith. I am a pretty spiritual person and really felt that God was leading me in this direction. That is when I started exploring my options and in October of 2018 is when I filed to start Peaceful Waters Counseling and Wellness Center.
Why do you do what you do?
Originally, I was a middle school teacher. I chose to switch to a career in counseling and psychotherapy from teaching middle school for several reasons.
My early twenties were filled with heartbreak and misfortune, and I struggled with anxiety and depression. Slowly but surely though, I found my way to joy. This motivated me to want to use my story in a way that inspired and empowered others to fight for their best life too.
As a teacher, I also got to experience some of the hardships that students were facing outside of school. Although I knew I was able to make a difference as a teacher, I felt there was a better way for me to reach these students and their families. That is when I decided to go back to school to obtain a Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling.
Some may ask, “How did you get the idea to eventually open a wellness center?” While working as a psychotherapist in a private practice, I became very frustrated with the amount of time I was spending on various referrals and references. I was sending clients to various dietitians, yoga instructors, psychiatrists, specialists, essential oil gurus, church groups, meditation apps, massage therapists, etc. I recognized the immense need for holistic healing in my community.
I thought to myself, "Why not have one centralized location that incorporates various services that can meet all aspects of the mind, body, and spirit?"
I saw a niche for holistic wellness. That is when I decided, after much prayer and contemplation, to devise a center that focused not only on emotional wellbeing through psychotherapy, but mental, physical, and spiritual wellbeing as well. I desired a center that would be founded on Christian principles, but would be welcoming and inclusive for all. Because I owe my own healing to my faith, it only made sense that I create a company that honors the One who restored my soul.
During a quiet reflection one afternoon, a scripture was revealed to me: "The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul." - Psalm 23: 1-3.
I thought, "YES! That's it!" Being the nature enthusiast that I am, I found myself visualizing the immense amount of peace that I feel when I am in green pastures or sitting beside a still creek somewhere. At that moment, I knew I wanted to share my peace with the world. Thus, began the work and foundation of Peaceful Waters.
I would like to add that although Peaceful Waters' mission is based on biblical beliefs, we have made it a point to create an atmosphere that serves people from all walks of life, religions, sexual orientations, and spiritual practices.
Although Christian counseling is offered to those who seek it, it is not imposed. The staff at Peaceful Waters does not force their personal beliefs on those who may operate from a different worldview and do not judge or treat those who do not adhere to the same set of principles differently.
We are a company that loves and serves ALL.
Why did you locate your business in Currituck County?
I grew up mostly in Chesapeake, Virginia. After high school, I went to college on a scholarship to Texas A&M University and graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Interdisciplinary Studies, with a specialization in Math & Science Education.
After graduation, I wanted to move somewhere close to home and discovered a job at Currituck Middle School. I have always loved Currituck and the Outer Banks and thought it was a perfect fit! I moved to Maple, NC for two years, until I bought my house in Moyock, NC.
I taught at Currituck Middle School for four years, until I made the decision to switch careers, and I have lived here for almost 10 years now!
What are your biggest challenges as a business owner?
So far, my biggest challenge as a business owner has been managing growth. Once the word got out that we were in Moyock, our phone wouldn't stop ringing. I originally tried to do too many things at once and that quickly became overwhelming.
It wasn't until I heard a quote by Lysa Terkeurst that I decided to get intentional about my time. The quote was, "A woman who lives with the stress of an overwhelmed schedule will often ache with the sadness of an underwhelmed soul." Now, I focus on one goal at a time and choose goals that have the biggest impact on meeting the needs of our clients.
Currently, we are in the process of hiring another psychotherapist that aligns with our vision and values. This way, clients can call and not have to wait weeks or months to see someone.
What are the biggest rewards?
My biggest reward is being able to help other people improve the quality of their lives and seeing them walk away lighter and freer from emotional pain.
I get to journey with others as they find their voice and begin to use it confidently. I get to witness the transformation of shame into compassion and self-love. It is truly an honor to sit in a chair across from someone and hear his or her "story", whatever that may be. I get to learn from my clients and have gained a deeper appreciation for diversity and life, as a result.
I also get to work frequently with children and encourage a future generation to tap into their passions and change the world. I have the privilege to sit with couples and families in their suffering and watch them become whole again. I am constantly in awe of the human spirit and grateful for each day.
What sets you apart from other similar businesses?
When people visit Peaceful Waters, they will get a team of people that are truly invested in their physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual wellness. Every member of Peaceful Waters cares deeply about their work. We treat each person who walks through our doors as if they were family.
When people arrive at our office, they are greeted with a smile and a professional welcome. We play spa-like music in our waiting room and have aromatherapy going in each office, which helps to create a peaceful and relaxing environment.
Each therapist with Peaceful Waters has a specialty and works hard to be an expert within their niche. We stay abreast with emerging research and offer new and innovative techniques to the therapeutic setting.
What's one piece of advice you would give to someone starting a business in Currituck County?
Find an amazing TEAM and treat them well!
Owning a business is hard work and you cannot do it alone. I could not do half of what I do on a daily basis if it wasn't for my office manager, interns and practicum students, psychotherapists, and other staff. My family, friends, lawyer, and CPA have also been instrumental in my success. Even my dog walker has been a blessing!
I want all of these individuals to know that they are valued beyond measure each and every day and because of them I am a better person, Peaceful Waters grows, and more people in the community can be served. They are truly the best!