Today we’d like to introduce you to Wendy Hawkins.
Hi Wendy, so excited to have you with us today. What can you tell us about your story?
I consider myself a late bloomer. I obtained my undergrad degree at about age 30 but didn’t obtain my Master’s in Social Work until I was 45. After my second toxic marriage and divorce, I began my path to healing. I started mentoring teen girls which was very fulfilling but also became the catalyst to empower, educate and support the evolution of others. Once I completed my MSW, I provided community-based therapy services to families in Kansas City, KS. After I obtained my clinical license, I decided to open my solo practice to continue working with primarily young women and adults to support their mental wellness journey.
Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
No journey is every smooth but I consider myself very fortunate and blessed to have had the opportunities and support of friends, family and mentors to get to where I am today. As I was pursuing my education, I only had a teen daughter left in the home so balancing work, school and home life was a challenge at times. During my first couple of years of practice, my days were long and because I was in the community, I drove many miles each day. Although I had begun healing my spirit, over the years I had not been a good steward of my physical health. Because I had not learned to effectively manage my anxiety until late in life, I developed some unhealthy habits which unfortunately lead to developing chronic health issues. I’ve learned better habits and manage my chronic illness but there are times that quality of life is compromised.
As you know, we’re big fans of Holistic Mental Health Services. For our readers who might not be as familiar what can you tell them about the brand?
I often share with many clients who struggle with the concept of failure and/or rejection that I too have had those experiences. Many don’t know but I applied to three different schools of psychology to only be rejected by all three!! After my last interview attempt one of the interviewing professors walked me to my car and said something that changed the trajectory of my life. He said “take time to get to know yourself and once you do, you’ll know that you’re meant to be a social worker.” So I took his words seriously. I did some reflecting and decided to give it one more shot and applied to the School of Social Work at UMKC.
As I continue to develop my approach, my brand and my craft, I definitely understand why I am a social worker and not a psychologist! One of my primary philosophies is I believe each person is the master of their destiny. I believe and support that each person should be in control of their mental wellness journey. My approach is eclectic and I take a more holistic approach incorporating education and resources that allow each client to choose the tools and path that will work best for them. I believe this practice design appeals to those who might look at life from a lens that might be considered less traditional than what Western health models offer.
Not only was I the first in my family to earn a master’s degree but my educational journey was also the impetus to my personal journey of healing. My healing stems from a place of understanding that I’ve struggled with anxiety my entire life. As a young woman, I did not have the understanding or tools to effectively manage which of course impacted all areas of my life. I think many clients I work with I’m able to relate to because of this. One of the driving factors in my mental health practice is providing the support and tools that will empower someone else to heal and improve their quality of life. I work with many people who struggle with anxiety which is a diagnosis that tends to walk hand-in-hand with many other diagnoses such as depression, bipolar and PTSD.
Is there any advice you’d like to share with our readers who might just be starting out?
For anyone starting out in a mental health field, I encourage them to maintain balance in their life. The career path is important but taking care of self is more important. Supporting others during their journey to wellness requires the practitioner to always be in a place of self-awareness and balance.
- $95 60-minute individual session
- $160 90-minute couple/EMDR session
- No insurance accepted
- Partnered with Compsych EAP program
- Email: email@example.com
- Website: www.wendyhawkins.net
- Instagram: instagram.com/holisticandwell
- Facebook: facebook.com/holisticandwell
- Youtube: youtube.com/holisticandwell
- Other: pinterest.com/holisticandwell