It all began in a staff meeting 19 years ago when Tammy Austin, CEO of Journey’s End Counseling (JEC), heard what sounded like an audible voice telling her that it was time to take a leap of faith and start her private practice. Concern and trepidation hit her as she tried to discern if she really heard from God.
“I had also received a prophecy from a woman with a prophetic ministry who was on a local Christian television channel,” Tammy tells us. “I phoned in a donation and a few days later, I received a cassette tape in the mail with the prophecy. In the message, I was told that the practice would be a healing place for many people and that courts would send people to JEC for help.”
Following this, Tammy received a second prophecy at a women’s ministry event which confirmed that it was time to launch. There was only one thing to do: step out in faith. Tammy did just that. She left her job of 15 years and established JEC.
In a candid conversation with VBD Magazine, Tammy shares her outlook on operating a successful business, mental health practice, and branching out into the literary world. Further, she reveals that the name Journey’s End Counseling signifies a place of rest after struggling with an issue, finding clarity, and gaining peace for the journey. “I’m on a mission to help all my clients experience rest and peace,” says Tammy.
VBD: Tell us about the services offered by your business.
TAMMY: The services offered include a mix of individual, couples, and family therapy. Individual therapy has been especially healing for women ages 25 and older who struggle with esteem, confidence, work/life balance and lost selves, mood disorders, and anxiety. For couples, we explore communication, conflict management, and emotional connection. Family therapy addresses challenges of blended families, parent-child conflict, and issues affecting healthy family functioning. Besides myself, there are two other licensed therapists and three pre-licensed therapists that work under supervision.
VBD: What is the best way to improve our mental health?
TAMMY: Some of my recommendations would first be to simply move. Have a structured routine and schedule, practice grace and self-compassion, feed your spirit, and explore and validate your feelings. Seek therapy when needed with a therapist who understands and “sees you.”
VBD: Common mental health problems such as depression and anxiety have been on the rise since the COVID-19 pandemic. What steps should an individual take if he/she is feeling depressed?
TAMMY: For many people, depression and anxiety were already on the forefront and were prevalent struggles. Here are my suggestions:
Talk about your feelings or fears.
Reach out and seek help.
Journaling, exercising, walking, and practicing mindfulness help with self-awareness and checking in with oneself.
Do not be fearful of medication, if it is recommended. To help overcome this, bring a friend to your appointment, ask questions, and follow up with your provider.
VBD: How has the pandemic changed the way you live and operate your business?
TAMMY: The pandemic made me slow down because I was honestly heading for burnout myself. I was able to slow down, trust and listen to God, and move my practice to a virtual platform. We are currently primarily virtual with limited in-person sessions: a hybrid model. Clients love the convenience of sessions that fit their schedules and routines and my session attendance rate is roughly 98%.
I also created Therapy Unchained, my website for blogs, podcasts, and worksheets, and Virtual Date Nights, a monthly series for couples. I also launched It’s Just One Chapter for life, relationship, and parent coaching services, including a women’s group named, “I Rise: Evolving in 2022.” I am happy to see that more Black women have initiated therapy and are diving into the issues of Black trauma and our experience of living Black.
VBD: As an author, what kind of legacy do you want to leave with your books?
TAMMY: I want to be remembered for providing resources that support and validate growth and authentic and abundant living. My currently pending works are 1) a couple’s workbook for emotional connection and intimacy, 2) a therapy journal to aid with the process of exploration, challenge, and growth and, 3) my first online course entitled “Conquering Your Inner Critic: Eight Weeks to Authentic Living” on Teachable.
About Tammy Austin
Tammy Austin is an entrepreneur, therapist, wife, and mother. She has been married to Andre Austin for 35 years. They have two daughters and most recently adopted a chocolate Labrador named Malachai. Tammy opened Journey’s End Counseling in 2003 and transitioned full time into her practice in 2006. In addition to therapy, Mrs. Austin is also a Qualified Clinical Supervisor and trains pre-licensed mental health counselors. She is a faith-based, trauma trained practitioner who brings clinical and spiritual perspectives into therapeutic work as expressed by the client.
Tammy Austin is also a speaker and has facilitated sessions for women’s encounter groups, women’s health conferences, and the Central Florida International of Black Women’s Congress Red Dress Event. To aid with her own emotional health and wellbeing, Mrs. Austin is an avid cyclist who completed her goal of 2400 cycling miles in 2021. Additionally, she participates in half marathons and 5k races which support women’s issues and the Rock and Roll Series which promotes healthy lifestyles.