Jessica Houston, Ph.D., LMSW
Women’s Issues Social Worker
Dr. Jessica Houston, Ph.D, LMSW, has been helping women to live victorious and successful lives for over a decade. She is the founder of “Expecting Victory;” a safe harbor for all women dealing with every imaginable issue or challenge. As a nationally recognized expert, author, life coach, social worker, counselor, wife, mother, and survivor of many traumas, Dr. Houston is the kind of person who has dealt with a lion’s share of the issues facing women today.
Her educational background includes earning a Bachelor’s degree from Benedict College (Columbia, SC), Master’s degree from Barry University (Miami, FL) and Doctoral Degree from Capella University (Minneapolis, MN). Unlike most experts in their fields, Dr. Houston is markedly transparent in her approach to helping others. She is exceptionally straightforward about her past; the issues she has processed and overcome, as well as her feelings about what it takes for a woman to be actualized and happy in today’s world.
What is the goal of your practice?
My plan is to educate, encourage and empower women to have an open and honest discussion about topics and issues that can be painful. My goal is also to provide women with the tools that they need to be happy with themselves and excited about their future. I know that there are many women who have talents that are not being utilized, simply because they do not have confidence in themselves and their abilities. I truly believe that you can reach your full potential if you step out of your comfort zone and begin to identify and address the issues and fears that have been holding you back over the years.
What is one thing you want women to understand about today’s world?
When you reach a certain level personally and/or professionally, it appears to the outside world that you have it all together. In fact, we can all make our lives appear to be perfect. We can all pretend to be happy, confident, and content with our lives. However, it is important that we are honest with ourselves and begin working towards making our desires a reality. Transforming the way that you view challenges and obstacles will help you accomplish much more than you have been able to accomplish in the past. Likewise, deciding to confront the very roadblocks that have been holding you back will give you the confidence to move forward and expect victory in every aspect of your life. If you desire a husband and children, understand that you are whole and you are valuable right now. The biggest mistake you can ever make is to decide that you will only be happy once.
You do an excellent job in your book, Women’s Secrets: It’s Time to Stop Suffering in Silence, to encourage women to find their purpose. What led to such wisdom?
I have gone through periods when I was so depressed that it did not matter to me if I lived or not. During those times, I had no idea why I was here. I had low self-confidence, I was involved in a physically and emotionally abusive relationship, and I believed that I did not have any value. I knew that I loved to help others, but that was it. While I was able to point out the strengths and abilities of others, I could not seem to identify my own. While I could encourage others, I could not encourage myself. Finally, I began reading more, praying more, and reflecting upon what it was that truly made me happy. Once I slowed down, de-cluttered my mind, and sought clarity, I was able to discover why I was placed on this earth.
So knowing one’s purpose doesn’t just happen?
Discovering your purpose is a deliberate process. It is not an overnight process, and it is not something that is automatic. You must clear out all of your distractions, even the ones that you enjoy! You must also take the time to think about what comes to you easily, what your interests are, and what brings you joy. I can vividly remember the day that I discovered my purpose. I woke up at 4am and I wrote down my thoughts at that very moment. It was an experience that I cannot fully describe with words. The moment the light bulb went off, I began reflecting on my life and thanking God for covering me and protecting me, when I behaved irrationally during my 20’s. I thought about the many risks that I took and how he still allowed me to be blessed with a family, a home, a car, and several educational and professional accomplishments. Your experience will likely be different from my experience. However, I guarantee that when you discover your purpose, your life will change for the better.
What advice do you have for someone who wants a career like yours?
If you are a teen or young adult in the midst of financial difficulty, please do not give up. Your past and even your current experiences do not determine your destiny. The more opposition you face, the more effort you should expend on pursuing the lifestyle you desire. It can be tempting to quit school and get a low or mediocre paying job. However, when you drop out of school, you limit the number of opportunities you have to reach your financial goals. You also limit the possibilities of future generations. You can develop a generation that does not have to live paycheck to paycheck or barely make ends meet. I know that college is not for everyone. However, it is imperative that you learn a trade or skill that will help you stand out from everyone else. I understand that it can be difficult to delay gratification and have the discipline required to remain in school when others are working and appear to be doing well. However, in the long term, your hard work and dedication will pay off and you will have the career and the financial stability that will change your life for the better.