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Community Highlights: Meet Niesha Davis

Today we’d like to introduce you to Niesha Davis.

Hi Niesha, we’d love for you to start by introducing yourself.
My name is Niesha Davis, MSW, LCSW, CAMS-II, CCTP and I have been helping individuals and families for over 20 years in many capacities of social work. I currently own two mental health practices in Bakersfield, California: Life Connections and InspireMe Counseling and Wellness Center. As well as I am the founder and CEO of a non-profit agency, YWRAP (Young Women Reaching Accomplishable Places), a mentorship program for at-risk youth girls. I am a strong advocate for mental health and the mentally ill and am passionate about the work that I do. Also, I am an author of the newly released book, Your Story Does Not Define You, a Healing Journey Through Expression and Self-Affirmation. I am a licensed therapist, a consultant, a motivational speaker, and a facilitator.

I have a Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice and a Master’s in Social Work. I am a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, a Licensed Evangelist, a Certified Anger Management Specialist II, and a Certified Clinical Trauma Professional. I am also certified as a Mental Health provider for women who suffer from perinatal/postnatal mood disorders

I truly feel that I got to where I am currently today because I have always loved to help people and it seems like people have always been drawn to me! I am a risk-taker and have always moved in crazy faith. God gives me a vision and tells me to execute something, and I just start moving without fully even knowing how it’s going to happen, but I just trust His process. We all have a story, and my story has helped develop me into who I am today…the good and bad, and I use my story to help others when I am in the therapy room. I was born in east Bakersfield, and I am the second to the youngest of six siblings in my family, and the only one in my family who has graduated from college. I am a single mother of three amazing children, and they are the reason why I work so hard and do what I do.

I love my community and I love to help others. This is how I got started and how I made it to where I am and who I am today.

We all face challenges, but looking back would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
It definitely has not been a smooth road. I have had many ups and downs along the way. I am a survivor of a domestic violence relationship that resulted in me having to raise my three children by myself which was not the easiest, however, I made it happen. I worked full time, went to school part-time, worked a part-time job and made time to spend quality time with my children and provide them with all of their needs and make it to all of their school events and sports.

Being a black woman and business owner has had and continues to have obstacles and challenges of their own. I haven’t always been supported by the people in my community, and a lot of times have felt as if I had to navigate through the business world alone. Having three businesses definitely takes strength, courage, time, commitment, and sacrifice which has not always easy. There has been many times where I questioned God if I was doing the right thing when times got hard, however with his reassurance I kept going and trusting the process even when I didn’t see it.

Thanks for sharing that. So, maybe next you can tell us a bit more about your business?
Both of my businesses are mental health private practices that provide individual, family, couples, and group psychotherapy to many different populations in-person and virtually. I am the owner of both practices, as well as I provide therapy services to our clients as well. As a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, I specialize in working with women, and adolescents. I am a Certified Anger Management Specialist-II and a Certified Clinical Trauma Professional, and I also am certified to work with women who suffer from perinatal and postpartum mood disorders.

I am known in my community as a therapist, advocate for mental health, motivational speaker, an author and someone who is willing to help everyone that I can. I feel that what sets me apart from others is that I truly have a servant’s heart, and my profession is a ministry to me. I strive to meet the needs of clients by assisting them to move from a place of surviving to thriving. I have provided so many free services to client specifically minorities who doesn’t have health insurance or cannot afford to pay for services just to be able to help them, and normalize their mental health needs and break the stigma associated with mental health and mental illness. My goal is not to about making money, however, to help everyone that I can. Not only clients, however other people who are striving to be therapists as well. What information I have and know, I kindly pass it along freely because I remember when I needed some guidance and did not receive it and had to learn through researching and trial and error.

I am most proud of the fact that I am a Black Woman who is successfully operating two mental health private practices in my community. It is not always easy because several challenges arise. However, I am proud that even in the midst of the bumps in the road I find the strength to keep going.

What I want others to know is that “It is okay not to be okay,” and as a mental health professional and the owner of Life Connections and InspireMe Counseling and Wellness Center, we normalize mental health and mental illness. We provide a safe space for you to come and be transparent with no judgment and assist you to walk through navigating difficult feelings, and emotions that are very hard. We strive to improve your overall well-being through mental health and wellness and work with you to move from a place of surviving to thriving.

How do you think about happiness?
What makes me happy first and foremost are my children, James, Jadin, and Jade. I absolutely love their lives! They are the reason I do what I do. I work hard to try to be the best role model and example that I can be to show them that they can do anything they put their minds to.

What also makes me happy is when I see my client’s doing the work to heal and get better. I give them the tools and strategies, however when I see them making progress, it’s like a proud mommy for me.

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Image Credits
Carrington Pritchett Photography Allie Mae Perkins

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