Certified School Counselor & Professor/Director of Mental Health Counseling, Belmont University
Janet Froeschle Hicks, Ph.D., LPC is a licensed professional counselor and certified school counselor who currently serves as Professor and Director of Mental Health Counseling at Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee. She was inducted into the American Counseling Association Fellows in 2015 and is listed as an expert on the Psychology Today website where she authors a professional child and family focused blog entitled, “Raising Parents.” She has served as a media expert at national and state levels on topics related to child, adolescent, and family counseling, has been interviewed live on the Ethan Bearman Radio Show concerning school shootings, and served as a bullying professional on Blog Talk Radio. Dr. Hicks also serves professionally through many volunteer activities. For example, Dr. Hicks served as Special Events Chair for the International Association of Marriage and Family Counselors, was Research Committee Co-Chair for the Texas Counseling Association, and currently serves as By-Laws Committee Chair for the Tennessee Counseling Association. She was also recently asked to serve on the advisory board for the national non-profit organization, Stop Abuse for Everyone (SAFE).
My goal is to accomplish something that leaves a positive mark on the mental health of another person through training, program creation, writing, or presenting. Each day I must find a way to make another person grow mentally, educationally, or somehow to improve themselves or the world.
My overriding thought each day is, “Each person I see is doing the best they can with the resources they have at this moment.” I truly believe this and know it is my responsibility to use what I have learned to help others help themselves become successful, happier, and even to pay this premise forward. Since I train mental health professionals, my mantra is also, “We need as many people out there helping others as possible.” These thoughts motivate me to excel each day and give me a reason to follow-through with hard projects.
Each day is a new opportunity to make another person more successful. Every student I touch will eventually help many more people in society if they have the right skills and mindset. Every faculty member I meet is a role model to those students. Creating an effective counseling program that graduates outstanding professionals then, means “walking the walk” and influencing everyone around me in a positive manner. Because we live in a world that can be negative and society is often cruel, I am cognizant of my responsibility to create a positive environment where students can learn, and faculty can teach them. Because of this, my first and ongoing action each day is to meet and advise students and faculty, notice and point out positive things inherent in each person so they realize, often for the first time, their own positive strengths. These strengths often become the catalysts that help them accomplish dreams, improve mental health, and achieve more than any of us dreamed possible. I believe that being in a mentally healthy environment is crucial to the success of my students, program, university, and has been a major player in our successes.
I also believe in influencing society’s mental health through research, writing, service, and program improvement. By writing and editing textbooks, articles, and blogs based on research, I have an opportunity to train counseling students and professionals beyond my city, state, and even my country. This is a huge responsibility and is, actually, quite exciting. I also serve others by preparing and presenting on topics at state, national, and international conferences. Networking with others helps me design and improve curriculum, learn new skills I can pass on, and even serve others through volunteer work on professional boards. I feel blessed each day that I have the opportunity to help so many through activities that are part of my job.
If I can’t make you happy then maybe I can make you laugh. One way or another, let’s decide that today is going to be great. You see, my mother told me I could be anything I wanted to be, so, I decided to be kind to others.
I have two tips-“Be the change you want to see in the world,” and “Everyone is fighting a battle you know nothing about. Be kind.”
I live in Mount Juliet, Tennessee and work in Nashville, Tennessee. This is the most beautiful place I have ever visited aesthetically. The rivers, trees, and wildlife are amazing. I also like the friendly, welcoming Southern hospitality and attitudes disseminated by those who call this place home.
Favorite breakfast meal & restaurant?
I love biscuits and gravy, especially from Cracker Barrel. I guess that is no surprise since that chain started not too far from my home. I use this as an occasional treat on those days when I reward myself.
What are you doing at:
6:00 AM – I usually stay up late and I must have 8 hours sleep to perform, so, yes, I am still asleep until about 7 A.M. or so.
10:00 AM – By 10:00 A.M. I have met with students and am typically in meetings designed to solve problems, manage our budget, market, or to learn about new projects coming up.
12:00 PM – Favorite Lunch spot/meal?
I am absolutely blessed that my husband is an outstanding cook. Because of this, I rarely eat out and usually just have something quick like peanut butter and crackers for lunch. I can honestly say that I haven’t been in a grocery store in 5 years and I go home to a home cooked meal at the end of each day. My favorites are my husband’s pot roast and homemade chip mint ice cream. Everyone reading this now knows why I skip the biscuits and gravy for breakfast most of the time-although I love them. Life is good!
7:00 PM – At 7 P.M., I am either teaching or preparing to teach a course, writing recommendation letters for students, submitting their names for rewards, helping them put together their own presentation or writing ideas, or I might even be on the phone encouraging current and former students to persevere.
11:00 PM – By 11 P.M., I am in bed thinking about topics I will teach or write about the next day. I go to sleep hoping I made a difference or small impact on someone’s life that day. I drift off quickly.
What drink do you need to get through the day and at the end (and how many)?
I absolutely love Sparking Ice flavored water. They taste great (especially the pink grapefruit and coconut pineapple). I drink two or three of these throughout the day. They are a much-appreciated substitute for the diet sodas I used to consume so frequently plus they contain vitamins.
Most used App/Favorite Instagram Account?
Because I have grandchildren and I like to see their pictures frequently, I use Facebook to stay current with their activities.
What should everyone try at least once?
Everyone should notice another person’s unrecognized strengths and point them out. The reaction of the person is usually dramatic and positive. It helps you and that person become more positive simultaneously.
Where do you enjoy getting lost?
I love book stores and libraries. I love to just find a shelf that houses topics I enjoy and peruse all the books available. Before I know it, hours have passed. I get lost in the literature and my curiosity won’t let me stop. This totally removes every stressor for me.