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Busta’s Person of the Week: A woman on a mission

Danielle Moore

Busta’s Person of the Week: A woman on a mission
May 09
00:00 2019

By Busta Brown

Danielle Moore is a licensed therapist who did something we all should do: step out on faith to pursue our dreams.

Moore’s passion is to help youth and families who live with disabilities and who are in situations putting them at risk. A year ago she started a private practice, Moore Ways to Success. She taught in the Winston-Salem/Forsyth County School System for over ten years, but wanted to do more.

Danielle is a woman of strong faith. ”We should always be inspired and impressed with successful people that never sell themselves or Christ in order to succeed.”

I did a Q&A with the CEO/Counselor & Education Specialist of Moore Ways to Succeed. I believe you’ll really feel her passion through our interview.

Tell us about Moore Ways to Success.

MWTS is a private practice dedicated to the personal, professional and educational growth of the unique individual. We base our ideas and therapeutic techniques on the understanding that each individual has a unique path to success; the idea or the physical picture of success is not universal. What success looks like in one person’s life is not necessarily shared by another person. Therefore, our goal is to help the individual identify their unique path and begin to take the steps to reach their goals. We dedicate much of our work to youth and families with an emphasis on youth with developmental, cognitive and learning disabilities.

 

What makes Moore Ways different from other mental health professionals?

MWTS is different because we are two-fold. As the owner of MWTS and a former middle school teacher, my approach to counseling is different. I make sure to focus on the whole child when counseling children and being an advocate to families. What sets MWTS apart is the passion that ignited the idea to create MWTS. Financial profit was never at the top of the list.

 

How do you connect mental health with education?

First we understand that they are not separate. Obtaining educational success is virtually impossible without first being mentally healthy. It’s like planting seeds. You can drop as many seeds in the ground as you like, but if the soil is not conducive for planting, you’ll never see the growth or manifestation of the fruit. A child cannot devote time to understanding math formulas, history lessons, the elements of literature, scientific theories, if their minds are not healthy, if they’re anxious or worried, even if they’re down or depressed. We can’t expect one to live without the other. Therefore, we must first develop a conducive internal environment for learning. At MWTS we look at development of success in three parts: 1. Attitudes (developing the proper outlook on life and learning) 2. Academics (gaining the information) 3. Alignment (connecting the information to your life).

What is your focus for family therapy?

The focus for family therapy is communication. We communicate differently and oftentimes we believe just because we speak the same language, we are all hearing and saying the same thing. The root of many parent-child and even spousal relationships challenges are communication barriers. We draw our understanding and processing of information from our personal references or our perspectives of the situation we’re in and we must understand that there are so many varying perspectives in a single situation. Therefore, communicating in a household can be as challenging as trying to communicate in a different country. Our goal is to help families identify the language barrier and begin to speak the same language.

 

Which mental health issues affect children at home, school, and in their social lives?

Children are impacted by their internal and external environments. There are many mental health issues that affect our children daily. Some are congenital, which have been present since birth; others are acquired, which develop later as a result of something. Internalizing but not being able to understand or process the world around you can easily cause trauma and unfortunately today, our children are exposed to much more than they are cognitively designed and equipped to process and handle. Did you know that the same part of our brain that processes physical pain also processes emotional pain? A child’s hurting feelings can be much more than what it appears and we cannot look at their pain through the eyes of an adult because we process pain differently. Pay attention to your children. Our social development is a huge part of our overall development and where does a child gain most of their social interaction? School. When a child experiences social difficulties or social anxieties, it impacts their entire existence. We have to equip our kids with the tools they need to navigate life. Provide healthy alternatives to thinking and processing and analyzing, or mental illness can and will likely ensue.

Explain why children need to know where to go when they’re broken, too.

They need to know where to go when their feelings are broken. When a child is physically hurt, they know exactly what to ask for or how to ask for what they need. However, there has been such a taboo placed upon the discussion of mental health. We’ve placed that in this realm of obscurity. We don’t discuss it. Therefore children don’t even have the language to ask for what they need when they are hurting emotionally. They don’t know how to ask or what type of help to ask for when they are mentally tired or are experiencing mental pain. So what do they do? They try and locate the first physical pain associated with their mental issue. That’s when you get the “Mama, my stomach hurts,” “ Dad, I have a headache,” “ Teacher, can I call home, I don’t feel well.” Because they are unaware of how to express or even how to identify the true source of the pain and the adult in the situation is left trying to treat a physical ailment that really originated from a mental or emotional issue or sickness. Children need to know who to ask for if their “feelings” are broken.

What guidance and training do you provide for children?

We provide personal, social, emotional and academic guidance. We provide the tools to navigate through this life.  Children are exposed to so much more; expectations are higher. But they are still children. They need guidance and even the best parent can’t do it alone. We (Moore Ways to Success) become a part of the village. We are on the team, guiding and directing our children through life. With our older children, what we call “transition youth,” we begin to prepare them for life after postsecondary education. We help to answer the question: “What do you want to do?” by first acknowledging “Who do you want to be?” “Who are you now?” Sometimes we need to do this through actual assessments. Therefore we provide career assessments, interest inventories, skills’ assessments. It’s all about positive exposure. It’s about helping to create a picture in their mind. No one reaches for what they can’t see. If you’ve never been exposed to something greater, you don’t even have the proper knowledge to want something greater.

 

Why the slogan Cool Kids have Counselors? I love it!

Let’s eradicate that stigma. Having a counselor does not make you “crazy” or weird or handicapped anymore than having a doctor makes you sick. It’s early intervention. If we begin now telling kids it’s okay to discuss their emotions, it’s okay to get help when things are overwhelming, there’s nothing wrong with you if you think differently or process differently or see the world differently. We just want to make sure your thoughts are healthy. that you’re experiencing healthy emotions. And when you’re not, you have a professional who can help you do so. Cool Kids have Counselors is a movement. It’s a way to release those fears that prevent us from being totally healthy inside and out so that we may always aim for total wellness, because if you start as a child knowing Cool Kids have Counselors, then later you understand cool adults do, too.

You were recruited by WSSU to design a transition camp. What is a transition camp?

The camp is called REACHE (Rams Employment and Community Health Equity). This program is for youth 16 and older who have experienced some sort of disability. This simply means they have an IEP (Individualized Education Plan) that provides learning assistance for them in school. The camp helps youth to gain the skills they need for “transitioning” out of high school and into life. We teach independent living skills, resume writing, job searching and interview skills. We introduce the students to different postsecondary education and career paths that are available to them and help them begin to narrow where their interests lie and how to get on track to accomplish their education and/or professional goals.

For more information and to contact Danielle Moore, call her office at 336-893-5995, direct: 336-391-1601, or go to www.mwtsuccess.com.

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