What started out as a meet-up and safe-space for four black women to unwind, relax, and recharge through empowerment, and conversation; has evolved into a lifestyle brand, and recent book launch that aims to impact millions of lives worldwide through the power of self-awareness, self-love, self-preservation, and self-recovery.
Today, I’m happy to shed an Author Spotlight on Simone Price, LMSW– one of four co-authors of “Soulful Sessions: 13 Guided Sessions Towards Healing, Self-Care, and Wellness,” written in collaboration by Jamisha Wells, Breana Curry, Brittany Farmer, and Simone Price.
When I first came across this book cover, I was moved by the image of four black women, dressed in white, smiling together, laughing together, and emulating the definition of black sisterhood — all in one photo! I never realized how impactful it really is, but a smiling woman is a healed and HAPPY woman.
In this interview, I had the pleasure of speaking with Simone Price, one of four Authors and co-Creators of “Soulful Sessions.” Additional authors will be introduced throughout this post with a photo as provided by Soulful Sessions, LLC. Please note that each Author mentioned in this post is a trained Social Worker, but the information provided does not serve as medical advice. If you are experiencing any mental health issues or concerns, please seek out professional help with the resources provided throughout this article.
I invite you to take a journey with us as we embark on how self-care and healing can help you find your own voice, be heard, and create your own safe space to welcome love, healing and growth into your own life!
Meet Co-Author, Simone Price LMSW
Originally from Atlanta, GA– Simone Price, LMSW is a Social Worker in the Gwinnett County School System, here in Metro Atlanta. Simone has been a Social Worker for four years and prior to that, Simone worked at the The Georgia Division of Family & Children Services (DFCS). Simone is a proud HBCU graduate, earning her Bachelor’s Degree from Alabama State University in Montgomery, AL and went on to earn her Master of Social Work Degree from the University of Connecticut, in Storrs, CT.
We went on to dig a little deeper into her passion and advocacy for mental health, and how she found her own voice as a Social Worker and how her training evolved into a lifestyle that empowers women to find support and put themselves first.
Giselle: Thanks again for sharing your story with me. Let’s get right to it, so how is working in the school system amid COVID-19?
Simone: This school year is definitely different and took some adjustments.
About 40% of students are in-school, the rest are virtual learning. As a social worker, I usually travel to visit students but right now, I’m meeting students via Zoom.
Giselle: How did you begin your journey towards finding your voice in your professional career?
Simone: I work with a lot of parents and I am a huge advocate for raising awareness about mental health.
During the school year last year, I held presentations to allow both students and parents a chance to openly discuss mental health, and health in general.
I have a close family member that battles with mental illness and we would casually say “he crazy!” But, that’s not a healthy way to support anyone struggling with mental illness. We should treat it (mental illness) like we treat all other people with illnesses.
Mental illness is a spectrum, some people may have anxiety, then there’s bi-polar disorder, depression, etc.. and the symptoms are different and they also look completely different.
Often times symptoms of mental illness are outside of their control, and that’s the part we don’t realize. But with more medicine, clinical research, and professional therapy — recovery is possible and everything does help.
There are also resources like, National Alliance on Mental Illness, or NAMI — that I highly recommend to anyone needing support. This group helped me cope as a family member of someone struggling with mental illness and it helped me grow.
Learn more about NAMI and find free crisis counseling near youTweet
Giselle: We don’t see many positive images of black women, working together as one and I was super inspired by this book cover! How are you connected to your co-Authors?
Simone: Brittany Farmer, Jamisha Wells and I worked together as foster care workers at DFCS, and Breana came to one of our group sessions.
We work in a helping profession but often times, we never have space to just be vulnerable and be who we are! We didn’t even know what self care was. We didn’t realize there were things we could do to help one another. Personally, I didn’t know about boundaries, and we were all burnt out.
In 2015, we held group sessions as a safe-space to just let it all out. Our goal was to be intentional about healing, and being vulnerable; both emotionally and mentally. We met regularly and we were intentional about the emotions we were feeling. We decided to meet once a month to help ourselves open up, show self-love, and heal.
Meet Co-Author, Jamisha Wells, LMSW
Giselle: That’s so powerful! So you all were already hosting group sessions, but what inspired you all to take it to the next level by writing a book?
Simone: We held this one session, “A Letter to Our Fathers,” and this session brought out so many emotions.
It helped us realize we needed to share this with other men and women. We thought: let’s just write a book! We worked on the book for about two years and we decided to self-publish. The hardest part was getting our feelings out on paper, I was afraid to be vulnerable but I did it anyway.
Once we started writing, I realized I had to remove myself from the equation to really get my story out. I really believe in the book. I believe in the material, and I know it will help a lot of people!
I know the stories and exercises in the book will help a lot of people. There were a ton of barriers but we stayed consistent and eventually got the book published.
Giselle: Yes! So, what is Soulful Sessions about?
Simone: Soulful Sessions is written in two parts.
Everyone has experienced some type of trauma in their lives, so we decided to open Part One of the book by sharing our own personal traumas. No matter the trauma, each author decided to be really open and vulnerable about their hardship. If you’re not vulnerable, you really can’t grow.
If you’re not vulnerable, you really can’t grow. – Simone Price, Co-Author of Soulful SessionsTweet
The Second Part of Soulful Sessions includes guided sessions to help you work through specific areas. We are all social workers, so these sessions may trigger you. But, Soulful Sessions is a great way to get you started on your personal journey to self-love and healing. Our thirteen guided sessions will give you the tools to heal, whether you go at it alone, with family, or through your own circle of friends.
Meet Co-Author, Brittany Farmer MSW
Giselle: What is one thing you can guarantee readers will gain from reading this book?
Simone: A lot of people motivate and inspire, but we give you tools, skills, and coping strategies.
After reading Soulful Sessions, you’re going to learn how to strategically use coping strategies. Even if you had trauma in your childhood, this book will help you take time to work through it. Just learning who you are, and why you are and really getting intimate with yourself is healing in itself.
Fair warning, we are trained professionals, so this is not just some feel-good book! If you’re really intentional about the sessions, you will have pain, but pain has purpose. If you don’t deal with the pain head first, it will ALWAYS keep coming up in our life!
Pain has purpose. – Simone Price, Co-Author of Soulful SessionsTweet
Meet Co-Author, Breana Curry, MSW
Giselle: What advice would you give someone trying to find their own voice?
Simone: Usually, we are in our own way. A lot of times, we doubt ourselves instead of just doing it. So, just do it!
You never know, ten years from now, it could become liquid gold! The more mistakes and failures you make, the better you are.
Our biggest goal was to show vulnerability, after all– we did share our greatest childhood trauma! There were moments when I thought, what if people think this and that?! I worried so much about what other people would think, but the goal was so much bigger than us.
Always remember if you haven’t failed, you haven’t done anything. I mean, they hated Picasso, but now that he’s gone, everyone wants Picasso!
If you haven’t failed, you haven’t done anything. – Simone Price, Co-Author of Soulful SessionsTweet
Giselle: Periodt! Thank you Simone, this was a very insightful conversation, I can’t wait to see what you ladies are up to next!
Simone: No problem, thanks for having me. Keep being great, and doing great things!
Soulful Sessions, Your Guide to Healing
Overall, I really enjoyed hosting this conversation with Simone. I’m not going to lie, after our call I felt relieved just by sharing my own truth as a recovering “strong black woman.” What was most interesting to me was how my soul wanted to speak with Simone, even though I didn’t know the details of the book. My soul knew that the concept of Soulful Sessions would be a great fit for our readers on Giselle Ave. Turns out, our missions to help people find their voice, and be heard align perfectly. I recently purchased my copy and I can’t wait to dive right in!
I’m an advocate for people, especially black men and women — to follow their dreams and to find and do the work they love. Our life requires balance, yet modern day society expects us to just work, work, work and work some more!
We (black people) are NOT your mules and we deserve to live a life of love, happiness, and healing. Sit down, heal, love, and be still. Soulful Sessions is an intimate read and step-by-step guide on how to do just that! The most common word used throughout our conversation: intentional, so be intentional with your healing process.