Jessica Sherrell is a native of Jackson, MS but currently resides in Richmond, TX with her spouse and beautiful daughter. She holds a Bachelors of Science in Psychology from Mississippi State University and a Masters of Arts in Clinical-community psychology from Texas southern university. Jessica Sherrell owns a private mental health practice in the Houston Metropolitan area and spends her career advocating for mental health. Aside from her professional career, Jessica Sherrell enjoys spending time with friends and family, traveling, writing, attending church, and socializing. She always had a passion for writing and it wasn’t until her spouse pushed her to pursue dreams did she really decide to show the world her talents. “If Only They Knew” started from things she depicted in her childhood. Growing up in Jackson, MS, she was no stranger to the world around her. She wanted to depict what it was really like from her reality.
“I initially wanted to publish a book that I previously had written but I didn’t want it to be my first debut. I wanted to tell my story but with a twist. “If Only They Knew” came from my own personal stories that I faced as an adolescent. I took my story and added fiction to give readers suspense”.
VERSAFI MAGAZINE: You have a BA in Psychology and a MA in Clinical-Community Psychology. What sparked your interest in those subjects of studies?
JESSICA SHERELL: I’ve always had a passion for service. Specifically, as it pertains to human behavior. I essentially wanted to be an Anesthesiologist, but I quickly found that pre-med studies weren’t my niche. This led to a change in my major from biology to psychology and it took off from there.
VERSAFI: How important do you think Mental Health is in the community?
JESSICA: Very important! I have a motto that mental health is just as important as physical health. Because there are so many advocates, like myself, the stigma for seeking therapy is dwindling and more people are accessing treatment.
VERSAFI: What are your suggestions to dealing with stress and coping skills to maintain good mental health on a daily basis?
JESSICA: Seek service from a professional counselor! There are so many manipulative ways that the average person uses as “stress relievers” or as “coping skills”. The best way to maintain good mental health is to first learn and be aware of causation, triggers, history, and other psychological patterns.
VERSAFI: While obtaining both of your degrees, did you find any challenges?
JESSICA: Yes, the biggest challenge was not knowing that a degree alone wasn’t enough to achieve complete access into the field. More so, I needed a master’s degree and a license in order to practice counseling.
VESAFI: I see that you own your own private mental health practice. How long have you been in business?
JESSICA: Right Mentality has been open and thriving for one year.
VERSAFI: What types of information do you offer at your place of business?
JESSICA: We offer mental health needs to adolescents and adults who struggle with life’s adjustment, substance use, and mental health disorders. We specialize in treating individuals, LGBT community, couples, teens, and families.
VERSAFI: How do you care for a person that deals with a mental illness such as anxiety and depression?
JESSICA: I use evidence-based practices such as Cognitive Behavior Therapy, Person Centered Therapy, Solution-Focused Therapy, and Family Systems Therapy.
VERSAFI: Do you offer counseling and therapy sessions as well?
VERSAFI: Let’s talk about your debut book called “If Only They Knew” How did you come up with the concept of your book?
JESSICA: I initially wanted to publish a book that I previously had written but I didn’t want it to be my first debut. I wanted to tell my story but with a twist. “If Only They Knew” came from my own personal stories that I faced as an adolescent. I took my story and added fiction to give readers suspense.
VERSAFI: What message are you trying to get out to all your readers?
JESSICA: To my readers with children, watch your child. Take more time to understand and learn their behaviors. Hold them accountable. Generational trauma starts with hiding and secrets. Although it is fiction, it holds a lot of truth. To my younger readers, secrets and lies will catch up with you. You will have to face your truth and it’s sure to come whether as a teen or as an adult.
VERSAFI: Would you say this story relates to your life as a young teenager or did you wanted to create a fiction story with a solid purpose dealing with young teenage girls that goes down the wrong path in life?
JESSICA: Both! The goal was to show the reality from both standpoints. Not many know that the story line has an underlying truth to it. My truth!
VERSAFI: Are you working on new book projects?
JESSICA: Absolutely! “If Only They Knew” is designed to be a sequel. The story will continue as the main character grows older and the story line behind other characters.
VERSAFI: What genre is your book?
JESSICA: “If Only They Knew” is an urban fiction.
VERSAFI: How can readers connect with you?
JESSICA: Follow Right Mentality on IG @Rightmentalitytx
Follow Author Jessica Sherrell on IG @Authorjessicasherrell Website:www.authorjessicasherrell.com
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