Janie Lacy: Relationship Expert + Psychotherapist
Known for working with individuals and couples involved in difficult, toxic and sometimes destructive relationships, Janie Lacy, has successfully used her passion for counseling and professional experiences to heal the lives of people everywhere. This notable relationship coach and psychotherapist enjoys educating and advising others on dating, addictions, mental health, anger management, parenting and more. Recently, this Florida based expert sat down with THL to discuss all things pertaining to love, dating, and relationships as a millennial woman.
THL: You offer an array of services, including "relationship trauma." Which service is most personal to you? Why?
JL: Life Counseling Solutions is a counseling center with ten licensed therapists who specialize in the work that they do. My areas of specializations are: relationship trauma, anger management and love & sex addiction.
The services that I provide that are most personal to me are my work in helping individuals and couples heal from relationship trauma. Most people have experienced their worst betrayals in the context of a relationship whether in their family of origin or a romantic relationship. People can and will recover from their lowest points in life! They can actually be better because of what they have gone through in their situations!
THL: What led you to become a psychotherapist? A relationship expert?
JL: I believe that God’s plan for me was different than my plan. Every turn I took, I was placed in a position to hold up the ladder for others after it was held up for me. I was in the midst of pursuing my MBA degree at UCF, when a light bulb moment hit me and I decided to switch majors and pursue my master’s in counseling psychology. I have been able to utilize my undergraduate degree in business because I own and operate Life Counseling Solutions while maintaining a full caseload of clients.
Over the years, I have evolved into the relationship expert role with my training, experience and unique ways to connect with people to help them understand why they do what they do in the context of their relationships.
THL: What were some experiences and lessons you’ve had with dating while in your 20's and early 30's?
JL: Some of the experiences and lessons I have had in my dating years was that I should have took more time to get to know me and not rush into committed relationships without taking the time to really get to know the person and if they truly were a good fit. I have learned the importance of balancing the facts with who someone is along with my feelings for them and looking at all aspects of what I need and what is needed to make relationships work. Many times we try to make things work when they were not meant to work in the first place. It is trying to make a square peg fit in a round hole.
THL: How should women approach dating and new relationships?
JL: I feel strongly that women should approach dating and new relationships after they feel comfortable dating themselves. Many women normalize jumping from one relationship to the next without truly understanding what happened to them in the last relationship. I believe women should move moderately into new relationships and to not ignore the yellow or red flags that present because of their feelings for the person. It is also important to start out with relationships being a part of your life and not becoming your life.
THL: What signs can you look out for early in the "getting to know you phase" of dating?
JL: The most important healthy signs to look for early in the dating phase is moderation habits (i.e. Do they have a balance with potential unhealthy habits – drinking, watching TV, hanging out with friends, etc.), are they considerate of others (you can observe this in small ways – holding the door open for others, giving you the option to order first at dinner, not speaking over people while they are talking, etc., Do they have observable boundaries with you and others (not staring at other women while you are together, or making their phone part of your dinner date, etc.).
THL: What is the biggest mistake most women make when entering a new relationship?
JL: The biggest mistake women make when entering a new relationship is giving all of themselves in every single way from the beginning (instead of moving in moderation). They are setting a high standard in the relationship that they will not be able to maintain in the long term or potentially will become resentful when they want to start to require more from their partner when they did not do that from the very beginning.
THL: If you could name an issue that you see women commit time-and-time again, while in a relationship what would it be?
JL: Women try to control their partner and change them but will be in denial they are trying to do so. It is important that you accept who your partner is from the very beginning and not attach yourself to the potential of who he could be (or the image that you create in your head). This will result in disappointment, resentment and an unfilled relationship.
THL: What is one piece of advice that you would like to give millennial women of color who are seeking love?
JL: Do not look for love from a place of neediness or feeling like something is missing from your life. Be satisfied with who you are right where you are and make having a relationship a matter of choice. This will set you up for the most potential of success when you show up confident and complete in who you are all by yourself!
Janie Lacy is a nationally known psychotherapist and Licensed Mental Health Counselor, National Certified Counselor, and Certified Sex Addiction Therapist. She is also a respected television commentator and founder of Life Counseling Solutions in Maitland, Florida. For almost 10 years she has been enriching lives through her psychotherapy work and brings credibility and expert knowledge to audiences via on-air appearances.