HISTORIC TRIANGLE — “Ten Questions with” is a series that allows readers to get to know local business leaders, volunteers and community members in the Historic Triangle.
This week, meet Janea Swander.
What is your job title and description?
I’m a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) and owner and founder of my solo private practice, Connection Therapy Services, LLC (janeaswander.com). I provide online counseling services to adults living in the Commonwealth of Virginia. My main specialty is in providing trauma therapy to treat Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Additionally, I offer distance Reiki energy healing services for physical, mental, or emotional concerns, and a service called Quantum Alchemy, which is a form of regression to help people move past unhelpful beliefs and behaviors.
I’m also stepping into the world of content creation on social media. I share content on Facebook and Instagram (@janeaswanderlcsw) about spirituality, mental health, self-development, and self-awareness.
Who do you interact/work with on a regular basis?
I interact with counseling clients in Virginia.
What is something about your job most people wouldn’t know about?
Providing mental health therapy services isn’t about passively listening to clients’ problems. Rather it requires the therapist to be emotionally present with the client and this takes a lot of mental and emotional energy, which requires the therapist to actively work on themselves, their emotional triggers, and their own traumas. Doing one’s own inner work doesn’t shut off at the end of a work day; therefore, I feel it can be challenging to compartmentalize aspects of work from other areas of my life.
How do you define success?
Success is about showing up for yourself day after day and doing the best that you can in each moment to keep moving forward toward your goals and dreams. Some days, we’re productive and we’re able to do a lot. On other days, we’re not. I feel it’s important to give ourselves grace and remember that as long as we’re doing our best in each moment, then we’re successful.
What is your most successful accomplishment to date?
I used to think that success was defined by external accomplishments such as educational degrees, awards, making money, etc. Then, in 2012, my mother passed away and my focus shifted from external achievements to going inward and learning more about myself, processing through grief, letting go, and moving forward in life. I would now say that my most successful accomplishment is the ongoing process of discovering who I am aside from external achievements and becoming more at ease and centered within myself.
What piece of advice would you give your younger self?
I would tell myself to trust in the divine unfolding of my life and know that every obstacle I’m presented with is an opportunity to learn, grow, and redirect my time, energy, and attention towards a new path, idea, opportunity, etc. Like the saying goes, “Rejection is God’s Protection.”
How long have you lived in the Historic Triangle?
A total of nine years. I first lived here for four years after college. Then I moved away when I went to graduate school. In 2018, I moved back to Williamsburg to make it my home.
What is your favorite part of living here?
The area is beautiful and rich with nature and history and these aspects are what brought me here years ago. Since then, I’ve grown to love the small-town community feeling this area provides without it being too small of a community.
What do you do for downtime/to relax?
I enjoy spending time with my Maltese, Jake. I also enjoy going on walks, meditating, visiting with good friends, and checking out local events or attractions. Spending time in Colonial Williamsburg and sitting in the gardens at the Governor’s Palace has always been a favorite pastime for me. I love to learn and I enjoy reading books and listening to videos or podcasts that focus on spirituality and self-development.
What is the next step in your journey?
My next step is to begin writing blogs on my website. I’m interested in offering long-form content based on sharing stories from my life that link to education around the topics I enjoy talking about the most — spirituality, mental health, self-development, and self-awareness.
Do you want to learn more about your community and the people that live and work in the Historic Triangle? We are looking for people with interesting jobs, super volunteers, or community leaders to showcase. Reach out to let us know if you (or someone you know) would like to be considered for Ten Questions.