It takes work and dedication to build healthy relationships and maintain strong bonds with the people who matter most in our lives. As a Relationship and Family Counsellor based in Brackenfell, Western Cape, Mimi Hewett aims to help individuals, couples and families achieve victory in and through relationships.
It was Roy Bennett who said, “Do not set aside your happiness. Do not wait to be happy in the future. The best time to be happy is always now.” Whether in parenting, work, marriage or strained family relationships, help (and happiness) is often just a step away. As a trained counsellor, Mimi has the expertise to help you deal with difficult situations and work toward healthier, happier relationships.
We spoke to Mimi about what it means to be a woman in business in 2021 and what tips she can offer to others in the business of ‘helping people thrive’.
Why did you first start your business?
I started my private practice in January 2018, as I firmly believe that I was called to do it and that the timing was right. I also felt the need to be more flexible and available for my own children during the afternoons; and working full-time for a corporate company did not allow me to be free enough to be as involved in my kids’ lives and school activities as I wanted to be.
What did you do before you started this business?
I graduated from Stellenbosch University with a Psychology Degree in 2003 and started working as a Drug and Alcohol Counsellor at SANCA (South African National Council for Alcoholism and Drug Dependence) from 2004 till 2007. I then worked as a EAP (Employee Wellness) Counsellor at INCON Health for more than 10 years – driving around the whole of the Western Cape, counselling employees at their places of work, providing counselling and Life Skills training on a number of issues including Trauma, Stress Management, Burnout, Substance Abuse, Relationship problems, Work-related problems, Communication and Conflict Management.
How has the pandemic affected your business?
I was fortunate in the sense that my business was seen as an essential service, so I was allowed to continue with counselling, at my practice, from Level 4 lockdown. But it also opened my business to the new world of Online Counselling and in a very short period of time, I became an expert in ZOOM!
What is the one thing that you’re most passionate about when it comes to your business?
I am passionate about relationships! I love seeing how couples and families learn to communicate better and resolve problems within their homes. I am also a Parent Effectiveness Training (PET) Instructor and I train parents in how to have better relationships with their children – I teach them how to communicate better with their children so that everyone in the family feels loved, understood, respected and accepted – to help decrease the chaos and have more peace in the household.
What has been the biggest challenge running a business?
Keeping up with the ADMIN… it is not my strong point! And keeping my personal boundaries – making sure that my own family does not suffer under my calling to help other families thrive. In the end my own husband and children will always take priority above my work!
What motivates you to keep going?
Knowing that I am doing what I am doing for a higher cause and purpose! And the great feeling of seeing couples and families achieve victory in their relationships! Seeing the change in relationships and receiving positive feedback from clients – but better yet, hearing that old clients referred their friends and family members to me, because they trust me to assist and support them as well; it’s a very humbling experience, one which I am really grateful for!
What tips can you offer to someone wanting to start out in this industry?
Be sure that you are doing this for the right reasons – you won’t necessarily be able to measure your success in monetary value for the first few years, so you need to decide from the start what your motivation will be to do counselling and then choose an area of counselling in which you are really passionate about. And be sure to keep on learning and improving your own professional skills.
What types of counselling do you offer?
EAP (Employee Assistance Program) – Qualified EAP Practitioner
Trauma debriefing and counselling
Stress Management & Relaxation
Addictions: assessments, referrals and aftercare
Mental Health assessments (Depression, Anxiety) and referrals to psychologists/psychiatrists if necessary
Basic Lifeskills Counselling and Training (Psycho-education) – Individual or groups
Any exciting projects or business developments you have in the pipeline going forward?
I will soon be starting a new group Parent Effectiveness Training course at my practice – parents interested in finding out more about this course can email me for more information.
Do you have a favourite quote?
“Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.” Prov. 3:3-6.
Three things you can’t live without?
Good coffee, a good night’s sleep and a great sense of humour!
Do you, or a loved one, need professional counselling? Visit www.mimihewett.co.za to find out how Mimi can best assist you.
You can also follow her on social media for updates: