TUPELO • Tupelo-based counselor Prudence Hatchett is listening. The counselor and author is giving guidance to those in need, offering words of wisdom or lending a friendly ear at her office PH Counseling, LLC in Link Centre.
The year 2018 was Hatchett’s year. She was recognized as one of Tupelo’s Top 40 Under 40 and published a book on Amazon entitled “Behavior is Not a Destination, It’s a Process” before launching her own business for counseling in October in Tupelo.
“You may not need something right then, but counseling opens up the door to opportunities to be able to express yourself creatively and also professionally,” Hatchett said.
Hatchett also started the PH Counseling School, launching her first mini-course in recent weeks. The mini-course is centered around how to “kickstart your spark,” Hatchett said. The school is open to anyone and offers courses on personal enhancement, personal development, forgiveness and overcoming disappointment.
Hatchett graduated from Tupelo High School and lived in Starkville for years, but she found her way back to Tupelo. She studied counseling at the University of Mississippi in Tupelo and studied emotional and behavioral disorders at Mississippi State University.
With more than 10 years of experience in the mental health profession, Hatchett touts the value of counseling as a way for people to open up both creatively and professionally.
She designs individual counseling sessions with adults that help clients open up and keep the lines of communication clear. With her adult clients, Hatchett uses talk therapy, positive therapy and bibliotherapy, which is the use of books in mental or psychological treatments.
Hatchett started working as a behavioral specialist at Pontotoc County School District in 2015 and said she is able to go back and forth between the education world and the counseling world.
She said while her work with children is mostly focused on education, since opening her own office, she is now able to focus on a variety of different clientele.
“I have a lot of school-aged children, but I do serve a lot of adults as well,” Hatchett said.
She described working with children and said younger people are more receptive in counseling sessions when allowed to play.
“With students and younger clients, it is more hands on, a lot of tangibles; I use feeling cards because sometimes it is hard for kids to talk about their feelings so sometimes I have to bring that out of them using play, so I do use play techniques,” Hatchett said.
She helps her school-aged clients learn to identify their emotions and deal with stress. Hatchett might show kids videos about respect or kindness in schools or read books with them to help them better understand their feelings.
“I want to be able to instill hope in others and our kids are the foundation of the community, they learn from adults, but we also learn from them,” Hatchett said.
“As I told one of my clients recently,” she said.
“You come in for counseling but you’re going to teach me about you and how I can help you.”