Thriving Through Connection

Lisa Brooks helps women focus on self-care

Former mental health professional LISA BROOKS is a change agent in providing services that aren’t counseling oriented but geared towards empowerment and healing through meaningful conversations and connections.

For decades, Brooks worked as a forensic interviewer and child/family trauma therapist. After volunteering for the Good Shepherd Center and family service agencies locally, her eyes were opened to the problems plaguing some children and families.

“I worked in the field of child welfare and trauma for twenty years and was passionate about it. I loved the work immensely, and it was an honor to work with so many children over the course of my career, help them do the hard work of healing and have the trust of their families,” she says.

Currently, Brooks is a lecturer at the University of North Carolina Wilmington’s School of Social Work and loves being a mentor to her students and assisting them in building the skills needed to do this work.

But, after decades in the profession, Brooks felt lost and like she could be serving families, particularly mothers and women in a more rewarding and fulfilling way.

WILMINGTON THRIVE TRIBES is a project that I launched a couple of years ago as a response to my experience with professional burnout. I had been working for almost twenty years, and had lost myself in my work”, Brooks says.

Thrive Tribes started as a journey of healing for herself with daily affirmations and inspirational quotes a few years ago. Brooks began by sharing her quotes on social media. As people began to respond to Brooks’ sense of encouragement, she discovered a passion for helping women who were struggling with self-doubt, insecurity, and a state of being overwhelmed.

It was then that she took a leap of faith toward what she believed to be her calling.

“I made the decision to leave my work as a therapist and create Soul Sessions, a unique blend of coaching/ guidance/consulting,” Brooks says.

Brooks hosted her Thrive Tribes kickoff event in December 2016. Thrive Tribes now offers a series of monthly support groups and workshops that helps promote positive self-worth, acceptance, growth, and healing. But, Brooks is upfront and honest with group members that the Soul Sessions program is not a substitute for mental health treatment or services. The goal is the empowerment and healing from it to work in addition to, not instead of.

In her years of working with families, Brooks saw that many women were plagued with unique challenges and needed very specific types of support.

“Mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual health is extremely important for women because it makes us who we are,” says Lisa Brooks. “Because we don’t want to be considered selfish, women have a tendency to put everyone else’s needs ahead of their own, which can compromise our well-being.”

Soul Sessions provides an intimate space for women to tackle big questions, increase self-awareness, and enhance their relationships with themselves and others.

Brooks says she has seen firsthand the result of women overextending and overworking themselves, and all women are welcome at Soul Sessions.

Brooks also now offers Soul Connection Workshops that are designed to connect women in a group setting. Soul Connection allows women the opportunity to grow in community with supportive individuals. Participants have the opportunity to share and establish connection and empathy.

Though the workshops and private services come with fees, Brooks plans to hold Community Soul Connection events that are pay-what-you-can, with proceeds going toward providing self-care workshops to the staffs of local charities.

“Whether you experience her on stage at a conference, in a Thrive Tribes workshop, or individually in your own home, Lisa is full of passion and life-giving energy that inspires and moves you,” says Ashley Swinson, local clinical therapist and Thrive Tribes attendee.

On her road to inspiration and building Soul Sessions, Brooks has been able to speak, lead, and touch the lives of many women.

“I love guiding women to trust their knowing, set boundaries,” Brooks says. “I also enjoy watching the solid, supportive, and validating connections that women make in the Soul Connection Workshops that help them know that they are not alone.”

For more info, go to, and daily inspiration from Brooks at

To view more of photographer River Bondurant’s work, go to

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Categories: Health