We had the good fortune of connecting with Folake Ike, LCSW, PMH-C and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Folake, where are your from? We’d love to hear about how your background has played a role in who you are today?
“God gives me wealth.” The meaning of my Nigerian name, so often mispronounced but opens up an opportunity for me to share a glimpse of my background with the many clients that allow me space into their lives. I was born in Nigeria and grew up in both Newark, NJ and Richmond, VA. My Nigerian culture greatly impacts the person and clinician I am today. I grew up being surrounded by strength. My community is strong in our ability to strive and thrive despite the difficulties we face and lack of resources. The impact of the emphasis on strength is often overlooked. I come from a culture where there is much stigma around seeking supportive mental health services and prioritizing mental well-being is often neglected. My background also includes trauma. Trauma that I didn’t know existed until adulthood. Trauma that was masked in what I thought was a normal makeup of my cultural identity.
I was drawn into this field in part to explore ways to support myself in processing the challenges of life. I rediscovered strength in vulnerability. Normalizing vulnerability, normalizing that I didn’t have to carry the weight of the world on my shoulders, I felt there was a newly developed strength in my, not weakness, but vulnerability. I utilize my strengths that I developed through my background to be a source of strength and encouragement to others. I use my role to demonstrate to my community that healing is possible and that it is ok to create that space for yourself to so do. To my community: you deserve a space without judgment that welcomes your struggles and desire for self-explorations with warmness and compassion. I’m thankful for my mother who, as a retired psychiatric nurse and a prayer warrior, modeled this safe space for me, even in my adulthood. What I wanted from my community, I became to others.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
I am the founder and owner of Peace of You Therapy Services. I provide mental health therapy services to women seeking a space for self exploration, manage stress, anxiety, depression, or the challenges of motherhood. Peace of You Therapy Services was birthed during my own postpartum experience. I was prepared for my baby but wasn’t prepared the challenges I would face with close relationships which greatly impacted my mental health. Grieving losses in many areas of my life, and during my own healing work, I made a decision to start my practice in order to support women in the perinatal period and all women adjusting to unexpected changes in their lives. I’ve seen and heard many forms of trauma. I want the world to know that my story could not be what it is without the lives the individuals that have invited me into their lives.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Hands down I’d spend everyday at Manhattan Beach! I’d relax and enjoy the masterpiece of the Getty Center. Window Shop at the Grove. Grab Brunch at The Penthouse and Dessert at Bottega Louie.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Banke Balogun, MPH