Counseling Alumna Among Orlando’s Women of the Year

Orlando Magazine recognized Janie Lacy, an alumna of PBA's Orlando campus and a licensed mental health counselor, for her work helping others find freedom from abuse, addiction, anger and anxiety.Janie Lacy’s counseling education from PBA’s Orlando campus gave her the framework to help others find freedom from abuse, addiction, anger and anxiety.

Orlando Magazine recognized Lacy ’07 as one of Orlando’s Women of the Year for her efforts.

Lacy was one of 22 women chosen for the honor based on recommendations from readers who shared details about how the honorees affect countless lives every day. Lacy concentrates her efforts on two programs: Woman Redeemed, a 12-week intensive program for women in toxic relationships, and Safe Haven, a program for women experiencing the trauma of betrayal such as spousal infidelity or pornography addiction.

She runs Woman Redeemed in honor of her sister, Carmen Rivera, who was murdered, leaving behind four children.

“Our target is professional women because we tend to find that there’s a lot more shame because of who they are,” Lacy said. “The heart is professional women who look at themselves like ‘How did I get here’?”

The programs grew out of a family history of not talking about problems, Lacy said. But her journey to becoming a licensed mental health counselor was “all part of God’s plan, not Janie’s plan.”

Lacy was pursuing a master’s degree in business administration at another university, where she was enrolled in a leadership enhancement program to improve her communication skills. She found she enjoyed one-on-one connections — including with a mental health counselor the university matched her up with — more than the formal workshops. She started thinking about changing her academic path.

She dropped out of the MBA program and earned a master’s degree in mental health counseling from PBA Orlando.

“Once I began the journey, I realized it was part of God’s ordained path for me,” Lacy said.

Lacy chose PBA because she could work full-time while she completed her master’s degree and because the program had a spiritual component, she said. She developed lifelong friends among her fellow students, who are now part of her professional network.

PBA imparted to Lacy a framework for looking at mental health in a spiritual context without one overwhelming the other.

“That was probably the greatest gift I had gotten from PBA,” Lacy said.

Janie Lacy is one of Orlando Magazine's Women of the Year honorees.She is working toward her doctorate from California Southern University. In her role as a faculty member for the International Institute for Trauma and Addiction Professionals, Lacy also trains others in the treatment of addiction recovery and trauma.

Prior to the magazine recognition, Lacy, founder of Life Counseling Solutions, received other accolades. Most notably, she won the African American Chamber of Commerce of Central Florida’s 2018 Enterprise Business of the Year Award and an entrepreneur award from Women on the Rise Orlando.

Lacy has been a guest on hundreds of national radio and TV shows, including “The Bill Cunningham Show,” “The Daily Buzz” and “Emotional Mojo.” She co-hosts the podcast “Life Unscripted” on iHeart, iTunes, Spotify, YouTube and Spreaker.

Local and national media exposure allows her to reach people who would never walk into a therapist’s office and bring them to healing in Christ.

“We are ambassadors for the kingdom, and we provide hope and healing,” Lacy said.

Photo 1: Orlando Magazine recognized Janie Lacy, pictured, for her work helping others find freedom from abuse, addiction, anger and anxiety. Lacy is an alumna of PBA's Orlando campus and a licensed mental health counselor. 

Photo 2: Janie Lacy is one of Orlando Magazine's Women of the Year honorees.