Wednesday, May 29, 2024
HomeFEATURESWednesday Wonder Woman: Tanise McInnis

Wednesday Wonder Woman: Tanise McInnis

Empowering Minds Counseling & Consultation Services, LLC offers hope & healing to parents & caregivers of special needs children and individuals who have been impacted by grief & anxiety. Integrating holistic, person-centered therapy approaches to invoke self-awareness, strengths, and wellness—supervision and consultation Services Available.

McInnis embraces and values the uniqueness of each individual as they enter a process of self-discovery and healing. As empowerment lies in each and every one of us, I believe that every individual is unique, and therapy should be catered to meet the specialized needs of the individual, family, and/or couple. I am a licensed clinical social worker with 23 years of experience working in various diverse settings. She earned a Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees from the University of Southern Mississippi; an Ed. S. Degree in Educational & Counseling Psychology with an emphasis in Mental Health Practices in Schools from The University of Missouri at Columbia-Mizzou and post-graduate studies at Arizona State University in Autism Spectrum Disorders. 

McInnis is a Mississippi State board-approved supervisor and board-certified Telemental health Provider who has obtained Autism Specialist Certification. She has served in various leadership & consultative roles, gaining diverse clinical experiences within mental health, medical, and school-based settings. Formerly a Mississippi State DFCS Supervisor, Tannis has advocated for abused & neglected children and worked as a School-Based Clinician employing mental health services to school-aged children. She has written grants, facilitated support and parenting groups, and spoken at conferences regarding coping skills, crisis intervention, truancy reduction & the impact of abuse & neglect on emotional & mental health. As a wife and mother,  she is personally aware of the most stressors that impact individuals, families, and relationships. Seeking needed support empowered me, and empowerment is what I seek to provide to you in the realm of counseling, consulting, and/or supervision.


Christina: What is your SwagHer? What makes Tanise, Tanise? 

Tanise:  I am a Chi-Town lady. I absolutely love the beach, good food, and jazz music. I relocated to Mississippi and have been blessed to practice the profession of social work for over 22 years. I’ve worked within community-based, school, state, and federal agencies serving children and adults. I have a passion for working with the special needs caregiver population. My mission is to decrease systemic cultural and ethnic barriers to wellness and parental engagement while increasing awareness around wellness planning interventions that address special needs parenting while increasing social, emotional, and mental wellness. I am a licensed clinical social worker, board-certified telemental health therapist, and certified autism specialist. I offer hope and healing to parents and caregivers of social needs children and individuals who have been impacted by grief and anxiety.

Christina: Tell us about your practice, Empowering Minds Counseling & Consultation Services, LLC. 

Tanise: Empowering Minds Counseling & Consultant Services, LLC offers integrative holistic, person-centered therapy approaches to invoke self-awareness, strengths, and wellness. We also provide supervision for upcoming clinicians and consultation services for schools and community agencies needing interventions for students that are experiencing difficulties with communication, social and behavioral interactions. Including ensuring that the sole piece of the puzzle, the parent, has the tools, they need to better care for their child.

Christina: What motivated or inspired you to begin your practice? 

Tanise: Having previously worked in a school system, I encountered many parents that expressed feeling powerless, whether from not having access to resources for their child, not trusting the school system to do the right thing, not knowing enough about autism, other than what has been portrayed on social media or through media sources, or not knowing how to communicate or interact with the school staff. These factors, among others, often left parents feeling angry, scared, frustrated, all leading to anxiety and grief. Empowering Minds gives me the opportunity to collaborate with caregivers and parents and work together towards strengthening their awareness, outlook, thinking, and actions. They are claiming their rights to a sound mind, sound body, sound spirit, despite the anxiety, grief, or a diagnosis that has been given to their child.

Christina: Why is it so important for you to work with special needs children and individuals? 

Tanise: Being a special needs mother, I have witnessed 1st hand the stressors associated with special needs parenting. The feelings of denial, isolation, judgment, lack of understanding, and the non-conditional need for a support system and wellness plan. Wellness is absolutely essential for a parent of a special needs child. Therefore, it is non-negotiable that a wellness plan is created, including tracking moods, obtaining nutrition, adequate sleep, individualized socialization, and looking in the mirror and affirming each day, “YOU GOT THIS!” Without out it, no matter the intentions, we solely cannot care for others if we do not care for ourselves first.

Christina: Why did you choose to become a psychologist? 

Tanise: There is a running joke among those closest to me, as they often tell me, that social work was designed just for me. I realized at a young age that life experiences can either rob you of the person you were meant to be or methodically sculpt you into the person you need to be to serve others. I chose social worker because it aligned with my beliefs and value system of service. Over the last 22 years, I have been impacted by many clients whom I call collaborators. Some of these experiences have included being a clinician who has been at the bedside of individuals in their last and final moments. Creating safe spaces for teenagers who learned to use music and poetry to express their pain and release anxiety; witnessing emotional breakthrough and grief that finally was released after years of pint up grief. Each collaborator was in their own sculpting process. These experiences have provided me with the most endearing, spiritual, life-sustaining encounters that continuously remind me just how valuable life is and how we must live it authentically well. Therefore, I choose to be a clinician in social work for the continued sculpting of strengths that each collaborator exchanges in the therapy process.

Christina: What is one thing that you would tell your younger self? 

Tanise: I would tell her to get a personal connection with God early, to cement that connection when it’s sunny and when it’s raining so that when a thunderstorm comes, she would know to hold fast on to his word while using it as an umbrella shielding her from the rain.

Christina: Do you have any upcoming events or projects that you would like our readers to know about?

Tanise: I am currently hosting a workshop for special needs caregivers teaching interventions for increasing wellness. The workshop registration and waitlist information are located on my social media pages. Additionally, I plan to publish additional wellness books and resources, adding to the already available collection on Amazon. The link to the Amazon book page is also located in the links below.

Christina: Is there anything else you would like to share? 

Tanise:  I have a favorite quote, “Start by doing what is necessary; then do what is possible, and suddenly you are doing the impossible,” by Francis of Assisi. Special needs parents are faced with emotional, mental, and physical ramifications every day that impact thoughts, feelings, and actions. To see change, we must start with an action, no matter how small that action is, and then build upon it, and it’s ok if you are screaming while you are building, or crying while you are building, let it out and continue to build and before you know it you’ve faced what you never thought you could.


Connect with Tanise below:

Workshop & Amazon Link:


Instagram: @empoweingmindscc




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