Jessica Tappana, MSW, LCSW

Meet Jessica Tappana, MSW, LCSW

Bio headshot for Jessica Tappana, Trauma Counselor & PTSD Therapist | Aspire Counseling | Columbia, MO 65201Hi, I’m Jessica Tappana. Yes, this is the “About Jessica” page. However, you’re not really here to learn about me. You’re here to learn about how I can help you, right? If you really want to learn “about” me, you can scroll down the page and find all the information about my education, background, etc.

But before we get there, let’s talk about you. Are nightmares and anxiety attacks keeping you from living life to the fullest? Are traumatic memories and constant worrying standing in the way of your moving forward? Does simply getting out of bed fill you with dread? Do you want to find hope and feel a sense of excitement again? Are you ready to make a change?

I work with individuals who have experienced these exact feelings and help them to find that sense of hope and excitement again. My entire goal as a therapist is to help you to feel confident that you can face whatever comes tomorrow. I take a supportive approach to therapy. I pair with clients in a reassuring manner while using humor and treating you as a partner in the treatment process. I will join your on your journey as you start to move forward and help you find healing, confidence and happiness.

Ok. Now onto the “Me” bit:

I decided I wanted to be a therapist when I was 12 and always dreamed of having a private practice, but there were a few steps I had to take to get here. I received my undergraduate degree in Social Work from the University of Missouri in 2008 after completing my practicum at Fulton State Hospital that Fall where I confirmed my love of mental health. I received my Masters Degree (also in Social Work) from the University of New England in 2012 after focusing my coursework on learning as much as possible about mental health and counseling. I received my clinical license (LCSW) in February 2015 after working under the close and supportive supervision of one of my mentors in the mental health field for over two years. I have focused my career on helping individuals recovering from trauma, feelings of hopelessness or other overwhelming emotions working first at a state hospital, then in a school setting with dysregulated youth ranging from 5-18 years and now in private practice.

Over the past 8 years I have sought out trainings on anxiety, trauma, LGBTQ issues, self harm and many other mental health concerns. I have received significant training in and gained experience using several evidence based techniques including dialectical behavior therapy, prolonged exposure, mindfulness, sand tray, cognitive behavior therapy and acceptance and commitment therapy.

While I see a variety of clients (age 5 through retirement), I specialize in working with individuals who are recovering from a traumatic experience/PTSD, anxiety or adjusting to a major change in their life.  I am particularly passionate about helping survivors of sexual violence (child molestation, rape or sexual assault) find healing, meaning and move forward. In addition to seeing survivors through 1:1 counseling, I co-lead a Circle of Trust through a local church and am in the process of developing an accelerated PTSD treatment program. I also enjoy working with college students or young professionals trying to find who they are and how they fit into the world around them.

When I’m not in the office, it’s common to see me at Faurot Field watching MU football games or cheering the Tigers on at the Zou Arena for MU basketball with my family!  I also enjoy spending time in nature and traveling. I’ve lived in Columbia, MO my entire adult life and while I dream of far away places, my roots are firmly planted here.

On a final note: I love being a therapist. Watching clients find healing and begin moving forward toward their ideal life gives me energy and excitement.  I feel honored to have the opportunity to partner with clients as they grow and rediscover their passion for life.

I hope you’ll reach out today so we can chart a course for your journey and begin moving in that direction together.

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I also enjoy giving trainings on mental health topics and have been quoted in several news stories about mental health topics.

“Today you are you, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is youer than you.”

-Dr. Suess
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