Growing up, Tiffany Simpson was always the person people came to for advice. Think Lucy and her psychologist booth from "Charlie Brown.” The licensed psychologist and clinical addictions counselor says she “has been doing this since I was 7.”
"Everybody always came to me with their stuff,” Simpson says.
And they still are.
Simpson, of Valparaiso, has been the owner/president of Creative Interventions Counseling Inc. since 2009.
Originally from Ohio, Simpson’s affiliation with the region began in 1998 when as an undergraduate at Ball State University she completed a summer internship with the Porter County Probation Department. After completing her graduate and doctorate degrees at the Chicago School of Professional Psychology, she went to work as an independent contractor for CIC before buying the company outright.
Simpson and her small staff do a lot of work with children and high conflict divorce families.
“There aren’t a lot of therapists around who work with little kids especially if there is court involvement,” Simpson says. “It’s one of the things I’m known for.”
Simpson’s primary area of expertise is working with sexual abuse victims and sex offenders. She’s been classified as an expert witness in state and federal courts.
“Not a lot of people do that work,” she says. “People are not jumping out of the woodwork to do sex offender work. I believe they have to be treated. We’re not locking them up forever. If we’re going to end or reduce sexual abuse we cannot just focus on victims.”
Critical to Simpson is providing high quality services that are evidence-based, meaning they’re doing what they know works, and ethical integrity. She’s not a fan of counseling agencies that “have more of a concern for the dollar than the client.”
“We don’t necessarily get a ton what we consider the worried wealth,” she says. “We deal with a lot of people who experienced some pretty significant traumas and folks who are some pretty intense conflict situations.
“It would be easy for me to make a lot of money off people but that’s not what I’m set up to do.”
Simpson says she views her job as not fixing something that’s wrong but as helping people have the quality of life they deserve.
“All I’m doing is trying to be a good person helping other people,” she says.
Simpson has helped people in ways outside her practice too. She completed internships at Methodist Hospital in Gary, the Porter County Family Counseling Center and the Youth Opportunity Center in Muncie.
Simpson spent two summers in North Carolina as a clinical director for a therapeutic wilderness camp for kids.
She was a professor at Purdue North Central for five years, focusing her later instructing at the Westville Correctional Center. She has been a member of the Porter County Critical Incident Stress Management Team and was also a member of the Washington Township Volunteer Fire Department.
“I loved that – I’m a bit of an adrenaline junkie,” she says.
Simpson also implemented a Giving Tree program through CIC around the winter holidays.
“I’m a big fan of making sure kids are taken care of,” she says.
Simpson’s husband, Rich Simpson, a Hammond Police Officer, lauds her compassion for others and dedication to making their lives better.
“She’s extraordinarily passionate about her job and passionate about the people she sees,” he says. “Her unwavering passion and incredible work ethic make her the therapist she is. I’ve never met anybody who’s as driven and as compassionate and as human when it comes to dealing with people and trying to make their lives better.”
Zack Burns, an intern at CIC, has known Simpson since she was his instructor in an abnormal psychology class at PNC.
“She had a real way to engage me,” Burns says. “She drew from her experience and not always a text book. She was a gifted teacher and I wanted more exposure to that.”
In 2011 Burns began his graduate studies in social work at the University of Chicago. Prior to his acceptance, he says, Simpson worked tirelessly to help him brainstorm ideas for his application essays to the various schools he applied for.
Burns says one of the gifts of working with her is to see how she extends herself to others for the better good of the community.
“Since I began my relationship with Dr. Simpson I have not yet witnessed another person in this field who matches her love, passion, energy and dedication for improving the community,” he says. “It has been her altruistic spirit and pure love for helping others that has been my main source of encouragement and inspiration.”
Simpson and her other full-time therapist have also just received credentials to treat veterans coming home from combat.
Creative Interventions Counseling is also the contracted treatment provider for Culver Academy.
Simpson is a recipient of the Outstanding Mental Health Professional Award from the Indiana Coalition Against Sexual Assault. She also began instructing at the Northwest Indiana Law Enforcement Academy in August.