Sharon T. Walls, LMFT
I believe one moment can change the entire course of your life – the key is that the right teachers show up when you’re ready. I can only say this from my own experience. I feel I slept through my life for the first 40 years looking to find an answer on the outside. I was taught at an early age that if you work hard enough, stay positive, and block out the difficult – anything is possible. And yet through those years, there was always this ache inside that all the external accomplishments and rewards could not ease. It was as if I was living my life to make others happy and had no idea how to feel content.
You see, As a kid I lived an adventurous life on the outside; traveling to foreign countries, meeting diverse cultures in Central and South America and Pacific Islands – and on the inside suffered the severe trauma of living with a parent with severe mental illness which sent our family on a whirlwind of devastation and suffering. There were countless times I tried to describe and vent to others only to be left feeling misunderstood and unheard.
I was a nonbeliever in therapy till the age of 40 where I wanted to start a journey to understand the impact of my upbringing.
On this journey, I helped Kiwi families at a 24-hour suicide Lifeline Center. It was here I realized that most clients calling were simply struggling in their relationships and needed support to just be heard. It was here I studied the work of Carl Rogers who was a mentor in the ’50s – he believes that humans can transcend anything as long as they have positive self-regard and emotional support from another.
“The journey of a 1000 miles starts with one step.” I took one introduction counseling class in Long Beach CA which led me back to graduate school when I was 40 to receive my Masters in Counseling.
My therapy approach allows clients to explore their outer and inner lives. The basic tenant of this IFS model* developed by mentor Dick Schwartz is that every human being regardless of circumstance or trauma possesses at their core an untarnished self from which flows a never-ending resource of love and self- compassion. This therapy helps you understand yourself more deeply and unburden negative beliefs and access internal resources which often supports the experience of great shifts in well-being. In my work with relationships, couples and families, this also offers the opportunity for clients to be the caretaker of their own parts first and work to bring a new way of being present in their partnership.
It is with this philosophy that I attend to every individual, couple, and family in my counseling approach.
As I depart for now I leave you with this:
“The time will come when, with elation, you will greet yourself arriving at your own door, in your own mirror and each will smile with the others welcome and say sit here eat. You will love again the stranger who was your self. Give wine. Give bread. Give back your heart to itself, to the stranger who has loved you all your life, whom you have ignored for another“
– Derek Walcott, Collected poems
*To find more about the model you can click here for the website.
Just a few facts about me…
I received my Masters in Counseling from California State Long Beach, CA in 2000. I was licensed as a family therapist in 2004 and appreciate the years of study and mentorship in addiction work. I have thrived with learning in many different philosophies in therapy and applied in private practice, residential treatment with addiction work including eating disorders and substance abuse/dependence. I have been privileged to work with a vast variety of groups in hospitals, businesses, and schools. I revel in learning new approaches, particularly with couples work. I believe I can only ask my clients to go places if I have demonstrated the courage to do the same.
My life is precious with my three adult children who teach me every day how to be more present. I work diligently every day to stay present with myself, so I can pay the gifts forward I have been given,
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150 S 600 E, Suite 8C
Salt Lake City, Utah