Meet the Therapist: Sherene Charles
What attracted you to become a therapist?
Growing up I wanted to become a counsellor. However, my understanding of counselling was misconstrued. I thought counselling was about giving advice. When I grew up, I realised counselling was not at all about giving advice or having all the answers. When I found myself in a job that was unfulfilling, I decided to complete a counselling course. I have always had a passion for people. I fell in love with the counselling theory and the prospect of supporting people to move from surviving to thriving and enabling them to live their best life yet.
Can you tell us about the type of therapy you practise?
Humanistic integrative counselling is a holistic approach that incorporates and integrates elements from other counselling modalities. I believe that integrating a range of approaches is much more beneficial and allows me to tailor my approach to meet people’s specific needs.
What sort of people do you usually see?
I work with individuals and couples from 16 upwards. Common difficulties that people experience and I have worked with are: anxiety, depression, relational problems, affairs, low self-esteem, stress, sexual dysfunction, bereavement and abuse.
What do you like about being a therapist?
It gives me great pleasure to see clients make changes they have long desired to make but have been unable to do so. I really enjoy watching clients make connections between their experiences and how this has impacted their behaviour. It is a privilege to be allowed into another person’s inner world and to be trusted to accompany them on their journey towards self-discovery, healing and wholeness.
Do you ever suggest books or apps to clients?
When working with clients, particularly couple clients I sometimes recommend books, YouTube videos, CBT worksheets and any other exercises I think may be useful for the client.
What do you wish people knew about therapy?
There is no shame in needing or wanting help and it is unwise to wait until crisis point in order to seek help. I would like people to know that therapy can be useful for anyone regardless of their circumstances. Life can be extremely busy, and therapy gives you time and space to reflect and review aspects of yourself and your life. In my eyes this is about self care and ensuring you are enjoying life to the fullest and operating at your best.
What did you learn about yourself in therapy?
During therapy I made a comment about being lazy. My therapist reflected this back to me and highlighted that I was working full-time, studying, seeing clients, having therapy and supervision. My therapist asked me how this fitted with being lazy and I immediately realised that it did not. In a previous season of my life I was lazy, however, I was able to recognise that this was no longer the case but my thinking around being lazy had not changed. I learnt to examine the data I held about myself to see if it was still relevant and I began to see myself more clearly.