Listening from the Heart with Sharon Wall, LMHC - Handel Behavioral Health
Mental Health Blog

Listening from the Heart with Sharon Wall, LMHC

August 14, 2023

“We can’t change the wind, but we can adjust the sail. We always have the opportunity to change the way we relate to our challenges.”

In the 17 years that Sharon Wall, LMHC has been in practice, she’s mastered the art of listening from the heart. 

“I’d say my superpower is being able to connect with people one on one. Naturally, I’m able to make people feel comfortable and human,” says Sharon.

Sharon has worked closely with individuals from all walks of life, in many different settings throughout her career: forensic, inpatient/outpatient counseling, substance use treatment, and work with first responders and military. 

She says that all the experiences, successes and failures, throughout her career have shaped her understanding of what it means to be human, which makes her a very relatable therapist. 

Sharon takes a trauma-informed approach to counseling, to help clients understand how past adverse experiences can negatively impact our day to day lives, and conversely, integrates therapeutic interventions proven to create positive changes. 

She uses mindfulness based cognitive strategies to help clients identify their goals for therapy, process and better understand their thoughts, emotions, and behaviors, and develop new skills to tap into their innate strengths and potential. 

Sharon will act as a guide to safely help clients recognize and seize the opportunity to improve their way of thinking and relating to their challenges. 

“Instead of finding the tragedy in a situation, we can always find the blessing,” says Sharon.

We sat down with Sharon to learn more about her background in the field, and approach to working with adults online and in our Wilbraham office.

What inspired you to become a therapist and how did you start your career?

I’ve always loved working with, and relating to people one on one.

When I moved to Massachusetts at the age of 24, I landed my first job at the Perkins School for the Blind. It was my first experience working with children and young adults with disabilities, and it grew into the early stages of case management. 

I instantly knew that working with people with different backgrounds, experiences, and abilities was my calling. 

I went on to receive my Masters degree at the Salem State College School of Social Work, which led me to work in a substance use treatment center, providing inpatient and outpatient individual and group counseling services. 

I also worked at UMass Chan Medical School for many years, counseling adults, mostly men, of all ages and backgrounds. The work deepened my understanding of how racial identity, cultural identity, and socioeconomic status contributes to disproportion rates of incarceration among minorities. 

All the different experiences I’ve had in the field, the ups and downs of my career, have led me to where I am today. I wouldn’t change anything about my journey: I’ve learned to embrace it.

How would you describe your therapeutic approach?

I take a trauma-informed approach to therapy, to help clients understand how adverse early experiences can contribute to feelings of anxiety and depression in their daily lives. 

Conversely, trauma-informed interventions can aid in processing traumatic memories, and clarifying the roots of struggles and difficulties. That way, clients can identify old patterns of thought and behavior they want to leave behind, and new patterns they want to develop. 

My treatment style is integrative and tailored to the individual: there are many paths to climb up the same mountain. I find mindfulness based cognitive strategies most successful in helping clients identify and reframe patterns of thoughts and behaviors that no longer serve them. 

We always have the opportunity to change our way of thinking and relating to our challenges.

What mental health conditions and life situations do you specialize in?

I offer individual counseling for adults, experiencing: 

How do you form connections with your clients?

I’ve always been more of a listener than a talker, but I’ve learned that listening involves more than just hearing and reacting with words. 

I listen by being aware and sensitive to the client’s nonverbal communication: their body language, tone of voice, speed of talking, and context. 

I also listen by practicing self-awareness. I put my own biases and past experiences aside, to hold space for the client’s honest reflection and expression. 

Regardless of what I think about myself, or what I’ve gone through, the proof is in the pudding in terms of how I’m able to support the client across from me.

What’s your favorite part of being a therapist?

I genuinely love talking to people, and as a therapist, I’m able to be a consistent source of support in their lives. I love helping people find their voice, and deepen their relationship with self.

What do you like most about living in Massachusetts?

I love that Massachusetts offers excellent healthcare resources, in comparison to other states, that are available to diverse populations of people.

Scheduling an appointment with Sharon Wall, LMHC:

Are you looking for a trauma-informed, person-centered, and nurturing licensed therapist to work with in Massachusetts?

Sharon Wall is here to guide you, in a collaborative way, to a place of understanding, acceptance, growth, and fulfillment in your life. 

To work with Sharon online or in our Wilbraham office, please call us today at (413) 343-4357 or schedule an appointment online!

About The Author

Nettie Hoagland Headshot

Nettie Hoagland is a writer with experience in local news reporting, nonprofit communications, and community development. She earned her bachelor of arts degree in Media Studies, Journalism, and Digital Arts from Saint Michael’s College in Vermont. Nettie believes in the healing power of the arts to create connection and community. She is passionate about using writing as an instrument for personal and social growth in the field of mental health. She is currently based in Brooklyn, NY.

Sharon Wall Headshot

Sharon’s counseling style is trauma-informed, person-centered, warm, and nurturing. Her approach is grounded in building authentic connections with clients to establish a space of trust and safety. She incorporates an integrative approach using mindfulness based cognitive strategies to support each client in identifying their goals for therapy, process their struggles and difficulties, and to accompany clients on their journey. More About Author →