Shari Simon, Psychotherapist and Director of Amira for Them

Schedule your FREE Consultation with Shari HERE

Shari Simon, Psychotherapist and Director of Amira for Them 

About Shari

I was born and raised in Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn. I grew up in what today could be considered a blended family, but we never called it that. I identify as a Black woman with Jamaican and African ancestry. I was born in New York to Black Jamaican parents so both my identity and worldview have been informed by multiple histories and cultures. Ackee and saltfish, Marcus Garvey and Luciano were as vital to my upbringing, as soul food, Zora Neale Hurston and Satchmo.

In 2011, I graduated from Bennett College, an all-women’s HBCU (Historically Black Colleges and Universities) in North Carolina. I also graduated from Columbia University, an ivy league institution, in NYC during the 2020 global pandemic.

After seven years in the workforce, I realized that I wanted to learn more about evidence-based tools to better impact systems, communities and individuals. Social work is rooted in strengths-based and person-in-environment perspectives so it was a natural fit for my counseling and professional styles.

What I Do

Currently, I am an adjunct professor at CUNY, the Director of Scholar Success at a local organization and a State Representative for Black Girls in Social Work. Throughout my career, I served historically marginalized communities including Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC), LGBTQIA+, low-income, immigrants and first-generation folx in nonprofit, K-12 and higher education settings. In these spaces, I advised people on their college and career journeys, led social justice workshops, taught social emotional learning classes, led counseling groups, facilitated restorative circles, provided mental health care and curated healing spaces.

Why I Do, What I Do

I especially enjoy providing care to Black women because in the words of Issa Rae, “I am rooting for everybody Black.” As a Black woman, I have experienced racism at the systemic and interpersonal levels. I have also experienced and witnessed colorism, internalized oppression and microaggressions. Many of these encounters happened at school and work. Because of my experiences, I am very passionate about helping folx navigate white supremacy culture in professional and educational spaces.

Black people receive a unique form of racism, oppression and discrimination in this country. Anti-Black racism is a pervasive force in our society that invades systems, communities and families. It produces division, pain and generational trauma. As a community, Black women pride ourselves on our resilience and grit. However, this standard of strength has caused stigma, burnout and silence. We deserve more. We deserve to be whole, healed and well.

My Therapeutic Approach

My clinical approach is dependent on the client’s individual needs. I approach wellness in a holistic fashion. It’s really about connecting the body, mind and spirit for me so mindfulness is a key part of my practice. I consider myself as an empowerment-based, affirmation-based and solution-based therapist. Generally, I incorporate Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Drama Therapy and Narrative Therapy in my work. I also provide homework to ensure client’s continue working on their growth even after our session.

I specialize in working with Millennial and Gen Z womxn, but I have experience working with folx of all ages and gender identities/expressions. I also create a safe space for religious and/or spiritual clients to bring that element into our sessions. Similarly, I create an affirming space for poly and/or kink folx. I believe that people should bring their complete selves to therapy. My clients say that I make them feel seen, heard and empowered because I am like an accountability partner that truly cares about seeing them win.

Random Fact About Me

I enjoy being an accountability partner which is why I own a coaching and consulting business that supports teens and adults in achieving their college, career and wellness goals. As I mentioned before, I truly approach my work in a holistic manner. Whether I am leading a workshop on mental health for college students, training on vicarious trauma with mental health professionals or providing one-on-one career coaching, I walk away feeling fulfilled knowing that my clients feel empowered enough to access their best selves.

Schedule your FREE Consultation with Shari HERE

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