Sharon T. Walls, LMFT
Sharon started at Avalon Hills in August 2016. She started working in the mental health field in 1995 so she has over twenty years of experience.
She has a varied background starting with a career at Dr. Pepper/7Up where she focused on marketing and promotions for ten years. She then decided to reinvent herself and went back to graduate school in 1998 to shift to counseling and therapy. She lived in New Zealand and studied Rogerian therapy as a volunteer for a suicide hotline agency. It was there that she was greatly impacted by the culture and her experiences. She worked as a volunteer counselor and trained with the New Zealand therapists from 1993-1996.
After returning to the United States she decided to go back to school and received her Master’s degree in counseling at California State University, Long Beach. While focusing on her Master’s
degree she worked for Weight Watchers where she worked with individuals couples and groups to support life changes as it related to weight management. It was here that she met many individuals who also struggled with eating disorder behaviors.
Following this schooling she concentrated for three years in addiction counseling in Jackson Wyoming and received her licensure as a licensed marriage family therapist. She then worked as a family therapist for 15 years in Jackson which included private practice, hospital and addictions outpatient counseling.
Following that, she moved to Salt Lake City last year to learn the alcohol and drug rehab business. It was at Recovery Ways where she worked as a clinical director and supported individuals, couples and families in their struggles with alcohol and drug addiction.
Her advanced training and education includes study in Internal Family Systems for five years. This is an integrative approach to individual psychotherapy that utilizes family systems theory to understand how collections of sub-personalities in the individual are organized. This approach changed the course of how she conducted therapy as a private practitioner as well as handling her own personal life.
Professionally, she is known for her love of public speaking and in her role as a therapist, she has enjoyed facilitating lectures, group connections and outreach to the community. She also enjoys working with couples and has led many couple’s seminars.
Her strengths lie in work with Internal Family Systems, she realizes that clients can get tangled in a complicated web of parts which can be very overwhelming and distressing. It is her intention to reassure patients that internally they have the answers and it is a process to work from the inside out. The key is listening in a way that offers compassionate understanding to allow the client to find their path.
She is most passionate about offering compassion and kindness in her work – and be the one that walks the walk with clients. She firmly believes we cannot ask a client to go the places we have not dared to go.
What most excites her about the contribution that she can make at Avalon Hills is being a part of the mission that we have set forth to do here. She endeavors to find new ways to help clients understand their inner selves and transform their lives. The most exciting aspect of Avalon Hills is the stellar staff and cutting edge trainings with masters like Dan Siegel, Norman Doige and Ed Hamlin.
Personally, she is passionate about her three children who are the light of life. She says being a mother has been the most rewarding experience in my life and she cherishes the moments all three of her kids provide to her daily.
When she is not working her favorite way to spend time is usually the beautiful landscapes of Logan. She has run two marathons and six half-marathons. The most rewarding have been the half marathons with her three kids. Her most favorite was the Rock and Roll in San Francisco, and even though she came in last after her kids, but their embrace at the end was priceless.
Why I love Avalon Hills
Today is my two-month anniversary as a therapist at Avalon Hills... yes, two months! And the theme for me is the generous welcome I have received from each and every staff member at Avalon Hills. Moving to a new town, new job and new life is daunting and from the moment I have stepped onto Logan soil I have felt invited into the Avalon Hills tribe.