We had the good fortune of connecting with Shashanah Ward and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Shashanah, what is the most important factor behind your success?
The most important factor behind my success is showing up as my authentic self and being able to relate to the experiences of the people I serve. From a cultural perspective people who come to me experience a sigh of relief when not having to overexplain themselves. This alone breaks down a major wall and allows us to begin doing the work necessary for them to reach their personal and professional goals.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
Counsel For The Culture is a virtual mental health and wellness practice that provides psychotherapy, life coaching, and professional consulting. I formed my business in 2019 as an ode to Black women in professional spaces, navigating life on the terms set forth by everyone but herself. I was personally going through my own journey with IVF (fertility treatment) and decided it was time for me to refocus on what brings me joy and that’s helping my people. I want to change how the black community sees mental health so that we can heal individually and collectively. I specifically focus on Black professionals because they are often considered the ones who “made it out” but are mentally stuck due to unhealed trauma, feelings of inadequacy, life plans changing, difficult transitions, and sometimes guilt for succeeding.
My journey to getting where I am today in business began 15 years ago. After receiving my bachelor’s degree in criminal justice, I started working with at-risk youth in their communities and eventually opened a group home for teenage girls and a community-based program for children and adults. I later earned a Master of Social Work degree which led to my clinical license and private practice. I wanted to do something familiar, but different, with Counsel For The Culture. I wanted it to align with where I was in my life as a Black, professional, woman and that’s exactly what I’m doing!
What may set me apart from others is the concept of teaching clients “not to need me” and to rely on themselves. In-between sessions are where I am expecting the growth to happen, so yep that means homework. The ability to simultaneously be an active participant and observer of your own life is powerful and leads to nothing but abundance and healing. I love to see it!
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
There are a few I could shoutout but I would like to dedicate this one to Doctor TK. She’s a LA native and has a business called The Dope Therapist Academy. I was in her program last year and it opened my eyes to so much more even after having over 15 years of experience myself. She gave me the community and push I needed so thank you Doctor TK and my fellow therapists of DTA!
Facebook: Counsel For The Culture Network
Jodie Brim Photography