This week, we had the privilege of interviewing Shara, a dedicated women’s counsellor specialising in mental health and well-being. Shara holds a Diploma in Mental Health Counselling and is currently pursuing her bachelor’s degree, with a focus on effective parenting, family therapy, trauma, and addictions. As an active member of the Australian Counselling Association (ACA), Shara regularly engages in professional development courses, with a particular emphasis on women’s mental health and perinatal mental health.
A personal experience that profoundly altered her career path sparked Shara’s journey into counselling. Following the birth of her first child, she realised the significance of mental health and felt a strong urge to advocate for it. Witnessing the various changes and transitions women undergo throughout their lives, Shara recognised that their mental well-being often remained silent.
When asked about the experiences that led her to specialise in women’s counselling, Shara openly shared that her own encounters with pregnancy loss and postpartum anxiety were pivotal moments. Through her personal struggles, she discovered the lack of support and understanding available to women facing miscarriages or perinatal mental illness. Recognising the importance of initiating conversations about these topics and providing support for women who often feel unheard and invalidated, Shara aimed to become a trusted ally, offering empathy and compassion to women seeking help.
Shara’s own journey with mental health challenges, including generalised anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD), further propelled her toward a career in mental health counselling. Her goal is to create a safe space where women can seek help without fear and find solace in the knowledge that their struggles are valid and deserving of support.
To enhance her counselling skills, Shara actively participates in specialised training and workshops focused on women’s mental health. Her ongoing professional development covers a broad range of topics, including perinatal mental health, miscarriages, anxiety, and depression. By staying abreast of the latest research, techniques, and best practices in women’s counselling, Shara ensures that she can provide the most effective support to her clients.
In addition to her private practice, Shara has made a positive impact through her Instagram page, Aura and Oak Tree. She emphasises the importance of women supporting women and finds fulfilment in the opportunity to support and empower other women through her work.
As a specialist in women’s counselling, Shara concentrates on two areas of particular passion: miscarriage and pregnancy loss, as well as perinatal mental illness. She firmly believes that the grief associated with miscarriages deserves validation, recognising the healing power of discussing this sensitive topic. Furthermore, Shara strives to raise awareness and advocate for improved treatment and support for women experiencing perinatal mental illness, an area that still requires greater attention.
When asked about the most fulfilling aspect of her work, Shara expresses deep satisfaction in supporting women and being entrusted with their concerns and struggles. She creates a safe and inclusive space by listening without judgment, interruptions, or pressure. Building trusting relationships with her clients is Shara’s primary objective, ensuring that they feel heard, validated, and understood.
In her work with women from diverse backgrounds, Shara remains culturally sensitive, taking the time to understand each client’s unique experiences. She recognises the importance of asking clarifying questions and building trust through respect, reliability, and honesty.
Looking ahead, Shara aspires to open her private practice clinic, collaborating with other mental health and wellness professionals. She intends to continue advocating for women’s mental health and spearhead projects such as a mothers’ group for teenage mothers. This initiative would not only address mental health but also provide young mothers with essential life skills, including financial management, cooking, and time management.
If you or someone you know is seeking counselling support for pregnancy loss or perinatal mental illness, please reach out to Shara through her Instagram account
Or make a booking through her website.
Shara offers in-home visits to patients on the Sunshine Coast and provides teleconference counselling for those outside the area or in different states.