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Executive Profile: Dr. LaShon Sawyer


portrait of dr lashon sawyer
PROFESSIONAL TITLE

Founder & Chief Clinical Therapist

Sage Insight Therapeutic & Communication Services


HOMETOWN

Cleveland, Ohio


EDUCATION:
  • BS – PsychologyWright State University

  • MSSA – Master of Science in Social Science AdministrationCase Western Reserve University

  • PhD –  Public SafetyCapella University


CIVIC ENGAGEMENT
  • Co-Chair,Governance Committee Literary Cleveland

  • Mentor College Now

  • Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.Diamond Life Member


MANTRA… 

“Be kind to yourself.” We have to love ourselves, forgive ourselves and make space for ourselves to make mistakes.


 

CAREER 


Thinking back to your early years, was there a teacher or professor who had a significant impact on your professional journey? If so, please share.

My counselor at Bedford High School, Mrs. Yvonne Sims, was instrumental in my development. She always spoke light into me. She also identified me to participate in a peer-to-peer counseling program. It was my first exposure to seeing myself in a role helping others with emotions.


What professional accomplishment are you most humbled by and why?

I am always humbled by acknowledgments and compliments by my clients. I see myself operating in my purpose. So, to have a client thank me for my services and support is always humbling. Clients could choose any therapist and they chose me. I see that as a blessing.


Equity, Diversity & Inclusion is vital to the longevity and success of any professional. On your most challenging day, where do you draw inspiration to continue feeding your passion for this work?

I am a Black therapist. Current estimates indicate that only 4% of all therapists identify as Black. On my most challenging days, I remember that I am part of this small number of professionals in the U.S. providing services. Representation is critical in any profession. Equally important, some clients feel comfortable seeking therapy from practitioners that have lived experiences similar to their own. I value that I can provide a therapeutic environment that is psychologically and culturally safe for everyone courageous enough to begin therapy.


What’s the toughest decision you’ve made professionally?

I would have to say that stepping out on faith to start my practice. There were so many things that I didn’t know about running a business. At times, I didn’t feel I was ready. But with prayers and fabulous people in my inner circle cheering me on, I did it! Now, I only look forward to what is to come and I haven’t looked back.


The essentials of creating a harmonious work environment are...

Communication, communication and communication. Also, a work environment must allow people to bring their most authentic selves. When people cannot be their authentic selves we are likely not getting the best out of people.


What have you come to learn about success?

I have learned that success is not about riches. Rather, success is what allows you to maintain a strong character. You can’t buy character.


What have you come to learn about balancing career and lifestyle?

Self-care is essential to the soul. I love being a therapist! I am able to continue to be in love with my profession by stepping away from it to spend time with my family, friends and hobbies. I talk endlessly about self-care with my clients, I have to model the same behaviors that I suggest to them.


What part of your job brings you the most joy?

When I see someone have a ‘light bulb’ moment. When a client discovers insight about a new way to handle a stressor or difficulty will always bring me joy. I can see the joy and excitement in their eyes.


What is the most important lesson you’ve learned professionally? How do you apply this lesson to the work you do?

I don’t know everything. I remain in community with other therapists and professionals. Continuously learning from others and being open to feedback is an important part of professionalism.


My ideal vacation is...

Anywhere with water.



Dr Sawyer and colleagues on stage
Dr. Sawyer was the moderator for the keynote conversation: “Hey Girl, It’s OK to have a Therapist or a Sister Girl Advisor!” at the 2023 Women of Color Foundation 2nd Annual National Women’s Leadership Summit. From left to right: Twyla Turner, Danielle “Dani” Morris, Kristina Austin, Charmaine Brown, Dr. LaShon Sawyer

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