Sharon Imperato, LMHC
Masters of Science in Counseling Psychology
Northeastern University (2000-2002)
Bachelor of Arts in Communicative Disorders
University of Redlands (1994-1998)
Sharon is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor (LMHC) and a Certified Rape Crisis Counselor in Massachusetts, where she has been working in the field of sexual trauma for over ten years. Sharon worked at the Boston Area Rape Crisis Center (BARCC) in Boston for 10 years. While working at BARCC, she has held various positions from counselor, to medical advocacy coordinator, to intake coordinator to most recently Senior Clinician and Clinical Intern Program Manager. Sharon is currently working as an adjunct faculty member at Boston University and another local university. She is also currently working as the trauma specialist/group facilitator at Boston College. Sharon has maintained a private practice since 2006 that includes client work as well as clinical supervision, consultation and trainings.
Sharon has extensive experience in counseling (individual, group, and couples) and facilitating trainings on various aspects of sexual trauma for students, military personnel, clinicians/therapists, and other professionals. Sharon has provided trainings to university counseling centers and have been a guest lecturer for undergraduate and graduate classes in Boston and Cambridge area colleges and universities. In addition to working with women who have experienced sexual trauma, she works extensively with male survivors and provide couples’ counseling (particularly with LGBT clients), and focuses on sexual issues and addictions that stem from sexual trauma.
- Sexual Trauma: Adult Survivors of Child Sexual Abuse, Adult Survivors of Adult Sexual Assault
- Women’s Issues: body image, self-esteem, and socialization
- Couples and Relationships
Questions & Answers
Q: Please describe theoretical orientation and your teaching philosophy
A: Sharon has an integrative therapeutic approach; she draws from various theories and approaches as she has developed an orientation that suits her style and personality and that she can tailor to meet her clients’ needs. A few of the theories she integrates into her work include, Feminist/Empowerment, Cognitive Behavioral, Relational, and Humanistic. As for her approach to teaching she is high energy and loves to use activities, reading, and our own life experiences and cases discussions to help the students to synthesis the work. Sharon follows the proverb “Give a man a fish he eats for a day, teach him how to fish he eats for a lifetime.” She wants to provide her students with tools that they can make their own and use in a way that genuine to them. When a student asks the question, “What should I do” before she answers them she asks “What do you think you can do?” and together they can form an appropriate approach.
Sharon also believes you learn more by doing and making mistakes and learning from those mistakes. She works with her students using some of the methods she finds affective with her clients. She believes in empowering her students by drawing on their strengths to improve their weaknesses. She believes it is important to provide honest and direct feedback and this feedback is to include what was done well and using that information to discuss and improve on their learning edges (things to be improved on). Sharon also believes in patience and reminding students that they are in fact students and that they are here to learn and are not expected to know how to do everything, but they are expected to be open, active and engaged in their learning.
Q: Why did you choose to enter the field of counseling psychology?
A: Sharon worked as a special educator in an alternative school and through that work realized she wanted to help the students in a way that teaching could not. The students she worked with were in gangs and most of them were in-group homes, these adolescents suffered and truly had no place to process their lives. Sharon wanted to provide that place. she wanted to provide a safe and non-judgmental space for people to talk and heal so they could truly have the life they wanted and deserved. She decided to go to graduate school and it was there that she found my true passion was working with survivors of trauma and helping them to live the lives they wanted and deserved.
Q: What do you enjoy most about teaching in the MHCBM Program?
A: This may sound cliché but Sharon enjoys working with the students. She loves teaching and being able to support someone in their development as a professional and most importantly support them in their development as a counselor. Being able to see them grow and to be a part of their growth gives her great pride and joy.
Academic, Community Involvement, Select Presentation
Sharon is a member of the international organization MaleSurvivor.org. She is part of the Weekend of Recovery clinical team that provides intense weekend therapeutic retreats for male survivors of sexual trauma. Male Survivor is committed to preventing, healing, and eliminating all forms of sexual victimization of boys and men through support, treatment, research, education, advocacy, and activism.
- Responding to Sexual Violence at MASOC/MATSA Joint Conference on the Assessment, Treatment, and Safe Management of Sexually Abusing Children, Adolescents, and Adults.
April 2009, 2010, 2011
- Military Sexual Trauma: Healing, Hoping and Resources – panelist at Second Annual Women Veterans Conference
- Developed and implemented an Advanced Clinical Training for working with survivors of sexual trauma for Mental Health providers.
- Developed and implemented a training on Working With Male Survivors of Sexual Violence for Mental Health Providers
- Boston University Mental Health Counseling and Behavioral Medicine Program, Sharon teaches the Clinical Internship and Practicum Seminars.
- Brief Therapies at Lesley University in their Graduate Counselor Education program
- American Mental Health Counselors Association (AMHCA)