Featured Therapist for March, Charles Muorah
Every month, Council for Relationships features one of our Staff Therapists. This month’s Featured Therapist is Charles Muorah, PhD, STL, LMFT who joined the staff in 2006. Learn about him in the interview below!
I feel like being a therapist is a part of my DNA. Being a therapist is a life journey, a gradual progression from being a self-therapist to a professional therapist. The journey has had remarkable moments and both pleasant and unpleasant experiences. Each moment reveals a new phase of healing which inspires a deeper level of understanding. During childhood, while I was recovering from the traumatic experiences of war, my mother was battling cancer. I was 7 years old when she lost her fight with cancer. I miss her physical presence, and have had to learn ways to preserve my memories of my mother, my best friend. It was a traumatic life-changing event; we each only have one mother. My tangible relationship with her is over but my ethereal relationship with her had begun. Fragile yet beautiful, laden with sorrow and sadness, my one companion was peace and comfort from my person of trust. The process of letting go took many turns, but the process remains sturdy. I took solace in the Master Person of Trust my mother bequeathed me in my Christian faith. I sought answers in my religion and Christian spirituality, my native culture, my extended and blended family systems, and western education in religion and social sciences. In a sense, inter-cultural competency, solution-focused empowering language, and systemic interventions come to me naturally. My uniqueness comes from my ability to blend psychotherapy with spirituality/values, my Christian and pre-marriage counseling background, and my experience as a clergy member.
What type of clients do you work with?
I provide individual, couple, and family therapy, helping clients develop new meaning around their life experiences and to flourish moving forward. I primarily work with adult survivors of childhood sexual abuse, cultural, racial or other kinds of traumatic experiences. Also, I work with clients dealing with relationship and communication issues, life transitions, and those attempting to re-establish emotional and sexual intimacy. My specialty areas include affairs, divorce, parenting, anxiety, depression, death and grief, clergy counseling, and pre-marital counseling.
What is your background? Why did you choose Council for Relationships?
I am a licensed marriage and family therapist with specialized training in sex therapy and anger management, and an approved MFT Clinical Supervisor. Following my post graduate training at Council for Relationships in 2006, I was retained as a clinical staff member. I hold the following degrees: Bachelor in Philosophy, Master’s in Theology, Licentiate in Sacred Theology specializing in Scripture, Post Graduate Certification in Education and Doctor of Philosophy. I am an author and presenter on a variety of topics.
My relationship with Council for Relationships started with love at first sight. When I was in search of a suitable institute for my marriage and family counseling training, a clinical psychologist who was providing guidance said to me: “Have you heard of Council for Relationships?” My response to him was simple: “That’s it! The word relationships has answered my lifelong question”. I believe relationships are the cornerstone of therapy, so getting involved with an organization that includes relationships in the name seemed fitting. I found a home at Council for Relationships. I feel supported at Council, and I am able to support clients.
What is the goal of therapy?
Therapy is where healing begins and caring never stops. My goal is to walk the walk with you and empower you to be the leader in your life story, creating a new meaning and context out of your experiences to reconstruct your life. Nobody should walk through life alone, especially in difficult moments of recovering from depression, traumatic experiences, betrayal, etc. If you need support, take action even though it takes courage!
What is one piece of advice you would like to give people who may be struggling emotionally and would like to seek counsel but may not be ready?
“You cannot swim for new horizons until you have courage to lose sight of the shore” (William Faulkner). Emotional work can be overwhelming, especially when the memories associated with them are painful. It can be as daunting as peeling a pearl onion unless you know the trick. Blanch it in boiling water and it will peel itself. Gradually, each of the many layers will begin to reveal themselves and expose a new layer of understanding. Each layer has a message vital to reconstructing your life. Blanch your emotions, reveal your inner layers, and learn to understand them.