Article Published: 8/23/2023
Throughout her 17 years in the counseling profession, Dr. Sheritta Hughes has engaged in an array of specialized work as a counselor educator, supervisor, nonprofit leader, and small business owner. Her vision of service and dedication to the profession is one that more fully developed while pursuing her doctoral degree.
“Starting my own business, Counselor Education, Supervision, and Development, LLC (CESD), was a goal I formulated during my doctoral studies. I started it before graduating so I could hit the ground running right away,” says Hughes. “I had been fully licensed for several years and obtained the CCE Approved Clinical Supervisor (ACS) credential while in the program.” Hughes’s mission through clinical supervision is to provide collaborative and holistic mentoring and training for supervisees. The idea is that supervisees will therefore learn more about themselves and become willing to explore new and unique counseling tactics, regardless of their theoretical orientation. Furthermore, Hughes is passionate about the inclusion of cultural responsiveness to both self and others. “In regard to our cultures and pluralistic identities, counselors should be intentional with who the client in their room is to best engage with them through the entire counseling process, from intake to termination.”
Hughes’s journey into counseling began in 2006 when she graduated from Alabama A&M University with a master’s degree in clinical psychology. After becoming a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) in 2010, she began teaching psychology courses at Calhoun Community College in Alabama before moving back to her home state of New Jersey. There, she continued teaching at Monmouth University before pursuing her doctoral degree from the Chicago School of Professional Psychology’s Washington D.C. campus. It was then that Hughes decided to become an ACS. “While in the Counselor Education and Supervision (CES) program, I became passionate about supporting more novice counselors-in-training (CITs) in their journeys, and I realized all I was missing was the supervisory component,” recounts Hughes.
Hughes cites learning from supervisees as the most rewarding component of being an ACS. “I appreciate the student who is willing to wrestle with difficult insight and shape it into knowledge toward becoming a more effective counselor and human being,” states Hughes. On the contrary, Hughes finds that students who consider themselves experts in being non-biased to be the most challenging. “When students share that they don’t have any bias from how they grew up, I internally question if they’re truly open to the learning process.” Hughes continues, “What they thought they knew and what they learn could lend to significant changes that they’re unfortunately not willing to make.” Hughes refers to this as a “cognitive paradigm shift” and finds that students resisting such changes become the most difficult to supervise.
As CESD continues to provide professional development and clinical supervision for associate and fully licensed counselors, Hughes also founded Hughes Integrative Wellness, Inc., a nonprofit mental health and wellness program that offers affordable and holistic counseling services, in 2020. Its team of mental health practitioners are fortunate to learn under Hughes’s leadership. As an educator, supervisor, and counselor, Hughes is striving to include more demonstration of theory in clinical supervision. “I support individuals, couples, and groups based on their individual differences, validation, world views, and problem-solving modalities. In essence, I help people through an unconditional appreciation of who they are and all the ways they may therefore move forward,” says Hughes.
We are appreciative of Dr. Sherritta Hughes’s expertise and willingness to explore alternate strategies for the benefit of all students!
Sherritta Hughes, PhD, ACS, LPC, was the 2021 president-elect of the North Atlantic Region Association for Counselor Education and Supervision and a past president for both the Maryland Association for Multicultural Counseling and Development and the New Jersey Counseling Association (NJCA). In addition to managing her business, CESD, LLC, and non-profit organization, Hughes Integrative Wellness, Inc., she is currently an assistant professor in the clinical mental health graduate program in the Psychology & Counseling Department at Georgian Court University in New Jersey.
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