By Ben McCarthy
Just a few years ago, Olufemi Sharp was reduced to delivering mental health therapy to clients strictly by telehealth visits. The pandemic had changed medicine and how counseling could be delivered, and Sharp struggled to reach her clients effectively.
“The COVID experience put me through a lot of the same emotions as my clients,” Sharp says. “Connection is everything for us as humans, and when that was taken away, I had to figure out a way to regulate my own emotions–the same I was asking of my clients.”
Sharp, a licensed therapist and counselor for over 30 years, is back to shaking hands and giving hugs to clients at her office, The Power Path, at 8301 State Line Road. Now with the pandemic behind and people more comfortable in group settings, she wants to offer something new. Beginning June 25 she’ll be starting small group workshops for the first time.
“I want to reach a different group of people I don’t usually work with to introduce concepts of healing,” Sharp says. “These workshops are a new concept for me, too, one that I hope is as much educational as it is interactive for everyone who comes.”
Participants will sign a confidentiality agreement before joining a free, three-hour session that Sharp hopes to offer every six to eight weeks. She’ll be encouraging participants to be “tuned up, tapped in and turned on.” It’s a motto she uses in her practice of mindfulness therapy to help people recharge their brain and body.
“The healing work I do with The Power Path allows people to regulate their emotions and energy,” Sharp says. “If we can elevate our emotions, we can begin to create a phenomenal, amazing life.”
During her busy schedule this summer, when she’s not seeing clients six days a week (or spending time with her 2-year-old grandchild), she’ll try to continue to travel and further her mindfulness training that began over 20 years ago.
“I started traveling in 2000, studying indigenous cultures and understanding how to apply ‘mindfulness’ to traditional cognitive therapy,” Sharp says. “I try to infuse it throughout my practice here.”
A longtime south KC resident, she’s been all over the world, from Thailand and China to Italy and Africa, including Ghana. These travels started largely in response to a devastating chapter in her life: losing her daughter in 2000.
Sharp knew she had to find a way to heal herself first in order to help others overcome trauma, grief and related issues preventing them from becoming the best version of themselves. During her second big trip, to Ghana, she began to learn the energy healing practices that she now couples with her mindfulness-based therapy back home.
Last month she traveled back to California for a seminar with Dr. Bessel van der Kolk, a famous trauma expert and author of “The Body Keeps the Score,” a book that argues the body stores various kinds of traumas in the brain, mind, muscles and cells. It’s our responsibility to find ways to “shed it.”
Sharp echoes Dr. van der Kolk’s views about stored emotions. “The issues are in the tissues,” she says.
“The work I do as an energy healer is to help people find ways of shedding those emotions in order to restore and align their body, mind and spirit.”
Her energy healing and mindfulness-based cognitive therapy aims to reduce stress and anxiety, manage pain, alleviate depression, and help people embrace the freedom to respond to situations by choice. Her clients include singles, couples who have been married for decades, and LGBTQIA teenagers struggling with loneliness.
“Giving people coping skills or tools is so important,” Sharp says. “The treatment helps them leave feeling empowered that they have all of these things in their ‘box’ to begin inner healing and dreaming.”
“Most people don’t dream anymore. We have to open them back up to that again. That’s the magic in life.”