“Seeing people actually become that picture of what they wanted to become is my greatest reward for coaching others.” – Cheryl Clarke
“Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.” This adage is one each of us has heard at one point or another in our lives. However, it is one that frankly is not true. Words are beyond powerful and can be used for good or evil. Words can also be used as weapons to hurt others Cheryl Clarke is an example of the latter. Experiencing a verbally abusive stepfather in her youth charted a path for her that she walks boldly and freely today.
Cheryl became a Psychotherapist and a Master Communication Coach. Through this work, she not only found a solution to her struggles with low self-esteem, abandonment, and inadequacy, but she also discovered a way to help others heal themselves and find their purpose simultaneously.
By all accounts, Cheryl is a woman of strength. She enjoys her work and is a firm believer in her practices. It is no wonder she has been successful at helping her clients thrive and heal. Her methods are simplistic yet practical. With that in mind, it does not mean that her job is easy by any stretch of the imagination.
In fact, when asked about the most difficult part of her job, Cheryl remarked: “As a therapist, the most difficult aspect, for me, is the stigma that you can’t have both God and therapy. You can have a therapist and have God. Many people feel like they can’t have both. In my practice, if it is someone that I know who believes in God or spiritual techniques, I believe that there is room to incorporate those beliefs into my therapy techniques.”
Evidently, the power of belief is an integral part of Cheryl’s teachings and has aided her generously when dealing with her clients. This type of steadfastness helped her overcome the verbal abuse she endured from her stepfather. When asked about that experience, Cheryl recalled it this way: “I grew up in a home with an emotionally abusive stepfather. Due to the traumatic experience and verbiage of being called a ‘dumb mother f’er’ every day, I felt muted and powerless. I had to learn how to find my power.” Cheryl continued her reverie by explaining.
“As I began to do this self-search, I noticed that I was struggling with anxiety and low self-esteem. My own struggles with anxiety and low self-esteem led me to explore the psychology field. I began to notice that there was a great number of people who also struggled with finding their voice, which moved me to also become a master communication coach. This allowed me to operate in the psychotherapy field and offer to coach people that are not as open to having a therapist. That is how Speak Your Power Now was birthed.”
All things considered, Cheryl elaborates on her goals when helping her clients, as well as the importance of using her own experiences while coaching others. Given the fact that there are so many things that consume us on a regular basis, the topic of mental health came up. Cheryl spoke passionately about it, saying: “When people are having signs of suicide, it is important to take notes. According to a KFF article, suicide rates in the black community increased by 43% from 2010-2020. Dealing with the stigma surrounding mental health and seeking help can aid us in bridging the gap. People that are having mental health challenges may be seen in their communities as crazy or weak, and those are stigmas”.
As difficult as it is to fathom, suicide is a real and traumatizing issue in many communities, including Black communities; however, there is help and hope. Cheryl offers tips on how to become a coach and explains a method she calls PIES. “In order to become a Speak Your Power Now Coach, you can become a part of the Speak Your Power Now Academy. In this program, you will be trained on how to become a coach in your respective field and expertise.”
“For example, you can become a life coach, relationship coach, or any specific area. I have trained coaches to be able to effectively communicate through my PIES method and become unstuck in their field.”
All in all, Cheryl is a tangible example of how to overcome the most difficult challenges in life. By remaining diligent, steadfast, and strong. The PIES Method can be thought of as a war cry to overcome. The acronym itself speaks to hope. As a final thought, Cheryl explained: “The PIES Method is a communication method I created that provides individuals with four easy steps to become unstuck from any type of communication.”
I – Identity
E – Explore
S – Solution
Interview Done by: Candis Johnson | Candis Johnson is an author and freelance journalist from NJ. She is the editor of the Literary Magazine series SOUL as well the erotica anthology Erogenous Zone. She has a passion for music and the artists who create it.