We had the good fortune of connecting with Natasha Sharma, Psy.D and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Natasha, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
Honestly: My thought process behind starting my business (NKS Therapy) in the beginning was: I don’t want anyone to be my “boss” but me! I had worked for a few years in the corporate world, and didn’t enjoy it. I wanted to create and be in charge of my own work and the direction I would take my career. Although it is common in the field of psychotherapy to be self-employed, I knew I wanted to go beyond a solo practice. I quickly developed a vision for an online “mental health destination” which, in addition to supporting the high need for counselling therapy to Canadians, would also provide tools, education, and free content for people to learn how to take control of their mental health and continue the process on their own. I wanted to make therapy more relevant by modernizing the experience, and normalizing getting emotional help. After all, there is no health without mental health, especially nowadays. I wanted to develop a therapy practice that is reflective of today’s human condition – not yesterday’s version of “lying on the couch.”

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.

I’ve considered myself an Artist and Creative at heart. I’ve always felt things “deeply” and needed outlets for expression, and eventually I found them, first through the piano and later through singing and performing. I trained on the piano for over 20 years, and am mostly self-taught as a singer. There were a few moments where I might have really turned musical performance into a profession. I’ve also been a writer from a young age – poetry, and now short stories. Storytelling through performance and art is very much ‘me.’ That’s why the corporate world was a huge bust for me. I didn’t know what I wanted at 18 and hastily selected the Business program as a place “hang my hat.” Luckily I discovered what a creative force counselling therapy is, and how much artistic expression is actually woven into the clinical work. In fact, many people in the mental health field are also musicians, performers, and artists. They need a creative outlet!
Today NKS Therapy is a team that provides counselling, online courses, books, media, public speaking, television, consultation, workplaces workshops, and more. Our future direction will involve expanding across Canada, and continuing to provide accessible tools and courses online. I also want to focus on more ways to give back to our communities; to become more charitable. I’m always wanting to evolve through learning new things, and get excited about the future and what new passion projects I’ll get to be involved in!

I’ve learned it’s better to do a few things really well and focus there, than to spread yourself too thin in business. The NKS Therapy brand is about “Excellence, Self-Education, Client-Centric Service, and Kindness.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Hmm…I grew up in Toronto, but I feel like it changes almost every week! It’s got something, this city. This would be how I’d spend a week here if it were my first time (ideally in summer or fall!): Morning spent wandering High Park, which is a large and beautiful green space to the West of the downtown core. If you’re lucky with timing you can catch the Cherry Blossoms. Brunch at Mildred’s in Liberty Village, followed by a wander around the neighbourhood. Shopping on Queen Street, also to admire some of Toronto’s original architechtural work, followed by coffee in Yorkville. Exploring Kensington Market is also a must, capped off with a gelato on College St. Some other local spots worth visiting: A day trip to the Niagara or Prince Edward County wineries, and a visit to the Toronto islands. And for some nightlife: Lounge and bar hopping on King Street West.

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
My husband Ladislav has always been very supportive of me. As a lawyer, he has also helped with a number of things and advice as my business has grown. I have had some truly wonderful mentors coming up in this field, starting with Vickie Beck, my first clinical supervisor, Dr. Gloria Reeves (who understood what my vision would be before I did!), and Daniel Rutley. My two boys (age 9 and 6) have also been my biggest fans, and actually take a real interest in “what mommy does.” I hope I am helping them learn how to be happy and helpful, instead of rich and successful, which gives me even more energy and a sense of real purpose.

Website: www.nkstherapy.com, www.natashasharma.com, www.thekindnessjournal.com

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/natashaksharma/

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/natashaksharma/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/NatashaKSharma

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/NatashaKSharmaPsyD

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCXZmq-R1cH1_nrL9IO7gBag

Image Credits
@blueaspenphotography (Photographer) @andreamakeup (Makeup and Hair) @_thebeautyteam_ (Makeup and Hair

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