My name is Elizabeth Harles (she/her), I am a Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor, and am certified by the North Carolina State Board of Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselors. I am also an AASECT (American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors, and Therapists) Certified Sex Therapist.
Whether at work or in my personal life, I have a HUGE lust for life and am excited about lifelong learning.
I am passionate about volunteering for LGBTQIA+ youth and traveling the world. I also adore pit bulls and vintage fashion.
I identify as a cisgender, queer/bisexual/fluid, polyamorous, white, 43 year old woman, who not only lives and works in Raleigh today, but was born and raised here too! I returned to Raleigh in 2009 after living and working in New York City for 9 years.
I choose to show up in my work in my authentic self. I am the same person in the therapy room as I am outside of it. I choose to bring my own humanity and experience rather than remaining neutral. I share my opinions, and contribute my own life experiences to the therapeutic relationship.
In addition to a BA in Cultural Anthropology from Hunter College, City University of New York, I have a Master’s Degree in School Counseling from the same institution. I graduated in 2009, and I am unlearning some of what I studied then, as much of the foundation of modern psychology is rooted in white supremacist ideology. In 2022, I completed the University of Michigan’s Sexual Health Certificate Program. I am a certified Sex Therapist by the American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors, and Therapists, which means I have undergone extensive sexuality training, classes and sex therapy supervision.
I believe in continuous professional improvement and lifelong learning, and I will continue to add to my skills and credentials throughout my career.
As of 2023, I have accumulated over 10 years of professional practice as a counselor, including one on one counseling, working with groups in workplace and school settings, and teletherapy.
My primary areas of practice include life transitions, sexuality, gender identity, polyamory, consensual/ethical nonmonogamy, workplace stress and trauma, anti-oppression, supporting individuals most affected by systems of oppression, kink, and LGBTQIA+.
I have worked with people from various backgrounds at all ages and life stages, and I truly believe that lasting, meaningful growth is possible with the assistance of a therapist.
Though I have many years of experience, I find that my enthusiasm and genuine love for this work continues to grow. Being a therapist is not only my career, it is part of who I am. I completed tons of training, etc, but I have learned more from doing the work than I have in a book or a class.
The first step in finding the right therapist is often to ensure that they are licensed, skilled and experienced in the type of counseling you need.
As you can see, I have both the professional training and the hands-on experience necessary to fulfill these criteria, but I think that finding the right therapist is so much more than just checking the official boxes.
There is a personal commitment required from any therapist, to their client’s well being and the therapeutic relationship.
It is this passion for for meaningful change and that I bring to all my therapeutic interactions, and it is very often why people choose to work with me. My style is collaborative, and I desire to build a relationship between equals, and I do my best to remove any sense of hierarchy or an unbalanced power dynamic.
I will approach my clients respectfully and with positive regard. I am open minded in all my interactions and will help you to discuss uncomfortable topics and deeply hidden traumas, without shame or judgement, as we work together towards achieving a sense of comfort in self and identity.
I believe that there is no such thing as “TMI” in the therapy session. I strive to create a sense of safety and comfort within the therapeutic relationship, so that people can feel free to say anything.
I am not an aloof, without opinion, “blank slate” type of therapist. I share, I provide feedback, I might even interrupt at times, but I am not one to sit across from people quietly and nod my head for an hour.
I also bring my lived experience into the therapeutic relationship. As a queer person, I have had my own journey with my sexuality and my experience in interacting with social and institutional entities. My path has had its share of traumas and celebrations. I also identify as polyamorous, I’ve felt the wide range of complicated feelings. The numerous mistakes that I’ve made along my way in non-monogamy have helped me to become well equipped to help others, along with my training and experience working with the community.
I am a trauma survivor, I manage ADHD and anxiety. I have done a lot of hard work of healing and growing, and will continue to do so for the rest of my life. I bring myself, my personality, my humanness and my wholeness into my work with people.