“My goal was always to be a therapist,” said Yorkville University MACP graduate Charles Pitts. “It’s a little bit like a ship in the wind—it always finds the wind, so I had always gone back to my studies in psychology.”
At 70 years old, Charles Pitts has just realized a long-term dream: a new psychotherapy practice, recently launched in a restored century farmhouse on the island of Montreal. The building is now home to a multi-disciplinary healing centre, including a massage therapy clinic, a physiotherapy business and Pitts’ own counselling practice.
“I’m a very old new psychotherapist,” said Pitts. “But this is something I wanted to do since I was in my teens. My wife and I bought the building 15 years ago, but I wasn’t ready until recently. Sometimes life happens, and you put things off if you have to.”
For many years, Pitts enjoyed a successful career in telecommunications, healthcare and the non-profit sector. “I was a political communications advisor, I was the vice-president of two pharmaceutical companies and I worked in the pharmaceutical industries here in Canada and in Switzerland,” said Pitts. “At one point, I started my own business which I enjoyed.”
But helping others via therapy continued to call to him. After graduating from Yorkville University with his Master of Arts in Counselling Psychology (MACP) in 2010, Pitts practiced part-time as a psychotherapist, but his focus was on teaching. Due to his professional accomplishments, combined with his Master’s degree from Yorkville University, Pitts was able to secure several highly sought-after teaching positions.
“I actually began teaching because of the Yorkville Master’s,” Pitts said. “Without my degree from Yorkville they would have said, ‘Listen. We know you have a great deal of experience, but you don’t have the academic requirements’. Thanks to my hard work and the presence of Yorkville, I was able to teach in all four of Montreal’s universities. It’s incredible.”
While teaching in academia, Pitts also held the position of alumni representative for the Yorkville University Senate, a role from which he has recently stepped down. “I was very flattered to have been asked,” said Pitts, on the subject of his appointment to the Yorkville Senate.
Now, Pitts is looking forward to immersing himself in his private practice, with a focus on supporting others in overcoming what may in some cases be self-
imposed limitations. “I often hear from my clients and my students, who say, ‘oh, I’m too old…’,” said Pitts, laughing. “And then I say, ‘No, you’re not old, I’m old.”
As always, Pitts sees education as the foundation for self-confidence, growth and success at any age. “I often see people who are undereducated. They’re doing fine, and they may make a lot of money, but I know they’re not at their most comfortable. I see that for the future, and also in terms of setting an example for our children, that education is important. Education is really what keeps us ahead of the curve.”