Praise for Coaching / Counseling

I am so thankful I worked through this with you instead of just existing.
- S.D.

I think the last time we met, I was starting a new job (I started last May).  Things have been going so well, I got a promotion already and a nice raise. The best part, was that during my excellent review, my manager complimented me on how CALM I am and how I handle problems with such grace! He said I was a great example to the rest of the staff on how to handle things in a level headed way.  For myself, I feel so much more comfortable in my skin. I seldom have days that I only want to crawl back in bed, and when I do, I know that I just need to be kind to myself and that it will pass by the next day. You have made such a difference in my life, and I am so thankful I have worked through this with you instead of just existing.”
– S.D. Portland, Oregon.

I understand and know that I am worthy of being loved and I am loved by many now more than ever. You helped me get here. Thank you!
– T. L. Portland, Oregon.

I am happy to be healing with her.
- R.D.

"I originally worked with Shelby doing somatic therapy to process my intense stress and PTSD.  She has helped me in many ways; from teaching me to notice my window of tolerance and to be gentle with myself, to breathing exercises and grounding techniques.  I’ve learned that I do not need to re-traumatize myself in therapy…. I am happy to be healing with her.”
– R. D. Portland, Oregon.

My sessions with Shelby have all been calming and productive.  I am in a very stressful period of my life and Shelby has given me many great tools for dealing with that. She is insightful and non-judgmental.  While she has facilitated some important revelations during our sessions, I always leave with techniques for further discovery and resolution.”
– P.G. Mexico.

I felt safe to say what I had previously felt embarrassed or uncomfortable saying.
- S.B.

"Shelby made me feel safe to say and go places that I needed to, but hesitated to go.  She knew how far to push me and asked me the right questions.  I felt safe to say what I had previously felt embarrassed or uncomfortable saying.  Never did I feel even slightly judged.  I also really appreciated Shelby’s candidness and how real she was with me and our relationship.”
– S.B. Portland, Oregon.

“Confluence Clinic is an incredibly warm, safe place with a very mindful atmosphere.  I see Shelby weekly and she has sincerely become a staple in my life, while continually providing me with tools for personal growth, acceptance and happiness.  I would recommend this to anyone looking to obtain inner peace and self-acceptance.”
– M.O. Portland, Oregon.

I left our sessions feeling like my progress and new insights were things to be celebrated.
- Anonymous

In working with Shelby for one-on-one counseling, I instantly felt a comfortable kinship and could easily move into the rhythm of our sessions. I was really interested in working with someone who was skilled in somatic therapy, so I could investigate my questions and experience through more than my words or thoughts – but also through sensations in my body as a way to have more information about my emotions, patterns, and a clearer intimacy with my own intuition. My experience was that Shelby’s listening and guidance accomplished that goal and curiosity. I always felt empowered through our work together, and left our sessions feeling like my progress and new insights were things to be celebrated. I also felt like I left our sessions with more tools to work with on my own, throughout my real-to-life moments of contraction — things that were simple enough to remember, a visualization to practice or a physical pathway to assist me in uncovering my own insights or enact change in my life in big and small ways.  
- Anonymous

Shelby’s work with teens is truly remarkable. She is a great balance of casual and authentic, which adolescents really respond well to. I was impressed with the many different activities she brought to our students over the course of a week — not just seated meditations, but activities and games about mindfulness, as well as deep listening and appreciation that was meaningful to the students. Shelby has honed the craft of teaching mindfulness with teenagers that is engaging, respectful, and fun.
-Valerie Pufahl, Portland Waldorf High School


I loved the Deepening Dharma retreat. I really connected more deeply with my inner self, and am consequently able to be more present with my loved ones, as well as with myself. Shelby's guidance was gentle, graceful and effective! She helped me love and accept myself more through this retreat. I am so grateful.
– Donna Carroll, Ecstatic Dance Leadership Founder, Oakland, CA

"The Deepening Dharma: 6 week online meditation retreat created and guided by Shelby Leigh was a very effective way to learn more about mindfulness practice in general, understand its purpose within your own life, and put it into practice in a very practical, affordable and real life way.  Going into the retreat I was very nervous that I would be too immature in my practice to keep up, and feel like I didn't belong, since I have never been on a meditation retreat before.  I can say that I felt perfectly comfortable, engaged and inspired by the teachings from Shelby, and that it would be appropriate for anybody who is interested in a retreat.  The fact that it was online and something you did at your own pace was a great way to incorporate it into your daily life and make it something more lasting without being too overwhelming.  But there was also a very gentle component of being held accountable which made it stick for me.  I would highly recommend this online meditation retreat for anyone who wants to deepen their mindfulness practice and who doesn't have the time to attend a retreat in person.  It was absolutely worth it!"
– Aaron Keith Saari, Co-Owner and Physical Therapist at

Deepening Dharma was a wonderful experience that helped me discover how meditation can fit into my life. It gave me the structure and support to take on the daunting task of starting a meditation practice, while allowing me the flexibility and permission to discover and create a practice that meets my unique needs. Shelby's gentle and compassionate teaching style made this experience feel warm and welcoming and her ability to model true self-compassion was inspiring. I'd recommend this retreat to anyone who is looking to create or go deeper with their own practice but isn't sure where or how to start.
– Caitlin Capistran, Doctor of Physical Therapy / owner of Feeling Centered Bodywork, Portland OR

I have a hard time being vulnerable with people, but it feels very natural with Shelby.
- Hillary Chase

Hillary Chase
I met Shelby on a wilderness retreat in New Mexico.  She was one of the dharma leaders, while I was attending. It was an amazing retreat, full of self-discovery and healing. I have learned from her that we can be with the unknown and still be happy. I like how we communicate together. I have a hard time being vulnerable with people, but it feels very natural with Shelby. She is a strong and tender person, full of wisdom and laughter. I am very glad to have her as a friend and life mentor. 
- Hillary Chase, Singer-Songwriter, Massachusetts

It was difficult for me to commit to myself. I was solid and then I wasn't. I was hard on myself. I judged myself on how I was breathing or wasn't. My thoughts were so scattered most times. I couldn't stop my brain from overthinking everything. I then got frustrated and didn't practice. Then I'd practice and have a good day. I celebrated those good days.  I am learning to believe that I am enough just as I am. 

I'm so grateful that I have this course to revisit whenever I want. This is an amazing gift that you've given me. 
– Nancie Abbott, New Seasons, Portland, Oregon

Prior to registering for my first retreat with Shelby, I was curious how the remote format would work. It turned out to be a wonderful alternative to the typical 'in person' retreat, which my work/family/life balance doesn't always allow for. Shelby made me feel like I was an important part of the retreat group (our sangha), and she was remarkably supportive and responsive when I did have a thought or question. The experience was an enriching one for me. I look forward to my next retreat with Shelby!
– Bryan, Civil Engineer, St Louis

I really love the way that the Deepening Dharma retreat incorporates the teachings into our everyday lives.  I have attended quite a few retreats in person, but never one online- I wasn’t sure how I would like this aspect, but this ended up being a such an advantage in that I was able to take each week’s teachings and apply them to my regular, “non-retreat” life, which is always the challenge after leaving retreat and returning home.  As an introvert who hates phone calls, I was nervous about the partner work, but I ended up finding this to be incredibly valuable as I built a strong connection to my partner; it not only helped with my meditation and mindfulness practice, but also with my personal and professional growth.  Shelby has a very real gift for teaching and for listening deeply- her ability to connect with each of us (even virtually) is a testament to this.  The group was very supportive and encouraging, and for the first time in a long time I maintained a consistent home meditation practice each day.  Thanks, Shelby!  

– Alexis Saari, Social Worker, Providence Health & Services, Oak Grove, OR

I participated in the Deepening Dharma retreat during a particular busy period of time where I was both personally and professionally stretched thin -- a time during which it would have been all to easy to decide that I didn't have time for a meditation practice, or even myself! Participating in the retreat was the perfect way to stay grounded in a regular practice of meditation and self-care, and the dharma talks, meditation practices, partner practices and amazing Deepening Dharma community helped me stay continuously connected to what really matters in the midst of busy-ness and stress. One thing that I particularly appreciated was Shelby's accepting, genuinely compassionate style. Shelby really emphasized that no matter what experiences we were having in the retreat (or in life!), these experiences were workable and exactly what they should be. Shelby has a great ability to meet her students exactly where they are, and this helped me strengthen my own ability to meet myself with self-compassion over the course of the retreat. As a result of participating in the retreat, I was able to consistently show up for myself and for others in my life during a hectic time. I almost didn't sign up because I was afraid that I would be too busy for it, but I am so glad that I did. Wherever you are in your life, I would strongly recommend the Deepening Dharma retreat!
– D.K. University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ.