I believe in change.
Not that superficial, quick fix kind. I know that we can completely transform our relationship to our "stuff", ourselves and others. We've all got stuff. I do too. I fell in love with this work because it changed me in ways I could never have imagined possible. I didn't want to keep it for myself... I knew that if I could change my relationship to my own pain, anxiety and discontentment... anyone could.
As a somatic psychotherapist, I'm not here to help you just "think positive" or transcend everything. I'm here to roll up my sleeves with you, and move through it in a compassionate, connected, real, and dedicated way.
I grew up right here in Portland and have spent time living in Prescott, Arizona; Bend, Oregon and Oakland, California. My early twenties were spent working as a travel photographer and whitewater raft and kayak guide, soul-searching and spiritually seeking. I traveled to Central and South America several times and lived in London for a bit. These adventures were amazing and full of learning - inside and out. I was on a quest for something... for happiness I suppose.
Though my life appeared fun and captivating from the outside, the inside was in turmoil and full of uncertainty, loads of shame, doubt, and panic. The level of unhappiness I felt swallowed me up on a daily basis (which started in my early teens). It felt impossible to be still, to settle, to allow any sense of joy in. I was afraid all of the time.
I coped with it all by using various substances. I avoided feeling by staying on the move, and clinging for positive attention from people in all the wrong places. Pain in my physical body gradually grew over time and I sank under the weight of chronic pain, chronic fatigue and a digestive disorder.
THIS emotional and physical pain became the medicine for my transformation and growth - my body and heart were communicating with me all along - I just needed to learn how to slow down and listen to. GRATEFULLY, I did.
Shelby exudes kindness and support in a way I have never seen in a person before. Just thinking of Shelby brings a smile to my face and a feeling of comfort; whether I am near her or not, I know that she is always there for me.
- H. Carroll
I happened upon Tibetan and Theravada Buddhist meditation somewhere in the early 2000's and life slowly began to shift. I could see colors more clearly and come in contact with people in ways that felt more genuine. The mindfulness and loving-kindness practices I learned carried me into relationship to my past "stuff" in a way that I could be with. A few years after finding meditation, I first found Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) and then Somatic Psychotherapy. I had been in plenty of talk therapy throughout the years and it was helpful but after a while it felt like I was just telling the same stories over and over. Both NLP and Somatic Psychotherapy went in past my very fast moving mind and I could feel shifts and changes in my body and physically in my heart. In fact, I could actually feel my body for the first time ever in a way that wasn't just painful and uncomfortable.
I jumped in with both feet and became an NLP coach and found how much I loved working with people and what an honor it was to witness the transformations that happened. Right away, I enrolled at California Institute of Integral Studies (CIIS) in San Francisco and began my Masters in Counseling Psychology in Somatic Psychotherapy. Since CIIS, I've moved back here this beautiful big town of Portland and love sharing these modalities with all who come to see me.
Part of what I believe continues to inspire my work is my ongoing personal commitment to my own growth and my own meditation and mindfulness practices. I am committed to self-care and thriving instead of just surviving. Part of this is attending at least two silent meditation retreats per year and spending as much time as I can in nature, enjoying life with my friends & family, and moving my body regularly and mindfully.
- Sex, Love & Relationship Certification 1-Year Intensive Training with Layla Martin (IN PROGRESS - 2017).
- Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) with the Oregon Board of Licensed Professional Counselors and Therapists. License #C4323.
- MA, Somatic Psychotherapy from California Institute of Integral Studies (CIIS).
- Certificate in Mindfulness Facilitation from UCLA’s Mindful Awareness Research Center (MARC).
- Sensorimotor Psychotherapy Level I Certification – a treatment modality that understands the body-brain connection in trauma through the lens of neuroscience. Its focus is on both the psychological and physical manifestations of trauma and this focus results in more integrated healing.
- Clinical Training at the Center for Somatic Psychotherapy in San Francisco, California.
- Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) Level I Certification – the study of how language (body language and internal and external speech) shape our belief systems which shape how we are in the world. NLP provides tools to move towards what we want and helps get in touch with what keeps us from getting there.
- Additional training and studies in: Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR); Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT); Attachment Theory; Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT).
- I am trained in both conventional and body-oriented approaches to counseling. These therapeutic methods use developmental and psychodynamic approaches and address the crucial role of the body in the structure and process of the psyche. I have worked with clients who struggle with anxiety, addiction, eating disorders, relationship issues, complex trauma and single incident trauma, life transitions, spiritual inquiry, chronic pain and depression.
- I have been a meditation practitioner in the Insight/Vipassana tradition since 2003.
- I have also been honored to teach teen meditation retreats for Inward Bound Mindfulness Education (IBME).
- Level III Thai Massage Certification from The Naga Center.