Pain and suffering are often unavoidable, yet so many of us avoid looking at the parts of ourselves that have been hurt or fill us with shame. It is not uncommon to have relationship injuries, pain around sex, our sexualities, and our bodies. My goal with my clients is to help them look at themselves, their life experiences, and their desires with more compassion and confidence. I want to provide a safety net in therapy, free from judgment and shame, so that my clients feel safe to explore their relational and erotic desires, practice articulating their needs and boundaries in relationships, and touch on any shadowy parts that need attention and grace. Regardless of one’s intersecting identities, past traumas, sexual desires, or desired relationship structure, I believe we all deserve a life of connection, honesty, respect, and agency.
Shelby specializes in…
- Clinical Supervisor: Alissa Goddard, MA, LMFT
- Bachelor of Science in Psychology- Washington State University
- Current Graduate Student – Marriage, Couple and Family Therapy – Lewis and Clark College
There are aspects of myself that involve marginalized and disempowered identities, namely my status as a woman and queer person. My upbringing in a religious, patriarchal family primed me to be soft-spoken, subservient, and fearful of men. I have experienced sexism and doubt in my abilities and inner wisdom. In addition, queerness was discouraged and shamed into the closet. My experiences of living with fear and oppression as a queer woman, and the abuse I experienced from those who were supposed to love me the most, have been my biggest motivators to becoming a systemic, family and couples therapist.
It’s important that I also acknowledge the power and privilege I carry with me in the world and into the therapy room. My ability to move throughout the world as a White person means that I am untouched by systemic racism and have certain human rights and protections that people of color (POC) are not provided, such as safety, equity and support within institutions such as healthcare, higher education, politics, and law enforcement, and freedom from prejudice and violence related to race, birth place, and the color of one’s skin. In addition to my race being privileged, I am also cis-gendered, a U.S. – born citizen, and currently able-bodied.
All of these reasons and more have led me to where I am now, beginning my professional development as a marriage, couples, and family therapist and aspiring sex therapist. I understand the impact of prejudice as it relates to sexual orientation and sexism. My experiences from being a survivor of sexual assault and domestic violence as well as my struggles with anxiety and depression help me to relate to my clients. I have endless empathy for those who have been wounded in life (which is all of us) and are taking the first, scariest steps of seeking out help and support. I believe most problems, solutions, and healing begin at home and in relation to and with the support of those around us. Community and cultural discourses create blueprints for how we view the world, our relationships, and ourselves. I want to be able to provide socioculturally-sensitive support and guidance that can explore clients’ social discourses, their preferred realities, and empathetically investigate attachment wounds.