Selena Shelley, MA, LMHC, CD, LCCE
Psychotherapist & Trainer
I have been working with pregnant, birthing, and parenting individuals and families for over 25 years, and I love what I do!
I grew up in the Seattle area and went east for my undergraduate degree at Brandeis University. I moved back to Seattle after graduation and began working as a case manager with homeless youth and teenage parents. I loved this work and learned how to work with very complex family systems and help my clients overcome seemingly insurmountable situations.
In 2002, I completed my Master's degree in Applied Behavioral Science at the Leadership Institute of Seattle @ Bastyr University. In addition to learning clinical skills, my program was based on the concept that a good practitioner must also do their own therapeutic work. So, while learning and growing as a psychotherapist, I was also learning and growing as a person.
A few years after completing my Master’s degree, I realized how much I loved the pregnancy and birth aspect of my work. I had been to a few births where the birthing person had a doula, and I was intrigued by the idea of supporting families throughout their pregnancy, birth, and postpartum period. So, I embarked on my training and certification as a birth doula. I started working as a doula for private and low-income families; I also helped develop and manage the Birth Doula Services program at Open Arms Perinatal Services, a community-based organization that serves hundreds of pregnant, birthing, and parenting families every year.
In 2008, we moved to Boulder, CO and I opened my doula and psychotherapy practice there. I also completed my training and certification as a Lamaze Childbirth Educator and Happiest Baby Educator.
My passion for working with families during the perinatal period, along with my training as a psychotherapist, led me to working with pregnant and postpartum trauma survivors. In 2011, I was invited by Penny Simkin, PT and Phyllis Klaus, LMFT to become a When Survivors Give Birth Approved Trainer. So, in addition to working with clients, I have spent the last 11 years training professionals on working with pregnant, birthing, and postpartum trauma survivors.
In 2016, we embarked on a sabbatical to Guatemala, and upon our return to the states decided to come back to the Seattle-area to be closer to family and the water.
In the years since our return to Washington, I have continued my primary work as a psychotherapist and trainer. I also worked for one year as a Child & Family Therapist at the Hope RISING Clinic for prenatally substance exposed children and their families, two years as part of the Prevention and Treatment of Traumatic Childbirth (PATTCh) board, and three years teaching in the Department of Midwifery at Bastyr University teaching future midwives how to work with clients who have a history of trauma.
I have been married for 17 years and have two beautiful children. My children have taught me, first hand, the joy and intensity of parenthood and have certainly made me a more empathetic practitioner.
If you have any questions about me or my services, please contact me. I look forward to working with you!