About Me

I have been working with women and families for over twenty years and love what I do!

I grew up in Seattle and then 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 -- I learned how to work with very complex family systems and help clients overcome seemingly insurmountable situations.

In 2002, I completed my Master's degree in Applied Behavioral Science at 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 couple of births where my clients had a doula and was intrigued by the idea of supporting women and families throughout their pregnancy, birth, and postpartum period. So, I embarked on my training and certification as a birth doula.  During this time, I also served on the Open Arms Perinatal Services board and helped develop and run their Birth Doula Services program, which served hundreds of low-income women and families per 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, then led me to working with pregnant and postpartum trauma survivors. In 2011, I was invited by Penny Simkin, PT and Phyllis Klaus, MFT to become a From Trauma to Triumph: When Survivors Give Birth Certified Trainer. So now, in addition to working with clients, I also train professionals on working with pregnant, birthing, and postpartum trauma survivors.

In 2016, we embarked on a year-long sabbatical to Guatemala, and upon our return to the states we decided to come back to the Seattle-area to be closer to family and the water.

In the four years since our return, I have continued my work as a psychotherapist and professional trainer.  I also spent a year working as a Child & Family Therapist at the Hope RISING Clinic for prenatally substance exposed children and their families.  In July 2019, I was invited to join the Prevention and Treatment of Traumatic Childbirth (PATTCh) board.  And then in February 2020 I was hired as Adjunct Faculty in the Department of Midwifery at Bastyr University (my alma mater) to teach future midwives about working with clients who have a history of trauma.

I have been married for fifteen years and have two beautiful children. My children have been my best teachers to 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! 

© 2020 Selena Shelley