Bio  |  Influences

Shelley Pearce: Professional Bio

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            Shelley Pearce in an integrative psychotherapist - licensed marriage and family therapist, adjunct faculty and counselor at Santa Monica College, nonsectarian minister, and a student of contemplative wisdom.  She has a Bachelor’s degree in Business and a Master’s Degree in Clinical Psychology.

            In her individual and couples therapy, Shelley integrates a broad spectrum of evidence-based approaches that help deepen the relationship to oneself and to others in ways that support healing and deeper fulfillment.

            Currently, Shelley serves as Past President of the California Association of Marriage & Family Therapists, LA Chapter, and Director of Humanistic Spirituality.  She also is a board member of the Global Bridge Humanitarian Foundation.  She previously served as the Community and Cultural Director at Wilkes University, as Chairperson of the Cultural Council of Luzerne County, Pennsylvania, and as Adjudicator for the Pennsylvania Council of the Arts.

            Shelley’s passion for helping people intersects with spirituality, creativity, wisdom, and inspiration.  Her contributions have led to being honored with Community Leader of the Year by NEIU 19, the Pennsylvania state educational organization servicing six counties and twenty school districts.  Directing the programming for the Humanistic Spirituality website led to the Culture Unplugged International Film Festival award for Compassionate Theme.

            Shelley has a private psychotherapy and consultation practice in Santa Monica.  She is inspired by the psycho-spiritual approaches Humanistic Spirituality and the Diamond Approach, which integrate psychology, spirituality, and a deepening of the relationship with one’s consciousness in ways that are profound yet practical and grounded.

            The diversity of her professional, academic, volunteer, and life experiences and an ongoing dedication to seeking a more conscious and compassionate life, continually inform and inspire Shelley’s counseling practice.

Education And Training Qualifications:

  • Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist #MFC84781

  • Past President - CAMFT Los Angeles Chapter Board of Directors

  • Adjunct Faculty/Counselor, Santa Monica College

  • Lifetime clinical member, California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists

  • Clinical member, American Association of Psychotherapists

  • Ordained Nonsectarian Minister AIWP #0848717

  • Former C.E.U provider, California Board of Behavioral Sciences

  • Former C.E.U. provider, National Association of Social Workers

  • Master of Arts in Clinical Psychology, Phillips Graduate University

LA CAMFT Board of Directors

LA CAMFT Board of Directors

                 My Personal Story

            I’m honored by the gift of trust that individuals give me every single day.  Honoring that trust in return is partially why I’d like to share my personal history with you.

            As a post-modernist-trained therapist, I believe in collaboration and a level of transparency, rather than in a hierarchical, clinician/patient relationship in which one person diagnoses another with a particular “pathology.”

            I believe that gentle empathy and receptiveness allows feelings and insights to be expressed safely.  I strive for that.  But probably equally, I convey direct observations and interpretations.  At times, if needed, I intervene with strength.

            I am trained in cognitive behavioral therapy, mindfulness practices, existential therapy, and other modalities.  I synthesize these approaches uniquely, in every session, depending on what a client’s individual circumstances call for.

            As a psychotherapist, I believe that my state of being present and openhearted and having the capacity to guide and teach are the essential qualities I bring to a successful collaboration that will support desired change.  To help you evolve, I must fist earn your trust.

            I love my work.  Counseling has been a part of my professional experience since my early twenties.  My own path of exploration includes meditation and dialectic inquiry.  By investigating spiritual and contemplative traditions and cultural and psychosocial realms–and by exploring my own psychology and experience–I’ve discovered a tremendous love for personal growth in all its opportunities.  I treasure being a source of support for others in exploring and pursuing their own goals, truths, and existential paths.

            My working life began in the financial world.  As an investment advisor, I enjoyed understanding people’s values as they related to each individual’s macroeconomics.  How we earn, spend, plan for the future, and take care of individuals and organizations we care about says a lot about who we are…or perhaps who we would like to be.  Monetary choices that affect our relationships, the power dynamics that surround money, and finding the right financial groove almost inevitably come up in therapeutic conversations with clients.  I feel at ease with the subject, and find it to be a window into values, choices, and goals. 

            As a university director, I felt privileged to be surrounded by dynamically creative people who were dedicated to learning and expressing important messages through the arts.  My responsibilities included running a visual and performing arts conservatory.  There, we were fortunate to be able to produce events with social-justice themes and philosophical depth as well as great entertainment for its own sake.

            Working in this profoundly imaginative environment was an inspiration, and observing the earnestness, resilience, and evolution of students through the span of their education was a joy for me.  I continue to work with gifted, creative individuals in my practice today.  This background in the arts and education allows for my depth of understanding and receptivity in support of the creative process.  Facilitating the mental preparation and dedication necessary to implement a creative idea—especially if it has to do with infusing highest values into your work—is a true sweet spot in my counseling practice.

            Being a parent, stepparent, daughter, sister, life partner, and friend to many has helped me understand and identify with the many challenges, fears, and joys that are universal to individuals and families.

            When I began counseling, I knew I’d found a true calling.  I am at ease around and have enjoyed working with people from all walks of life:  people of affluence and power; professionals; students and creatives; prisoners; elders; students and adults with disabilities; couples; and groups.  Currently, I limit my practice to working only with adults.  I enjoy exploring the stages of life we all experience, including all of the profound and mundane ways we look at or approach death.  Even on the worst of days, when the issues have been extremely challenging, I still feel blessed to have made this kind of work my calling.  I encourage you to contact me to discuss your needs to see if we might be a good fit.