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Dr. Shelly P. Harrell

Hello! I would like to introduce myself to you a bit more formally and share some of my educational background and professional experiences. I have been a licensed psychologist in the state of California since 1990. My practice areas of focus include individual psychotherapy, couple therapy and relationship issues, depression and anxiety, stress management and contemplative practices, “isms” and mental health, and cultural identity. I received my PhD in Clinical Psychology from UCLA in 1988 (with a minor in Community Psychology) after graduating Magna Cum Laude with Highest Honors from Harvard University in 1982 (Psychology and Social Relations major). I am currently a tenured Full Professor at Pepperdine University’s Graduate School of Education and Psychology where I have been since 1999. I participate actively in the training of future psychologists and teach courses in psychotherapy conceptualization and intervention, as well as chair doctoral dissertations. I have also served as a Visiting Professor at UCLA with the Freshman/Transfer Summer Program (F/TSP) for over 25 years.

My research and scholarship focuses on sociocultural and sociopolitical considerations in psychological well-being and interventions. Most recently, I have been working on the development of a resilience-oriented stress management group intervention (“R&R”- Resilience and Reconnection) and a culturally-informed approach to meditation and contemplative practice (“Soulfulness“). In addition to my private psychotherapy practice, I do consultations and conduct workshops/trainings with groups and organizations on topics ranging from meditation and well-being, to diversity issues and intergroup conflict, to relationships and marriage.

As a therapist, my approach is informed by an integrative culturally-centered approach that is grounded in a humanistic orientation and principles of evidence-based practice. My work is strongly influenced by mindfulness and acceptance-based therapies. I draw upon Liberation Psychology, Experiential and Somatic therapies, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), Acceptance Based Behavioral Therapy (ABBT), Emotion-Focused Therapy (EFT), Integrative Behavioral Couples Therapy (IBCT), Relational-Cultural Therapy (RCT); Existential psychotherapy, and Person-Centered psychotherapy.  Contemplative, experiential, relational, and empowerment strategies are central to my work.  I offer psychotherapy services to individual adults and couples.  Many of the clients I see come with issues of relational conflict, self-esteem, managing life stress, racism-related stress, depression, anxiety, and life transitions. 

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