About Shelley

Like many careers, Shelley’s started from her interests; her interest in how people think and a deep commitment to helping her community. However, like many career paths today, hers was not a straight line. After taking an early retirement option in her first career she returned to school to complete her Masters in Counselling Psychology with an adult focus at the University of British Columbia. Upon graduation she worked at Edgewood Chemical Dependency Treatment Centre in Nanaimo, BC as an addictions counsellor for several years before returning home to Yarmouth. From 2000 -2013, Shelley worked at South West Health as a child psychologist. Her clinical practice focused on eating disorders, parenting challenges, mood difficulties and developmental disorders, including assessing and treating autism spectrum disorders. Her clinical practice with children has focused on mood difficulties and assessing developmental disorders. Her areas of interest when working with adults has included mood difficulties, career transition, EMDR, and PTSD in first responders.

Shelley started her private practice in 2003 and has been providing service to clients of all ages during this time. In 2010, she graduated with her PhD in clinical psychology from Fielding Graduate University, an APA approved program. She completed her one-year doctoral internship with a focus on both child and adult populations at the Annapolis Valley District Health Authority, Kentville, NS. Shelley is registered in Nova Scotia (R0494) as a psychologist. In the past, Shelley has enjoyed teaching undergraduate and graduate courses at several Universities including Acadia University, Université Sainte-Anne and Dalhousie University (Yarmouth site). She holds an adjunct appointment with Dalhousie University.

As a rural psychologist, Shelley has developed her skills in many different areas. Her latest areas of interest include insomnia, police psychology, pain, and Alzheimer’s disease. The latter after a family member was diagnosed with this disease.

In 2011 Shelley received the Canadian Psychological Association Northern and Rural Sections' North Start Student Award for her doctoral research poster presentation on autism spectrum disorder. In 2003, She was nominated as one of the 20 extraordinary young alumni (under the age of 40) at Acadia University. She has held several executive positions, including Chair, with the Rural and Northern Section of the Canadian Psychological Association. She has held several appointments from the Executive Council of Nova Scotia, including appointments to the Adoption Appeal Committee, Nova Scotia Advisory Committee on the Status of Women and the Criminal Code Review Board.  She has been the President and Treasurer on the Executive of the Association of Psychologists of Nova Scotia, and was a members of the CPA End of Life Task Force regarding Medical Aid in Dying.

As a freelance writer, Shelley enjoys writing about the everyday joys and adventures of rural coastal living. Her writing has appeared in regional, national and international publications, including Saltscapes, Horse Canada, The Cottager, and Policewomen. She frequently writes about psychological issues and how they influence joy and engagement in our leisure activities. Shelley has published in peer reviewed journals and written four book chapters on ethics in psychology. She particularly enjoys writing in collaboration with other professionals and friends. Her international work with fellow psychologists and Doctors Without Borders has been very rewarding.

Personally Shelley enjoys spending time with her life partner of three decades, Jeff. They can be frequently found spending time with their horses, walking, travelling, and gardening.

Photo credit - Carla Allen



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