Shelly Ishii

Sheila (Shelly) M. Ishii, BSN, MSW,

LCSW-C Licensed Certified Social Worker-Clinical Maryland License #10659
Clinical Director at Metro Maryland Counseling Center, LLC
Board-Approved (LCSW-C) Supervisor

w. 410-750-3330, ext. 701
f. 410-750-3332

Shelly understands first hand the scariness of seeking out a professional for therapy, paying money, and shedding many tears while peeling back layers of pain. She believes that the Lord does not waste our tears, but uses them “to grow an oak of righteousness for the display of His splendor!” Isaiah 61.3 For much of her early life she felt like she was running to catch up with her peer group. This resulted from her growing up in an alcoholic home, for which she now is grateful. She now marvels at God’s using for good what were some of her childhood survival skills, that of being with adults in pain, and persevering in difficult circumstances while trying to help hurting people whom she loved. These characteristics are prominent in her clinical work.

As a young follower of Jesus, Shelly perceived His leading her into a career as a Registered Nurse which she loved. Then the Lord opened Shelly’s heart to full-time missionary work with The Navigators, first in Eastern Europe and then in the Washington D.C. metropolitan area. Working in this DC staff team developed her friendship with fellow Navigator missionary, Roger Ishii, a Japanese-American, whom she married 30-years ago! In the context of his Navigator international student ministry they have shared their home’s “international student bedroom” with 25 different internationals over the years. This personal history of cultural diversity flavors Shelly’s appreciation of working with clients of other cultures.

The Lord then burdened her heart to “set the captives free” Isaiah 61.3, and led her to graduate school to become a psychotherapist. She holds a Master of Social Work degree with a dual clinical mental health/administrative focus and a gerontology subspecialty. She has enjoyed working in hospitals with the seriously mentally ill, and substance abusers, and leading many different kinds of therapeutic groups. She has been in private practice at Metro Maryland Counseling Center for the last 16 years. She considers the individual as a whole—body, mind, emotions, and spirit—and facilitates spiritual healing with healing prayer where that is desired, using various training that she has received. She loves how the convergence of her three respective careers enables her to attune to the individual within his/her environment in a holistic way.

Shelly is passionate about synergistic change possibilities inherent in her on-going Women’s Interpersonal Psychotherapy Group. Within the safe boundaries of this group members work on their individual issues and explore topics with the support and honest feedback of other members and Shelly. The feeling of security and acceptance that develops in the group to allow for this is due to the group cohesion that facilitates deep inner work in these individuals. The group begins to replicate family of origin difficulties which helps with the healing of attachment injuries and traumas. Many of life’s wounds are relational and are healed through such relational connections that one experiences in the safety of this type of group.


  • Individuals
  • Group
  • Adults
  • Older adults

I enjoy working with:

  • Adjustment to Medical Issues in self or family member
  • Adult Children of Alcoholics
  • Anxiety/panic attacks
  • Attachment issues
  • Bipolar Disorder
  • Boundaries–development & establishment
  • Christian Spiritual Growth
  • Codependency
  • Depression
  • Loss & Grief
  • Dissociative Disorders
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
  • Trauma/Abuse/Neglect
  • Missionary Re-entry Issues
  • Third Culture Kids
  • Diverse culture clients
  • Sexual Addiction in Women
  • Relationship Issues
  • Shame


Tuesday evenings,

Currently running an on-going 90-minute Interpersonal Therapy Group for women, in its 10th year.

Metro Maryland Counseling Center, LLC

3300 N. Ridge Road, Suite 230, Ellicott City, MD 21043

The Executive Center office building is on the corner of N. Ridge Rd. and Rt. 40, just off Rt. 29. Our offices are handicapped accessible.
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