“I am no longer a slave to fear; I am a child of God.” By God’s grace, this is a song I now stand and proclaim with joy! The work done and time spent in therapy with Shelly–both through her group and individual counsel–has been an absolute gift from God to me, and foundational in ushering in a season of transformation in my life. From the beginning, Shelly gently and lovingly guided me to look at the hard places of my past in order to heal and move forward into greater freedom in the Lord. Her nurturing presence and shepherdess heart created a safety in communication, where I felt heard, seen and known. This dynamic was crucial to be able to work through the sometimes crippling fear, anxiety, and shame I had held onto for so long, and more fully step into my true identity in Christ. Through much time spent in healing prayer, listening to and rehearsing the Truths Jesus graciously revealed, I began to believe of His goodness and love for me with fresh eyes and a new heart—it was true for me what was true for Job as he exclaimed of God, “I had heard of You by the hearing of the ear, but now my eye sees You!” (Job 42:5) What a wonder it has been to encounter the Father, Son and Spirit in a depth I never thought possible during this season of personal healing. He truly makes blind eyes see and sets captives free! I am now aware of an ever-unfolding journey of sanctification that became defined and apparent under Shelly’s care– a walk of transformation with my Jesus, from one degree of glory to another (2 Corinthians 3:18)

— Avalie

“I’ve had Bipolar Disorder since I was a child. It’s a very hard disorder for others to understand. As a result, I was an extremely lonely person deep inside with no safe way out. I had been in counseling before. Yet, I was still miserable and ready to commit suicide. Knowing I would have to answer to God for it, I decided to give therapy one last try. After this, I was done trying to find help and relief.

Working with Shelly, I’ve learned others can and do understand. Shelly unfailingly sits with and supports me thru the highs and lows. As well as thru the agonizing turmoil of medication changes. My Bipolar is impacted by many things. Using her understanding and comprehension of Bipolar Disorder, Shelly helps me identify triggers, warning signs and destructive thought patterns leading to mood changes.

But most importantly, I find Shelly to be safe and trustworthy, something I have never had in my life. What a blessing and how freeing it is to be able to share with brutal honesty your deepest and darkest thoughts with someone and have them caringly accept you. Shelly sees the whole person, not just my sin or my Bipolar Disorder. Shelly’s insightful probing questions and sensitive and attentive listening helps me see the lies I am believing. Thru general and Healing prayer, I am able to address the Spiritual impact of believing those lies.

Working with Shelly gives me hope. Life can be worth living. It is possible to find someone safe to explore the deeper thoughts, feeling and emotions that bind and blind me.”

— Jana

“The first time I entered Shelly’s office, I thought I was there to deal with my emotional unfaithfulness to my husband. My idea was, I would share my confession, learn some strategies for recovering trust in my marriage, and maybe gather a few resources to help with my sexual brokenness. Shelly was so gentle and moved at the pace of the Holy Spirit’s prompting. And, after 5 years of top-notch, Christian clinical counseling, healing prayer, and group therapy, I can confidently say that God used Shelly to save more than just my marriage. She opened my eyes to my sexual addiction. She walked me though childhood abuse I had not even recognized as such. And she held a mirror up to my self-righteous pride and spirit of entitlement. Even in my stubbornness and repeated sexual falls, she stuck with it and walked alongside me as I learned to follow the Lord’s lead. I don’t know where I would be now if I hadn’t been under Shelly’s care and counsel.”

— Kara

“Honestly, when I first came to see Shelly I was guarded and scared, unsure of why exactly God led me to her office. I needed a safe place to wrestle with my sexual brokenness, to mourn the many wounds of my childhood, to bring my sexual abuse into the light, and a place to sit with my enormous anger and grief. That is exactly what Shelly created for me. Her office became a refuge for me, where Jesus and Shelly would listen, mourn with me, validate my pain, and faithfully offer truth and love, devoid of judgment and condemnation. Healing prayer was crucial in healing my childhood wounds, where Jesus came and restored my weary heart. My time in group therapy was undoubtedly life changing, as I was able to meet with other women, share my doubts, fears and joys. It was a place to be honest and real, among other women working out their own journey with Jesus. It was my safe place to be real, to be heard and to be seen, a true gift. I would not be where I am, without my time working with Shelly. Some of the greatest treasures and healing God has given me, has been during my time of working with Shelly.”

— Kelly

“I went to the Emergency Room three different times for what I thought was heart related issues, that turned out to be anxiety attacks. On the third visit the ER doctor recommended that I find a therapist. I got Shelly’s name from a friend. I knew from our first appointment that we connected and that I could trust her. Gradually my story of life in a large, poor family began to spill out. I hated some of my family members and as we began to explore that, WOW! a lot of deeply repressed pain began to surface. Shelly was patient and gentle, and kind in helping me. Childhood sexual abuse by those family members emerged, in addition to my two abortions in my early twenties along with a suicide attempt!! Forgiving myself and others, living and dead, has taken time and work. I have seen that God has been by my side throughout this whole time…Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; He will never leave you not forsake you. Deut 31:6. I cannot thank Him enough for being with me, and for guiding me to Shelly to help me get loose from the shame and guilt that I once lived in. I pray that my story will help others seek help and find freedom. I love living with such peace and joy, AND I no longer suffer from anxiety attacks!”

— Laura

“One of my first questions as I began therapy with Shelly was: ‘Am I too old to be starting therapy?’ Thankfully, Shelly reassured me that if I was in her office to continue to grow and change, that I was not too old! I knew it was time for me to address some issues that had plagued me for most of my life. Through her patient counsel l found resolution and healing in these issues that dated back to severe abuse in early childhood! In the midst of this trauma work I also sustained a number of losses of close family members, and some major surgery that Shelly very skilfully guided me through until we could pick back up on my healing from my early trauma. That trauma work enabled me to care for and forgive family members before they died. Shelly’s patient blend of integrating my faith, Scripture, and psychological principles have made a huge difference in my life for which I thank both God and Shelly!”

— Sarah

The names of the clients have been changed to protect identities, but the stories are accurate depictions of God’s work of transformation!

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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