Shelley has her B.A. in psychology from Michigan State University and earned her Masters of Social Work from Grand Valley State University. She has been an adoptive parent since 2004, and has experience as a foster parent as well. She has knowledge and experience in the areas of adoption trauma, attachment challenges, and Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders.
Shelley has been working in post-adoption support services since 2014. In the last year she has been working in the Grand Rapids Public Schools helping support students and families with therapy, case management and home-based services. Shelley has recently rejoined the Adoptive Family Support Network team as a supervisor of their statewide program that supports families through the triumphs and challenges of their adoption journey. She is passionate about helping families to heal through the strength of their relationships with one another.
My Approach & Values
In my experiences as an adoptive parent as well as a support person for families, I have learned the importance of connection and relationship. It is my belief that if we put the relationship first, healing will follow. Parenting kids from hard places is not an easy undertaking. Feeling supported by the therapist is important for both the parent and child and I strive to provide that assurance in my work with families. Helping parents find creative ways to connect with their children while uncovering what is behind the behaviors, can be a gateway to healing. At the same time, helping children to understand what healthy relationships look like is equally important.
- Supervisor at Adoptive Family Support Network (AFSN)
- Clinician with Kent School Services Network (KSSN)
- Trained in Parent Management Training-Oregon (PMTO)
- Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology, Michigan State University
- Masters in Social Work, Grand Valley State University
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Families Forever Counseling
Grand Rapids, MI 49525