Let’s talk about it.

Deb Shell, Associate Marriage and Family Therapist works with individuals, couples, and families in-person and virtually. She supports clients with anxiety, parenting struggles, relational issues, emotional dysregulation, depression & behavior issues

Deb Shell, Associate Marriage and Family Therapist 143729

Supervised by Nes Pinar, LMFT 94911

Being human is complicated, complex, and can be overwhelming. Do you feel stuck? Perhaps your past is impacting your present. Are your relationships suffering? Do you have triggers that you react to in a way that brings you shame? You want to live authentically in the way that would bring you the most joy. Does fear and anxiety hold you or a loved one back? Perhaps you are a parent or caregiver that has difficult circumstances and could use strategies and support to help shift chaos to calm.

It is therapeutic to have someone to share our true selves with free of judgment. I believe each client holds the answers, and in my work, I support you on your journey. I meet you where you are, and together we identify where you would like to go, and what parts of yourself you would like to call forward. I can help you explore your inner world, and help you connect your internal experiences to your external experiences. I support clients dealing with depression, anxiety, trauma, relational dynamics and parenting challenges.

My Practice.

I use a goal-directed, strengths-based approach to support individuals, couples, and families.

I work from a psychodynamic framework and use collaborative problem-solving to reflect on what is working and what needs to change. I pull from many theoretical models including Internal Family Systems, Narrative Theory, CBT, and others.

I help clients refocus attention on their strengths and abilities while supporting their challenges. When we shift the conversation to strengths and develop self-compassion, we shift our inner voice from self-doubt to confidence, shame to understanding, and inner critic to inner friend, that is when I witness transformation.

Conveniently located in the East Bay.

"We delight in the beauty of the butterfly, but rarely admit the changes it has gone through to achieve that beauty.”

Maya Angelou


Individual Therapy

50 min session - $175

Find strategies to minimize stress and increase connection.

Couples Counseling

50 min session - $185

Reconnect, break negative cycles, improve communication.

Family Therapy

50 min group - $185

Improve family dynamics, relationships and communication.

60 min group - $60

Feel less alone. Meet others that can relate to what you are going through.

Support for Neurofabulous families.

I work with parents, children, and individuals on issues that come up with having neurodiverse traits. Our society is built for neurotypical people, and we need to respect the needs of all neurotypes, while also preparing them for a society that they don’t always relate to. I can help identify when to give support versus when we are enabling unhealthy habits and behaviors. While I focus on symptom management rather than diagnosis, I do offer screenings for most Mental Health disorders using industry approved assessments. I have experience working with families who deal with:

  • ADHD
  • Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)
  • Panic Disorder/Panic Attacks
  • OCD
  • Depression
  • Tourette’s Syndrome
  • Autism Spectrum Disorder
  • Twice Exceptional (2E)

People don’t give

you a hard time,

they are HAVING a hard time.

Neurodivergent affirming care.

Trauma Support.

Do you or a loved one experience intrusive thoughts, nightmares and/or flashbacks? Do your reactions to trauma triggers impact your daily functioning and relationships? Do you avoid people, places or situations to protect yourself from getting anxiety? Do you feel sensations in your body when you are are triggered that feel uncomfortable?

If you have unresolved trauma, it’s very common to feel this way. I am a trauma-informed therapist with one goal, to support my clients so that you can find and live with joy post trauma. Together we will define goals and decide the pacing of the work together. You get to decide when and if you are ready to share something that is painful to be reminded of. Together we will work towards unburdening the parts of self that are holding the pain of the past. We will develop self compassion, learn how our trauma is showing up in our daily life all while adapting new coping skills and strategies to live a better life.

Common types of trauma I treat:

  • Childhood abuse or neglect
  • Domestic violence and/or emotional abuse
  • Accidents or natural disaster
  • Workplace and corporate trauma
  • Medical Trauma
  • Grief and Loss
  • Sexual assault, abuse and exploitation
  • Immigration Trauma

“Trauma creates change you don’t choose. Healing is about creating change you do choose.”

Michelle Rosenthal

Couples Counseling.

Are you and your partner struggling to connect? Feeling distant, misunderstood, or stuck in negative cycles? I can help.

I work through an Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT) lens. This evidence-based approach focuses on the emotional core of your relationship.

Together, we will explore:

  • Underlying emotions driving conflict (fear, hurt, anger)
  • Attachment styles and how they impact your interactions
  • Healthy ways to express your needs and desires
  • Building a secure emotional bond

You'll learn to:

  • Communicate more effectively and listen with empathy
  • Identify and address negative patterns
  • Strengthen emotional connection and intimacy

EFT is beneficial for couples experiencing:

  • Frequent arguments or disconnection
  • Difficulty expressing emotions
  • Infidelity or trust issues
  • Pre-marital concerns or wanting to deepen your bond

Let's work together to create a more fulfilling and connected relationship. Contact me today for a consultation deb@debshell.com

Flatter me, and I may not believe you. Criticize me, and I may not like you. Ignore me, and I may not forgive you. Encourage me, and I will not forget you. Love me and I may be forced to love you.

William Arthur Ward

Neurodivergent affirming care.

Deb Shell

I am an Associate Marriage and Family Therapist and hold a Master’s Degree in Counseling Psychology from The Wright Institute. I work through a family systems lens, factoring in how presenting issues impact all members of a family, even when I work with individuals. I offer a safe space free from judgment and consider race, values, culture, religion, gender, and all intersectionalities of a client’s identity/lived experience when identifying how to support them. There is no one-size-fits-all approach.

I came to this work because I have always been an empathic person who values vulnerability and working towards our best life. I find meaning in connection, relationships and being authentic. It is human to experience pain, confusion, shame, anxiety and these feelings impacts on our daily lives, thoughts, feeling, relationships, and sense of self. It is a privilege to bear witness to my client’s stories, vulnerability and courage.

Having worked as a counselor in a school setting, as well as being a parent that has sat in 504 and IEP meeting, I know how challenging the system can be for parents that are already experiencing great challenges. I can support you in advocating for your child and navigating the system with the hope to get your child the most appropriate accommodations and resources for their specific needs.

I work with individuals, couples, and families of all ages and stages of life. In addition, I support parents/caregivers and children struggling with:

  • Neurodiversity
  • Tic Disorders
  • Sensory Overload
  • Anxiety/Fears
  • Depression
  • Giftedness
  • Social Skills
  • Big Emotions
  • Challenging Behaviors
  • Power Dynamic Struggles
  • Resistance
  • Gender/Identity
  • Transitioning Families/Divorce
  • Making Sense of Loss
  • Marriage conflict

Take The First Step.

Free Virtual 20 Min Consultation

Conveniently located in the East Bay, within 12 miles of Walnut Creek, Orinda, Moraga, Alamo, Pleasant Hill, Piedmont, Danville, Concord, Martinez, Albany, Oakland, Clayton, San Leandro and Benicia.

Together let’s find calm in the chaos.

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(415) 595-2598


251 Lafayette Circle, Suite 330, Lafayette, CA 94549

Virtual & In-Person.

Monday: 8:30AM - 3PM PST

Tuesday: 8:30AM - 4PM

Wednesday: 8:30AM - 5PM*

Thursday:8:30AM - 4PM

Friday: 8:30AM - 5PM*

Saturday: 9AM - 12PM*

Sunday: 9AM-12PM*

*In-person availability

Note: Weekend availability is limited, call to see what weekend are open.


Parents/Caregivers of Neurodiverse Kids.

Do you ever feel like you're navigating a world designed for a different kind of kid? You're not alone. Being a caregiver of a neurodiverse child can be incredibly rewarding, but it also comes with unique challenges and emotions. This therapy group is a safe and supportive space for you to connect with other caregivers who understand what you're going through.

This group is for parents and caregivers of children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), 2E, ADHD, Dyslexia, Sensory Processing Disorder, and those that may not be diagnosed, but exhibit Neuro-divergent traits. If you feel overwhelmed and isolated on your parenting journey this group is for you.

We will share experiences and challenges, gain insight and perspective from other caregivers who “get it”, celebrate your victories, and find strength in shared experiences.

Weekly Group Therapy Program:

    • Virtual Program: $60 per session

Email Deb@debshell.com to get signed up.