The Greek philosopher Immanuel Kant taught that we see things not as they are, but as we are. It is a struggle to be human, and finding meaning and purpose in our life is key to helping us through these struggles. I strongly believe that nothing is ever new, and everything is connected, and we still struggle with what it means to be human.
I am a humanistic and person-centered therapist, which means that I work in a non-directive, client centered way. My therapeutic approach is informed by evidenced based trainings in emotion focused therapy, gestalt therapy, brainspotting, and other approaches such as solution- focused therapy, mindfulness, and narrative therapy.
I see the role of the counselor as helping to facilitate positive change by collaborating with you in a non-judgmental and mutual relationship. I will work to help you develop self-awareness and achieve your potential, such that you can find your own answers and make transformative changes. I sensitively deal with individual and systematic/cultural influences to ensure clients’ goals and actions are manageable, realistic, and sustainable. For me, diversity is about recognizing everyone’s identity and experiences, and inclusion is about implementing strategies and tools that allow each individual to thrive and to feel appreciated and welcomed.
Together we can build coping strategies by looking at the situation from an unfamiliar perspective. By exploring and challenging personal values, attitudes and beliefs that lead to negative patterns, we can break the cycle of self-defeating and self-sabotaging behavior that is often the cause of our present difficulties.
Education & Experience
After earning a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Chapman University, Salma Shah went on to obtain her Masters degree in Marriage & Family Therapy from Chapman University. Her experience in working in diverse community-based settings enabled her to utilize a balance of nurturance and challenge while holding space for a variety of clients experiencing complex trauma, depression, anxiety, strained relationships, gender/cultural identity, and move with a profound commitment to help others expand on their strengths and foster resilience through life’s journey.
Salma Shah understands the unique needs of people from diverse cultural backgrounds and is fluent in English, Urdu, and Punjabi.
She provides secure telehealth and in-person therapy, works with adult, adolescent (18+), and older adult populations, and provides bilingual therapy.