So who am I?
I am a:
clinically trained, licensed therapisT
informed social media user
I am on a mission to:
empower people to unlock their inner confidence
discover the power in seeing the world
in embracing the flow of life.
That self-care is a fundamental form of self-respect.
That social media can encourage inspiration and connectivity versus comparison and self-doubt.
That travel therapy is an incredible tool for self-growth.
that you should honor your experiences instead of being your biggest critic.
Most importantly, I believe that trusting your inner voice can allow you to confidently chase your dreams and see the world.
So Why Do I Focus on the Digital Age, Travel Therapy, and Confidence?
Social Media & Technology:
I have grown up surrounded by the explosion of the internet, social media, and apps galore.
The sound of AOL dialing up will forever give me tingles. I took typing classes and learned about some guy named Steve Jobs bullying Bill Gates (or vice versa?). I “Asked Jeeves” to do my homework. I remember exactly where I was when I saw my first iPhone. Uber has enabled my childhood fantasy of always riding around in a limo to become a reality.
While I can clearly remember the days before modern technology was readily accessible in my life, the number of days with modern technology are steadily outweighing them.
Computers, social media, smart phones - they all allows incredible amounts of connectivity, are designed to be constantly intriguing, and… overwhelming?
No matter who I work with, low confidence and comparison traps triggered by social media and technology regularly fuel conversations. After challenging these themes with clients for years and diving into research, I knew it was time to make our relationship with social media and technology one of the main pillars of my private practice. I also launched my podcast, Real Talk Travels to discuss these themes.
"Life is about the journey, not the destination; and I’m passionate about helping you embrace every aspect of this journey.''
/ Brie Shelly /
Let Me Introduce You to Travel Therapy:
As an avid travel enthusiast, travel is a staple in my life and, therefore, was obligated to be an integral part of my private practice.
So much so, that I’m on a mission to make “travel therapy” a household name.
What is this travel therapy?
Travel therapy means utilizing adventures, both near and far, as a tool for self-growth. Whether you’re 30 minutes or 30 hours from home, celebrating a life milestone or on a restorative journey, getting out of your comfort zone is clinically proven to do improve your mental and physical health.
When speaking with clients about travel, I hear again and again: “I can’t travel alone”, “I don’t have the time or money”, or “One day when I’m ready”.
Travel therapy challenges these fears and is founded on the beliefs that:
Travel is the best investment and gift that you can give yourself.
You are strong enough to weather any storms during your travels.
Travel can start to heal you while also giving you the confidence to manifest your dreams back home.
In short, the time to see the world is now.
It All Comes Back to Confidence:
Thanks to years of clinical experience supporting individuals through body image concerns, major life transitions, the ups and downs of relationships, anxiety, and more, I know this to be true: having confidence is vital to living a meaningful life.
Whether you’re scrolling through your phone, going on an adventure around the world, or navigating life’s lessons, confidence is EVERYTHING.
On a personal note, finding confidence empowered me to believe that I could move across the country (several times), go on solo trips to the other side of the world, and build my dream career well before my life plan said to.
Therefore, I am here to uncover the confidence within you, and provide you with the tools to unlock your innate power to pursue your dreams. You will dig deep to find your inner confidence during our sessions, hear about me speak about the power of confidence at events, and be left inspired to embrace your confidence while listening to the podcast.
Are you ready?
Education and Clinical Experience
As the health and wellness industry explodes with support options, I am honored to share my educational, research, and clinical experiences that have enabled me to become the clinically trained provider I am today.
During my undergraduate studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, I doubled majored in Psychology and Exercise and Sports Science and minored in Recreation Administration.
I completed research at:
UNC’s Center for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention
UNC’s Get Real and Heel, an exercise and therapy support program for women in remission from breast cancer
In my academic work, I focused on developing ways to endorse health versus burnout in corporate environments.
I spent my spare time working at UNC’s Campus Recreation Center encouraging others to incorporate wellness into their daily routine, teaching group fitness classes, and continue to have an avid passion for helping others utilize movement as a way to improve mental and physical health.
I also spent time abroad in Denmark, Scotland, and Germany learning how other cultures view mental health and implement a work-life balance that promotes overall health.
I obtained my Masters in Clinical Rehabilitation Counseling and Psychology from UNC-Chapel Hill and studied how mental health impacts all domains of an individual’s life: mentally, physically, socially, and vocationally.
I completed my clinical training with UNC’s Center of Excellence for Eating Disorders (CEED), led by Dr. Cynthia Bulik. I also worked as a research assistant on several studies at CEED, including the innovative Anorexia Nervosa Genetics Initiative (ANGI) study. While at CEED, I discovered my passion for body positive content while providing social media education groups, which remains the cornerstone for much of my work today.
Before opening my private practice, I worked with individuals of all ages, at all levels of care, and at several renown treatment centers, including:
As an Adjunct Instructor at UNC’s Center for Excellence for Eating Disorders
McLean Hospital’s 3East DBT Continuum
Veritas Collaborative Adolescent’s Residential and Partial Hospitalization Programs
Monte Nido’s Partial Hospitalization and Intensive Outpatient Programs
As the Director of Client Intake and Outreach at O’Connor Professional Group
When I’m not empowering others, you’ll find me:
Balancing being in the moment and my love for taking photos while traveling the world (4 continents and 20 countries to date!)
Playing with dogs that were on a walk
Cheering on my beloved Tar Heels