About Dr. Shaelyn

You are on this page… so you’re curious to know a little bit more about me. I’m honored! So,here are some of the most common questions people ask me:

What do you enjoy most about the work that you do?

I enjoy writing, speaking, training, consulting, learning and leading my team as we help people transform their lives to achieve success and happiness–living to their fullest potential.

The thing I love most is that I get to use my gifts and creativity to help very talented and courageous people change their lives and other peoples’ lives. I am delighted when I receive emails, cards and phone calls from individuals thanking me for helping them achieve their goals.

I get a real thrill when people tell me that I have helped them to live at their best potential, be authentic and to lead a successful and happy life. And then, when I realize that it doesn’t end there, but they’re also now the agent of change to everyone in their lives (and beyond) well…it’s pretty awesome to think about.

What kind of work did you do before you got into this?

I grew up in Vietnam. There were no “child labor” laws in the county so my very first jobs were to manage my family’s store for half a day when I was 9-years-old, and then go to school the other half of the day. I absolutely loved it. It was there that I learned a lot about interpersonal relationships, communication skills, and business.

During high school I enjoyed tutoring some of my peers on various subjects. I also did a “running start” program where you get to go to college and get credit for both college and high school. It was working in the college’s computer lab that I learned a great deal about affective teaching, leadership skills and working with people of all ages (most were older than me at the time).

Between college and the end of my post graduate school, I also worked in many different settings… from schools to non-profits to corporations.

I moved to Southern California to attend a full time graduate school while working full time. I received my PhD in clinical psychology and then started my practice. I was ready to take on the world.

It wasn’t easy. I had to eat a lot of Ramen at that time. It was still great though and I’d do it all over again!

How did you enter the field of psychology and now helping people living their dreams?

It was my calling. I actually always wanted to be a brain surgeon but when I couldn’t hold a scalpel steady enough to dissect a frog, I knew being a brain surgeon would not be an option.I was searching for a major and I followed the next best thing… my interest in psychology. I already enjoyed reading & learning so it came naturally to me.

You know what? It wasn’t the next best thing. It was the best thing!As I learned to live a successful life with balance both personally and professionally I wanted to help others find their shortcut to a successful well-balanced life. I work with an extraordinary group of people who are talented and intelligent and who are just in need of help to harness their confidence, maximizing their potential and trust in their abilities and decisions in life, relationships and business.

How do you help someone to find all those – how does it work?

It is a unique “method in madness” process where I help individuals either on a one-on- one basis, using on-line programs, through workshops or through seminars to solve their identifiable issues, create plans, and turn their vision into a reality. I give them step by step action assignments to get it done.

It is really gratifying to help an individual turn their life around or achieve a great accomplishment when they thought they never could. I’ll never forget the day when one of the founders and president of a multi-million dollar company came to me and said, “I just want to drive my car off of the freeway. I lost everything. I have nothing to live for.” The thrill of helping this incredible woman to successfully rebuild her business, her identity and her life was mind blowing.

It feels great that many successful and happy individuals give me a lot of credit for helping them achieve meaning and fulfillment in their life’s purpose as well as satisfaction in their relationships but I also have learned a lot from them. I’m reminded every day of people’s generosity, ability and potential. (I just help them get their past their unconscious block and maximize their potential to live their lives to the fullest.)

What do you think separates the happy and successful individual from everyone else?

Well, obviously, you need to have the willingness to change. But that just gets you on the starting line so you can enter the race. Successful and happy individuals have learned to feel comfortable in their own skin by being authentic. They’re open to “out-of-the-box ideas” and have a paradigm shift in their life that does not fit into pre-existing expectations. I also noticed the most successful individuals are committed to learning, changing and growing, whereas the unsuccessful ones felt they have known everything and don’t need to learn (it is somehow beneath them).

What do you enjoy doing when you’re not working?

I love spending time with my nieces and nephew. They would be thrilled knowing that I just mentioned that. This actually brought a smile to my face thinking about it. They’re so smart and talented, just like their “favorite aunt.”(:

I really enjoy cooking. It was from many days of burning Ramen trying to do stir fry with it that I learned to create my own recipes with whatever is available in the kitchen. I also love archery.There is something about it that is very masculine, feminine and sexy at the same time. It doesn’t hurt that I like Jennifer Lawrence in the Hunger Games where she makes it looks awesome. On Sundays, I enjoy going to church and volunteering at times as a greeter. It’s a wonderful experience to be a part of something greater.

I also love sitting and having a cup of tea or coffee with Jon or playing the guitar together with him. He is much better than I am. And I love singing but only the chorus, over and over again because those are the only lyrics I know. I’m a hummer at heart. I hum walking down the street.

Getting together with friends for brunch or happy hour is also a favorite. I’m fortunate to have a great group of friends. They’re family away from family since my family of origin is in a different state. Seeing my family actually requires me putting it onto my calendar and planning for it. I can’t just pop by to see them whenever I want to. It does make the time even more special when I visit though.

What are your pet peeves?

Hypocrisy and dishonesty.

People who complain about their life or a situation, but don’t take the responsibility for their part in the problem or potential solution.

Those who are not people of their words. They talk the talk but don’t walk the walk.

People who are intolerant – they’re often the ones who talk so much about tolerance.

What are some things about you that hardly anyone else knows?

I had a near death experience once when I was about 5 years old.

I pray when I see a firetruck with sirens passing by. That started when I was about 13-years-old. I still do that until this day and I also pray for my patients/clients.

On my first day of internship after post-graduate school, a man exposed himself to me. Thank God for wisdom and my ability to handle that situation as cool as a cucumber knowing 3 things I had to do: 1) not to shame him, 2) communicate the inappropriate behavior and 3) get him to zip up his pants as fast as possible.

While working in an intensive in-unit facility, a young lady tried to strangle me hoping that would get her transferred out of the unit. It didn’t work. I’m proud to say that I have never gotten spit on during the time I was there.

I love music. One summer, I had concerts and music festivals lined up for every single weekend. Sometimes more than one show a week.

I still love animated movies. I think I have seen almost all of them!

I get really ugly when I’m hungry. It’s kind of the queen of heart, “off with your head” kind of ugliness.

When I first saw Les Miserables, I cried like a baby. It is one of the best things I have ever seen.Jon calls me out at times especially when I cry during animated movies. But it is okay, I think that just makes me human with a heart.

What are some of your favorite places in the world?

Napa Valley, CA

Boston, MA

Laguna Beach, CA

Sydney, AU

Rome and Venice, Italy

Rio De Janeiro, Brazil

Paris, France

Country side of Vietnam

What are the strongest convictions that you hold?

Oh, that’s a dangerous question… but here goes…

BELIEF #1: As a Christ follower, I believe in His unconditional love and forgiveness. I think that is the most important thing in life… to love others as myself. It is not an easy task and I have to remind myself to distinguish the difference between loving the person and liking their behavior; in some cases, definitely not liking their behavior. The second thing is to forgive. Forgive others and forgive myself. It is through the act of forgiving that helps you take a step forward.

BELIEF #2: I believe everyone has something valuable to say and I can learn a lot from both a 5 year old child and a 95 year old elder and everyone else in between whether we share the same faith, background or not. Many of them are already my close friends, employees, and clients.

BELIEF #3: Seeking mental health help is a great thing. It takes courage and strength to do so.You don’t have a problem going to see your heart doctor so why would a head doctor be any different?

BELIEF #5: Don’t tie your self-worth to your achievements. You are not the results you produced. When you have accomplished something, celebrate it. When you fail, learn from it. You’re not a failure when you failed; it only means you failed at that task. No success is possible without failure. Try to always enjoy the process and journey, not just the destination.Don’t compare yourself to others. Focus on our own gift, try your best, live your potential and compare yourself to your last progress. Be kind to yourself, love one another and share a whole lot of laughter.