Shelly Middleton

I help women struggling with low self-esteem, anxiety, and codependency find themselves again so they can feel strong, secure, and happy in their relationships. I also help couples whose romance feels flat develop the tools needed to build a relationship that gives them the love and connection they deserve.
I know how much courage it can take to come to therapy. I admire you for taking this brave step – it means your hope for change is more important than your fear of the unknown. I am here to help you take this next step. I will work to create an environment where you can be comfortable and safe as you work on aspects of your life that you would not touch elsewhere. I’m excited to meet you!

-Dr. Shelly Middleton


I received my Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from the University of California, Davis. My initial major was Pre-med, but after taking a few Psychology classes “for fun” at the recommendation of my cousin, I fell in love! I knew Psychology was the field and therapy was the career I was meant to be in.

I went on to graduate school at National University where I got my Master’s degree in Counseling Psychology. I then decided to pursue my doctorate in the Marital & Family Therapy Program at Alliant International University. I earned my doctorate in Marital & Family Therapy at Alliant in 2019, concluding my long journey as a student.


I have worked various agencies as a therapist including Terra Nova Counseling, where I saw individuals, couples, and families, and did group counseling. I also worked at the Gender Health Center, where I worked extensively with the LGBTQ+ community I also spent over three years working with adolescents and teenagers in the school district at Wellness Together.

While I was working, I spent some of my time during graduate school doing research and focusing on presenting and getting published. I presented at the 2017 AAMFT-Ca Conference and have been published four times in the Encyclopedia of Couple & Family Therapy. I am a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT #112111).

I have spent recent years pursuing another passion of mine – teaching. I am an adjunct faculty at both Alliant International University and Brandman University, where I have taught various courses in the Marriage & Family Therapy and School Counseling programs.

Clinical Specialties

I have extensive experience working with adolescents (pre-teens/teenagers), the LGBTQ+ population, as well as individuals and couples struggling with depression, anxiety, self-esteem, infidelity, trauma, abuse, co-dependency, addiction/AA/Al-Anon, and other relationship and family conflicts.

Languages Spoken

I am fluent in both English and Hindi.


I grew up in Sacramento, CA in a big family that immigrated from the Fiji Islands.  I have worked various jobs while I was in school including working in the optical and cellphone industry, and for seven years as a certified personal trainer at the gym.  Although I no longer train others for a living, fitness is still my passion, which is evident through my love for avid weight lifting and running.  Some of my other more unique, interests include astronomy, Marvel/DC comics and movies, magic/magicians, Basketball, Soccer, 80s music, and playing the drums.

I also love adventure and trying new things, which up to this point has included traveling Paris by myself (where I got to try out my French – a language I spent a couple years learning), climbing one of the highest waterfalls in the world (Yosemite Falls), competing in obstacle course races such as the Spartan race, and skydiving.

My family (grandparents, parents, siblings, etc.) is of utmost importance to me and comes before anything else in my life.  This includes my amazing husband, Ryan. When I am not at work or the gym, you can find me spending my quality time with my husband and wonderful family.  My marriage and my family make up the core of who I define myself to be.