About Dr. Shelley Marfori

(She/Her, They/Them)

Dr. Shelley Marfori

I was born and raised in Columbia, South Carolina, before earning my B.A. from the University of South Carolina and my Psy. D. from George Washington University, where I was dually enrolled in GWU’s LGBTQ Health and Policy Program. After graduating, I worked as a Postdoctoral Fellow at Therapy Group DC. As a doctoral student, I worked at The Center Clinic, helping socioeconomically-challenged patients from all walks of life. I completed my APA accredited internship at the University of Illinois at Chicago where I worked at UIC’s Student Counseling Office, which serves one of the most diverse student bodies in the country. My experience has helped me provide care for LBGTQIA+ community members, BIPOC patients, trauma survivors, and anyone looking to find ways of transcending pain to live fulfilling lives.

I couple my educational background with immense passion for the work: I became a psychologist because I believe deeply in the transformative impact of therapy because I have witnessed first-hand just how life-changing it can be.

As a member of the LGBTQIA+ community (Bisexual, Questioning, Fluid), a trauma survivor, and someone with a chronic pain disorder, I approach the work that I do from a place of empathy and personal understanding. I have an intense passion for understanding personal identity and the way race, culture, class, and sexuality come together to form what we believe about ourselves and what we feel we can accomplish in our lives personally and professionally. It is my belief that our identities, both what we show the world and who we are on the inside, are a mosaic of memory and experience that begins in early childhood and continues throughout our lives. In a therapeutic relationship, we can uncover the patterns of behavior that are a result of these experiences while we differentiate between behaviors that serve us and behaviors that hinder us. Oppression and racial injustice shape our internal and external world and I believe addressing and speaking to differences is a powerful tool to help anyone seeking counseling. Through the power of connection and communication, we can heal old wounds and face moments of pain together as we seek to accomplish any goals you may have set for yourself when you decided to seek therapy.

My educational background is steeped in psychodynamic theory, identifying patterns from childhood, and working to break through harmful paradigms. However, I am dedicated to meeting my clients where they are, and I can bring a number of therapeutic modalities into our sessions, including Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), Trauma Based Approaches, Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT). These varied interventions have proven invaluable to my psychotherapeutic work and have shown me the importance of a flexible, multidisciplinary approach.

Dr. Shelley Marfori (center) with Elizabeth (left) and Arrow (right)

I am married to my partner Elizabeth, and we live in DuPont Circle with our three cats, Lenin, George, and Indy, and my service dog, Arrow. Arrow is a standard poodle who was extensively trained to help me with intermittent chronic pain, joint instability, and adrenal function. He provides deep pressure therapy (not unlike a weighted blanket) and is attuned to me and what’s going on inside of my body, which allows me to pay more attention to my patients and focus less on what’s going on internally. With attunement to me comes attunement to others, and often, when patients are feeling an intense emotional experience, Arrow will seek to comfort them (always asking permission first!) He is very open to responding to other people asking for help, and his presence is calming, allowing them to feel safer and more open to discussing difficult topics.

I practice in Washington, DC as a Licensed Psychologist under the License number #PSY200001309 and have permissions to practice in other states through the Psypact License.