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A Conference for Northern California Churches

Shelly Welsh

Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist

Self Employed Therapist and Part of the Joni and Friends Equipping Team

Livermore, ca


Shelly Welsh is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. She graduated in 2000 with her Master's Degree in clinical psychology with an emphasis on Marriage and Family. She did her internship both in a Christian Counseling setting and private practice and received her MFT license in October 2008. Through the years she has worked with a diverse range of clients and she has taught classes in churches that helped teach people how to do "lay counseling" within their church community.

Shelly is married to her best friend, Scott Welsh, and they just celebrated their 19th wedding anniversary. A few years ago, Shelly changed career direction, moving to another area in which she would use her knowledge of psychological studies; she became a full time mom to Kira, age 13, and Caleb, age 10. Kira is a vibrant and social young woman who is intellectually disabled and requires constant care. Caleb is a wonderful young man who is compassionate and loves his sister. While being a full time mom, Shelly also served as the Disability Ministry Coordinator and Respite Director for her local church. She enjoyed nurturing and caring for not just the precious children who came into the ministry, but especially for their parents. Her desire is to see all churches supporting and embracing these families while helping them find the hope that only Christ can give. Shelly is planning on returning to private practice again in the near future to continue her work with special needs families. As a special needs parent herself she knows the struggle is real and wants to encourage as many parents and families as possible to hold on tight, laugh a lot and be ready for the adventure of your life because God sees you, God loves you and He is on this adventure with you!

2016 Workshop

Special Needs: Helping Caregivers Be Cared For


Finding time for ourselves and making sure our cup is full so that we can continue to pour out is often hard for all of us. However, imagine how hard it would be if your life consisted of full time care-giving for a child or other family member that couldn’t take care of themselves at even the basic of levels. Imagine what life would be like if your child’s “toddler years” went well up into the teens, twenties, thirties and forties. Imagine if there was never enough sleep, never a moment to grab a coffee with a friend, never enough time to even make a friend, never a moment to take a deep breath, never a moment to serve in an area other than through the care-giving at home. Imagine if even at church, provided you were even able to get to church, you felt alone, isolated and unplugged due to your care-giving responsibilities. Exhausted yet? Statistics show that a caregiver’s life expectancy is as much as 10 years shorter than their peers. So how can we, as a community and church body, rally around our care-givers and help? This workshop will teach you how to care for a care-giver and be the hands and feet of Jesus in the lives of these families.

Workshop Handouts: caring for the caregiver outline (docx)· Self Care Inventory pg 1 (pdf)· self care inventory pg 2 (pdf)

Download mp3 file