Shelia Sutton



Hourly Rate: $190

Accepts PPO Insurance: Yes

Sliding Scale: Upon availability

Office location: Sierra Madre



Let’s face it; we are not supposed to go it alone!


We are wired for relationship.


We want to belong.


We need each other.


We long to be glad to be together.


We desire to live in JOY.


If we were born into families where we did not feel seen, safe, and secure, then we were raised in a “low-joy” environment and most likely failed to learn the skills necessary to engage in joyful connection with those we love.


Some of us learned defense mechanisms in order to survive.

  • We learned to hide our true selves.
  • We learned how to be invisible.
  • We lost our voices.
  • We survived but failed to thrive.


Surviving requires a strong set of defense mechanisms.


Thriving necessitates a solid set of relational brain skills.


For most of us, these skills were never modeled; thus, we failed to learn them.


Training your brain in these missing skills will enhance your well being and enable you to experience healthy connection and closeness to others.


I can help you practice and learn the relational brain skills necessary to restore your joy and get on your way to R. A. R. E. Living*.


Do any of these statements describe how you feel?

  • I just want to make a problem, person, or feeling go away!
  • I don’t want to listen to what others feel or say!
  • My mind is ‘locked onto’ something upsetting.
  • I don’t want to be connected to _____ (someone I usually like)!
  • I more aggressively interrogate, judge, and fix others.**


If you answered yes to any of the above, then your joy levels are low.


When our joy-levels are low, it usually is symptomatic of missing relational skills. I can help.


My name is Shelia, and I’m not a “smile and nod” therapist. I actually help you train your brain for joyful connection to others. Using recent research in neuroscience, I will help you practice these essential brain skills. The outcome is R. A. R. E. Living.


My hope for your life is 1) that you leave therapy equipped with some essential brain skills, 2) that you grow your capacity to live with relational maturity, and 3) that you ultimately experience more connection, closeness and intimacy with those you love.


If you desire more joyful relationships, ones where attachments are secure and safe, then give me a call for a free, 15-minute consultation.


I can help YOU cultivate joy in your life and relationships and spread it to others.


I want you to live a life of belonging and connection.


I want you to live a R. A. R. E. life!




Shelia is a Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist (MFC 90885), National Board Certified Teacher, UCLA Writing Project Fellow and adjunct professor. Shelia earned her bachelor’s degree from the University of Texas at Austin. Additionally, Shelia holds two master’s degrees, one in English and one in psychology. Shelia also studied Spiritual Direction at Pecos Benedictine Monastery in Pecos, New Mexico; Spiritual Formation at the Stillpoint Center for Spiritual Direction; “The Converging Religions of the Area” at Tantur University in Jerusalem; and Thriving and the Life Model at Life Model Works. Dr. Jim Wilder has mentored Shelia since 2003.


Shelia is a coauthor of Joy Starts Here. You can learn about the book at


(626) 325-9322

*acronym R.A.R.E. used with permission by Dr. Marcus Warner

**statements borrowed from Dr. Karl Lehman and Dr. Jim Wilder