Shelly Van Etten Lee, PhD

Licensed Clinical Psychologist

Dr. Michelle (Shelly) Van Etten Lee is a clinical psychologist with nearly 30 years of expertise in cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and related evidence-based therapies (EBTs) for anxiety disorders and related conditions. At CPC, Dr. Van Etten Lee provides compassionate, thorough, evidence-based and individually-tailored assessment and treatment to individuals with various anxiety presentations, with a particular interest in social anxiety, panic, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), and body-focused repetitive behaviors (BFRBs) such as hair pulling.

Dr. Van Etten Lee is also the Director of Psychology Training, a supervisor, and clinician at the University of Michigan’s Mary A. Rackham Institute, a large training clinic. At the University of Michigan, she is an Adjunct Research Investigator in the Medical School’s Dept. of Psychiatry and an Adjunct Assistant Professor of Psychology in the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts. She received her Ph.D. in clinical psychology at the University of Vermont, completed an internship at the University of British Columbia Health Sciences Centre in Vancouver, completed a postdoctoral research fellowship in psychiatric epidemiology at Johns Hopkins University, and completed a clinical postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Michigan Dept. of Psychiatry’s specialty Anxiety Disorders Program. Dr. Van Etten Lee has been practicing as a licensed clinical psychologist since 1998.

In her role as the Director of Psychology Training at the University of Michigan’s Mary A. Rackham Institute for nearly 20 years, Dr. Van Etten Lee leads an APA-accredited psychology internship program, an APPIC-member psychology fellowship program, and manages practicum training in coordination with multiple nearby psychology doctoral programs. In her decades of practice in Michigan, she has directly supervised over 100 psychology and social work trainees at all levels. In addition to her clinical, administrative, and supervisory roles, Dr. Van Etten Lee has published research in the areas of psychiatric epidemiology, substance use, and obsessive-compulsive disorder. She is dedicated to using scientific research to inform her clinical practice for the betterment of those in her care.

In Her Own Words

“As a psychologist, I find it a privilege and honor to join my clients in their journeys to better their lives, connect more fully with their values, learn ways to manage symptoms, and ultimately live lives they find more fulfilling. Everyone can relate to anxiety, myself included, and I have great compassion for the challenges that anxiety can bring. I also have great admiration for the courage it takes to come to therapy, be vulnerable in sharing, and to embark upon a path toward change, especially when that change often involves facing situations that may trigger anxiety.

My over-arching goal is to help clients become the driver of their own ship, to not let fears or other negative factors dictate their life decisions and activities, but rather to have their values be the guide. I begin by establishing a human connection and safe space for clients to share current and past experiences, and then by thoroughly and carefully understanding and conceptualizing how these present and past experiences contribute to the present issues. Next, I collaboratively establish a shared pathway toward desired change. After a solid therapeutic relationship, conceptualization and shared treatment plan have been established, I then see my role in the treatment process as a guide – nudging but not pushing, encouraging not dictating, and letting the client determine the pace, knowing I will be with them along the way. I thrive on the therapy moments when a client’s courage in facing a fear pays off by opening their world up to previously avoided activities, or when they find newfound confidence in being able to handle previously distressing situations.

Alongside being a psychologist, I am also a mom, partner, friend, sister, daughter and colleague. I enjoy biking, hiking with my dogs, travel, and spending time with those I love and laugh with. I aim toward a balance between the joy I find in my work and in my personal life, and aim likewise to help my clients move toward a mix that works for them.”