Kathy M. Shelton-Riek, LCSW, MSW, Ed.S, LCSW - North Carolina Therapist at Grow Therapy

Kathy M. Shelton-Riek, LCSW, MSW, Ed.S

Kathy M. Shelton-Riek, LCSW, MSW, Ed.S

40 years of experience

I love collaborating with clients to grow and heal. I also enjoy working with clients via Telehealth from the convenience of home and a schedule that fits the needs of a working person. Specializes in helping children, adolescents, adults, and geriatrics to understand their mental health conditions as well as moods, thoughts and behaviors. Throughout treatment, clients will learn healthy habits to take control of their lives as well as coping skills to deal with challenges and problematic situations.  Work with children ages 3 and up (and parents) with Parent Child Interaction Therapy. These include Mood Disorders (Bi-Polar, Anxiety and Depression), Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, behavior problems in children and teens, changes within the family, communication problems, death of a loved one, divorce, separation or marital problems, LGBTQA++, polyamorous relationships, psycho-sexual issues, parent-child conflicts, sibling issues, stressful events or major life transitions, and trauma. A nine-year veteran of the United States Air Force;  widow of a 20-year USAF retiree; NC Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW); Certified in Parent-Child Interactional Therapy, UNC-Duke Consortium; member of the National Association of Social Workers, Diplomate in Hypnosis, Diplomate in American Psychotherapy Association, (diplomate means the highest level of training one can accomplish),  Board Certified Expert in Forensic Trauma, member of the American Academy of Experts in Traumatic Stress (AAETS).  In 1988, completed all requirements for the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapists under the supervision of Dr Geroge Wolcott.  Taught college-level classes as an Associate and Adjunct Professor in Social Work, Psychology and Sociology.  Have worked as the interim Human Service Program Director (chair) for Mitchell College, Field Placement Coordinator and Director, Livingstone College. Owned a private practice with eight therapists, a psychiatrist and a psy nurse practitioner working for me from 1993-2014.  Have worked as Program Director and manager for non-profit and for-profit agencies; long-term care consultant, and Director of Psychological Health for the USAF. I attend and participate in workshops, lectures and symposiums. frequently.  Have presented lectures and workshops on Domestic Violence, Addictions, Blended Families, Chronic Mental Illness, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, Stress, Hypnosis, Life-Work Balance, Neurophysiology of the Brain and effects of PTSD, Marriage and Family Dynamics, Grief, and Bi-Polar.   Areas of research include  Date Violence: Can The Cycle Be Broken; Domestic Violence; Veterans issues, Transgender issues, and PTSD. Earned a National Mental Health Award from the National Department of Veteran's Affairs; earned a USAF Human Service Medal for helping survivors of the Jonestown Massacre in Guyana; earned several USAF national awards for writing and broadcast journalism; earned several Veterans Administration awards for outstanding and compassionate care.  Have written and been published as a journalist in national and local magazines and newspapers.  Recognized by Who's Who for Outstanding Mental Health Services and Leadership. 

What can clients expect to take away from sessions with you?

Perhaps I can address any concerns you may have by sharing my expectations when working with clients.  I expect the development of a psychotherapeutic relationship based on mutual trust, respect, and collaboration.  I will depend on you to tell me what is working and what is not as helpful.  I value your feedback and will use it to make any necessary changes in our treatment strategies.  During the first session, we will spend time gathering information about you.  I will be asking you about your mental health history, what you want to get out of therapy, family background,  any military history, trauma history, what it was like for you growing up, and what will change in your life look like.  In subsequent sessions, we will develop treatment goals, objectives and outcome measures to address how to increase your adaptive coping skills and strengths.   I like to share with you the effects of your condition and of issues we are dealing with on the body; to help you learn about your symptoms and how to manage them. I will also share information on how your condition affects the neurochemistry of the brain and neural pathways. I will be sending you worksheets, helpful tips, and other resources.  They will be used to help us focus on specific issues such as teaching you new adaptive coping skills and helping you to identify symptoms and triggers.

Explain to clients what areas you feel are your biggest strengths.

My 39 years clinical experience as a psychotherapist working in various capacities has provided me with a hybrid set of skills in which to help you heal and grow. I am dedicated to helping you achieve your goals.

About Kathy M. Shelton-Riek, LCSW, MSW, Ed.S

Licensed in



My treatment methods

Cognitive Behavioral (CBT)

I have successfully used for the past 40 years Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) . This treatment method focuses on exploring relationships among a person's thoughts, feelings and behaviors. I actively work with a person to uncover unhealthy patterns of thought and how they may be causing self-destructive behaviors and beliefs.


I have used Interpersonal therapy for several years to help clients focus on the relationships has with others, with a goal of improving the client's interpersonal skills. In this form of psychotherapy, I help clients' evaluate their social interactions and recognize negative patterns, like social isolation or aggression, and ultimately help them learn strategies for understanding and interacting positively with others.


I use psychodynamic therapy is to help clients' recognize negative patterns of behaviors and feelings that are rooted in past experiences and resolve them. I use uses open-ended questions and free association so that clients' have the opportunity to discuss whatever is on their minds. I help clients' to look at these thoughts and identify unconscious patterns of negative behavior or feelings and how they have been caused or influenced by past experiences and unresolved feelings. By bringing these associations to the clients' attention they can learn to overcome the unhelpful behaviors and feelings which they caused.

Parent-Child Interaction (PCIT)

Trained and Rostered by the Duke Consortium in 2011. I use Parent-Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT) to enhance and establish the parent-child relationship and provide consequences for challenging behavior. PCIT is an evidenced based therapy.


Trained 40 years in Ericksonian Hypnotherapy; diplomate Clinical Hypnosis. I use hypnotherapy to help clients with phobias, trauma, anxiety, panic attacks, grief, depression, insomnia, coping with stress and chronic pain have better symptom relief. I believe the hypnotherapy process should empower the client and allow them to be in control at all times.