Joan Shaver, lmft Resume


Joan Shaver is a highly regarded psychotherapist, well known for her work in the areas of personal development and relationship enhancement, especially with regards to women.

Her philosophical approach to psychotherapy, which is now largely based in Sensorimotor Psychotherapy and attachment theory, is a synthesis of all she has learned over thirty-five years of being a psychotherapist and working in the field of human development.

From her initial training in humanistic psychology in graduate school and then in systems theory to become a licensed marriage and family therapist, as well as learning about the addiction model from her first job, Joan has always sought new ways to facilitate the path of growth for those she works with.

Currently, her special area of interest includes exploring the power of feminine presence and the impact it has on emotional well-being and relationship enrichment.

Joan shaver lmft - author and public speaker

“I believe feminine energy, which I call the power of feminine presence, is a great equalizer.  When you are able to look at life’s problems through a softer lens, yet honest lens of truth, you are able to make the hard calls you need to make in life with greater ease, wisdom, and inner confidence.”


Joan likes to say, “When I talk about owning the power of feminine presence, it’s not about excluding or competing with the wonderful goal-oriented energy of the masculine presence we all have within us, it is about adding relationship to the mix.  The paradigm shift to include the power of feminine presence as part of your inner template is about being inclusive to what is occurring within and around you from a more receptive lens. It is about being mindful, taking a breath before you react.  It is about taking a moment to pause, to become present with yourself, to notice what you are really thinking as well as how you are emotionally affected, from an authentic perspective, by what you are experiencing. The capacity to have an open mind and heart is a strength builder, not the brain drain it is often characterized to be.”


Joan is fond of saying, “You can’t have relationship without being in relationship and that starts with being fully in relationship with yourself.  Accepting the power of feminine presence is not a takeaway, it is an add-on!”


Recently, Joan authored the book Lipstick and Soul to help women open up to the power of feminine presence.  She dedicated the book to women because she finds women believe themselves to be more open, emotionally vulnerable, and in relationship with the softer side of their nature than in truth they are.


The unconscious blind-spot thwarts the relationship they have with themselves and thus greatly limits their capacity to be in relationship with those they love.

Credentials, Licenses, Trademarks, and Memberships

Credentials and Licenses:


  • 1971 B.A. Psychology UCLA
  • 1974 M.S. Counseling USC
  • 1976 LMFT received marriage and family license from BBS in California
  • 2015 CEU Provider for MFT’s/LCSW’s by state of California PCE #3514

LLC and Registered Trademarks:


  • 2001 founded Wonder of Women.  In 2012 became an LLC
  • 2001 Write Your Heart Out   Registered trademark.
  • 2012 Lipstick and Soul   Registered trademark.

Association Memberships:


  • CAMFT California Association Marriage and Family Therapist

Career Trajectory

A First…

It started in 1976 with her first job as a LMFT (licensed marriage and family therapist).  She was the only licensed professional working in an alcohol treatment program developing Alcohol Education Programs and running groups.  At a time when most professionals would not think of working in the field of addiction, Joan was learning first-hand about the devastating effects of alcoholism both on the alcoholic and their loved ones.  Through her four year on-the-job training, at Clare Foundation, she came to understand why she was initially told that if she wanted to work at the center she would have to leave all of her therapy training at the door.  Psychotherapy is only possible when solid recovery from addiction is under way!

During these years, Joan chose to share what she was learning with other professionals.  Through 1982-1985, she taught classes in the U.CL.A and UCI Alcohol Studies Program.   To this day, Joan attributes her expertise with working with couples in recovery with her early “learning by immersion” experience in the field of addiction.  She says, “You have to always be aware of the possibility of “slips” back into addiction.  You have to know the difference between psychological resistance associated with emotional issues and denial which is associated with addiction.  They are two different concepts.  Psychological resistance to change makes your life uncomfortable and frustrating because it keeps you living in the past.  In the addiction model, denial of a slip, if left unaddressed, could eventually lead to death.”

Another First… (Early 1980’s)

Along with developing her private practice, Joan focused her attention on her primary interest: Women’s Issues.  In 1980 along with teaching Assertiveness Training classes, Joan initiated and began teaching the very first “Women and Self-Esteem” class taught through U.C.L.A. Extension.  She taught the class all through the eighties.  Years of listening and sharing in the struggle women felt at a time when they strived to become “more” left an indelible mark in her heart.  Joan realized how closely the words “women and relationship” were linked. She realized the importance of asking the question “How do you take care of yourself?”  At that time the question was held within a framework of “doing”.  Today, Joan is shifting the question into a framework of “being”.

In the Early Nineties… 

Joan became alarmed by “accelerated change” and the impact the movement was having on women and their relationships.  She noticed women were trying to balance their lives while sustaining intimacy in their relationships.  Women were striving to be superwomen.  She realized there was only so much one can “do”.  Due to her previous experience with the dynamic of denial and the devastating effects it has on ones’ relationship with oneself, Joan authored the Write Your Heart Out program to help women find and then stay in touch with their authentic voice through writing.  While everyone else was speeding up, Joan was exploring ways to slow down and be mindful. 

In the Two Thousands…

She founded Wonder of Women in 2002, (now an LLC) and developed and led annual women’s retreats in the Hawaiian Islands.  Joan says, “To counter the fast paced and hard driving demands of our masculine culture, I felt it was really important to create a counter experience, one where women could be immersed in an environment filled with feminine energy as a way of reconnecting with their own feminine presence.  Little did I know what an important step this would be in the work I now do!”   What Joan knew was that to create an experiential shift you had to do more than just talk about it.  You had to energetically experience the shift into the softer side of your nature.

Again, Joan shared her experience with her colleagues. In 2001 – 2015, through the State of California Joan became a continuing education provider for LMFT’s and LCSW’s. 

Always continuing with her private practice and teaching classes, Joan became interested in 2005 in Sensorimotor Psychotherapy, a somatic mind-body psychotherapy. Studying for five years with Dr. Pat Ogden, the founder of the internationally known trauma work, Joan became a Certified Sensorimotor psychotherapist.  “I fell in love with the work because it brought a whole new experience, the missing piece, the body, into the talk therapy I was used to practicing.  By learning to notice the subtle nuances and impulses in the body that get triggered as a result of different thoughts and feelings, you can explore more in-depth the internal barriers that keep you out of touch with yourself.  Through the step by step process you are able to reconnect with your authentic self. 

The work also provides a wonderful map into the feminine experience of receptivity.”  Through her work with in the field of trauma, Joan discovered she had found one more way to help women face the challenge of finding their voice.

An Amazon Bestseller…

Always wanting to impart to others what she is learning, in 2012, Joan authored her first book Lipstick and Soul, The woman’s self-care guide.  Inspired by beauty and feminine presence.

The book, now an Amazon bestseller, is a synthesis of all Joan learned over the span of her career.  The book is a woman’s guide to cultivating the strength, beauty, mystery, and power of feminine presence.  The book helps the reader pass through the gauntlet of emotional intricacies associated with denial of a part of oneself.  By helping women identify and then circumvent their inner barriers Joan helps women get out of their heads and safely into the realm of their hearts while creating a mind-body connection.

One of the intents Joan had in writing the book is to let women know that the journey of going within is not a path to be feared.  Instead, traveling the path that leads to the authentic feminine is a transformational process that brings with it emotional enrichment and personal empowerment.


Currently, Joan remains in private practice.  You can find out what she is up to by going to her website which is always a work in progress

Side Notes…

Valuable aspects of owning the power of your feminine presence are:

  1. …the capacity to be simultaneously mentally clear and emotionally agile. Instead of forcing or willing your way through life’s changes, you flow with the ups and downs.  Today with the fast paced intensity of life, it is important to be flexible yet solid as opposed to rigid and brittle.  You want to know how to think and feel on your feet, so that you are able to respond as opposed to react to what is happening in the moment.  You want to have choice.  You don’t want to be at the mercy of an age old reaction to push through a problem and thus miss the finer points of the issue you are trying to resolve.
  1. …to emotionally thrive, women need to be themselves while being in relationship. Owning the power of feminine presence naturally brings this aspect of women and relationship into fruition. To solve problems and create intimacy you want to know how to live and be in relationship and not outside of and apart from relationship. You want to know how to take care of yourself, which starts by identifying an authentic connection with yourself first …for the sake of building stronger relationship connections which is contrary to the secret fear that putting yourself first is at the expense of relationship. You want to feel at peace with yourself as you accomplish these tasks.
  1. …reduce stress and enhance overall health and well-being. When you are emotionally out of sync with your authentic self, you are prone to chronic frustration and low grade anxiety, which stresses the body. To support good health you have to be in balance.   Accessing and owning the power of feminine presence naturally brings you back into balance with the most important relationship you have, the relationship you have with yourself.


  1. …self-actualization.  It is Joan’s strong belief that by owning the other half of your soul, your feminine presence, you are able to become fully integrated and thus naturally be the woman you are meant to be.

In Conclusion…

Joan says. “It’s interesting that I started my career by talking with women about how to ask for what they want and now I’m talking with women about how to open up, listen within to receive what they ask for! Today, I encourage women to put their hearts on the line along with their words.”

What are People Saying about Joan

Joan is known for her firm, clear, yet compassionate approach to helping individuals and couples co-create possibility that leads to optimal conflict resolution and healthy relationship expansion.

Joan is especially known for teaching clients how to see and then work with the nuances associated with deep transformation.

Contact Joan Shaver

Joan can be reached at 1 (310) 453-6140.     

She is available for personal/couples therapy, speaking engagements, leading and developing retreats and workshops.

Joan customizes retreats and workshop content to meet the needs of those she works with.     

Empower the Feminine!

Empower the Feminine!

You Have the Power

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