Shayna Feldman Barksdale
Creator and Owner of Austin Therapy for Girls and Pink Chaos
80s music lover, horror film aficionado, and obsessed with the color pink
I have valued working with families and young adults since I was 23, fresh from getting my master’s in Social Work from Our Lady of the Lake, The Worden School of Social Work. While I have a lot of credentials—LCSW-S, CDWF Consultant( aka Shame Resilience developed by Brene Brown), EMDR trained, EFFT certified, and so on—I’m most proud of my thirty-plus years of experience in a variety of places with lots of different kinds of people.
I started out working with kids in the foster care system, and from there I worked at a community mental health center alongside psychiatric nurses and psychiatrists, as a program director at a new company offering intensive in-home treatments, and AISD and Eanes ISD: as a school social worker, writing grants for mental health services, and working on federal substance-abuse prevention grants.
I started to notice I was missing working directly with families. So I launched my private practice in 2012, Austin Therapy for Girls (which I’ll call ATFG from here on out to make things easier on both of us), and started to build a group of amazing therapists. We now see over one hundred plus clients each month. We like to think of ourselves as “cool therapists” and we have been known to not only to quote Mean Girls and other iconic movies but also your favorite song lyrics.
Our focus at ATFG is to help girls and young women feel really heard while learning some valuable tools to get through some of the most challenging years. We have developed specific skills and methods to help address the ever-changing nature of Girl World and teach mothers how to communicate effectively with their daughters.
My therapeutic approach is based on the research and curricula developed by Dr. Brené Brown, CBT and Emotion Focused Family Therapy. I helped develop Brené’s BOLD curricula for adolescents and young adults, and I also served as a member of the national training team for The Daring Way™. We love to work as a team with not only you and your family but also the people who touch your lives everyday.
I’m pretty much obsessed with my two dogs, and you’ll often find Ella and Bagel at the office. I have a disco ball in my office, which represents my style of therapy—integrating both dark and light—as well as a glitter poster of Madonna and a pink couch.
“The butterfly does not look back upon its caterpillar self, either fondly or wistfully; it simply flies on.”
Guillermo del Toro