About Me

Photo of Sheila F. Flaherty
Photo of Sheila F. Flaherty

I am a writer and clinical psychologist who specializes in helping people navigate through life changes with grace and ease. I hold a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and a Master’s in Behavioral Sciences from the University of Houston. I earned a Ph. D. in Clinical Psychology from Northwestern University Medical School in Chicago.

Growing up an “Army brat” and as a young woman I lived in numerous places in the United States and overseas including Germany and Singapore. My life experiences and education have contributed to my goal to be a kind, intuitive, and life-transforming therapist. I have had a thriving counseling practice in the Chicago area for the past 34 years, except for one year spent in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

I have always been passionately drawn to righting injustice. While living in Saudi, my compassion led me to practice counseling secretly, helping to empower the American and Saudi women I met. This experience fueled my passion for writing East of Mecca, a novel about women within the confines of a violent, oppressive, male-dominated society.

I  have placed in several screenwriting competitions, including Big Break, BlueCat, CineStory, and the Nicholl Fellowships. In 2010, 2013, and 2016, I was awarded residencies at the Ragdale Foundation for my work in fiction. East of Mecca was awarded a Silver Nautilus Book Award in Fiction for 2015, and is IndieReader Approved with a 5-star review. East of Mecca has a near 5-star review on Amazon, and is also an Amazon Best Seller in Middle Eastern Literature.

My life mission continues to be to enlighten, inspire, and empower others for the greater good.

My Core Values

  • Equality: Respecting the rights of all without taking away from some to empower others.
  • Integrity: Doing the right thing guided by inner spiritual values.
  • Love: Attempting to bring passion and heart to all relationships and endeavors.
  • Faith: Action without expectation or proof of outcome….. only hope.
  • Service: Striving to always work for the greater good and not necessarily personal reward.
  • Humility: No need for external praise or reinforcement.