Shannon Connery, PhD

I believe that you have the ability to overcome whatever holds you back. You can truly Fix Your Own Shit using simple tools that are available to everyone.

I am a professional psychologist with a private practice based in Denver, Colorado, where I treat adults suffering from issues that range from PTSD and depression to anxiety, obesity, and marital problems.

Before launching the practice in 2007, I spent a decade working with public safety personnel and private organizations in the fields of police psychology, trauma debriefing, and threat assessment. I also performed litigation consulting for a large multinational law firm.

As part of a team responsible for debriefing police officers after traumatic incidents, I aided both officers and safety personnel suffering from depression, trauma, and burnout resulting from their response efforts during the Columbine High School massacre in Littleton, Colorado, in 1999 and the Aurora movie theater shootings of 2012.

I traveled to the South Pole in 1990 to conduct on-site psychological evaluations for scientists and support staff wishing to participate in a program requiring them to “winter over” in Antarctica. This unique experience involved assessing for a specific set of issues that could cause problems when a person spends eight months isolated in the dark.

But it was my work lecturing to businesses and police cadets on “peak performance” and stress management that lead to my interest in the psychology of happiness. Policing—one of the most stressful occupations in the country—requires an officer to be consistently at his or her best to tolerate the physical and emotional demands of the job. Peak performance shows them how to use behaviors, food, and strategies to do so.

Happiness, I believed, should be a part of this equation, too. Once I transitioned into private practice, I continued to use the tenets of peak performance to help my own patients. But the one component I added—learning to balance happiness in life—proved to be the most effective.

My upcoming book, Fix Your Own Shit, is based upon this work. I developed the book’s PACE™ formula by combining my professional experiences, different pieces of literature on psychology, and direct observations on how the concept has helped patients diagnose their own problem areas, fix their own “shit,” and balance their lives. The successful formula continues to help the hundreds of patients I’ve treated over the past decade.

A member of the American Psychological Association (APA), I am passionate about cooking, travel, ocean conservation and other philanthropies, and, of course, health. I am an active runner, skier, hiker, tennis player, and certified SCUBA diver. I’m living the PACE™ philosophy as often as I am teaching it: my favorite PACE™ memories include researching and traveling on scuba trips with my family (high Pleasure, low Accomplishment, high Connection, and moderate Exercise); weekly practices, matches, and dinners afterward with my tennis team (high Pleasure, moderate Accomplishment, high Connection, and high Exercise); and completing the 2013 Paris International Marathon (high-level in all four areas).

I live in Denver and Paris, France, with my husband and our combined family of four children.