Meet Our Founder


Shavonne James, LCSW

Founder & Director of Paper Cranes Counseling



I am a Southern California native and a lover of travel, music, adventure, and tea! Being a biracial clinician, I have a natural passion for the complexity of claiming your identity and navigating multicultural experiences. I love working with individuals on not feeling like they have to place themselves in a box (whether racial, sexual, gender, cultural, spiritual beliefs, etc.) and finding out who they are as an individual. I want people to know that a journey of self-discovery beginning with insecurity can end with acceptance of self.

I don’t know if you subscribe to the Myers-Briggs personality types but I have never identified more closely with a group of people than with my fellow INFPs (Introversion, Intuition, Feeling, Perception). I specialize in intrapersonal/interpersonal effectiveness because as an INFP, I know all too well about perfecting my personal brand of awkward and being cursed with living in my own head. I believe that fear, misguided emotions, and ineffective communication fuel conflict within self and with others. I like to help people find their voice, push through the initial discomfort, and develop healthy boundaries so that they can change the dynamic of their relationships with others and with themselves.

My passion for working through life transitions began when I worked with the reentry population, through a community mental health agency, and running a processing group in the Twin Towers Correctional Facility. I understood their desire for change while so many barriers stood in their way. They were having to prepare to do things differently in order to make changes but they were trying to make changes with the same mindset. Like many life/role transitions, sometimes a new skill set and building confidence to bet on yourself can make the difference between staying stuck and living your desired life. Whether your life transition is motherhood for the first time or rebuilding your life after divorce (or both), know that in this moment, you have the ability to create the life you want to live.

I got into the profession of therapy to be an electrical outlet for those in need of charging. Why? Because I believe that the uplifting and empowering of people can change the world for the better. I love being a therapist because I get to really see and hear people. I understand the difference between “looking” and “seeing,” as well as “listening” and “hearing.” While we often wear a facade of perfection and filter out our flaws, therapy encourages you to unmask yourself because we welcome the flaws. I feel honored that people allow me to get to know them in such a personal way and trust me with their growth.

- S



Shavonne James, LCSW is a licensed psychotherapist, as well as the Founder and Director of Paper Cranes Counseling. As a psychotherapist, her passion is working with individuals experiencing difficult life transitions, interpersonal conflict, and identity issues.

She has worked with individuals experiencing symptoms of anxiety (i.e. racing thoughts, hypervigilance, restlessness, excessive fear/worry, insomnia, etc.), depression (i.e hopelessness, suicidal ideations, worthlessness, feelings of guilt/shame, etc.), trauma (i.e from childhood abuse/neglect, sexual assault, domestic violence, separation, grief/loss, and near-death experiences), mood disorders (i.e. mania, irritability, etc.), and psychosis (i.e. auditory/visual hallucinations, paranoia, delusional thoughts, etc.).

Shavonne is certified in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and Interpersonal Psychotherapy (IPT). She also has advanced training in other Evidenced-Based Practices such as Crisis Oriented Recovery Services (CORS) and Seeking Safety (focusing on treating trauma and substance use).

She has developed her clinical skills through her work in community mental health (in the Greater Los Angeles area), schools (middle school and high school), and at a children’s advocacy center (near Fort Stewart military base). Shavonne received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology (with a double minor in Philosophy and Creative Writing) from the University of California in Merced and a Master of Social Work degree from Savannah State University.

Shavonne is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in the State of California (LCSW84184) and a certified clinician in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, through the Academy of Cognitive Therapy (ACT), and Interpersonal Psychotherapy, through the Interpersonal Psychotherapy Institute (IPT Institute).


Therapy for Black Girls