Some people define their life by their profession. Dr. Nelly’s profession is defined by her life…her personal experiences…her steps…her story. That story began in Kansas City, the first born child to Iranian parents, both educators who came to America to further advance their academic curriculum. It was an era of dual realities – the 70’s age of ‘Peace and Love’ and a time of heightening friction between the United States and Iran.
The daughter of two scholars, psychologists and human rights activists during this historically pivotal time, ‘Nelly’ experienced first-hand, living with a complex bi-cultural identity, familiar to many first-generation immigrants. Her family having returned to Tehran just prior to the Iranian-Islamic Revolution, eight year old Nelly witnessed wide-eyed, the fall of the Shah and the tumultuous aftermath on her corner of the world and more importantly, its effect on those closest in her life. The traumatic ‘visual’ as a child and the impact of a second uprooted experience upon her family’s return to the U.S., ignited a fervent empathy for the suffering of others while also developing a life-long nurturing desire to understand and help heal underlying wounds between eastern and western ideologies.
Dr. Nelly’s specialty focus areas include: Post traumatic Stress Disorder, Bereavement, Separation anxiety, attachment parenting, bi-cultural identity issues, abuse, depression and anxiety.
Fluent in English and Farsi, Dr. Nelly is the host of ‘MomTalk L.A.’, and ‘Peace Learning Parenting’, both bi-lingual weekly-televised programs which air on Iranian outlet, TIN TV (www.afnl.com). She is a regularly-featured contributor for various prominent print and on-line periodicals, and is a sought-after speaker at conferences and seminars addressing Cultural Competency, Biculturalism, the Impact of Trauma, as well as Media Psychology. She is a member of the American Psychological Association, Iranian Psychological Association, Society of Behavioral Medicine, and International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies.
Nelly received her undergraduate degree from the University of California, San Diego and her Masters and Ph.D. from the University of Palo Alto, an APA Clinical Psychology Program and a renowned Stanford University Consortium.
Born into one era of ‘Peace and Love’, Dr. Nelly’s life has come full-circle as she seeks to pioneer another. As the most prevalent issues facing our nation are rooted in social, cultural, religious, and inner conflict, Nelly’s life is devoted to teaching and implementing the principles of Peace Learning Parenting as an essential societal foundation. She seeks to fulfill this purpose not only in her capacity as a child and family psychologist, but in her calling as an advocate, ambassador, and activist for compassion and peace around the world.
As she finalizes work on her first book and Peace Learning Program guide for Parents and Pre-school educators, Dr. Nelly proudly juggles her role as wife and devoted mother of three small children. Her husband, Dr. Christopher Zahiri, himself a well-regarded orthopedic surgeon in Beverly Hills, is an avid supporter and partner in his wife’s Peace Learning mission.
Dr. Nelly is an active volunteer for her children’s school and local communities, and in her “spare time”, relishes any opportunity for travel, skiing, tennis, or consulting on designs, children’s video games, and baby products. She currently resides and practices in Los Angeles, California.