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What do you do on a day-to-day basis?

Most of my days are filled with meetings with clients (couples, families, children and individuals) to help them understand and improve their relationship problems. Other days I am teaching suicide prevention, Co-parenting Through Divorce, 1-2-3 Magic Parenting and how to make relationships brain-wise. I am also preparing for my presentation on Brain-Based Applications Toward Rapid Memory Reconsolidation at the 2nd International Conference on Neuropsychotherapy in Australia next May. On my days off, some of the things I enjoy include spending time vacationing with my husband, spending time with family and reading about neuroscience and its connection to relationships and psychotherapy. Yes, I’m a full-on neuroscience junkie!

How did your experience at CMU prepare you for your career?

I had such great experiences at CMU! CMU helped me prepare for my career in many ways, but first and foremost, by instigating my love of learning. CMU is where I started developing my early interests in memory, learning and relationships. Dr. Ford’s Pysch of Learning course still sticks with me today. It was a hard course, but invaluable for my current and future learning and work. I’ve continually applied knowledge acquired in Dr. Becker’s Counseling Psych and Dr. Bishop’s Interviewing courses. Dr. Parry’s Social Psychology course was a great foundation for the Social Psychology course I taught at Colorado Mountain College. My anthropology classes were equally valuable in teaching me that every other person is normal within the context of their own lives. I better stop there or I’ll get choked up. I’m just a sap like that!

Beyond academics, I met some great friends at CMU! I met people with similar interests in, both, personal and professional capacities. Both made learning fun and I am in touch with many of them still today, personally and professionally. I genuinely have such great memories at CMU!

What was your transition like from being a student to your current position?

For me, transitioning from a student to a therapist was easy, but only because I had a plan when I started my degree. I modified my plan as I went along, based on new knowledge and new experiences. While in college I saw myself as more than a student. I had to be a worker! School was my career at the time…and considering I am in school again, it must be a life-long career, but one I enjoy! My job in school is to learn. In my career, learning is equally necessary. Using primitive medical practices doesn’t help a patient any more than using primitive therapies. Fortunately, learning about brain-based therapies comes easy to me. Math…math does not. That took work, but it was equally important. So, to answer a common question…yes, I do still use stats, almost daily while I am reading current research.

What do you think set you apart from the other applicants for your current position?

While I work for myself in private practice, I still interact with others in my field. What sets me apart, currently, is that I am one of less than a handful of certified clinical neuropsychotherapists in the United States. I traveled to Australia to complete my certification because it wasn’t offered in the U.S. at the time (Oct 2017 was the first U.S.-based training). At present, Neuropsychotherapy is flourishing in Australia and will soon be inundating the field of psychotherapy in the U.S. Knowledge of brain-based techniques for treating stress and trauma are critical to be effective today.

What advice would you give to incoming college students?

My best advice for incoming college students is to get involved, meet people, follow YOUR dreams, listen to advice (but don’t require yourself to take it) and because every time you access a memory it changes, challenge yourself and everything you’ve ever been taught or think you know. Lastly, always remember, you’re a genius. “Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.” ~Albert Einstein

Connect with Mary on LinkedIn

 Published 12/13/2017