Mary Ayers, PhD, LCSW-C
For me, the inner work of becoming a whole person and healing from the way I have been wounded is both a way of life and a vocation. Much of my personal life is devoted to growing in this way. I live by the philosophy that difficulties, be they situational or emotional, are meant to compel awareness, growth and psychic health. This informs my approach to psychotherapy and my goal: to help every person activate their creative spirit and fulfill their true potentials.
I value growth through learning and education as well, and have been pursuing the study of psychology and other dimensions of the helping professions since my “coming into being” experience at the age of 17. I received my Bachelor of Science in Psychology from the University of Maryland in College Park, and later received my Masters in Social Work from the University of Maryland at Baltimore in May, 1989. I have been a practicing mental health provider since that time. I received my Ph.D. in Depth Psychology from Pacifica Graduate Institute in Santa Barbara, California in September, 2000. My dissertation on the subject of shame was published by Brunner Routledge in 2003, and the book was awarded the prestigious Gradiva Award by The National Association for the Advancement of Psychoanalysis in 2004. Even after receiving my Ph.D. I continued my studies through both attending and teaching countless seminars and courses, as well as supervised with the late Jungian Analyst Mara Sidoli, with whom I also undertook a two year mother-infant observation. Currently the writing of my third book continues to involve me in studies; what I learn instills my work which is continually evolving.
I have always been in interested in the interface between psychology and spirituality. Over the course of time, and inspired by my deep explorations into shame — a core feeling in any trauma to self — I have become increasingly concerned with the holistic integration of mind, body and spirit and the power of prayer.