Mary Jo is dually licensed both as a Marriage and Family Therapist, as well as a Mental Health Counselor. She is a Certified Addictions Professional as well. She is a Certified EMDR Therapist and an EMDRIA Approved Consultant, as well as an RTEP/GTEP trainer. She is a Florida Board Approved Clinical Supervisor for Registered Interns, and she is also certified through the State of Florida as an Adoption Competent Counselor.
She graduated from Florida State University with an undergraduate degree in Psychology and Criminology. She obtained her master’s degree in Clinical Psychology from Indiana University of Pennsylvania. With over thirty years of clinical experience, Mary Jo has worked in a variety of settings, from agencies, schools, medical practices and ultimately private practice.
In addition to having worked in community agencies and a for profit medical practice, Mary Jo has been in private practice for over thirty years. She is a Certified EMDR therapist, as well as an EMDRIA approved consultant, and trainer for EMDR Recent Traumatic Episode and Group Traumatic Event Protocols. She is a member of her local Traumatic Recovery Network, which provides pro bono services for people whose lives have been impacted by a community disaster. Mary Jo Routinely works with First Responders through “Operation Restore”, a four day retreat held at the Franciscan Center in Tampa. This program provide confidential treatment for first responders after experiencing critical incidents, line of duty deaths, and general effects of pressure through out their careers. Click here to learn more about Operation Restore.
In addition she is former faculty with the Humanitarian Assistance Program, a national organization which provides EMDR training for therapists who work in non profit agencies. She is the former Co-Executive Director of the Greater Orlando EMDR Network, which, as a 501c3 focuses on promoting EMDR therapy and developing local EMDR clinicians. She provides trainings on the impact of developmental trauma. While her practice includes clients of all ages, she has a particular affinity for children and adults whose lives have been impacted by attachment trauma (complex trauma).
Outside the office, Mary Jo enjoys swimming, biking and running…sometimes in that order on the very same day. Her family was created through adoption. Now a happy empty nester, she and her husband have a cat who thinks it is in charge. And, a little secret, she has marketable skills as an etch a sketch artist!
Not only that but, another fun fact is, in the Spring of 2022 she walked 500 miles across Spain on the Camino De Santiago. The Camino is a pilgrimage which has been in existence for 1000 years. She took 45 days to walk from France to Santiago Spain.
“I walked across Spain and met the world!”
I truly believe that God created us in his image, and the core of that image is love. We were created to love and to be loved. When trauma comes into play, we learn maladaptiave ways of perceiving ourselves and our experiences. We develop maladaptive ways to cope with real life stressors. If we can change our understanding of what has happened to us, we will change our responses. Real healing occurs.
Therapy doesn’t just involve the person(s) sitting with me in my office. It involves the entire system of influence. Our perceptions, beliefs and attitudes are formed by our first families and by our life experiences, and what these memories taught us. We bring all that to the table when we seek healing for ourselves or loved ones. So we must be willing to examine our “maladaptively stored memories”, to see how they may shape the lens with which we view our experiences and decision making Individuals must be willing to look at how they learned their world view; couples must be willing to look at how they learned to be a couple; parents must be willing to examine their parenting paradigm and all must be willing to step out of the comfort zone and into a place of exploration and growth. Sometimes the therapeutic journey is difficult and challenging, but ultimately it is work the ride!