About Mary

Welcome to So Co Counseling, If you are looking for individual therapy in Austin then you have come to the right place.

OVERVIEW It took a few years to figure it out, but after nearly three decades on this planet I recognized that mental health counseling is my true vocation and passion in life. I consider it an honor to join another person’s process of discovery, problem solving, healing, recovery, growth, self-development, relationship improvement, etc. Just a quick look at my education history reveals the process exploration and seeking that went on through my 20’s and into my 30’s. I have extensive experience in treating mood disorders, substance abuse, addictions, sexuality and/or gender issues, treatment of lesbian, gay and bisexual individuals and couples and transgender people (people anywhere along the gender spectrum), young adults and adults. Experienced in management, program development and initiation. My work history shows continual career advancement and promotion and frequent client- to- client referrals.

2013, Licensed Chemical Dependency Counselor
2009, Licensed Clinical Social Worker, Texas
2006, Licensed Clinical Social Worker, Florida
2005, Certified Addictions Professional, Florida (inactive)
Barry University –  Master of Social Work, 2004
Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale – Associate of Science in Broadcasting, 1997
Bard College – Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy, 1993
University of Miami – special project in Philosophy of Language, 1991
Boston University – Sea Semester Program, 1990
Beloit College – Undeclared major, 1989


Clinical Director, Founder, SoCo Counseling

Austin, TX August 2012 — Present

SoCo Counseling was developed throughout nearly a decade of education, experience and day-dreaming. It became a legal entity in August of 2012 with the creation of SoCo Wellness Center, PLLC, dba SoCo Counseling. At that time, the clinic consisted of myself and two, very talented Licensed Master Social Workers who were in the process of gaining experience toward becoming independently licensed as Clinical Social Workers. The clinic is constantly evolving. Its primary purpose is to offer high-quality, accessible psychotherapy services to individuals and couples while providing an environment that promotes intensive and continual growth and education to the select clinicians who serve clients under the SoCo name.

Therapist, Plumeria Counseling Center
Austin, TX, October 2009 – December 2013

Independent contractor in private practice with adults, young adults and teens age 15+. Work with groups, individuals and couples. Specialize in mood disorders, adjustment and life transitions, grief and acceptance of loss, relationship issues, self esteem/self acceptance, problem substance abuse and addiction, gender identity issues, LGBT issues. Modalities include Cognitive Behavioral, Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, Existential Counseling and others. Instrumental in developing the Student Clinic, by creating processes and procedures for skilled therapists to gain experience serving as supervisors, and for students to gain experience in Counseling during graduate Internship or Practicum programs. The Student Clinic at Plumeria has served a great number of clients who otherwise may not have access to services due to financial limitations.

Counselor, Community Supervision and Control Division, Travis County
Austin, TX, 2009 – 2010

Facilitation of psycho-educational counseling groups with adults on probation, most of whom have substance abuse issues, and have been assessed to be at high-risk of criminal recidivism. Focus on use of evidence based practices including cognitive-behavioral and motivational interviewing approaches to assist clients in learning the thought modification and coping skills necessary to evaluate past behaviors and thinking patterns in order to make behavioral corrections that will change the course of their lives.

Counselor, Student Affairs Department, The Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale
Fort Lauderdale, FL, January 2007 to March 2009

Conducted individual counseling, crisis intervention, and advisement with college students from a wide variety of cultures and age groups. Assisted students with gaining coping skills when facing issues such as: physical and mental disability, substance abuse, disciplinary problems, history of sexual or physical abuse, eating disorder, sexual identity disorder, GLBT acceptance, relationship difficulties, academic challenge, phase of life issues, and others. Issues include physical and mental disability, disciplinary problems, substance abuse, relationship difficulties, academic challenges, phase of life issues and many others. Arranged accommodations for students with medical / psychiatric challenges in accordance with ADA guidelines. Conducted student workshops, consultations with faculty, staff and parents, facilitated interventions, advocated for students and family. Worked closely with Campus Housing Department. Fulfilled the role of Department Director as necessary.

Adjunct Professor, Introduction to Psychology Instructor, The Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale
Fort Lauderdale, FL, Winter ’07

Taught Bachelor level course, Introduction to Psychology, at the request of the Department Chair. Developed a course structure that included group projects, lecture, role play, group discussion, essay writing and creative individual projects. Created and evaluated mid-term and final exams.

Psychotherapist, The Haven
Boca Raton, FL, July 2006 to December 2006

The Haven is a therapeutic residential group home, serving male youth age 14 – 17, in Florida Department of Children and Families foster care system. Developed agency’s first substance abuse program. Provided individual and group counseling as well as crisis intervention and crisis counseling. Communicated with collateral sources on behalf of the youth. Prepared monthly reports for state Case Workers, composed treatment plans and daily documentation in accordance with Medicaid guidelines.

Volunteer Psychotherapist, Sunshine Social Service
Fort Lauderdale, FL, March 2006 to July 2006

This social service program is operated mainly with the help of volunteer psychotherapist. Provided confidential crisis and on-going individual counseling to people in under-served populations, mostly young adults within the GLBT community. Clients received counseling services regardless of ability to pay. Primary issues included self and community acceptance, coming out issues, gender identity difference, homelessness and rejection from family of origin.

Community Healthcare CenterOne, Fort Lauderdale, FL
Director of Mental Health, May 2005 to February 2006
Psychotherapist, January 2004 to May 2005
Psychotherapy Intern, September 2003 to January 2004

CenterOne was a community based clinic and social service center, serving HIV-positive persons of diverse background. As Department Director, my administrative duties included participation in agency quality assurance process. I was elected Chairperson to the Broward County Ryan White Title 1 service delivery coordination and continuous quality improvement committee. Wrote renewal grant funding requests for Mental Health, Complementary Therapies (acupuncture, hypnosis and massage treatments), and proposal for grant monies for Substance Abuse program. Maintained departmental procedure compliance with grant-funded programming. Supervised the work of four Registered Clinical Social Work Interns who were performing psychotherapy service under supervision for license to practice Clinical Social Work (LCSW interns). Oversaw and provided general administrative aid to Acupuncture MDs, Hypnotist and Licensed Massage Therapists.
As a Psychotherapist, I provided individual, couples and group therapy, crisis intervention, community education and outreach, and coordination and oversight of care with case management, holistic therapies, MDs, and other providers. Performed crisis intervention and counseling and initial involuntary commitment assessment.

Intake Specialist / Case Manager, Archways Behavioral Healthcare
Fort Lauderdale, FL, December 2001 to August 2003

Archways is a community based residential and treatment facility for persons living with major mental illness. Conducted comprehensive intake interviews and psychosocial assessments with potential new clients. Made outreach visits to potential clients in inpatient psychiatric hospitals and jails. Assisted new clients in finding appropriate placement and level of care, whether within our agency or through community referral. Performed all standard case management functions while assisting newly arrived clients in adjusting to their new living environment.

Residential Case Manager, Covenant House Florida
Fort Lauderdale, FL, September 2000 to December 2001

Covenant House Florida is a safe-house providing shelter and social services to homeless and run-away youth. Conducted intake interviews and assessments. Assisted youth in developing and carrying out individual treatment plans for mental health and emotional stability, employment and education planning. Monitored youth during daily and overnight activities and provided crisis prevention and intervention to troubled youth. Conducted crisis counseling.


Working with the Trans Community: An educational consult group for clinicians working with transgender and non-binary clients, first run Feb – Dec 2015

Working With the Trans Community, Standards of Care: A presentation for clinicians working with transgender and non-binary clients, AIDS Services of Austin, May 2015

Gender Identities, 2 hour Continuing Education for LCSW, LPC, LMFT
Rock Springs Hospital, February, 2015

NASW Florida Statewide Conference June 2004
“It’s Not About What’s Between My Legs: Transgender People in the Social Environment”

SunServe Community and Mental Health Services April 2004
“Transgender Families”

NASW GLBT Mini Conference February 2004
“Transgenderism” and “The Bisexual and Society”

Nova Southeastern University March 2004
Co-presented “Gender and Social Constructions”

Director of Student Clinic at Plumeria Counseling Center, 2012
Chosen Staff Advisor – Art to Art Institute students’ Gay Straight Alliance, 2008
Chair – Broward County Ryan White Title I Mental Health Network, 2005
Special Recognition – Broward County Superior Client Service, 2005
Nominee – The Body.com HIV Leadership Award, 2004

World Professional Association for Transgender Health
Austin Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce
National Association of Social Workers
National Alliance for Mental Illness
International Academy for Advanced Clinical Hypnosis
American Institute for Rapid Trauma Resolution