Mari I. Mars, MS, LPC, CPCS, CST

Owner and Clinical Director

We all have secrets.

Our personal, private, intimate narratives are frequently different from our public ones.

Our public narrative is refined, carefully constructed to keep us safe. But it isn’t working. The incongruence grows larger over time, becoming a split existence- public versus private- even becoming an chasm we’re afraid we can never bridge.

Our hidden narrative contains a secret, a trauma, or even our very identity. It holds the story we’re ashamed of, the one that challenges every belief we’ve ever had about who we are, what we value, and how we live. It’s too heavy for us to bear alone.

And every day, our life groans and strains under the weight of it, threatening to break at any moment.

Let me help you carry it.

Hello, I’m Mari. I’m so glad that you found my page. I can help you bear this burden.

I specialize in trauma therapy and sex therapy.

I have a heart and a passion for helping individuals and couples who face the unique challenges of trauma, intimacy, sexuality, chronic genital or sexual pain, gender (particularly women’s issues and transgender therapy), and sexual orientation. I am committed to helping you through a variety of methods which are specific to your needs, your situation, and your level of comfort.

What is sex therapy? How does it work?

Sex therapy is talk therapy. While it can seem intimidating when we see the words “sex therapy,” the key to success is actually the open, non-judgmental therapeutic relationship wherein you can feel safe exploring things that you’ve never been able to talk to anyone else about.

Sex therapy never involves any nudity, touching, or sexual behavior of any sort. A sex therapist (like any therapist) cannot have a personal relationship with you either during your tenure in therapy nor after your time in therapy concludes. This is crucial to providing the safe space that you need for your therapy to be successful.

As your therapist, I will help you become empowered, achieve healing, reclaim intimacy, become more healthily aware of yourself, and improve the overall quality of your life. We will work together, at your pace, in a setting which is relaxing, non-judgmental, and private.

So what’s the difference between sex therapy and regular therapy or couples therapy?

All therapy likely has a sexually focused component to it. Somewhere along the way, any ethical counselor will discuss and explore issues around sexuality (though my clients often tell me that their previous therapists never did).

However, sex therapy is more focused on these issues. Gender and sexuality are complex and intricately interwoven with every part of our life, though we often don’t realize it. They are an often overlooked but integral part of our humanity. So, more than likely, we will explore all areas of your life during therapy.

Think of sex therapy like the difference between going to a general practitioner and a cardiologist when having heart issues. You could probably go to a general practitioner in a pinch, but you will get more specialized, focused, expert attention from a cardiologist.

Sex therapy is much the same- specialized, specific, and particular to your needs and circumstances, with attentiveness to your overall wellbeing.

About Trauma

When we’re in that place of trauma-induced darkness, what we need the most is someone who will wade into that darkness with us, who isn’t afraid to encounter the terrible things that lurk there, and can help us find our way out.

I am always grateful when my clients allow me to be the person that enters the darkness with them. I will use my understanding of trauma itself, my training and experience in trauma treatment, and the power of human connection to help you navigate the darkness.

In order to help you find your way through, I also specialize in Brainspotting, an empirically proven brain-based method of working through trauma and other conditions. Feel free to check out our trauma page to learn more about Brainspotting.

Of course, even as effective as it is, Brainspotting cannot substitute for the power which comes with human connection in therapy.

Equally as important as the use of Brainspotting is the witness of another person to our pain. For me, that is embodied in my attunement, understanding, non-judgment, empathy, and ability to hold the traumatic stories of my clients. It is these things that I bring, and about which I feel most passionate as a therapist.

I will offer you a space to work through your trauma, to resolve it, to reclaim your life, and move forward.

Of course, even as effective as it is, Brainspotting cannot substitute for the power which comes with human connection in therapy.

Equally as important as the use of Brainspotting is the witness of another person to our pain. For me, that is embodied in my attunement, understanding, non-judgment, empathy, and ability to hold the traumatic stories of my clients. It is these things that I bring, and about which I feel most passionate as a therapist.

Meet Duke!

Along the way, if you like dogs, you may also meet Duke, my majestic therapy dog!

Duke is a therapy dog specially trained in techniques for trauma intervention, who loves to come in and spend time working with clients who struggle with trauma, depression, anxiety, and other mental health challenges. He is sensitive, stoic, gentle, loves to comfort and be a strong but sweet presence when he senses you need him the most.

I look forward delicately, discreetly, and non-judgmentally assisting you in addressing your challenges while respecting your boundaries. It’s a privilege to witness and be part of your journey.

A little more about Mari:

I graduated valedictorian from Hellenic College in Brookline, MA with a bachelor’s degree in religious studies. I earned a Master’s of Science with honors in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Mercer University and, while in residence there, completed my practicum and internship at Peachford Behavioral Health Systems in Atlanta, Georgia. I am a Nationally Certified Counselor (learn more about nationally certified counselors at at www.nbcc.org) and a Licensed Professional Counselor in the state of Georgia.

I am a Certified Sex Therapist, certified by The American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors, and Therapists (AASECT). I am constantly continuing my education in the areas of trauma, sex therapy, intimacy, gender, and sexuality counseling. In addition, I am a member of the American Counseling Association, the American Academy of Psychotherapists, and the South Eastern Brainspotting Institute, and abide by the codes of ethics of those organizations as well.

I am an active advocate for sexual minorities. I enjoy writing, driving, cooking, and singing opera, classical, broadway, and pop music.

To schedule, please call (470) 736-9595 or email
[email protected]

Welcome! 

We Are Here to Help You.

Your drought in life may be the most severe it’s ever been right now. You may be facing the most difficult challenges you’ve ever encountered. Whatever has brought you to Petrichor, know that there is someone here to help you.

You are not alone. Let us bring the rain. Your drought is finally ending.

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