Get to know Mary Clarke, PhD - Full-Time Faculty, Counseling Psychology Program

See Dr. Clarke's professional biography here.

Shayna Quilty (SQ): Congratulations on being invited to join the Full-Time Faculty! What drew you to the Wright Institute, and what makes you stay?
Mary Clarke (MC):
Thank you! What drew me is a friend of a friend. A close friend/colleague and I taught a course together a couple of years ago. I fell in love with the atmosphere, curriculum, and the size of the cohorts. The faculty have collaborative relationships; they show a lot of care and dedication to their work, and I felt that people were excited to have me in their community. I definitely felt welcomed.

SQ: When you think back on your time at the Wright, what’s a moment that stands out to you?
Going to the first Core Faculty meeting and the first orientation that I attended. I felt proud to be invited to join such a quality group of professionals.

SQ: What’s your favorite course to teach? What do you love about it?
That’s hard because I like all the classes I’ve taught! My biggest professional love is working with trauma. Crisis, Disaster & Trauma Counseling (CDTC) is a lot of fun to teach. It’s thrilling to teach future counselors about the topic about which I’m most passionate, and I’m glad that they’ll enter the field more trauma-informed. I just love teaching.

SQ: Tell me about your motivation for teaching in the mental health field.
I really want to contribute to there being confident, ethical counselors in our community. I was taught by high-quality therapists and I want to help ensure that we continue to have excellent professionals who are advocates for their clients and effect change in systems where they work. I want to support the advancement of our field and keep it moving in a strong direction.

SQ: How did you decide that the PhD was the right degree and licensure track for you?
First I got a Master’s degree and was licensed as an LCPC. So, my favorite mentors have a variety of licenses and have advanced in different directions. For me, I wanted to be able to research, present, and teach in addition to doing clinical work, so I pursued my PhD later.

SQ: Can you tell me about a challenge you’ve had to overcome to get to where you are professionally?
Deciding how to incorporate my queer identity into my professional identity. I am definitely open to mentoring students around this question.

SQ: I know that you keep busy even when you’re not teaching at the Wright Institute. How else do you spend your time?
Eating good food! I love to explore new restaurants, new types of foods, and recipes. I also love to hike and kayak.

SQ: What’s one piece of advice that you would like to give to the students in the Counseling Psychology program?
Always continue to deepen your relationship with yourself. The better you know your own hopes, fears, preferences, biases, etc., the better you can care for your clients. And, you will also be better equipped to sustain yourself as a therapist.

SQ: Thank you for this great advice, and for your time!

Click here to learn more about the Wright Institute’s Doctor of Clinical Psychology (Psy.D.) program.
Click here to learn more about the Wright Institute’s Master of Counseling Psychology program.