Psychotherapy For Individuals And Couples

Licensed Professional Services

Conveniently Located Downtown at 277 Alexander Street

Near Businesses, Park Avenue and the Eastman School

About Mary

Mary Clare, Licensed Therapist

I have been in practice for 26 years, and I continue to love this work. I engage in professional development and outside consultation as needed. I am grateful to my clients who, over the years, have taught me so many profound lessons in courage and wisdom.

You can expect me to listen very carefully. My first priority is that you and I have a good rapport. That includes respecting your strengths, and providing honest feedback and guidance about how you can achieve the positive changes you seek.

You can also expect questions designed to help you understand yourself and your problems, and point to solutions you may not have thought of before. As you learn to do this for yourself, you will feel empowered, more hopeful, and able to cope with life’s challenges. Nothing gives me more pleasure than to see this come about.

Whether you’re new to the process or have been in therapy before, please read on. The information here may help you decide whom to see.

Individual Psychotherapy

I provide one-on-one private therapy for individual clients with personal needs.

Couples Counseling

Couples therapy is available for partners who are in need of professional counseling.

Individual Therapy

Depression and Anxiety
Older Adults’ Issues
Grief and Loss
Trauma and Abuse

“People do not come into therapy to change their past, but their future.”

– Dr. Milton Erickson

Therapy for Clients Age 18 and Over.

Couples Therapy

Chronic Disagreements
Poor communication
Loss of Love
An Affair

How Therapy Can Help

Click the bars below for more information
Depression and Anxiety
Depression and Anxiety are among the most common reasons individuals seek therapy.For some, the symptoms may be obvious and so painful, there is little doubt about what’s wrong. For others, the feelings are subtle or have been with them for so long, it has become the “norm”. It may come as a surprise that not everyone feels the way they do.

You don’t have to suffer. There is research to show that talk therapy works. See “Off the Couch and into the Lab” Scientific American, February 2010. Individuals are helped by psychodynamic therapy and the healing power of a therapeutic relationship. The article cited above provides a good description of psychodynamic therapy.

Medication is a consideration, but not always essential. The importance of coping skills in alleviating and preventing episodes of symptoms is firmly established. We have a more detailed understanding of what those skills are and how to teach them. Structured approaches such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Dialectical Behavior Therapy are examples.

While I am primarily trained and experienced in psychodynamic psychotherapy, I have additional training in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. When more structured approaches are indicated, it is important to refer to programs or other providers in the community.

To take the first step, call me at (585) 262-2820.

Couples Therapy and Relationships
Relationship issues are one of the most common reasons people seek counseling. It is known that relationship stress contributes to both physical and mental health problems.

What brings couples to seek therapy? In my 18 years of couples’ counseling, the most common complaints have to do with:

  • Chronic fighting,
  • Unhappiness and feeling “out of love” with their partner,
  • An affair,
  • Poor communication,
  • The depression or anxiety of one or both partners,
  • Chronic illness or disability,
  • Imbalances such that one or the other feels taken advantage of, or not listened to,
  • Disagreements over children, finances, or alcohol/substance use.

How does it work? Couples’ counseling with me begins with an assessment of mutual and individual issues, both past and present, that impact a relationship. An assessment typically includes an initial couples’ session, followed by one or two individual sessions, and a final couples’ session. This format may vary depending on what is revealed in each session. Assessment may result in a recommendation that the relationship is best improved by each partner engaging in their own individual psychotherapy.

Ongoing couples’ therapy develops a couple’s understanding of each others’ strengths and weakness. Working out differences in the presence of an objective listener and facilitator leads to improved solving, communication, and empathy for one another.

Sometimes it is best that a relationship come to an end. Counseling may help a couple arrive at that conclusion and end the relationship with civility.

To take the first step, call me at (585) 262-2820.

Mary recently completed Level 1 of 3 levels of training in The Gottman Method of couples therapy and has integrated aspects of this approach into her work with couples.

Older Adults' Issues
Americans are living longer, with current life expectancy at 78. In 1960, life expectancy was 69.7 and in 1930, it was 59.7. With life expectancy increasing, older adults face new challenges and opportunities.

Older adults and their families may wish to enter counseling for support and help as they deal with the emotional challenges associated with later midlife and aging. Through counseling, you will learn about community resources, grieve the losses you’ve faced, address the emotional blocks to aging happily and wisely.

    For example, are you or a loved one stressed by:
  • Retirement or delayed retirement?
  • The illness or death of a spouse or partner?
  • Your own chronic illness?
  • Separation from your family?
  • Increasing loneliness and depression? (Depression is the most common mental health issue for older adults as reported by the Office of Aging)
  • Fears and anxieties about your future?
  • Feelings of not being important anymore
  • Finances?
  • Questions as to how to make your life as rewarding and meaningful as possible?
  • Family issues as you start the process of developing your will, power of attorney, health proxy, or advanced directives? Are you avoiding starting? (Older adults tend to wait too long to create these documents.)

To take the first step for yourself or a loved one, call me at (585) 262-2820.

Grief and Loss
Are you struggling with a significant loss in your life such as the loss of your job, marriage, relationship, or death of a family member? The pain and the disruption in your life may be more than you can bear. If so, you may want to come to therapy for help to ease the pain and learn new ways to cope.

Healing takes time. With support as you move through the stages of grief, you can find the strength to rebuild your life.

To take the first step, call me at (585) 262-2820.

Trauma and Abuse

“When the Japanese mend broken objects, they aggrandize the damage by filling the cracks with gold. They believe that when something’s suffered damage and has a history it becomes more beautiful.” — Barbara Bloom

Survivors of trauma (such as car accidents, war, robberies, and childhood trauma or sexual abuse) often experience severe anxiety, including Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and depression; substance abuse; and troubled relationships. For some childhood abuse survivors, the effects of what they went through have been underestimated.

What you can expect from therapy is relief in being able to talk, at your own pace, about what happened to you. Talking to an objective listener trained in trauma recovery leads to feeling understood and not judged. Learning to work through upsetting memories and emotions to achieve acceptance and move on with your life is the goal of therapy. You will be forever changed by what happened. However, you can be changed for the better and live a life enriched by what you went through not diminished by it.

To take the first step, call me at (585) 262-2820.

Adults with ADD and/or ADHD may find that their work performance and relationships are negatively affected by their having ADD. It is not surprising that individuals with ADD often experience low self-esteem, anxiety and depression. If you are one of those individuals, you may need help to mange the symptoms of ADD so that you can achieve greater success in all areas of your life. Individuals with ADD have many gifts which can be realized if they can better manage the challenges associated with ADD.

As a former teacher, program director for individuals with learning disabilities and ADD, group facilitator for adults with ADD, you can be confident that I will bring this experience to bear on our work together.

To take the first step, call me at (585) 262-2820.

My Approach

Therapists draw from different theoretical orientations in their practice of psychotherapy. I have a strong foundation and practice out of a psychodynamic, insight-oriented model. I am also trained in cognitive behavioral therapy and mindfulness and integrate them as needed. In couples therapy, I draw from The Gottman Method.  I have Level One training in The Gottman Method. Information about these approaches is available on the Resources page here on my web site, and I would be glad to discuss them further with you upon your request.

My Background

My Qualifications

Education: Master’s Degree in Social Work from the University of Buffalo (1992).

Agency experience (1992-2001): Crestwood Children’s Center sexual abuse treatment program, Catholic Family Center EAP and Counseling program, and the Norman Howard School.

Private practice: Part time 1992 – 2001; full time since 2001.

Areas of interest and specialty: anxiety, depression, relationship issues, older adults, and survivors of trauma and childhood abuse.

Several established working relationships with professional colleagues in the following areas: psychiatry, psychology, substance abuse and addictive behaviors, intensive outpatient treatment.

Additional credentials:

  • Master’s Degree in Education, State University College at Oswego.
  • Teacher in public school, college, and corporate settings.
  • Gerontology Certificate in process from St. John Fisher College.
  • Provider of EAP services since 1994.
  • Trained and experienced in trauma debriefing.
  • Completed Level 1 of 3 levels of training in The Gottman Method of couples therapy.
She really pushes me to dig deep to discover areas I need to work on and helps me develop the tools necessary to work through them. She helps me see the real issues, rather than what I perhaps want to see. The hardest problems will require tough work and she helped me understand that.

I’ve been seeing Mary on and off for more than a decade and she literally changed my life. She is a true professional whom I have recommended to many. Katie Welch

Google Review

She is the only therapist that has ever helped me, and I continue to recommend her to people who want honest feedback and constructive help. She will call you out and say the things you need to hear; she is not going to coddle you.

If you really want help getting through your issues, and are ready to actively do so, Mary is who I would highly recommend. Mary Rose Aceto

Google Review

Mary Clare has helped me in ways unimaginable. She has been flexible with my schedule and worked through some highly emotional issues with me… Not giving up on me until I had the strength to close the chapter on that issue in a healthy way. She has connected me with community resources pertinent to my emotional healing and I am forever grateful to have walked into her office doors seven years ago. She is professional and expects me to commit to the work we do together. Millie Quinones-Dunlap

Google Review

Thank you again for all of your help. I frequently find myself wondering “What would Mary say?” The answer is always helpful.

I’ve accomplished many of my goals and have set some good new ones. I’m finding life to be very joyful again. Things are going very well… T. S.

Private Letter to Mary

Getting Started Is Easy


Call or Email

You can reach me at your convenience at 585-262-2820.

Book Appointment

Send me an email and we can schedule your first appointment as soon as possible.

1st Session!

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Contact Me

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Mary Clare, LCSW, MSW, MS Ed
277 Alexander Street, Suite 300
Rochester, New York 14607
(585) 262-2820 :: FAX: (585) 563-2487

My office is located in the Medical Arts Building, which is part of the same building as Shema Restaurant and The Old Toad. Our entrance is on Gardiner Park, just around the corner from Shema.

Free parking is available in a lot behind the building, off of Gardiner Park.


Rochester LifeLine: 585-275-5151
585-275-2700 TTY
(800) 310-1160 outside of Monroe County

277 Alexander St. Rochester NY 14607