MEET THE THERAPIST
My name is Mary Anne Gunter. I am looking forward to meeting you!
~ I returned to college as an empty-nester, finishing my B.A. degree from Lyon College, the oldest college in the state of Arkansas, and regularly named to the well-respected Princeton Review. Lyon College has the distinction of nearly all of its graduates continuing on to masters and many on to doctoral programs. Lyon College's pre-professional graduates are accepted into highly competitive law and medical schools at about twice the national average. My time at Lyon gave me the immeasurable benefit of being mentored by an internationally-respected Fulbright Scholar, and included study in Greece. I will be forever grateful for the critical thinking skills and sterling foundation in Psychology, Women's Studies, classic Philosophy, and Logic I received.
~ M.S. degree in Marriage and Family Therapy from Harding University, a graduate program where I was inducted in the top ten percent of Harding into the Alpha Chi National College Honor Society, and sat for and passed both national examinations before graduation.
~ Doctoral candidate towards a Ph.D. with the University of Louisiana Monroe, where I was inducted into the Phi Kappa Phi National College Honor Society with a 4.0 GPA. (DOCTORAL DISSERTATION TOPIC: Qualitative-phenomenological research study of ecosystemic issues surrounding the emic experiences, trauma, self-efficacy, and exposure to rehabilitative programs, i.e. parenting support, education, and mental health counseling of incarcerated mothers and their children).
~ Recipient of the 2020 Feldman Outstanding Research Proposal for Research in Family Policy Award "In recognition of your outstanding leadership and service in the discipline of Family Policy", by the National Council on Family Relations.
~ Recipient of the Love of Learning Award for "Superior academic record and life/career ambitions", by the Phi Kappa Phi National College Honor Society; September, 2021.
~ Dissertation topic accepted for presentation at annual conference of Arkansas Public Health Association, Little Rock, AR September, 2020, and annual conference of American Family Therapy Academy, Alexandria, VA June, 2020.
~ Keynote address speaker, Phi Kappa Phi National College Honor Society induction ceremony, April 25, 2021; University of Louisiana Monroe.
~ Reviewer of scholarly proposal submissions for 2021 annual conference of National Council on Family Relations; November 3-5, 2021, Baltimore, Maryland.
~ Dually-licensed in the state of Arkansas as a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT), and Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC). Two Arkansas State Board-earned specializations - TA telemental health counseling, and trauma.
~ Approved as a licensed therapist out-of-state telehealth provider for the state of Florida. (flhealthsource.gov)
~ EFIT Level 1 (Emotionally Focused Individual Therapy) ICEEFT-approved training.
~ CGCS (Certified Grief Counseling Specialist) certification.
~ Gottman Emotion Coaching: The Heart of Parenting training.
~ "Smart Stepfamily" Recognized Therapy Provider advanced clinical training with Ron Deal, LPC, LMFT, the nation's foremost clinical expert on the blended family and a respected authority on coparenting. We are 1 of only 2 in Arkansas, and of only 25 in the U.S.
~ Dialectical Behavior Therapy training with Lane Pederson, PsyD., LP, DBTC.
~ CFTP (Certified Family Trauma Professional) certification.
~ CATP (Certified Child & Adolescent Trauma Professional) certification. Member, International Association of Trauma Professionals as CFTP, CATP, and CSAM.
~ EMDR-II (Eye Movement Desensitization & Reprocessing) trauma / PTSD therapy, recommended by the WHO (World Health Organization) and the APA as one of the most effective evidence-based therapies for trauma. EMDRIA-approved training, Boca Raton, Florida.
~ TF-CBT (Trauma-Focused Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy), an evidence-based therapy for children with trauma / PTSD. Training through a partnership of the Medical University of South Carolina and UAMS Psychiatric Institute / ARBEST (Arkansas Building Effective Services for Trauma).
~ CPT (Cognitive Processing Therapy), an evidence-based therapy for adults with trauma / PTSD. CPT has been widely used in the VA system with great success. Training through UAMS ARBEST, by Dr. Kathleen Chard, a national leader in CPT, as a part of the only 50 clinicians in the state in the inaugural introduction of CPT training to the state of Arkansas. At this writing, we are the only CPT-trained therapist in a multi-county area of the state.
~ CSAM (Certified Specialist in Anger Management). At this writing, we are the only therapist in the state of Arkansas as a CFTP, CATP, CSAM, and CGCS.
~ CBT (Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy) training, for both children and adults, and in trauma.
~ Darkness to Light's "Stewards of Children" (Stewards Plus) childhood sexual abuse advocate training.
~ Certified Facilitator in the acclaimed PREPARE / ENRICH program for premarried and married couples.
~ Completed Level II training in Gottman Method Couples Therapy, a therapy model with couples proven by over four decades of research. Completed Level I in 2017, Level II in 2018.
~ Certificate in the highly successful EFT (Emotionally-Focused Therapy) specific program of Attachment-Based Interventions For Couples In Crisis.
~ Training in EFFT (Emotionally-Focused Family Therapy).
~ Certified Facilitator in the One Heart, Two Homes Coparenting curriculum, through Coparenting International.
~ Panelist, "The Stepmom Connection", Moody Radio and Coparenting International, Nashville, TN, July, 2019.
~ National speaker, "The Stepmom Connection", Moody Radio and Coparenting International, Nashville, TN, October 24, 2020.
~ Certificate in the solution-focused, strengths-based model of Coparenting Specialized Family Therapy, for divorced / coparenting parents, a program recommended by family law courts and attorneys.
- Trained in Parent Coordination; Baltimore, Maryland, with Dr. Robin Deutsch, Ph.D., ABPP, and Dr. Mindy Mitnick, Ed.M., MA, two of the nation's pioneers and respected educators in the field of parental alienation, court-involved therapy, and parent coordination. Dr. Deutsch is from Harvard University, served on the faculty of Harvard Medical School, and is the founder and director of the Center of Excellence for Children, Families and the Law at William James College. Dr. Mitnick hailed from Harvard as well, and served on the Task Force on Parental Cooperation of the Minnesota Supreme Court.
- Further Parent Coordination training, again with Drs. Deutsch and Mitnick, along with Debra K. Carter, Ph.D., Barbara Fidler, Ph.D., C. Psych., and Matthew J. Sullivan, Ph.D. Our PC training is endorsed by the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts, based on the 2019 Guidelines for Parenting Coordination and the Recommendations for Comprehensive Training of Parenting Coordinators.
~ Trained in Conflict Management for Coparents with Bill Eddy, LCSW, JD, founder of the High Conflict Institute.
~ Specialization in private and secure TA internet-assisted telemental health counseling to clients anywhere across the state of Arkansas; available by telephone, email, video.
~ Columnist, "The Therapist's Corner" column, Heber Springs Sun-Times newspaper, since 2017.
~ Founder, Sincera Wellness' Children's Grief and Trauma Learning Project, putting grief and trauma books in the hands of hurting children, at no cost to the family.
~ Author, “Blended or Blitzed: Winning at the Blended Family Journey", a systemic curriculum suitable for individuals, couples, e-course, church / community groups, or as an accompaniment to therapy (link on "Library" tab).
~ Author, “The Antisocial Personality Disorder: Its Impact on Family and Relationships, Business, and the Community" (link on "Library" tab).
~ Author, “So You Want to Start A Private Counseling Practice: It's More Than Passion".
~ Former Psychiatric Nurse, and Nurse Case Manager, for at-risk children and families.
~ Former Board Member, Margie's Haven House, a domestic violence shelter in Cleburne county, Arkansas.
~ Former volunteer nursing staff, Queen Elizabeth's Foundation for Disabled People; Southend-on-Sea, Essex, England.
~ Led several Re|Engage marriage groups and taught incoming new group leaders (a nationally-recognized marriage ministry of Watermark Church; Dallas, TX). Co-led a Merge premarital group, as a ministry of Watermark and Re|Engage.
~ Led parenting groups, including designing and creating a strengths-based, research-based parenting group, which lovingly and with dignity places choices back on the child or adolescent. I am blessed to be married to my best friend for nearly 32 blended-family years.
American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy
American Association of Christian Counselors
EMDRIA (Eye Movement Desensitization & Reprocessing International Association)
International Association of Trauma Professionals
Association of Family & Conciliation Courts
Arkansas Public Health Association
American Family Therapy Academy, and AFTA's Family Policy & Human Rights Committee
National Council on Family Relations, and NCFR's Southeastern Council, and Divorce / Coparenting Focus Group
Alpha Chi National College Honor Society Phi Kappa Phi National College Honor Society
Fairfield Bay Chamber of Commerce Fairfield Bay Rotary Club
SCOPE OF PRACTICE
Professionally trained in a systems theory approach, Sincera's clinical scope of practice is to work with individuals, marriages, couples, blended families and remarriages, families, parents, divorce and post-divorce / coparenting issues, grief, women’s issues, relational problems and issues that are keeping you stuck. "Systems Theory" basically means that we are always in relationship with, or in the context of, others and the world. I humbly thank you for inviting me into your life, and honor your courage and commitment to be the best you can be. This is one of the most important investments you can make in your life and relationships. What would you like to see change in your life? You can expect me, as your therapist, to believe in your competence and your potential, and to treat you respectfully, with empathy and honesty.
WHAT'S IN A NAME?
The name “Sincera Wellness” was pondered over for a long time as the intent was to not convey a feeling of “pathology” or “weakness”, but of authenticity, healing, and courage. The word "Sincera” is an obscure and old Latin term several hundred years old, often quickly assumed to mean “sincere”. It actually beautifully translates as “clean, pure, uninjured, whole”. This is central to the theme of the entire foundation of our work here, as perfection is never sought after, only wholeness, and wholeness can often be realized even after great loss, difficulty, or emotional injury.