Mavis Ring

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Mavis Ring (she/her) is a Licensed Clinical Psychologist who completed her doctorate at The Chicago School of Professional Psychology in 2017. Mavis facilitates and supports relational repair for her clients and cherishes the opportunity to help with sensitive challenges to intimacy, identity, and empathy following trauma. Mavis’s work has a solid foundation in helping clients become accountable for their actions without taking responsibility for other people’s actions. This is an important part of setting and holding appropriate boundaries . She excels in helping clients pick up what’s theirs without taking on what doesn’t belong to them. She believes that with accountability and empathy, there’s no relationship challenge that cannot be overcome. She cherishes the opportunity to help people repair their relationships both with others and themselves so that they can live their values and be their best selves . She has experience working with monogamous and polyamorous relationships across the spectrum of sexual orientations and gender identities. She values the spiritual and religious lives of clients and appreciates the turmoil sexual and relational challenges can stir up in a person’s spiritual life. Mavis uses an integrative approach that is responsive to the needs of each particular client. Her work has focused on repair after infidelity or betrayal, co-parenting or parenting challenges, setting and holding boundaries, improving communication, addressing intimacy deficits, improving sexual intimacy, addressing sexual compulsivity and/or sexual anorexia, reconciling conflicts between spiritual and sexual, gender, or relational orientations and/or identities, dating post intimate partner violence or sexual trauma, and addressing negative impacts of misogyny and toxic masculinity on relationships.

Education and Credentials

  • Psy.D. from The Chicago School of Professional Psychology
  • M.S. in Marriage Family Therapy from Capella University
  • BA in Psychology from University of California, Santa Cruz
  • Licensed Clinical Psychologist in California & Illinois

What specific modalities do you practice and are you certified?

I practice an integrative and holistic approach to therapy with a solid foundation in Feminist values and cultural, spiritual, gender, and sexual intersectionality. Every person and relationship is unique while also holding certain commonalities so every therapy is a collaboration of all parties to meet the needs of all members of the relationship. This integrative approach is informed by training in intersectional responsivity and applied theories.

What this looks like in sessions is a combination of data collection (you tell me your stories and concerns), education (I explain some useful things we were never taught growing up), exploration (we look at how these interact for you), and interventions (we try out some different ways to address your concerns) all while setting and holding boundaries and using appropriate communication so that everyone is respected, heard, and understood (even if we don’t always all agree).

My most frequently used theories include object-relations, emotionally-focused therapy (EFT), attachment theory, dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), strategic family therapy, solution-focused techniques, and the multidimensional partner trauma model, as well as other trauma-informed approaches.

What do you like to do when you are not working? What do you do for fun?

I sing Soprano in choir, study scripture with my faith community, immerse myself in fictional worlds through books, shows, and role-playing games like Dungeons & Dragons, take disaster preparedness classes, and have impromptu dance parties in my kitchen with my family.

What are you excited about? What is your passion?

I love to learn, read, and build healthy families. I am a mother of four and a relationship therapist. I want all of us to have foundation families, whether that’s a family of origin or created family, that serve as a stronghold for our emotional well-being. With deep enough roots we can weather anything.

What do you like about being a therapist?

Good therapy is magical. It can take painful awkward vulnerability and transform it into an unshakable foundation of love for self and others. There is a transcendent quality to the experience of sharing your pain and receiving love and acceptance. We all need the reassurance that we are intrinsically valued and lovable no matter what.

What’s your “go to” creative or restorative outlet?  

I love camping in the redwoods, reading a good book in a cozy spot by a window, playing board games or role-playing games with friends or my kids, or singing and dancing in my kitchen while improvising a new recipe.

Favorite podcasts, books or blogs

  • There are too many books I love to name them all…but here’s a taste: Both Can Be True, The Broken Crown, Damsel, Dress Coded, East of Eden, Ender’s Game, The House in the Cerulean Sea, The House of the Spirits, Native Tongue, Red Hood, A Song of Ice and Fire (series), The Sparrow, A Spindle Splintered, Starship Troopers, Ten Thousand Doors of January, Their Eyes Were Watching God, Who Fears Death, World War Z


  • Some of my favorite science fiction/fantasy, historical fiction, magical realism authors: Alix Harrow, Elana K. Arnold, George R. R. Martin, Isabel Allende, Mary Doria Russell, Margaret George, Max Brooks, Michelle Sagara West, Nnedi Okorafor, Octavia Butler, Stacy McEwan, Zora Neale Hurston


  • T.V. Shows: Battlestar Galactica, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Dear White People, The Fosters, Good Omens, The Good Place, Insatiable, Kipo, The L-Word, Queer As Folk, Parenthood, Pose, Sex Education, Star Trek- Deep Space Nine, The Walking Dead, The Umbrella Academy, Vikings, and 13 Reasons why


  • Movies: Crazy Stupid Love, Cruel Intentions, Fight Club, Fired Up, Fried Green Tomatoes, Kill Bill, Love Actually, Mermaids, Monty Python and the Holy Grail, Not Another Teen Movie, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, Shirley Valentine, Sliding Doors, Steel Magnolias, The Story of Us, Thor Ragnarok, Torch Song Trilogy, When Harry Met Sally

I work with

  • Adults
  • Couples
  • Emerging Adults
  • Families
  • Groups
  • LGBTQIA+ folks
  • Parents/Co-parents
  • Polyamorous relationships

Therapeutic Modalities

  • Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT)
  • Emotionally Focused Therapy
  • Existential
  • Feminist
  • Gestalt
  • Multicultural
  • Multidimensional partner trauma model
  • Object-relations
  • Psychodynamic
  • Relational
  • Sex addiction and sexual compulsivity models
  • Solution-focused
  • Strategic family therapy
  • Strengths-Based

Areas of Interest

  • Betrayal Trauma/Infidelity
  • Co-parenting & Divorce
  • Dating Post Intimate Partner Violence
  • Desire & Intimacy Discrepancies
  • Family Conflict/Relational Repair
  • Gender Identity Exploration & Affirmation
  • Intimacy Building/Intimacy Deficits
  • Misogyny/Toxic Masculinity
  • Parenting Challenges
  • Personality Disorders & Disordered Traits
  • Reconciling with Spirituality
  • Relationship Boundary Setting
  • Self Esteem
  • Sexuality
  • Sexual Anorexia
  • Sexual Compulsivity/Sex Addiction/Love Addiction
  • Sexual Orientation
  • Sexual Abuse, Trauma, and/or Incest
  • Stress
  • Trauma

What do you do for self-care?

  • Dance in my kitchen
  • Experiment with recipes
  • Immerse in Science Fiction through books, shows, and role-playing games
  • Meditate
  • Therapy
  • Sing in the car, at home, in choir, or at my children
  • Spend time with people I love
  • Spiritual practice

Individuals / Authors / Theorists who have influenced my work

  • Thomas Ogden, Object-Relations
  • Heinz Kohut, Self Psychology
  • Viktor Frankl, Logotherapy
  • Irvin Yalom, Existential and Group Psychotherapy
  • Judith Herman, Trauma and Recovery
  • Sue Johnson, Emotionally Focused Therapy
  • Janis Abrams Spring, Forgiveness
  • Barbara Steffens & Carol Juergensen Sheets, Multidimension Partner Trauma Model
  • Peter Levine, Somatic Experiencing
  • Bessel van der Kolk, Post-traumatic stress
  • Marsha Linehan, Dialectical Behavior Therapy
  • Otto Kernberg, Personality Disorder Spectrum
  • Patrick Carnes, Sex Addiction
  • Terrence Real, Male Depression
  • Brene Brown, Vulnerability, Empathy, & Intimacy
  • Emily Rothman, Sex Education
  • Tony Ward, Good Lives Model
  • Mark Solms, Neuropsychoanalysis
  • Andrew Newberg, Neurotheology
  • Mary Ainsworth, Attachment
  • Bruce Perry, Neurosequential Model of Therapeutics

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