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Mary Jo Barrett


Mary Jo Barrett, MSW, is Co-Founder and Executive Director, Center for Contextual Change, specializing in training and therapy in The Collaborative Stage Model for working with individuals, families, and groups. A nationally prominent expert in the treatment of trauma and traumatic violence in the family, her collaborative, resilience-oriented systemic model creates healing plans for lasting change. She also helps therapists to prevent Compassion Fatigue and heal from Vicarious Traumatization.


For over 4 decades, she has been a leading authority on family violence, including physical & sexual abuse of children, neglect, incest, and spouse abuse. Her professional books are: Treating Complex Trauma: A Relational Blueprint for Collaboration & Change (2014) (co-author, Linda Stone Fish); and earlier, (with Dr. Terry Trepper) Treating Incest: A Multiple Systems Perspective and The Systemic Treatment of Incest: A Therapeutic Handbook. Her many publications focus on systemic and feminist treatment of women, adult survivors of sexual abuse and trauma, eating disorders, couples therapy and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.  


Ms. Barrett holds a Master’s Degree, Jane Addams School of Social Work, University of Illinois. She has taught on the faculties of SSA (Crown School), at the University of Chicago, and the Family Institute, Northwestern University.  She provides consultations, workshops, and courses, nationally and internationally, to families, lawyers, psychotherapists, social service providers, staff in residential treatment and governmental agencies.


Expertise & Specializations: Training, consultation, & practice on Trauma, Family Violence, Compassion Fatigue, & Family/Couple Therapy

Office Location: Skokie and virtual


Mary Jo Barrett
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