Mary Averill

Western, MA-based Mary Averill, a licensed clinical social worker with clinical expertise in trauma, seeks to comprehend the complexity of human nature. From the corners of the world to the streets of the inner city, she has explored the many faces of people through the lens of her camera and the compassion of her heart. She has traveled extensively in Thailand, Burma, Laos, Cambodia, India, Mexico and Nepal.

As vice president of Behavioral Health at Commonwealth Care Alliance, an integrative behavioral health plan, Mary manages a team of licensed clinicians and health outreach workers who provide care for the sickest and most vulnerable people in Massachusetts—people with trauma, drug addiction and chronic illness. “I feel like we make a small difference in some people’s lives,” she says. “It can be challenging work, but it’s worthy work.” Mary is on the board of directors for the Ama Ghar Foundation, a service organization for underprivileged Nepalese children, and does microenterprise work with a women’s cooperative in eastern Nepal that supplies nettles for her niece’s company, Seam Siren.

“Ayahuasca and San Pedro journeying have allowed me to understand the emotional locks of my life narrative, have helped me understand and move past places where I get stuck. My chronic condition brought me to the medicine and it was through that healing that I truly understood, emotionally, the connection between my life narrative and my illness. As a clinician, I can often see that people get stuck in a narrative that is no longer helpful to them. Traumatic life experiences and patterning ourselves for safety lend themselves to hanging onto old stories,” she says.

Mary served as assistant director of institutional research at Harvard University (1988 - 1992) and manager of executive special projects at University of Pittsburgh (1992 - 1995). She earned an MSW/LICSW in Social Policy and Clinical Practice at Boston University, and has continued her clinical credentials with a 2-year certification in the Neurobiology of Developmental Trauma and Interpersonal Relationships. She has a Bachelor of Arts in Special Education from University of South Florida.

Mary received a Cosmic Sister Plant Spirit Grant (2015) to journey with ayahuasca at Nihue Rao and DreamGlade, two Shipibo-owned and run healing retreats in the Peruvian Amazon, and Cosmic Sister’s Women of the Psychedelic Renaissance Grant (2018) at Temple of The Way of Light, also in the Peruvian Amazon.