Meet Mary Dobson - Westport Moms

How old are your kids and how long have you lived in the area? My daughter Campbell is 9 and my son, Brooks is 6. My husband and I are both Fairfield natives! We always felt this was an amazing community for families, and it’s only become more so since we decided to buy our first home here in 2007!

And a bonus – our kids have two sets of very active (and helpful!) grandparents nearby!

How did you end up where you are now in terms of your job, or whatever passion project it is you might be doing? My passion for psychology started in research at the CT Women’s Health Project at Yale. After completing my masters and post-grad studies at Fairfield University (go Stags!), I had cultivated a strong Fairfield County-based private practice treating kids, teens, couples, and families, while juggling my day job as an executive on the corporate side of mental health, directing nationwide treatment programs. When my firstborn arrived, I decided to exit corporate to focus on my growing family and (at the time) small word-of-mouth counseling practice. Of course, life makes other plans! Over the next decade, my labor-of-love practice blossomed into what my children call my “third baby:” LIFT Wellness, a comprehensive counseling, psychotherapy, psychiatry, and nutrition company, employing a team of twenty-five healthcare specialists, with a flagship campus in downtown Westport.

With LIFT, I set out to create the type of counseling practice I would have wanted as a young person, featuring integrative, multidisciplinary care, family support/coaching, daily therapy and peer support groups after school and evenings, and the kind of warm, welcoming environment that instantly makes all who enter feel safe and at home. Our waiting areas are well-appointed “lounges,” where clients chat, read, draw, or hang out before or after their appointments. In house, we treat the full range of mental health in children, adolescents, couples and adults, and provide wraparound family services in a cohesive and collaborative way. Because of our multifaceted team, we are able to create customized intervention approaches (think, therapy + nutrition + personal training + a stress management skills group) that fit into busy lifestyles. We feature a board-certified medical provider who provides psychopharmacology in conjunction with therapeutic care. And when individuals require a higher level of care, we flex treatment to provide additional support, so they are able to remain committed to their sports/activities routine and continue doing what brings them joy.

Individuals who choose LIFT are promptly assessed and placed with a therapist who best suits their personality, temperament, problem areas, and modality of care recommended (CBT, DBT, EMDR, play therapy, eating disorder recovery services, etc.) I designed our internal methodology for treatment planning, “Prescription for Wellness,” which serves as a means of reviewing progress with parents, educators, coaches, clients, and other medical providers, and incorporates all aspects of an individual’s wellness, including physical health, relationships, support systems, academic life, as well as emotional well-being. I could speak endlessly about all of the good things we’re doing at LIFT, but the best way to learn more is to visit our website (, or email me directly (mailto:[email protected]) to arrange a tour!

What is the best show you have recently (binge) watched? AND/OR what is the last book you read? I’m reading this brilliant book on Perfectionism by Katherine Schafler right now, and currently watching Shrinking. I love how our field is getting more representation in media, even when it’s done in a lighthearted or flippant way, because it really showcases the complexity, humanity, and of course, humor, inherent in the work that we do!

What is one thing people would be surprised to know about you? Not much- I am not an enigma. I wear my heart on my sleeve and tend to share my opinions. Life is short, and the more open you are with people, the more easily you find your people!

If you could travel to one place this next year, where would it be and why? My family loves travel and adventure, and we always say, “take the trip!” With that said, we have been heartfelt this year about building a lifestyle that we don’t feel a need to fly away from! Sometimes that means integrating daily pleasures into the mix so we aren’t constantly looking ahead to our next trip 😉

If you had 24 hours to do whatever you wanted to do, what would it be? Soak up some sun, swim and boat with my kiddos, and have a long, leisurely dinner al fresco in which my kids have not a single argument! 😉

Are you a morning person, or a night owl? How does sleep fit into your life? Night owl! I am involved in so many exciting projects right now that it’s hard for me to turn my brain off at night. I often wake up at 3am with ideas and then need to try to put myself back to bed. Our team teases me about pretty well scripted memos sent mid sleep-cycle at 3:05AM. I started keeping a pad on my nightstand so I can jot those thoughts down and try to get more rest, because I’m super grumpy when I haven’t slept 8 hours!

What is the first thing you do when you walk in the door after a long day? Greet my kiddos! They are still at the ages where they give me the sweetest reception when I come in the door!

Who is your favorite hero of fiction? Who are your heroes in real life? I meet my heroes every day: clients who are bravely and intentionally setting aside time for their own personal development so that they can be the best versions of themselves for their children, spouses, colleagues, and community. I am amazed at the power of human resilience and how strong, determined, and resilient our community can be. It is the very greatest gift to be allowed into people’s inner lives, and to be able to confidently reflect back to them, “do you realize how amazing you are?”

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