McGinnis Counseling

"Beyond Wrong Doing and Right Doing" Rumi 


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Senior Care Resources - research based

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More interesting info about Mary

Posted on March 28, 2019 at 5:05 PM

Poet's Statement:

With playful encouragement, anyone is capable of being creative.

I have learned this through developing my own creativity, and participating in writing groups, as well as from my many wonderful counseling clients. My knowledge and experience in the creative process has been a valuable resource when helping creatives, couples, and people with disabilities to better navigate the challenges they encounter.

Both art and counseling call for the same quality of presence and openness.

Writing poetry became second nature to me ever since I started at the age of sixteen. My BA in English further developed my skills, love of literature, and enthusiasm. In order to support myself and my passion for poetry, I went on to get my Masters in Guidance and Counseling with a specialization in Rehabilitation.


I have been writing, counseling, and living in New Mexico since 1972 where life has connected me with emptiness, desert, and mountains. This has been a great inspiration for my writing and other creative projects including my work with clients.


I especially love offering poetry readings and writing workshops. I currently co-facilitate a playful and inspiring writing group in Santa Fe, NM. 

Clear Up Misunderstandings with Communication!

Posted on August 3, 2017 at 4:00 PM

Couple Inside 

Could it be he is racked with feeling when

on his face there is no expression? She

utters logic in her dreams when it

pleases her and he

languishes in despair, never hearing it.

Every day he longs for gratitude

instead of "no." She longs for "yes."

New separation gives them breathing room but they miss

sighs for each other

intended for the purple night. Go ahead,

dig into your hearts, grieving couple, and

empty out your sadness and fear.

Listen Like a Wave

Posted on June 9, 2016 at 4:35 PM

Listen while I work birch bark into bowls;

Listen to the corn soup boiling on the stove.


I live out of breath; hence no juice tonight;

Listening to others all day,


Their sound locks us in together, sand, snow.

Draw me out with long fingers.


Ask me what I think, ask me for a song.

If you listen, visit in October.


Draw me out with your uh-uhns and uh-ohs.

Sit down and serve me a bowl full of your silence.


Business Of Listening

Posted on June 9, 2016 at 4:30 PM

Transform it into the shape of a church with hands—

Give me a way to sweep big spaces of silence

Into my reply.


I found the bag of flower petals

Meant for the memorial—

I went in a different direction, and there they were.


Next time I meet with a couple,

I’ll sprinkle the lap of each with dried petals,

And we’ll breathe in time to their dry music.


What they long to say and could not yet say

Will disentangle itself and attach itself

To a mourning dove in the courtyard.


Each one will lament a little, and laugh a little;

And even if I never see them again,

The angel of petals will leave her mark on the inside of an elbow.


Pillow Fight

Posted on March 31, 2016 at 4:55 PM

Playful, tender, silly;

I didn’t think it would be fun but it was. I

Longed for San Francisco, New York,

Lots of movies, readings, a week of

Gluttony in each city,

While you wanted us to throw pillows back and


Forth, talk

In sleepy voices,

Going into reverie,

Hands lightly

Touching or not . . .



Posted on November 25, 2015 at 4:35 PM



How we learned to tell the truth

Alive but not bristling on tongues; made

Requests without needles in them,

Made bandages for

Our oldest wounds, and sprinkled them with

Night music borrowed from forgotten dreams,

Yelled, made up, ran through dry leaves.


I Can't Tell the Real Story

Posted on October 7, 2015 at 3:00 PM

I Can't Tell The Real Story


Inside myself I ponder: how did we

cry out, laugh, and try to avoid each other,


all the years of my childhood,

yet managed to survive with and without each other.


I can't tell how we loved and hated each other without

literally killing one another or numbing out on


lollipops or cigarettes; somehow we

tipped back and forth on that mother-daughter see-saw of


happiness on the brink of maniacal howling and did not forsake

each other though we wanted to.


Ravaged by pains we couldn't name, we

enumerated each others' shortcomings,


(though I did this more than she did) to

anybody who would


listen: about our fights. How this fragile,

small-boned woman could stretch and rise up in her anger,


tossing both our houses of cards with a derisive snort

or saying, which was far worse, "You'll never learn." But I know how we


rode through the desolate territory of cancer

diagnosed too late and that in a voice unrecognizable because of pain,


she said I love

you, and for once did not remind me of anything I needed to do,


and then just said goodbye, voice thick and fading

away from the phone.


Mary McGinnis

Learning to Talk to Talk to Each Other

Posted on September 2, 2015 at 5:50 PM

Learning To Talk To Each Other


We set the alarm for six a.m.

sitting up in bed to practice while it’s still dark;

we keep our voices low,

our words halting at first:


“I notice,” “I assume this means,”

“I hurt,” “I regret,” “I hope,”

“I realize,” “I appreciate-”


and the one who has been listening says,

“This is what I hear,”

and the one who was speaking

the one who sent the impossibly vibrant and graceful

kite covered with words,

pulls down on the string,

bringing the kite back to ground, sighs and says,

“Yes, that is what I said,”


and the one who was listener begins speaking,

and the other murmurs, “I hear you

with my eyes and my arms,

and this is what I think

you have been trying to tell me…”