Meet Our Practitioners
"We brought our 7 y/o in to see Dr. Mary in the Fall of 2014. He was lagging behind in reading and verbal skills. He had tested out at a 1.6 grade level 3 months into his 2nd grade year. After 10 sessions of Neurofeedback training he tested out at a 2.5 grade level! We saw the greatest improvement in his spelling tests and in his verbal skills. Memorization became easier too! Thank you so much for your help!"
- N.P.'s Mom
Mary L. Tracy, MA, PhD, MFT
"Dr. Mary" is a Clinical Neurotherapist who holds a Bachelors Degree in Psychology, a Masters Degree in Counseling Psychology and a PhD in Physiology from the University of California at Davis. She has been in private practice as a Licensed Psychotherapist for 25 years. Trained as an EEG technician in her early years, Mary discovered the workings of the central nervous system to be the most unique and challenging puzzle for the human mind.
As a full-time undergraduate student in Psychology, Mary was fortunate to obtain a position at the Naval Neuropsychiatric Research Unit in Point Loma on a San Diego State Foundation grant. Her tenure there resulted in publications about EEG neurofeedback, sleep and sleep loss, and performance following sleep loss.
Following this, Mary also worked in Clinical Neurology at the UC San Diego Medical Center and at the Veterans Administration Hospital in La Jolla in the Pain Unit. Toward the end of this period, Mary designed a device for measuring neural activity in the visual system of patients who were undergoing neurosurgery for aneurysms located near the optic nerves. The purpose was to alert the neurosurgeon if the optic nerves were disturbed during surgery to avoid damage to the visual system.
She travelled to UC Davis in 1977 to begin a PhD program in Physiology after receiving her BA in Psychology at San Diego State. "My education in physiology was broad, encompassing all of the major functions of the human organs, including studies of the central nervous system using single-cell recordings from the brain." Mary received a Bioengineering Grant in the final year of her PhD program and proceeded to do another 2 years of post-doctoral work in France and then at the UC Davis Medical School.
Dr. Mary has 22 years of experience as a Clinical Psychotherapist in private practice in Davis, CA. She is certified in Biofeedback and Neurofeedback and is pursuing Board Certification in those areas. Her approach is to treat the whole person, with special regard to differential diagnosis: "I want to make sure that all aspects of a patient's presenting problems are accounted for. This includes psychological and emotional considerations, lifestyle choices, medical history, stress levels, sleep quality and most importantly, brain function."
A clinician's reputation is the most compelling factor in a patient's choice of treatment. "The feedback I get from my patients is that I am friendly, easy to talk to, and compassionate. I take a strong interest in each individual and go to great lengths to do a comprehensive assessment of the patient's psychophysiological assets and liabilities. My goal is patient satisfaction, effective and efficient treatment, and as much patient engagement in the treatment process as possible." Neurotherapy is a dynamic process which requires constant updating and evaluation of treatment approaches based on the progress and responses of the patient's brain to the treatment.
Dr. Mary is registered with the State of California as a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (Lic No. MFC25900). She is also a Clinical Member of the following professional organizations which (1) Engender and promote standards of professional excellence as described in each organization's Code of Conduct, Ethics and Standards of Practice; (2) Control and exercise authority in the training requirements and appointment of such persons in Neurotherapy; and (3) Provide a forum for continuing education and skills appropriate to the requirements of professional Neurotherapy practitioners:
Kelly Nelson, MS, MFT
I am a Clinical Neurotherapist and Biofeedback Therapist, with a Bachelors Degree in Exercise Biology and a Minor in Psychology from the University of California at Davis. I also have a Masters Degree in Counseling, and have been in private practice as a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist here in Davis for the past 19 years. In addition, I worked for the Academic and Staff Assistance Program on the UC Davis campus for seven years.
As a full-time undergraduate in Exercise Biology, I worked in the Human Performance Lab for the cardiac rehabilitation program under the direction of Dr. William C. Adams and Dr. Robert Holly. I performed exercise electrocardiograms, as well as hydrostatic body composition measures to gain extensive understanding of physiological functioning. I also helped design and administer cardiac rehabilitation programs for the individuals who underwent assessment. The information gained through physiological measurement and extensive patient interviews clarified the complex relationship between emotional and physical health. This experience helped me form my theoretical approach to Neurotherapy and Biofeedback. My clients learn to balance psychological, emotional, and physiological health so that they can feel and perform at their best.
Many people who I see in my office have been suffering for much of their lives. whether from depression, anxiety, or other conditions. Their struggle is both painful and real. Neuroscience research has demonstrated that problems like depression, anxiety, attention deficit disorder, and memory loss, to name a few, have brain signatures that can be seen with brain mapping procedures. Once mapped, using auditory and visual feedback which include music and games, I can effectively re-train and normalize brainwave signatures, resulting in symptom relief and increased well-being.
For me, it is really exciting and rewarding to be able to offer such effective treatment for many of the issues for which clients seek help. I believe it is crucial to view symptom relief in the context of a person's life as a whole. Because of this, I also utilize talk therapy to help integrate the positive changes gained through Neurotherapy and Biofeedback. I use Coherence Therapy which is an experiential and emotion-based short-term treatment which offers deep and lasting change. I studied with Bruce Ecker, the creator of Coherence Therapy, for three years in Oakland California. Clients are often surprised by the brief yet effective nature of this type of work. Longer-term Psychodynamic Psychotherapy is a depth oriented approach that utilizes the therapeutic relationship to gain a deeper understanding of oneself. It is an emotionally and intellectually rich experience. Both of these approaches work synergistically with Neurofeedback and Biofeedback to increase the overall ineffectiveness of the therapeutic work as a whole.
I am registered with the State of California as a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (license number MFC 37423). I am a member of the California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists (CAMFT) and a member of the Association for Applied Psychophysiology and Biofeedback (AAPB).