Mary Braun-Payne


Please note that Mary Braun-Payne is not a staff member of Pax Christi; 
she is an independent therapist.
(Mary holds sessions at Pax Christi regularly)

Individual, Couples, Family & Teens

Mary believes that each and every person is created in the image and likeness of God, and therefore has great dignity and value.

She understands that life experiences can result in confusion, brokenness, and even sometimes despair. They may cause us to doubt our value and maybe even doubt God’s love for us.

However, suffering, broken relationships, trials or the feeling of being abandoned by God are not the final word. He does love us! In Him, we find hope, solace, direction and healing so He may aid us in restoring our dignity and relationships.

What is Pastoral Counseling?

Pastoral Counseling differs from secular counseling in that it provides the opportunity, for those who desire it, to draw upon their faith in God as a source of healing and strength.

Pastoral Counselors are trained in the use of behavioral sciences such as psychotherapy and marriage and family therapy. They are able to utilize these mental health skills along with the spiritual resources of your faith tradition to facilitate spiritual and emotion growth and healing.

Pastoral Counselors believe that the integration of both the psychological and spiritual are important in facilitating true healing and wholeness in persons and relationships.

“Come to me all you who are burdened and heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”

 – Matt. 11:28

Counseling Services Provided

• Stress

• Anxiety

• Perfectionism

• Sadness/Depression

• Grief/Loss

• Trauma

• Abuse

• Sex Abuse

• Family of Origin Issues

• Divorce & Recovery

• Parenting

• Forgiveness



• Colorado Licensed Clinical Social Worker

• Certified Marriage and Family Therapist

• Level II Training in Gottman Method Couples Therapy

• Certified in Brain Spotting

• MA in Social Work

• MA Adult Christian Community Development, Family Ministry

• 25+ Years of Experience in Individual, Couples and Family Therapy

Gottman Method For Couples Therapy

The Gottman Method for Couples is research based strategies and tools to:

• Increase respect, affection, and closeness

• Resolve and manage conflict and keep conflict discussions calm

• Reconnect after a fight

• Fill the marital emotional bank account with an increase in positive interactions

• Encourage couples to talk honestly about dreams, hopes, and values

• Strategize and plan together

The Gottman Model is based upon 40 years of research with over 3,000 couples. It was developed by John and Julie Gottman. This approach helps you improve your relationship with research based tools, interactions, and exercises designed to teach couples how to learn and implement the 7 Principles of a healthy relationship. The Gottmans refer to these 7 Principles as the Gottman Relationship House which has a structure and a foundation with the two pillars of Trust and Commitment (see below).

1) Build Love Maps – How well do you know your partner’s inner psychological world, his or her history, worries, stresses, joys, and hopes?


2) Share Fondness and Admiration – The antidote for contempt, this level focuses on the amount of affection and respect within a relationship. (To strengthen fondness and admiration, express appreciation and respect.)


3) Turn Towards – State your needs, be aware of bids for connection and respond to (turn towards) them. The small moments of everyday life are actually the building blocks of relationship.


4) The Positive Perspective – The presence of a positive approach to problem-solving and the success of repair attempts.


5) Manage Conflict – We say “manage” conflict rather than “resolve” conflict, because relationship conflict is natural and has functional, positive aspects. Understand that there is a critical difference in handling perpetual problems and solvable problems.


6) Make Life Dreams Come True – Create an atmosphere that encourages each person to talk honestly about his or her hopes, values, convictions and aspirations.


7) Create Shared Meaning – Understand important visions, narratives, myths, and metaphors about your relationship.


8) Trust – This is the state that occurs when a person knows that his or her partner acts and thinks to maximize that person’s best interests and benefits, not just the partner’s own interests and benefits. In other words, this means, “my partner has my back and is there for me.”


9) Commitment – This means believing (and acting on the belief) that your relationship with this person is completely your lifelong journey, for better or for worse (meaning that if it gets worse you will both work to improve it). It implies cherishing your partner’s positive qualities and nurturing gratitude by comparing the partner favorably with real or imagined others, rather than trashing the partner by magnifying negative qualities, and nurturing resentment by comparing unfavorably with real or imagined others.



Brainspotting is a very effective healing approach which is used to heal sadness, depression, anxiety, trauma, release of physical pain and tension, phobias, and other life stressors.

In Brainspotting we say, “Where you look affects how you feel.” Brainspotting makes use of a relevant eye position chosen by the client and/or the therapist. The client scans his/her visual field while thinking about an emotionally charged issue. Often the client has a felt sense of where the brainspot is located. Then the client is able to process the sensations, memories, and different experiences in order to naturally heal and release them.

Clients describe feeling calmer, less anxious or depressed, more free and at peace. They also often express that they release pain and tension from their body. A client may notice this immediately or over time as they continue to process and heal. For more information about what Brainspotting is see the three short videos below or go to