About Dr. Mari K. Hayes

I became interested in working with children as an undergraduate at the University of Denver participating in university-based research and clinic work involving children of battered women.  We videotaped many hours of children’s reunions with their mothers following brief separation. Using John Bowlby’s attachment classification system and Susan Harter’s ideas on self-esteem, we looked at the reasons that some kids were more resilient and developed fewer difficulties following domestic violence than others. My curiosity to know more and to work with victims of violence led me to complete a clinical doctoral program at the California School of Professional Psychology (now Alliant University). This program specialized in teaching clinicians psychotherapeutic techniques with abused children and working from an eco-systemic perspective, meaning working with their ethnic communities, school systems, governmental agencies, families, and such.   I reaped the benefits of learning how to interact with these systems on behalf of the clients.   I moved to Detroit, Michigan, to complete the qualifications of my doctoral program with a pediatric psychology internship at Children’s Hospital in Detroit.  There I worked with all sorts of pediatric issues, in particular autism, ADHD and neuropsychological concerns.  I participated in research through Wayne State University involving sexually abused children who had been through the court process, and completed my dissertation looking at the Rorschachs of abused children and whether the test could determine which had PTSD.  This part of my clinical training gave me a firm footing in cognitive behavioral therapy, play therapy, parent guidance, and psychosocial and school assessment practices. 


I completed my Master’s Degree in 1993 and my Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology in 1999. I have more than 25 years of experience working in residential and outpatient settings, with 13 years at Mercy Health Care System in Springfield, Missouri.  Seeing my developmental understandings in working with children also could be beneficial in working with adults, I expanded my clientele.  Along the way, I had the fortune of being exposed to psychoanalytic thought and how it could be helpful in working with children and adolescents and then with adults.  Through a 2-year child and adolescent psychoanalytic training program at the Michigan Psychoanalytic Institute (2001-2002) and a full adult psychoanalytic program at the Greater Kansas City Psychoanalytic Institute (2012), I learned the immense benefits of understanding the interactions between clients' unconscious and conscious lives in helping them to get better.   


I am now practicing psychotherapy and psychoanalysis in my private office in the Brookside neighborhood of Kansas City and see children of all ages and adults. 


Degrees & Licensure

  • Bachelor of Art - University of Denver - Denver, CO - 1991
  • Master of Art in Psychology - CSPP - Fresno CA - 1993
  • Doctorate of Philosophy in Clinical Psychology -  Fresno CA - 1999
  • Child Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy Education Program - Michigan Psychoanalytic Institute - 2002
  • State of Missouri License - 2005 to present 
  • Adult Psychoanalyst - Greater Kansas City Psychoanalytic Institute - 2012
  • State of Kansas License - 2017

Treatment Specializations



Panic reactions and phobias

Relationship and interpersonal issues

Parenting and family issues

Developmental issues (ADHD, Autism)

Behavior problems

Health concerns

Eating and body image concerns

Grief and loss

Work and career issues

Stress management

Conflict resolution

Family of origin issues

Recovering from childhood abuse

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

Trauma and abuse

Sexual identify issues

Stage of life issues

Spirituality issues