Dr. Mari K. Swingle (AKA Dr. Mari)
Author, i-Minds: How Cell Phones, Computers, Gaming and Social Media are Changing Our Brains, Our Behavior, and the Evolution of Our Species (New Society Press, 2016).
BCIA Certified Neurotherapist 2000, Fellow 2010
Practicing Clinician, VP Swingle Clinic
PhD Clinical Psychology
MA Clinical Psychology
BA Visual Arts
Lover of Nature, Arts & Culture
Awards: Winner Federation of Associations in Behavioral and Brain Sciences Early Career Impact Award, 2015.
About Dr Mari K. Swingle
(AKA Dr. Mari)
Dr. Mari K. Swingle, or Dr. Mari as she tends to be referred to, has extensive experience from both the worlds of Education and Clinical Psychology. Prior to the founding of Swingle Clinic (1997), Dr. Mari worked extensively in Curriculum Development, Language Acquisition, and the exploration of learning modalities to enhance accelerated as well as remedial learning. In the early 2000’s Dr. Mari crossed over fully to clinical work, focusing on the role of neurophysiology in learning, generalized well-being and mental health. Currently Dr. Mari works with a wide range of neurophysiological ailments; her specialties lie in Anxiety, Depression, Trauma, Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder(s), Addiction and non-clinical Peak Performance. She is further well known for her work with children and families experiencing behavioral and learning difficulties including but not limited to, Defiance and Conduct Disorders, ADHD, Dyslexia, Processing, Written Output, Speech and Auditory Disorders.
Dr. Mari also works with the dynamics that frequently arise in families with a child experiencing Learning and/or Behavioral Challenges including Parental Fatigue, Depression, Anxiety, Addictions, and Couple/Parental Dynamics. This includes Family Counseling and Couples Therapy.
About the turn of the millennium, Dr. Mari started noting an emergent trend of what she now terms i-interference; wherein a growing number of her clients’ performance appeared to be affected by excessive usage of screen based technologies. Eyes wide open, she also started noting accompanying generalized shifts in society and social behavior due to the same. This sparked a curiosity that could not be put out.
Dr. Mari is now recognized as a known expert on the effects of i-technology (screen based devices) on the brain and behavior. In interviews, she has been referred to as the ‘Dear Abby’ of i-tech for her extensive practical knowledge. You will find over 20 years of observation, research and practice explored in her new book i-Minds (New Society Press) for which she has received numerous accolades (see reviews here) as well as a 2015 Federation of Associations in Brain and Behavioral Sciences Foundation (FABBS) Early Career Impact Award for exceptional work in the first 10 years post PhD, and the research presented in i-Minds. “The FABBS Foundation Early Career Impact Award honors scientists who have made major research contributions to the sciences of mind, brain, and behavior within ten years of completing their post-doctoral position and have increased awareness of their research through media and public outreach”.
Mari K. Swingle, PhD, is a Board-Certified Neurotherapist (2000), Fellow (2010). She has Level Two Certification in EMDR, EFT, Level One Craniosacral Therapy, and practices under RCC Designation. Dr. Mari speaks regularly on the topic of technology, societal shifts, and mental health. Please contact Andy at The Swingle Clinic (firstname.lastname@example.org) 604-608-0444 or New Society Press for speaking availability.
More About Dr. Mari:
What you May Not Know About Dr Mari: A Multifaceted Life
Much of Mari’s childhood was spent in dichotomy; half spent in an 18th Century wood log cabin in ‘Canadian Wilderness Country’ in Southern Quebec, with no running water, no electricity, a wood stove for cooking and heating, and a road that was only accessible in fair weather. Once daily functional chores completed, water fetched, outhouse pans emptied, wood brought in for fires, she spent much time communing with the trees and nature, chasing swamp frogs and fireflies, picking wild flowers, and mushrooms, snowshoeing and skating on frozen ponds, painting and making wood sculptures, writing poetry and short stories, singing in the wind, and reading voraciously in the chicken coop.
The other half of her time was spent in the city immersed in her family culture of Psychology and Art. She learnt early to focus on the beauty of life rather than on often injudicious and discordant dynamics and relentless bullying at school. School was a place of no place; something she must attend as it was what children did while their parents worked.
One of two children of emigrants from New York, a University Professor and an Artist, young Mari was submersed in curiosities and was gifted the desire for exploration; visual, physical, mental, cultural and geographical. She traveled much before the age of twelve, including Italy, Jamaica, much of Canada and the US, Germany, Holland, Greece, Portugal and many years in France. She experienced Franco’s Spain and East Berlin before the fall. She traveled to North Africa and the land of the Moors, before Islam and the West fell into today’s cultural and religious wars. She was no stranger to politics and the harshness of life, be it hearing the experiences of draft dodgers and the military escapees of the Vietnam War met in the woods of Canada, staying with Holocaust survivors in Holland, and sharing meals on the beach in Italy with fishermen with little else but meager wood boats to their name. In France, within a most unique order of nuns, she first experienced what true education was, indeed a place for exploration and learning, new friendships and the sharing of wisdom; not merely a location to hold children to miniature desks. Protected herself by gender and age, she witnessed her older brother and father pick tomatoes and grapes with political and economic migrants to teach her brother work ethic and supplement travel income and school tuition during this great European adventure.
Upon her return to Canada, Mari finished her schooling far too fast; graduating high school at 16 and in quick succession university with a BA in Visual arts at 19. She started a MA, and was experiencing some preliminary success with her painting; winning an honorable mention, a site specific exhibition, and selling here and there, but then felt the educational walls close in once again. She escaped to Toronto and in short sequence back to Europe with $375.00 in her back pocket for what was to be a summer adventure –that lasted almost 8 years. Here she explored her first calling of painting, but also an entirely different world, naught to do with academia or art. Mari soon became immersed in the world of Italian fashion and television, gracing catwalks, Italian Vogue, Cosmopolitan and prime time TV which again afforded her much travel; broadening her experience of central Europe and taking her further to Asia and beyond. But mental restlessness, accentuated by this superficial world, soon came to her once again. The sequential loss of dear friends to accident and crime also made her question purpose. It was time to return to roots and explore her mind. She taught English briefly and was soon promoted to specialized programs and curriculum development. But Canada was calling her home, this time to the West coast. Over the course of the next decade, Mari studied, explored and practiced in multiple facets of Education, and Psychology. The family all on one continent again, Mari’s parents and maternal grandmother soon joined her from Boston and New York, and she settled into developing what is now the Swingle Clinic with her father, Dr. Swingle senior.
Mari’s first exposure to computer technology was as a young child in her father’s university labs; she became fascinated with what were then floor to ceiling, wall to wall devices; full of exposed circuitry boards, flashing lights, clicking sounds, and wires of every possible color connecting everywhere. Here, she would help her father solder connections and then make bracelets and odd sculptures out of the old discarded wires. Her first computer was a Hyperion at the age of 17, a mere word processor at the time, but exalted for its annihilation of the typewriter ribbon and the eradication of white-out. There were odd little games to be played on these new screens too; but these captured her brother more than she.
Mari married twice, once to a lovely Italian man met at twenty, with whom over time, paths led to different choices and directions, the second time in her thirties to tragedy, the loss of a son, and the marriage soon after. But loss fueled her drive and artistry and in 2010 Mari started once again avidly painting and laying the grounds for her seminal doctoral research.
Today Dr. Mari lives and practices in Vancouver, but still has a very strong foothold in Europe. She travels often to her companion in Sweden to write in a unique community of birders, farmers, intellectuals and artists on an island in the Baltic Sea. It was here in the shadow of Segerstad lighthouse, on a beach of shale fossils, a flock of wild swans bobbing before her, a herd of friendly cows belting behind her, internet access governed by the whim of the wind, that she started and completed her book i-Minds. Dr. Mari still follows her other passions, mainly skiing and painting and any activity that keeps her close to mountains, wind and water.