Marla Allisan

Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker

What I love most about being a couple’s therapist is being able to help others feel better and experience themselves as more effective in their lives and relationships. Having witnessed the tremendous development of the couple’s therapy field over many years, I enjoy passing on the gift of a framework that helps couples unravel relationship knots and feel empowered to spot and prevent impasses in the future.

By way of background, it may be helpful to know that I started my professional life as a general practice litigator after graduating from Northeastern University School of Law in 1981. I then added social work education and training  through Smith School for Social Work (MSW, 1989). I’ve been working as an attorney since 1981 and as an LICSW since 1991, including 5 years with Baystate Medical Center Outpatient Psychiatry and 20 years as the founder/executive director of Full Circle Adoptions (1996-2016). As the Director of Full Circle, I helped couples facing reproductive and child welfare decisions in the context of legally complex interstate placements. I also enjoyed several years working as a couple’s therapist with CCPV and learning the Developmental Model. Since 2016, I’ve been a the  psychotherapist dedicated to Harvard Law School, working primarily with law students and international attorneys. Other aspects of my background that might be of interest include that I am an exhibiting artist and a parent.

I am delighted to have a chance to work with CPPV families again parallel to my university practice. In my sessions with couples, I draw from a wide clinical knowledge base and broad training (family systems, Bader/Pearson Developmental Model, CBT and other modalities) with a dash of personal wisdom to help clients achieve their goals. Along the way, my hope is that clients feel increased personal power, greater confidence as well as expanded capacity for deep connection with others.