MARI Services

MARI (Mandala Assessment Research Instrument) is the newest comprehensive psychological tool available in the mental health field. Contrary to other psychological assessments that are geared toward pointing out a possible disease or abnormality traits, MARI is directed toward wholeness and finding ways to move through blockages.

MARI is based on teachings of Carl Jung, a Swiss psychiatrist, a contemporary of Sigmund Freud, but whose theories were not fully appreciated until modern times. Jung developed the concepts of extroverted and introverted personality, Archetypes, the four functions of Consciousness (Thinking, Feeling, Sensation, Intuition), the Self and the Collective Unconsciousness. The last four are the main components of MARI assessment. Jung’s teachings have been influential not only in psychology but in religion and and in literature as well.

Mandalas are circular designs that reflect the wholeness of the person creating them. According to Carl Jung, ” a mandala is the psychological expression of the totality of the self”. The ability to recognize circles is built into our visual apparatus. Researchers have found that our eyes organize visual input into patterns even before transmitting perceptions to the brain. According to Gestalt psychology, simple, closed forms, such as circles, are more quickly perceived and recognized as meaningful. Because of this, circles come forward out of a confusing mass of random visual input and are recognized as something known and familiar.

From the moment of birth, the circle is associated with healthy physical and psychological development. Drawing mandalas taps into our natural affinity for circles and recalls some of our earliest experiences. We respond to a circle when we respond to our parent’s faces. Circles remind us of the fundamental fact that we exist, and they make us aware of our primary identity as a physical being that occupies space. When we, as adults, draw circles, we revisit these childhood discoveries. As we grow and develop more complex ideas about who we are, creating circular mandalas is a way back to our primary sense of self.

Drawing mandalas helps us center psychologically. A circle is a soothing touchstone in the lifelong process of growth and change. Creating or coloring a mandala helps us orient ourselves, integrate new information about ourselves, and re-formulate our identity. This is a continuation of the process that begins when we are children drawing circles and creating mandalas.

According to Jung, the powerful, generative center of our inner reality is the Self. This point of focus within us cannot be directly known. It remains outside of awareness, in the unconscious, and yet its pattern guides our psychological development throughout life. The Self is the true center of personality, but we are much more familiar with the Ego, that which we know as “I.” The Ego seems to us to be of central importance because we can know it directly with our conscious mind.

Whether or not you are aware of the Self, it exerts a powerful influence on your life. The quality of your conscious existence is largely determined by the connection between the Ego and the Self. When Ego and Self are in harmony, much energy is freed for thinking, caring, and creating. When Ego and Self are not closely connected, life can seem flat and complicated. There is little energy available for accomplishing things in the outer world.

The Self exists from the beginning of life and guides the development of your Ego. Your Ego develops within the matrix of the Self and even after it separates from the Self – when, as a child, you begin to speak of yourself as “I” – your Ego remains connected to the Self. Throughout life, the Self acts as a guarantor for your Ego. When stress, inner conflicts, or expanding consciousness challenge your Ego, the natural order of the Self comes forward and restores harmony.

Sometimes the Self instigates change when your Ego is stuck in a pattern that is not keeping with your true character. This can feel like a disaster to the Ego that resists change. The intervention of the Self in your life can seem like the visitation of a higher power. Indeed, Jung considered the Self to be like the image of God within each of us. Just as Job struggled to submit to the harsh love of his God, so we may flounder when the divine works its ways through us in the directives of the Self.

Jung believed that symbol creation was a key in understanding human nature. Symbol, as defined by Jung, is the best possible expression for something essentially unknown. He researched the similarity of symbols that are located in different religious, mythological, and magical systems which occur in many cultures and time periods. To account for these similar symbols occurring across different cultures and time periods, he suggested the existence of two layers of the unconscious psyche. The first of the two layers was the Personal Unconscious. It contains what the individual has acquired in his or her life but has been forgotten or repressed. The second layer is the Collective Unconscious, which contains the memory traces common to all humankind. These experiences form Archetypes. These are innate predispositions to experience and symbolize certain situations in a distinct way. There are many Archetypes, such as having parents, finding a mate, having children, and confronting death. Very complex Archetypes are found in all mythological and religious systems. Near the end of his life, Jung added that the deepest layers of the Unconscious function independently of the laws of space, time, and causality.

What is MARI?


MARI (Mandala Assessment Research Instrument) was first created by Joan Kellogg, an art therapist, in the 1980s. It was further developed by Michele “Shelley” Takei into the current version used today. I was personally trained by one of Shelley’s co-teachers in 2010 and has been using MARI as both part of my standard psychotherapy assessment and as a complete MARI experience immersion. To learn more about MARI, please watch the video above and visit MARI website

Benefits of MARI
  • It is based on Jungian teachings and has a solid theoretical basis
  • It involves all four structures of the conscious: Thinking, Feeling, Sensation and Intuition
  • It is non-verbal and based on colors, symbols and developmental stages
  • It is based on the notion of wholeness and reveals a literal image of the psyche
  • It visually reveals client’s strengths and blockages
  • It further allows for client’s own intuitive guidance in reaching a full potential
  • It produces a rapid insight and a direction for change.
Unique MARI Experience

Complete MARI immersion is comprised of an extended session, during which a client can seek answers to a particular question, explore a certain area in life or receive general guidance for personal growth and transformation. An explored issue and surrounding circumstances are discussed, followed by the MARI test and Mandala drawing. The rest of the session is dedicated to MARI and mandala interpretations and developing suggestions for change. A client also receives a written integration of MARI findings.
MARI immersion fee is $300.

A comprehensive MARI service also allows for a follow-up MARI investigation at a designated time in the future, such as after 3, 6, or 9 months, and is geared toward clients who will be actively working on the explored issue, either on their own or with a therapist, and want to check their progress. Clients seeking extra psychotherapeutic interventions may choose to remain with me as their therapist or find another one to work with and come back to complete a follow-up MARI session.
Comprehensive MARI fee for two sessions is $400.

No matter which MARI option you choose, it is guaranteed that mandala creation will leave you with a deep understanding of self and a lasting memory of a very unique journey of self-exploration.

MARI services are not covered by insurance unless it is part of regular psychotherapy sessions. Accepted payments are IvyPay / PayPal / Venmo.

If you have any questions about MARI services or to schedule an appointment, please use my contact form here