Mary Anne Ericson Knolle, PhD, Presented with the Albert Nelson Marquis Lifetime Achievement Award by Marquis Who’s Who

Mary Anne Ericson Knolle, PhD, Presented with the Albert Nelson Marquis Lifetime Achievement Award by Marquis Who’s Who

Dr. Mary Anne Ericson Knolle has been endorsed by Marquis Who’s Who as a leader in the field of mental health and a psychology consultant to business, law, and financial planning

Marquis Who’s Who, the world’s premier publisher of biographical profiles, is proud to present Mary Anne Ericson Knolle with the Albert Nelson Marquis Lifetime Achievement Award. Factors such as position, noteworthy accomplishments, visibility, and prominence in a field are all taken into account during the selection process.

Across the years Dr. Knolle has added university degrees and mediation training.  She earned a Bachelor of Art in communications at the University of North Texas, followed by a Master of Art in communications at the University of Texas at Austin, a Master of Art in psychology at Houston Baptist University, and a Doctor of Philosophy in clinical psychology at Summit University. Dr. Knolle is a licensed marriage and family therapist and a licensed professional counselor.  She is also a mediator.  She is in Denton, Texas. 

In 1989 she began her private practice in individual, marriage and family therapy and consulting.  She has 30+ years of experience doing individual, marriage and family therapy, executive and business consulting, mediation, business succession planning, and collaborative divorce with a team of two attorneys, one financial planner, and her role as a mental health professional.  

Noteworthy Accomplishments

Noteworthy accomplishments include copyrights that she uses in her work and shares with professionals such as medical doctors, attorneys, clergy, and financial planners.  

1.  Personality Strengths Assessments (PSAs)©.  The client’s PSA© ranks a client’s personality strengths 1-32.  He learns if he is at 1% – 100% of Americans in each of the 32 personality strengths. He may be higher than 90% of people in the US in Dominance and 95% in Achievement.  The client selects a goal and uses his personality strengths to reach the goal.  A Workbook gives him tools.

2.  The SORT Test©.  This test is the ONLY test on the web that gives a client’s risk tolerance profile in Normal and Stress Conditions. It measures his coping strengths which remain relatively stable throughout life. The difference between Normal and Stress Conditions can be substantial.  A husband and wife can average their risk tolerance profiles.  Then the couple and the financial planner can use this combined risk tolerance profile in Normal and Stress Conditions as a tool to select investments. She refers clients to financial planners.  However, a client who does not have a financial planner can also use it as a tool to select investments. MBA students and business owners took the SORT Test© that set its validity and reliability at .75.  Test stats are available.

3.  The Medical Psychological and Legal Society (MPALS) Charter and Handbook©.  Professionals such as medical doctors, psychologists, attorneys, clergy, and financial planners can have the same client.  They can trade information and take care of the client together. She founded MPALS for psychology.  Pastor Douglas B. Barnett founded it for clergy. Robert C. Focke, JD founded it for legal.  Jackie Hart, MD founded it for medicine.  They formed it soon after AIDS became widespread in the U.S.  Mission Statement:  Excellence across professions across cultures across the years

4.  Co-Parenting Coalition©.  Plans and tools for divorcing parents to co-parent that are used by attorneys in collaborative and litigation cases and by therapists in private practice.        

5.  If You Can’t Take the Heat Turn Down the Fire©. The client learns if he is at 1% – 100% of Americans in 35 Triggers to Stress.  An MPAL psychiatrist can be added to the therapy process to see if medication is appropriate.  If financial concerns are causing stress an MPALS financial planner can consult.  If legal issues are present an MPALS attorney might help.  An MPALS clergy is also available.

Visibility and Prominence: Frameworks for Different Professionals to Work with the Same Client

Her Executive Club has one member for each profession.  She can use the PSA©, the SORT Test©, and If You Can’t Take the Heat Turn Down the Fire© to tell their clients for the first time where they are from 1% – 100% in personality strengths, risk tolerance, and stress. Then refer them to MPALS who work together to help them reach the goals they set for themselves.  She partners with these clients to consider options, select the best options, and then carry out their options until they reach the goals they set.

When a married couple must divorce she helps them get a collaborative divorce.  A Collaborative Divorce Team has six members: the husband’s attorney, the wife’s attorney, one financial planner, and one therapist. How is a collaborate divorce different from a litigated divorce?  All six Team members work together to structure a divorce that works for ALL family members. For example:  The husband’s attorney and the wife’s attorney agree to look for terms that work for both husband and wife.  One financial planner (not two) offers a financial plan that works for all family members.  The therapist meets with all family members.  People tend to support what they help to create and resist what is forced upon them.

Dr. Knolle’s work with attorneys in collaborative and litigated divorces led to a 2008 invitation to speak at the state convention of the Association of Family and Conciliatory Courts (AFCC).  In this.organization judges, attorneys, and therapists consider how to improve the divorce process.  Her topic was, “The Use of Personality Strengths Assessments (PSAs)© in Divorce Cases with Allegations of Child Abuse and/or Domestic Violence.”  She was an AFCC Board member in 2009-2011.

Anyone can get a Personality Strengths Assessment (PSA)© at and learn his risk tolerance profile in Normal and Stress Conditions at

Prior to her work in psychology, Dr. Knolle was an instructor at the University of Baltimore, Miami Dade College, Savannah State University, and the University of Houston. She was also an instructor and the Director of Public Relations at Alvin Community College in Texas.

Pro Bono Work

For many years she has enjoyed doing volunteer work. In 1966 she was a consultant for the University of Texas law school’s Moot Court.  In 1972 she was president of the alumnae group of Alpha Delta Pi.  In 1976 she was chairman of the education committee for the Alvin Chamber of Commerce.   In  1979, Dr. Knolle received the Blockbuster Award from United Way. In 1982 she was a judge for the Houston Jaycees regional speech contest.  In 2016 she was a Silver Fox Advisor of the CEO Roundtable.  In 2018 – 2020 she served on the Finance, Commission Candidate Support, and Pastor Support Committees at the First Methodist Church in Denton. In 2020 – 2024 she is a Board member of the Board of Ministry for the North Texas Conference of the United Methodist Church.  The Board assesses and approves pastor candidates for commission and ordination.

Dr. Knolle can be reached at

Her family is important to her.  Her husband is Jon Warren Knolle, MD.  Her daughters are Sarah Ann Israel and Sonja Alexis Borda.  Her granddaughter is Kathryn Marie Borda.

About Marquis Who’s Who®:

Since 1899, when A. N. Marquis printed the First Edition of Who’s Who in America®, Marquis Who’s Who® has chronicled the lives of the most accomplished individuals and innovators from every significant field of endeavor, including politics, business, medicine, law, education, art, religion and entertainment. Today, Who’s Who in America® remains an essential biographical source for thousands of researchers, journalists, librarians and executive search firms around the world. Marquis® publications may be visited at the official Marquis Who’s Who® website at

Interview with Dr Knolle!

Dr Knolle will appear on ACC Global Media  Her topic will be “on Personality Strength Assessment Test for Relationship, Career & Life Success”. Make your plans now to hear this informative presentation. The date of the interview sill be announced shortly.

Is your love relationship where you want it to be?  Are you achieving in your career what you want to achieve?  Are you facing a major change in your life?

Love, success, change, compromise, respect, progress; As human beings, we’re all born with the same desire to be loved and to succeed at something we truly enjoy. While the cards may not always fall into place just how we’d like, we are still capable of achieving everything we set out for. To some, seeking the help of professionals like therapists or coaches may seem like a weak maneuver. “I don’t need this, I don’t have to change my ways,” they say. But all of those brave enough to take that step will declare…

Change is good. Change starts with identifying one’s unique personality strengths.  Then setting personal and professional goals.  Then using these unique personality strengths to accomplish one’s goals.   Here is where Dr. Mary Anne Knolle comes in.

Incorporating an extremely impressive educational and professional background, Dr. Knolle has been practicing family and marriage therapy along with business coaching for 27 years. Her educational achievements consist of 4 university degrees including a Masters in Communication and a Ph.D. in Psychology.

How does Dr. Knolle help clients move their love relationship and career achievement closer to where they want it to be?

This move towards progress between Dr. Knolle and her clients starts with the utilization of her Personality Strengths Assessment (PSA) ©. They take objective tests on her website that tell them their 1) coping strategies, 2) temperament strengths, and 3) values – their personality strengths.  This is their PSA©.

How is the PSA© unique?

Like standardized tests, these tests tell clients their exact place.  For instance they are higher than 95% of us in Achievement.    Higher than 90% of us in Economic Value… and higher than 85% of us in Nurturance.

Now they have clarity.  With clarity they can set a goal and use their personality strengths (their PSA©) to achieve them.

We all face Change – it is the one great constant in our lives.  We graduate.  Get a job.  Have a work change.  Select a life partner.  Have children.  Have a relationship change.  Face a new challenge.  Come to a fork in the road.  Get an opportunity we never thought we would have.

Would you like to know your personality strengths – so you can use them to make a change in your life?

The magnificent scope of her work is superlative. Whether it’s personal issues with relationships, love, marriage and divorce or professional dilemmas from choosing the right college, the right job, negotiating salary, all the way to planning for retirement, it’s truly amazing to see the results-driven process behind Dr. Knolle’s work.

What motivates Dr. Knolle?   “I love seeing objective tests show people what their God-given personality strengths are. Then they set a goal and reach it – USING their strengths.

For example, if my client experiences a setback, he or she is really discouraged. Then they SEE from an objective test that they are higher than 95% of us in Achievement… and higher than 90% of us in Economic Value… and higher than 85% of us in Nurturance.

NOW they have clarity.  This clarity empowers them to have the confidence to set a goal.  And the assurance to believe that they can achieve it – using their unique strengths.  My client says, “WOW!  I can do this!  And here’s HOW I will do it!”

Dr. Knolle looks forward to telling us her clients’ stories – and their successes.



Let’s Empower You Seminar

This is a seminar for women who are divorced or separated and want to “Make Change an Adventure”.  Here you learn how you can use your God-given personality strengths to plan your new life to be the way that you want it to be.  One step at a time.

You meet two people who are taking steps in their new life.  First you meet Rebecca.  Then you meet Grace.  You hear their stories.  Learn their personality strengths.  See how Rebecca and then Grace get the courage to take the first step in their new lives.  None of us has to take the first step without making a plan.  All of us can learn what we are just good at – then make a plan and take a step.

You get Sense of Humor Partners (SOHPs).  When nothing looks funny your SOHP makes you laugh anyway – and you do that for her.

Today you and your SOHPs brainstorm.  Discuss what second steps Rebecca and then Grace could take.  Then you get an update – What are Rebecca and Grace doing today?

Tomorrow – or later – you and your SOHPs can go to dinner.  Practice finding something to laugh about.  Plan next steps.  Try on next steps together.  Then have dinner again.  See what happened.  Laugh again.

….So who are seminar leaders?  Mary Anne.  First she tells a funny story about what happened when she took a first step.  We’ve gotta’ start laughing somewhere.  Then Lisa gives you thoughts about what you might want to do next.

Let’s be comfortable.  Wear jeans if you like.  There’s no one here but us gals.  Won’t we have fun?

Speakers:  Dr. Mary Anne Knolle, LMFT and Lisa Marcelli, CFP of Wunderlich Securities, Inc.

When:  Saturday, September 21, 2013

Time:  9:30 – 11:00 AM

Where:  4400 Post Oak Parkway, Suite 1400, Houston, TX 77027

Breakfast items will be served during the presentation.

Please RSVP to Lisa Marcelli or 713.220.5159



How to Tell Your Child that You Are Getting a Divorce©


 1.  The parents tell the children together.

 2.  The parents select a time when the children will have some time to adjust before they are required to be somewhere or do something.  For instance, after lunch on Saturday about 2 pm and nothing is planned for the evening. 

 3.  The parents take turns talking.  So that the children see that both parents support this decision. 

 Example of what to say:  “(Parent 1 says) your mother and I have made a decision that we want to share with you.  We have thought very carefully about this decision.  There is nothing that you can do that will change our minds. 

 Your mother and I have decided that we respect, honor, and value each other.  But we have decided that we cannot live together in the same house any longer.  When parents can no longer live together then they get a divorce.  Your mother and I are getting a divorce.”

 4.  The children must understand that

                 A.            Both of their parents will always love them.

                 B.            It is not the child’s fault that the parents are getting a divorce. 

                 C.            No matter what the child does, the parents are going to divorce.  There is nothing that a child can do to prevent the divorce.

 Example of what to say:  “(Parent 2 says) your father and I want you to know that we both love you and always will love you – no matter what.  Also, we want you to know that it is not your fault that we are getting a divorce.  You have not done anything at all to cause this divorce.

 No matter what you do you cannot stop us from divorcing.  So, please do not even try.  Do you have any questions?”

 A child will have questions.  Either Parent 1 or Parent 2 can answer all of these questions.

 Some Questions that a Child May Have

1.  Mommy, are you getting a divorce because you love someone else?  Daddy, are you getting a divorce because you love someone else?

 Example of what to say:  “We are getting a divorce because we realize that we cannot live together any more.  That is not the same as loving someone else.  The specific reasons why mommy and daddy are getting a divorce is an adult subject.  Mommy and daddy do not discuss adult subjects with a child. 

 What you need to know is that we thought about it very carefully together.  And both of us decided that we are going to divorce…Do you have any other questions?”  

 And they probably will.  Questions like

 2.  Where am I going to live?

 Example of what to say:  “Sometimes you will live with mommy, and sometimes you will live with daddy.   We will work it out.”

 3.  Am I still going to the same school? 

 Example of what to say:  “Sure.  Nothing about your school changes.”

 4.  Can I have my friends over?

 Example of what to say:  “Sure.  Whenever mommy or daddy can do that.”

 5.  Can I still go see my grandparents/aunt and uncle/cousins? 

 Example of what to say:  “Sure.  Whenever mommy or daddy can do that.

 6.  Where is the dog/cat going to live? 

 Example of what to say:  “The dog/cat lives where s/he lives now.  The apartment does not let your dad have pets.”

 What Else Can You Do?

Here are some thoughts.  You will think of more things to do that fit your particular family, friends, school and church.

 1.  Does your child know anyone whose parents have divorced – perhaps a friend or relative?

 2.  Consult your school counselor.  You might want to know

                 A.            Does your child’s school counselor know some

children whose parents have divorced?

                 B.            Does s/he know of a support group for children going through divorce?

                 C.            Does s/he meet with children who are going through divorce?

                 D.            Will s/he meet with you and advise you?                          

3.  Consult your church.  What programs does the church have for kids?

 4.  Have a counselor read Dinosaur’s DivorceThat way a child can talk to the counselor about what s/he feels without worrying that s/he is making a parent feel bad about talking about something that is painful to the parent, too. 

 5.  A counselor can meet with a child and mom – or a child and dad. 

 6.  What questions do you want to ask that you don’t see here?

Welcome to our website and to our Blog!

Dr. Mary Anne Knolle, Ph.D, LMFT, LPC
Mary Anne Welcomes You!

Our Mission Statement:  To give you 32 of your personality strengths in your Personality Strengths Assessment (PSA)© so that you can intentionally use them to reach your personal goals and professional goals.

People who structure personality strengths tests have one goal:  To tell you what your personality strengths are. This site gives you case studies of real people and how they use their personality strengths every day. It is important to note that the test results are oriented toward American users. Persons from different cultures view personality strengths and weaknesses differently, and this must be taken into account when you consider the results reported to you by these tests.

We all face challenges on a daily basis that we have to deal with, and knowing ourselves better, understanding our own strengths and weaknesses, can make a difference in how we are able to handle those challenges. Dealing with challenges within relationships only complicates the matter further. Now we not only need to be concerned with our own inclinations and response patterns, but we have to consider the tendencies and preferences that others who are involved also bring to the situation. Sometimes the qualities that others bring into a relationship complement those that we bring, and sometimes they can be in direct conflict with them.

Our approach to helping our clients to accomplish their goals is to clarify the characteristics that participants in the relationship have, and to work with our clients to understand better the role that those qualities might play in their relationships. We offer tools that have been proven to assist many others over the years.

The Articles section of our site is where we give you reference information to help you understand the environment in which this all takes place.  In Our Case Studies section you meet real people.  They have used their PSA©s to accomplish 10 personal goals and 10 professional goals.

Our blog is a supplement to the information provided on the site. It will offer short informational pieces and observations that come to mind as we observe the world around us, and point out interesting and relevant topics for your consideration. Occasionally we might have news bulletins about a new development in our field, or a new offering that we are able to make to our clients.

We hope you will find our efforts helpful and rewarding and we look forward to helping you to accomplish your personal and professional goals.


Dr Mary Anne Knolle, LMFT, LPC





Dr. Mary Anne Knolle