Director of the IPS Center

Ian Masson, MS

Licensed Professional Counselor

Ian Masson is a licensed professional counselor in the state of Virginia. He graduated with his masters in clinical psychology from the Institute of Psychological Sciences, now Divine Mercy University, in 2013. For the past 8 years Ian has worked in a mental health agency providing services to children, adolescents, and adults, and directed a program that taught parenting skills to parents whose children were at risk of removal from the home. During that time, Ian received certifications in Child Centered Play Therapy and Relationship Enhancement® therapy for couples and families. He returned to Divine Mercy University as director of the IPS Center in 2021.  Ian’s clinical interests include working with children and their families to address emotional regulation and behavioral concerns, addressing relationship concerns between couples, and working with individuals to better understand and respond to their internal emotional world. Ian utilizes modalities that are largely based on relationship as the healing factor, including Child Centered Play Therapy, Relationship Enhancement Therapy, and interventions from Internal Family Systems. Ian views the relationships clients have in therapy, with others in their lives, and within themselves as key to achieving healing and freedom. 


Training Director of the IPS Center

Sr. Mary Patrice Ahearn, Psy.D.

Licensed Clinical Psychologist

Sister Mary Patrice Ahearn is a licensed clinical psychologist in the state of Michigan and the Commonwealth of Virginia and a Religious Sister of Mercy of Alma, Michigan.  Her clinical work has focused on service to the Church with the assessment of candidates to religious life and the seminary, and in working in therapy with priests, religious and seminarians. After completing her postdoctoral work, Sister worked at her community’s Sacred Heart Mercy Health Care Center in Alma, Michigan and then worked for about 2 years teaching Applied Psychology and Counseling at the University of Notre Dame in Sydney Australia. After her assignment in Australia, Sister became the Director of Counseling Services at the Pontifical North American College in Rome for 3 years. She returned to Divine Mercy University in 2021.

Sister’s professional interests include individual and group psychotherapy and her theoretical background utilizes psychodynamic, interpersonal and attachment theories. Sister is also interested in integrating a Catholic understanding of the human person with the best the science of psychology has to offer.  She ultimately sees psychotherapy as a relationship that, if attended to well, can lead to insight, self-knowledge and with the hope of gaining interior freedom from whatever is holding the person back from achieving his or her goals.


Assistant Director of the IPS Center

Kristi Vivirito, PsyD
Licensed Clinical Psychologist

Dr. Vivirito is a Licensed Clinical Psychologist in the Commonwealth of Virginia. She received her doctoral degree in Clinical Psychology from the Institute for the Psychological Sciences (IPS) at Divine Mercy University (DMU) in 2019. She completed her Pre-Doctoral Internship at Baylor University Counseling Center in Waco, Texas and returned to Virginia to complete a Post-Doctoral Fellowship at DMU which included provision of psychotherapy and psychological assessment at the IPS Center as well as teaching courses in the PsyD program at IPS. Dr. Vivirito’s professional work is focused on the practice of psychotherapy and the formation, training, and supervision of clinicians. Dr. Vivirito’s clinical interests include attachment theory, Emotionally-Focused Individual and Couples Therapy (EFIT/EFT), Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), and the integration of a Catholic vision of the human person as applied to psychotherapeutic intervention and clinical supervision.