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Barris received a Ph.D. in Psychology and Counseling from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in 1999. He also holds two Masters degrees from SWBTS- one in Marriage and Family Counseling and the other in Religious Education. He has been fully licensed as a professional counselor in the State of Texas since 1995, and is affiliated with several professional organizations for psychotherapists.

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Barris Ayres (pronounced "bear'-is airz" ), has been a practicing psychotherapist in Grapevine Texas for many years. In addition to his private practice which began in the fall of 1996, Dr. Ayres founded a counseling ministry and system of support groups for First Baptist Church Grapevine from 1992-1996. In the past Dr. Ayres has also worked as a Family Therapist for Lena Pope Home Inc., and CookChildrens' clinics in both Hurst and Lewisville. He saw patients during his internship for Allen Counseling Associates, and has been a mental health clinical case manager at various times for ValueOptions and Cigna Healthcare. While at Lena Pope Home he worked as a specialist to help accused and convicted juvenile offenders and their families overcome crises in cooperation with court and law enforcement officials. In 1994 he was named to "Who's Who In American Colleges and Universities" by the faculty of SWBTS where he was pursuing his doctorate. While in graduate school, he also held a teaching fellowship where he taught "The Psychology of Religion and Personality", and helped in the administration of the Baptist Marriage and Family Counseling Center on campus. He was recently featured in an article of the publication "Psychotherapy Finances" regarding his specialty work with ministers and their families. He has worked as a staff member in several capacities in local churches and has also been a professional musician.

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