Advanced Wellness SolutionsJul 29, 2013 03:26PM ● By Linda Sechrist
Crystal Pizarro, owner of Advanced Wellness Solutions, in Clarksboro, began counseling at a local non-for-profit that worked with children who had experienced multiple forms of trauma. It was the perfect opportunity to apply her master’s degree in applied psychology and mental health counseling from Rowan University. During this time, Pizarro and her colleagues noticed an emerging pattern—a high percentage of clientele at the agency were returning to the system. “That pattern manifested around the same time that I had a medical scare and began researching holistic healing alternatives because I didn’t want to go with conventional treatment and its side effects,” says Pizarro.
The first healing modality that Pizarro felt drawn to was Reiki. After her second session, she had an epiphany, “I knew that I needed to learn about this so that I had another tool to share with the children and families that I served. I recognized how powerful it was and how it worked with subtle energy so that it could easily be received by anyone going through emotional difficulties. It wasn’t just something else for them to do; it was a way for them to just be and receive,” advises Pizarro, who became a Reiki Master over a three-year period.
The idea of having more tools that could help her clients brought to Pizarro’s mind a quote attributed to Abraham Maslow—“… if the only tool you have is a hammer, you’ll treat everything as if it were a nail.” To Pizarro, the quote felt profound and to her clients the tools she offered them often brought about the type of deep insights that foster lasting change. “In my sessions with clients, I incorporated the knowledge I learned about the mind/body connection as well as energy and how it pertains to emotional health and healing. I wanted them to understand that instead of looking out of the window for advice they could in the mirror for the solutions. It gave them a sense of empowerment to know that they could to take responsibility for their own healing,” explains Pizarro.
Pizarro jokes that her counseling room at the outpatient mental health clinic looked like a spa. “I had a keyboard for music, a sand tray, battery-run candles, meditation music, yoga mats and rose petals. I also did mindfulness meditation and used aromatherapy. My goal was to create an experience for clients that they didn’t have in their home. I knew that if my space could feel like a safe home, then they would be at ease, which made it easier for them to access on the inside what was possible for them. True healing occurs when people realize that their strength and guidance comes from within,” remarks Pizarro.
Family meditations became common occurrences in Pizarro’s counseling space. “If there was a lot of conflict among different family members, I had them all come in together and we would begin with a 15-minute meditation, which allowed them to see who they were, not what they were projecting onto each other. I also taught them how to use meditation as a helpful tool so they could release their defenses and just ‘be’. The precondition for change is not necessarily trying, it’s acceptance,” notes Pizarro.
After mastering Reiki, the subject of nutrition caught Pizarro’s attention. She’d always been a conscious eater and knew that there was an innate connection between nutrition and mental health. “I earned my certification in nutrition and began creating nutritional plans for various clients whom were living with depression, anxiety, and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. They reported that they slept better and experienced more energy. The best part was that they thought it was cool to create something that made them feel awesome on the inside and out,” she says.
Life coaching was next. “I felt called to do something more rather than something else, which was why I felt that life coaching chose me,” remarks Pizarro, who is still passionate about counseling and loves that she has an additional strength-based and uplifting tool to help clients. “Life isn’t just about getting better; it’s about truly living an inspired and passionate life, and this is what life coaching is all about,” she enthuses.
Pizarro’s progressive and integrative approach to emotional wellness includes an outreach community focus that involves in-home services and volunteer work. “It can be helpful to be in someone’s physical environment to gain additional insight into the person, bring the energy healing into their home, and show them how to read labels in their food pantry or cupboard,” advises Pizarro, whose intention for the mission of her community- based practice is to empower others to use their inner strengths to experience true emotional wellness and life purpose.
Advanced Wellness Solutions, Clarksboro. 609-320-6339. Advanced-Wellness-Solutions.com.