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Neurofeedback Therapist

Cristina Berard, RPh, MEd
Founder of A Mind of Your Own

Bachelor of Science in Pharmacy
University of Rhode Island

Masters of Education in Counseling
Providence College

Internship  Neurodevelopment Center
Neurofeedback Therapy
Providence, RI

Internship in Counseling
Interfaith Counseling Center
Providence, RI

Internship in Counseling
Dean College
Franklin, MA

Reiki lll Certified
Dr. Richard Curtin
Center for Change
Cambridge, Ma

My Journey from Pharmacist to Neurofeedback Therapist

I was a pharmacist for 20 years, working in both hospital and retail pharmacy.  A few years into my career as a pharmacist, I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis.  At the time traditional medicine didn't have much to offer, my background in pharmacy was of little help in guiding me through my journey.  This led me to search the literature for alternatives, as a result I educated myself on the successful uses of credible complementary therapies, which became a staple in my own health and wellness.  

At that point I began to integrate those approaches into my practice as a pharmacist.  The goal was to counsel my clients to live healthier lives, use credible approaches to either lower the dose or eliminate the need for medication altogether (of course with the supervision of a physician). My search for information on living a healthier lifestyle continued and I incorporated that knowledge into counseling my clients.   I also began to fully understand the role that the mind/body connection played on disease and overall quality of life, which led me to seek a masters degree in counseling. 


Years later I was involved in a major car accident which left me with the after affects of a concussion.  I struggled for a few years with effects related to the accident, in particular, panic attacks which progressively worsened despite seeking help.  It was only after a friend of mine encouraged me to try neurofeedback, that I began to feel like myself again.  For me, the change was significant early into the therapy.  I couldn't believe that after struggling for so long, that this seemingly simple type of biofeedback had such a profound effect.  As a patient, I was grateful, and as a health professional I was hooked.  I had to understand how this approach worked.  This impacted my life so dramatically that I was compelled to offer it to others as well.  

I set out to combine all of my skills in counseling and my pharmaceutical knowledge with my training in neurofeedback and integrate them into an integrative approach to health.  Each client is unique with a different set of goals and their needs will dictate which strategies and approaches are more appropriate.  I don't have a recipe that works for all, my foundation is to build a person-centered relationship of mutual respect with each client, value their unique perspectives and work together towards achieving their goal.  I am a firm believer that the human body has an innate ability to heal, especially when given sufficient guidance and support.

My personal experience with neurofeedback changed my life, personally and professionally.  Not only did my anxiety improve, my panic attacks disappeared. A few symptoms I had had for years, related to Multiple Sclerosis disappeared as well, and we weren't even targeting MS symptoms.   As a pharmacist I had counseled many clients with anxiety, depression, ADHD and PTSD and although medications can be lifesaving, I also saw how adverse drug reactions and side effects can complicate the healing process. Having a background in counseling as well, I understood that neurofeedback could potentially play an important role in the healing process.  


I received a certification in neurofeedback from EEG Education and Research and trained with Ed Hamlin, PhD who is at the cutting edge of neurofeedback research and completed an internship with Larry Hirshberg, PhD,  a professor at Brown University, who also does research and gathers clinical data on neurofeedback therapy and outcomes.  I've also continued my education with Sebern Fisher, a pioneer in the field of neurofeedback and developmental trauma.  I will forever be grateful to my mentor and friend, Nancy Hetherington, neurofeedback therapists I know for supporting me on this journey.  


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