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
Internship Neurodevelopment Center
Internship in Counseling
Interfaith Counseling Center
Internship in Counseling
Reiki lll Certified
Dr. Richard Curtin
Center for Change
My Journey from Pharmacist to Neurofeedback Therapist
I began my pharmacy career as a committed left brain, traditional medicine practitioner. A few years later I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. At the time allopathic medicine didn't offer many options, which led me to research the literature for alternatives. As a result I educated myself on the successful uses of credible complementary therapies that became a staple in my own health and wellness.
At that point I began to integrate those philosophies 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).
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 after developing panic attacks, post a major car accident, I discovered neurofeedback and was captivated right from the start.
So to make a long story short, I set out to combine all of my skills and knowledge, both in traditional and complimentary therapies and integrate them into a holistic approach to personal development. 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 relationship of mutual respect with each client, value there unique perspectives and work together towards achieving their goal.
I am a firm believer that the human body has an innate ability to heal. Given a little guidance and support an individual can identify what it is they need to change to live a healthier and happier life.
My personal experience with neurofeedback was not unheard of, but unusual. The first week changed my life, personally and professionally. Not only did my anxiety improve, my panic attacks disappeared and as a side note some symptoms I had for years, related to Multiple Sclerosis disappeared as well, and we weren't even targeting MS symptoms. After that personal experience, I was captivated by this simple, yet powerful technique. 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, 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.