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Restorative Alternative Wellness: Helping You Through Tough Times

By Marina I. Jokic

Restorative Alternative Wellness is a private counseling and wellness center that has been treating various emotional and physical conditions for well over twenty years. Under the guidance and vision of Dr. Gina Pazzaglia, PhD, LCSW, and LADC, the center has designed several programs, which offer recovery for those affected by domestic violence, addiction, bi-polar disorder, anger issues, and various other trauma.

Located in Moore, Oklahoma, Restorative Alternative Wellness, also known as Restorative Counseling, focuses on providing clinical counseling that incorporates a body and mind medicinal treatment. Dr. Pazzaglia, herself a victim of domestic violence, resolved to dedicate her life to people suffering similar physical and psychological trauma, and to teach them resilience and independence.

Early on, Pazzaglia found herself helping her friends and acquaintances in a variety of roles including community service and volunteering at church. Having gained some experience, including as childbirth educator and lay midwife, Pazzaglia decided it was time to formalize her knowledge.

"After my bachelor's and master's degree[s] and having my clinical licenses, I was the pain program coordinator at a pain management center from 1997 to 1998, and saw amazing successes when working with very complex cases using the body, soul, spirit curriculum," she states.

In 1998, Pazzaglia officially opened the predecessor to her current practice, also called Restorative Counseling Services, a non-profit agency based in the Christian tradition. The agency was operational until 2008, when Pazzaglia decided she wanted to launch a new practice which would incorporate a more comprehensive body-mind approach.

During completion of her dissertation in the psychology of behavioral medicine, Pazzaglia opened her private practice under the same name as the agency which she had just closed. Her professional trajectory was a natural progression of her love of helping people: "The fact that even as a child and teenager, I innately and intuitively had an ability to help people; counseling and therapy comes naturally to me."

Restorative Counseling offers a variety of programs, each of which is specifically adapted to a particular psychological condition. The guiding principle at the center is that the human brain can be rewired in a way as to break destructive habits and prevent relapse.

"I delight in offering my patients a smorgasbord of tools so they have a wide variety of styles to use in their recovery journey," says Pazzaglia. When you enter the center, you will be greeted by Flora, the friendly therapy Greyhound, who will put you immediately at ease. "She is sensitive to others' pain and will naturally and quietly sit at the feet of those who are hurting," adds Pazzaglia.

Aside from the traditional therapy approach, Restorative Counseling offers energy healing, exercise and nutritional advice as well as self-help strategies. For instance, there is Qi Gong, thought field therapy, mindfulness, neurolinguistics programs, infrared sauna, ionic foot detoxification, and audio hypnotherapy. There are also Creative Expression workshops offered quarterly whereby women find ways to increase beneficial natural chemicals in their lives through some creative activity as well as a women's abuse recovery group.

In addition to being a therapist, Pazzaglia has authored several self-help books including "Healing the Bruises," and "Seasons with You", as well as a novel trilogy named "Celestine Algorithms".

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