Creating the Healing Path: Mari M. Schnitzius-Richko
By: Diana Hinojosa
“I needed to find a better way,” said Mari M. Schnitzius-Richko, when she realized the Western atmosphere in her clinical environment was leaving her unhappy. The year was 1986, and Mari felt trapped in a “revolving-door system” in which people were not healing.
As a dance therapist during this time, Mari was not feeling well and attended to a woman that introduced her to a different approach of the healing process. Having grown up in a scholarly environment, Mari struggled with the curiosity of this new un-scientific approach, yet she realized she had been slowly feeling better and improving with this peculiar method.
She said, “I was interested, but the other part of me was very strict.”
After this struggle, Mari decided to leave her job one day, and ventured into the world of the eastern psychological approach to psychotherapy.
Beginning with the study of Hakomi, a form of body centered therapy that serves as a therapeutic expression for mindfulness, unity, mind, body, spirit holism, non-violence,and organicity, Mari began to appreciate the Chinese practices of therapy.
With this knowledge, she began her own business with 100 dollars. Her business lasted about eight years, until Mari decided to get her masters at the age of 39. She now specializes in Jin Shin Do Acupressure, Zen Shiatsu, the Internal Family Systems Therapy model, and traditional counseling at The Awakening Center.
As a member of The Awakening Center, Mari feels supported by her co-workers and enjoys being a part of a team with a personal protocol. She became a member while working with the IFS model, through which she met the director of the Awakening Center, Amy Grabowski.
She says, “I needed to finish the clinical route to create the healing path for people. Everything that I was doing would ultimately work together.”
Mari’s experience in the field has become a success because of the tools she has acquired to provide for her clients. She feels that her role as a therapist is to be a “facilitator of achievement.” Her most valued experiences as a body-centered psychotherapist are those moments she can provide the clients with a space to grow, and to join them in their grief, while being a witness to their pain.
She says, “I feel very humble and grateful to do the things I can do.”
In addition to the services mentioned above, Mari co-leads "Yoga Talk" a yoga therapy group on Monday evenings. For more information contact Mari at (773) 929-6262 x15.