Meet Dr. Bernadette Pivarunas

Dr. Pivarunas was born and raised in Chicago, but for the last six years has called Colorado home.

See more about her Education and Training below.

In her free time she is kept very busy by two beagles, JoJo (12) and Ella (11).

She enjoys yoga, hiking, movies, and culinary adventures.

Dr. Bernadette Pivarunas

What is radical healing?

Radical means to affect the fundamental nature of something; radical is synonymous with thorough, comprehensive, and far-reaching. 

Radical healing was born from my belief that healing, by its very nature, is comprehensive and revolutionary. For far too long the approach to mental health has been about reducing symptoms. Symptom reduction is great and certainly makes someone feel better, but it is often short-term. I’m interested in reducing symptoms and identifying the root causes of the symptoms. We must treat concerns at the root, at their origin, rather than superficially.

As a developmentalist, I’m also interested in contexts: the environments in which people spend their lives (school, work, home, family, and so on) as these environments impact health and well-being. For far too long we’ve blamed, shamed, and labeled folks for manifesting the distress in their systems. I’m interested in understanding these systems and educating individuals that the very behaviors and symptoms that have been previously seen as “bad" are actually typical responses exhibited by human beings in high stress situations. 

Finally, radical healing calls on me, as a mental health provider, to be creative and work outside the box to develop and implement interventions and solutions that are unique to each individual. As a result, I don't spend a lot of time in the office. I’m often found walking with a client and their dog, playing at the park, partnering with a client at a psychiatry appointment, investigating resources in the community such as housing, food, and legal assistance, equipping schools to better respond to an adolescent’s needs, supporting couples in their homes where the distress actually originates, and so forth. 

EDUCATION & TRAINING

  • Ph.D. & M.S., Colorado State University

  • Fellowship: University of North Carolina, Center of Excellence for Eating Disorders

  • Internship: Children's Hospital Colorado, Pediatric Endocrinology and Obstetrics & Gynecology

  • Externship: University of Chicago, Adult Eating and Weight Disorders Program

    Trained in the following Modalities:

  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Mindfulness, and Interpersonal Psychotherapy

  • Crisis Assessment & Intervention

  • Psychobiological Approach to Couple Therapy (PACT), Level 1 Clinician

  • Sensorimotor Psychotherapy (SP), Level 1 Clinician

Wounds are what break open the soul to plant the seeds of our growth.
— Ann Voskamp