Monthly Archives: September 2016

Anna Marie Hrivnak


“Listening to one’s self as well as to others is a sacred act of healing. There is a higher octave of listening that hears the wisdom within the words.”  ― Cheryl Hamada


I have had the privilege of working at Starting Point since September 2005. I’ve selected two quotes to begin and end my writing here as I believe strongly in the power of the written word and our ability to internalize the wisdom offered by others who have traveled the path toward healing. I contribute quotes and inspirational saying every week to the Quote Box, along with books to our sharing library shelves in The Starting Point’s waiting room which are extensions of my belief in the power of healing.


With a Master’s Degree in Education, I’ve taught school in Pennsylvania, Texas and New Jersey.  My positions as teacher, school counselor, developer/facilitator of a Gifted and Talented program, school disciplinarian and Vice Principal, provided me the opportunity to work closely with families over a 37 year period. Prior to teaching I worked at Byberry State Hospital which allowed me to interact with patients on a one-to-one basis. Reading to the patients was one form of therapy I initiated. It showed me, once again, the power of the written word and its ability to initiate personal introspection and reflection, which can become cornerstones to inner healing.


During my twelve years at Starting Point I have given workshops on The Gift of Change, journaling and creative writing themes, labyrinth walks, dream work, and self-empowerment. I co-facilitate a weekly series with Cort Hrivnak on twenty-four areas of strength and development based on the Positive Psychology model from the University of Pennsylvania. This free weekly program (on Thursdays at 7pm) reflects my strong belief in the power of our internal wisdom.


In my practice I encourage clients to build on their inner wisdom while journeying through the transformational phases of their lives. It is in learning to find that quiet place within, a place where we can recharge and replenish our souls, that will lead us to have the courage to listen for and to that still small voice emerging from deep within, for this is our true guidance. This is our true essence, our wisdom.


“When wisdom arises, our inherent power as a being naturally arises as well, and then we begin to view things differently. We begin to see things based on the truth that we have found inside, not the truth that is imposed by others on us.”  ― M. Laurie CantilA Magician’s Visit


Anna Marie Hrivnak

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The Personalization of Trauma

By Allie F. Miller, M.A., L.M.F.T.


One of the thornier problems in recovery from a traumatic event is that the person who has experienced the trauma often personalizes what has happened to him/her. In other words, they often believe that they are to blame for it or are somehow culpable. This is usually not the case, and is almost always false when dealing with people who experienced trauma as children. In fact, the erroneous belief that one is to blame for the trauma is usually one of the symptoms of the trauma that must be addressed in treatment, and can also in many cases be very stubborn to eliminate.


In working with survivors of childhood sexual abuse, I often hear clients say something like, “Why didn’t I stop it?” or “Why didn’t I know better?” These statements are usually uttered from the perspective of their adult-self, who could stop it and who would know better, but as a child they were almost always powerless to prevent it. Most survivors forget that when the abuse occurred there was most often a very large age gap and power differential between them and their perpetrators. They also usually forget that their perps may have spent significant time and effort “grooming” them prior to the abuse, often giving them gifts or heaping praise and attention on them. Most children are very eager to please and become very trusting of an adult who has seemingly bonded with and become emotionally invested in them.


One of the ways that often helps to begin to break up this erroneous belief of being at fault for the abuse is to ask the client if they know of or are around any children who are currently the age that s/he was when the abuse occurred. Perhaps they can identify a nephew or niece or maybe even one of their own children or grandchildren. If so, I ask the client to reflect on and assess that child’s ability (i.e., the niece’s or nephew’s ability, say) to ward off the advances of an adult. I also ask them if they would hold that child responsible should they learn that a similar abuse (God forbid!) had happened to that niece or nephew. After some time and thought, clients often begin to soften towards themselves and begin to de-personalize the trauma.


Allie F. Miller, M.A., L.M.F.T.

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The Healing Sounds of Music

By Marie B Olwell, M.Ed., D. Min.


The sound of music has the ability to repair aspects of ourselves that are out of alignment as well as to restore us to spiritual wholeness. Sound has the ability to positively affect our whole being and helps us get to the source of inner peace we all desire.


The reason that we need music is that the stresses of modern society distort the vibrations of the cells in our body. To assist these distorted vibrations in returning to normal, we can choose music (vibrations) with the right rhythm, tempo, tone and melody to cancel out distortion. When a portion of the body is vibrating out of harmony, we call this condition “disease.” Our body, mind and spirit always want to be moving in a direction toward balance, yet we often have too much outer stimulus and noise and not enough time to dedicate to ourselves a better state of harmony.


Music, then, can be an important part of our program of primary prevention—the prevention of illness at a pre-physical, energy-imbalance level.


Marie B. Olwell, M.Ed., D. Min.


Jackie Caré


This brief introduction will tell you a little about myself and our Laser Therapy business to assist those who wish to become ex-smokers.

I grew up in South Philadelphia with parents who loved to entertain and constantly had family and friends over, serving lots of food and drink, but there was also a great deal of cigarette smoking. In fact, it seemed like the entire neighborhood was filled with smokers. Back then it was normal for everyone to smoke in the house. My father was a World War II veteran and back then the government even gave the GI’s cigarettes before they went into battle.  Needless to say, there was lots of smoking going on in and around my house. Everyone it seemed was smoking, except for me.  I had many problems as a child with my breathing, asthma and bronchitis. I remember going to the doctors as a teenager, and he would tell me to quit smoking. He said my lungs where like those of someone who smoked two packs a day. The funny thing: I never smoked a day in my life!  Second-hand smoke was very prevalent back then, and most of us did not even know they were being affected by it.

A number of years ago my brother–in-law who is a doctor told my husband and me about a laser procedure to quit smoking. We went to train with a pioneer in the field and then opened up a facility of our own in Cherry Hill.  After much press and some national exposure we became one of the longest running facilities in the country that helps people quit smoking.  Today our office has downsized and as a result, the success rate has dramatically increased due to the devotion of helping one client at a time each and every time no matter what it takes.  Our success comes from word of mouth only, and as everyone knows, word of mouth is the best form of advertising.

We’ve helped thousands of people quit smoking since 2004. It works! No pain, no side effects. The day you come in is the day you stop smoking. We apply a completely painless cold laser to 27 pressure points, resulting in a feeling like you just had a cigarette. You feel alert and relaxed with no side effects. That procedure, coupled with some tips, tricks and counseling will keep you smoke-free for life.  What more could a smoker want when s/he wants to quit?

We would love to answer any questions regarding the laser and how it works. Feel free to give us a call for more info or look us up at We look forward to hearing from you and helping you become smoke-free!


Jackie Caré 

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