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Awaken Counseling offers a holistic approach

On the left is Maria Shea, MF, and on the right is Lucy Pirner, MS together they opened Awaken Counseling and Wellness in Hudson. They are celebrating the one-year anniversary of their business which is located at 1200 Hosford St. Photo by Margaret A. Ontl

It was clear when Lucy Pirner and Maria Shea met they were of like minds, both being licensed professional counselors and having a common background working with non-profits and high-risk populations. A little over a year ago, the two decided to combine their efforts, forming Awaken Counseling and Wellness. They also have in common the strong belief that healing can be done on many levels and with the help of many modalities.

"We shared ideas about integrative health care," said Maria Shea.

"That was combined with the desire for a holistic approach to health," said Lucy Pirner. The result is that in addition to offering psycho-therapy, they also offer yoga, meditation and energy healing as well as having Paul Gerst, a licensed acupuncturist and Eva Branson, a certified massage therapist on site by appointment.

Shea, a native of Fargo, N.D., completed her undergraduate degree at the University of Minnesota and her master's at St. Mary's College.

"I kind of knew that I wanted to go this route," said Shea. "I was drawn to psychology. They were the classes that made sense." As a psycho-therapist Shea is amazed and saddened by the stigma that therapy continues to have.

"I'm always looking for ways to help people be the best they can be," said Shea. "I like to encourage people to think more of it as my being their life coach. Even conventional medicine is acknowledging the connection between disease and thought processes."

Pirner is a Twin Cities native, who earned her undergraduate degree from UW-Stout and also has her master's.

"I originally went to study fashion merchandizing," said Pirner. "Then I took a general psychology class. I learned so much because it was a non-traditional teaching style. I took a couple more classes and all of the sudden I was hooked. I love my job, especially working with adolescents and kids. Teenagers are really where I specialize." Pirner also teaches yoga focusing on the mental health aspect of yoga.

Shea, also does counseling work with couples and conducts classes in stress reduction through Mindful Meditation.

Both work with the client's physicians. They also hope to continue to draw people who don't want to be on medication, such as antidepressants.

"We want to be a complimentary piece of the client's health care and supporters of what people are doing with their doctors," said Pirner.

For complete details on the wide variety of services offered through Awaken Counseling and Wellness you may visit their Web site at They are open by appointment only. You may call (715) 220-1185.