Hi! I'm Erica.
I'm excited to meet you!
In 2014, while driving to work, I was hit by a Mack Dump Truck (literally).
Over the next 18 months, as every area of my life spiraled out of control, I asked, "what the heck am I missing?"
I went back to traditional talk therapy; it didn't work. Diving into the "woo-woo" side of wellness, I found "me" and learned the practical tools to take control of my life and thrive consciously.
This is what I wish I had on my journey— an integrative mental health approach, a community, and a roadmap that said, "this way next."
My mission is to help you successfully manage stress, no matter what life may throw your way.
I know if I can do this, you can, too!
What sets you apart from other Motivational Speakers?Besides understanding where you are because I've been there, too, I have 15+ years of professional experience in the Mental Health Field. I share knowledge from my time as a Professor who taught Human Development, Intergenerational Family Processes, Dysfunctional Family Processes, and Couples Therapy. Plus, my insights from when I was a Clinical Director and Psychotherapist. I've worked with the Department of Veterans Affairs, Department of Corrections, Juvenile Justice System, the Public School System, and two non-profit Children Psychiatric Outpatient Clinics regulated by the Department of Children and Families. In addition, I bring training and certifications from the holistic side of wellness: Integrative Mental Health Professional, Reiki Master, Essential Oils Wellness Advocate, and Meditation Facilitator. I wasn't always in the mental health field. I have had 10 careers. With having a business undergrad degree, I have several years of experience in sales, recruiting, and middle-management positions. Not to mention, I've worked in the bar/restaurant industry for almost 18 years, from server, cocktail waitress, bartender, trainer, shift supervisor, and DJ.
What does it mean to be 'trauma-informed'?It takes someone's current situation into context, understanding that their behaviors have served a purpose at one point. Those behaviors that once helped you navigate life are now hindering your ability to be successful. As a result, it's time to find a new way to thrive.
What is an 'integrative mental health' approach and how is it different from 'traditional talk therapy?'An integrative approach is focused on the mind, body, and spirit connection. It gets to the "root" of the issue, beyond a diagnosis. A diagnosis only tells us the symptoms; it doesn't tell us WHY the symptoms are there. It looks at the entire person, not just the mind when understanding how to help someone optimize their mental wellness. This means it considers the way a person's gut microbiome, nervous system, lifestyle, trauma history, community, relationships, and mindset are currently affecting them. You are not just talking about the stressors, analyzing the past, and having medicine prescribe as your "only" answer. You're making fundamental changes so that you walk away with the knowledge of how to live a life filled with optimal mental wellness. You will feel empowered to know you have control over your life and that you're not destined to have a diagnosis forever. **This approach works great with trauma-informed therapies, functional/naturopathic medicine, and other holistic modalities
What type of training did you receive?My Education & Certifications: B.A. in Communications & Business Admin. from CCSU (4 years) M.S. in Marriage and Family Therapy from CCSU (62-credits, 3 years, 4.0 GPA) Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist since 2014 Certified Integrative Mental Health Professional (CIMHP) - 32 CEU's with annual renewal Internal Family Systems (IFS) Level 1 Certificate (1 year, 114 CEUs) Trauma Research Foundation's Traumatic Stress Studies Certificate - includes courses in Neurobiology of Trauma (7 months, 71.5 CEUs) Certified Reiki Level 1 & 2 and Reiki Master (2015, 2016 and 2017) Enhance Your Intuition Certificate (6 months) Additional extensive post-graduate training sessions: (6) Polyvagal Theory from Dr. Stephen Porges & Deb Dana, LCSW (5) Somatic Experiencing with Dr. Peter Levine Understanding the Gut Brain: Stress, Appetite, Digestion, and Mood Neuroscience & Yoga in the treatment for Complex, Developmental and Repeated Trauma Tapping/Emotional Freedom Technique Racial Trauma and Identity (A Focused DBT Perspective) with Eboni Webb, PsyD, HSP The Roles Intersectionality & Cultural Humility Play When Working with Diverse Client Populations with Gary Bailey, MSW, ACSW Plus, I've been trained in several evidence-based models of psychotherapy over 10+ years as a practicing psychotherapist. Motivational Interviewing (MI) Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT) Forensic Cognitive Behavioral therapy (F-CBT) Risking Connections Multidimensional Family Therapy (MDFT)
Is there a difference between the terms 'holistic' and 'integrative?'For the purpose here, the terms are interchangeable. Both words mean that they take the whole individual (mind, body, spirit) into account and not just focus on one part (i.e., the mind).
Frequently Asked Questions
Parts of My Journey
I have an 8-year-old rescue Pitbull/Boxer mix named Bear, who's been by my side since one month after the Mack Truck accident - not sure who rescued who.
20,000 organic followers on social media. I'm grateful for each of them.
Named one of "The Top 22 Leaders to Learn From in 2022."
I've experienced intergenerational trauma (family of Italian & Sicilian immigrants and Combat War Veterans), childhood trauma (ACES score: 7), work trauma (burnout, compassion fatigue, moral injury, vicarious trauma, & first-hand trauma) and a near-death experience from the Mack Truck accident. I've learned how to successfully break the cycles, heal, and move forward - thanks to understanding how my nervous system works.
When I was a Professor, I was recognized by the University for how I handled my classes during the start of the pandemic, which was based on student surveys.
Several friends and family have passed 'before their time,' with the most impactful being my boyfriend in my early 20's, Aunt, and best friend of 23 years.
Former Co-host of an iHeartRadio Podcast with iHeartRadio's Z100 New York On-Air personality Erica America that talked about modern issues with a pop psychology perspective.
Fastest promoted manager, to lead a multi-million dollar team, at a major company based on my high sales, customer retention rate, relationship building skills, and ability to motivate others.
Inspired the most-listened-to mental health tip on the Bunch Leadership Coaching App.
I love to dance. I competed, taught, and took instructional dance for fifteen years. After being told that I'd most likely lose my foot from the Mack Truck accident, I've been able to rehab it so that I'm back on the dance floor in my heels.
First woman DJ at two different bars in one of my 10 careers (yes, I've had 10).
Landed largest first sale for a rookie in the history of radio station when working in radio sales.
I'm in my 40's and I've been intentionally single for the past 7 years so I could figure out how to successfully ditch my attraction to codependency.
I've been fired. A male director said, "you're extremely smart and think quickly on your feet. You should think about how you come across because some people can find it intimidating." A few months later, I was fired from my supervisor position suddenly even though I successfully increased productivity in my department by 49% under 9 months. Guess what: my next job was a level up; I went from Supervisor to Clinical Director.
I have a rare genetic lung disease that went undiagnosed for 32 years which resulted in part of my lung being removed at 17. I understand 'living with a chronic illness,' medical trauma, and no one believing you. Today, I'm no longer dependent on daily pharmaceutical medicine of any kind.
Founder of the largest club for stress & burnout, "The Burnout Club," on the Clubhouse app, where I hosted free rooms during 2020-2021. I was known as "The Burnout Professor."
Featured expert in Refinery29's article on burnout that reached 20+ million readers globally.
I need to keep it real, though.
On the outside, I looked like I had it together. In actuality, I was at my breaking point.
Does this sound familiar?
You keep doing what you think you "should" be doing, yet you hit roadblock after roadblock. You feel drained, frustrated, and stuck on the never-ending hamster wheel and ask, "what the heck am I missing?" It's freaking exhausting.
What People Are Saying
Lauren Pederson, LMFT
Owner of 'The Wellness Collective'
Erica's ability to go from surviving to thriving and openly talk about her journey makes her very relatable to many people. She challenges existing systems with confidence and eloquence and is known for bringing a solution with accurate information based on science.
Dr. Jamal Fruster
Chiropractor & Host of 'Soul Coffee" Podcast
Erica is a leader who is PARAMOUNT at this time. The world needs her voice, leadership, humor, expression, laughter, facilitation - all things motivation. Podcast interviews, speaking, video modules, 1:1, any space she occupies, she brings the utmost value and healing to the human condition. She is at the forefront of leadership in health and well-being in this decade.
Co-founder of 'Modern Renaissance Man'
There are certain people in this world who just have the "it" factor and Erica is one of them. She is a visionary, conscious entrepreneur, and heart-led leader. Her presence speaks without having to say a word and creates a ripple effect of inspiration, positive vibes, and resilience.
You can intentionally enjoy your life, too. Ready to join me?
Clinical & Medical Disclaimer
This content is for informational and educational purposes only. It is not intended to provide medical or clinical advice or to take the place of such advice or treatment from a personal physician or qualified health professional. All readers/viewers of this content are advised to consult their doctors or qualified health professionals regarding specific health questions. Neither Erica Cuni nor the publisher of this content takes responsibility for possible health consequences of any person or persons reading or following the information in this educational content. All viewers of this content, especially those taking prescription or over-the-counter medications, should consult their physicians or clinical professionals before beginning any nutrition, supplement or lifestyle program.