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Who is
Dr. Joseph Riccioli?


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Who is
Dr. Joseph A. Riccioli?

Dr. Joseph Riccioli is a caring Christian, experienced, dedicated, Licensed professional Christian Biblical counselor, pastor, and Director / founder of Grace Ministries International, whose desire is to motivate and help people move forward, using principles form God's word, the Bible, as the source of help. Since man is imperfect, therefore, man's advice is also imperfect. The Bible has all we need pertaining to the issues of life and how God desires us to live. (see 2 Timothy 3:16-17; Psalm 119:24).

He is an American graduate of Bologna University Medical School (1988: Bologna, Italy), who completely abandoned the general medical profession in 1993, after becoming more interested in the area of mental health (health psychology, Mind-Body Medicine / Behavioral Medicine, Psychoneuroimmunology), Holistic / Natural Health and Wellness.

More important however, is that when he became a Christian (1996), his goal was focused more on helping people become spiritually healthy first, then secondly, helping them restore their mind-body health.

He began counseling teens and adults as a volunteer counselor (substance / drug abuse, depression, anxiety, general counseling) during his hospital internship in Bologna, Italy in 1990. When he returned to the U.S. in 1994, he completed various trainings, mostly in the area of mental health, but also in natural health. He is a Licensed Professional Christian Counselor (American Association of Christian Therapists),a member of the Association of Biblical Counselors, a graduate of the Harvard Medical School Clinical Training Program in Mind-Body Medicine (Behavioral Medicine). He also is a Board Certified Alternative Medicine Practitioner, and holds other certifications in Nutrition and Medical Herbology.

He has 20 years of counseling experience in the area of mental health, encouraging, motivating and successfully helping people of all ages who have one or more issues of life which has created an obstacle that interferes with their daily living, or people have been diagnosed by an M.D. with one of the following conditions and have taken prescription drugs, but have not experienced any relief:

Depression, Anxiety, Fears, Phobias, Substance abuse, Addictions of all types, Eating Disorders, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Abuse, marital / relationship problems and others.

Initially, he started out in life as a musician (concert pianist), when at age five, he began to study and take piano lessons. He presently composes and performs classical, film and relaxing music on piano and electronic keyboards, which help relax the mind and body, promoting inner peace, and help increase the body's natural, self-healing process. He also plays guitar, sings, and has performed on TV in the US and in Europe.

Dr. Riccioli graduated Clifton Senior High School in Clifton, N.J. in 1977. That same year, he went to Bologna, Italy to study, and received a Baccalaureate " equivalent" in Science, and in 1988, he received his M.D. degree from Bologna University Medical School, and a license to practice medicine in 1989.

There are specifically two situations which led to him to pursue a new career path: First, while completing a 3 year hospital internship in the Emergency Room Medicine at Sant' Orsola University Hospital in Bologna, Italy, he became more interested in counseling and mind-body medicine (mental health, health psychology, nutrition, stress management, exercise), and secondly, he became disillusioned with the limitations of general medicine, so he started investigating other alternative, natural remedies.

Dr. Riccioli says, "While completing my hospital training in the Emergency Room (1989-1992), I decided to volunteer and help out as a counselor (addictions, general counseling). This has given me an opportunity to personally come in contact with many people, who have reported to have on going, unresolved issues or conflicts, which have affected them emotionally and mentally in various ways. It was at this time, that my interest in the area of mental health started, and began to grow.

I started out on a new journey, and dedicated most of my time to study and research mind-body medicine, and was not surprised to read that there exists some type of connection between illness (disease), and the psychological part of our being; Example: consequences, resulting from unresolved conflicts or issues, manifest themselves through various emotional states.
Many research studies have clearly confirmed, that these unresolved conditions, if allowed to continue over time, may act as a form of "chronic stress", (depending on the individual, pre-existing conditions and other factors).

This may set the stage for a "chain-reaction" of serious consequences (such as weakening the body's defense mechanisms and other systems), starting first silently internally, and finally manifesting itself externally (Example: physical symptoms). The final result if neglected, would most likely lead to further, compounded health issues, and an unbalanced, unhealthy state (anywhere from a cold to cancer ---> See the PNI topic to the left).

As a result, this has opened my interest in the mental health field and Mind-Body Medicine. I have become sensitive to those affected, with a greater understanding, and this has giving me a desire to help those in need, through counseling.

After having dedicated much time studying and researching the area of mental health and mind-body medicine, Dr. Riccioli was able to verify how the effects of prolonged stress and unresolved issues act as major contributing factors, or may even be the most likely root causes of a gradual deterioration of one's general health, from depression, to a cold, and if allowed to continue... even cancer. (see PNI section to the left) This is a major reason why he is dedicated to helping people, primarily as a counselor. (see General Counseling on the left)

Dr. Joseph at times integrates counseling and nutrition, and is an expert in the areas of Mind-Body Medicine and Anti-Aging Wellness, however, counseling plays the major role in his endeavor to help people, especially those who have suffered stressful traumatic events, or were diagnosed by a physician with depression, anxiety, eating disorders or other issues not resolved by medications or orthodox medicine.

As he began to explore and further his studies in the area of Mind-Body Medicine, one of the training programs he completed, is a clinical training program in Mind-Body Medicine (Behavioral Medicine) at Harvard Medical School. As a result of this training, he decided to study in even greater depth, and dedicate more time to research a relatively new specific branch of science called "Psychoneuroimmunology" (PNI - click on the PNI link on the left to find out more) which deals with the inter-connections/inter-relationships between emotions and our health, and how our immune system, hormones and other neurochemicals are affected.

When Dr. Riccioli returned to the U.S. in 1994, while he furthered his education and training in various areas of counseling and natural health, he worked as a PT medical consultant for a pharmaceutical marketing company, and was able to see the true "Health-care monopoly". This led to further investigating the medical/health-care field on the internet, discovering disturbing evidence of dishonesty, and articles about "corruption" within the health-care system (AMA, FDA, insurance companies) and the Pharmaceutical industry." (I highly recommend visiting this web site:, and suggest you read these 2 books: (1) Racketeering in Medicine: The Suppression of Alternatives , James P. Carter, M.D., Dr. P.H.; (2) Natural Cures, Kevin Trudeau.)

I have come to the conclusion, and this is my personal opinion, that because the health-care system thrives on sick people, healthy people would mean less medical attention which results in: less doctor visits, less pharmaceutical products sold, less profits, and less income for doctors and insurance companies. Prevention is not a realistic goal of our health-care system! Health education is "somewhat" provided in our school systems, but not nearly emphasized enough.
This led me to no longer apply for a medical license in the US., and my love, devotion, and desire to help people through Christian counseling, together with my convictions and knowledge about natural medicine (nutrition, herbalism, vitamin/mineral supplements) led me to work primarily in the areas of Christian counseling.

Dr. Riccioli states " Though I work as a Christian counselor, at times, some people seek my help because they are interested in natural, herbal remedies, instead of resorting to harmful medications. With these people, I spend time to educate them on how to help the body naturally, restore its natural balance and wellness. I will,at times, depending on the case, suggest vitamin / mineral supplements and herbs. The pharmaceutical companies provide information, through bottle labeling or drug information sheets, about the nature of most medicines (toxic chemicals). It is important that each person extensively researches whatever medication they were prescribed, since many times, they may cause more health problems then benefits, often resulting in dangerous side effects which may lead to more problems. This is why I highly recommend whole-body detoxification, to help eliminate toxic substances and heavy metals from the body which have been accumulating, predisposing the body to further dangerous health issues. Therefore, * I am not licensed as a medical doctor in the US, and do not work as a medical doctor, but help those in need as a Christian Counselor and Wellness counselor ."

Dr. Riccioli allowed his license to practice medicine in Italy expire, and has not practiced medicine since 1993, however, he is able to renew his license at any time, though he chooses not to. His role in the US, is only to help people in their quest to restore their normal, emotional, mental, physical, and spiritual well-being.

He knows the policies and politics of the American Health Care System (AMA, Federal Trade Commission, Food and Drug Administration and Insurance companies) in most cases, do not consider using non-toxic, less expensive, life saving alternative approaches as first line intervention or therapy. Unfortunately, as a result, those who wish to improve, or regain and maintain a balanced state of optimal health do not have the necessary information or education to equip them to do so, or even allow them to make a well informed decision. Most of all, the dangerous side effects and detrimental consequences (including death) which may result from various prolonged drug use (pharmaceuticals are man-made, toxic chemicals), along with their high cost, persuaded him to research other alternative, natural approaches and modalities, which can bring the body back into a balanced, healthy state. These are also less toxic, less expensive, and effective.

Dr. Riccioli states, "drugs have their place and can be life saving in an medical emergency or in emergency medical conditions. After much research and investigating, as well as having personally experienced some of these healing systems with successful results, I desired to inform and educate others who were addicted to drugs, about alternative approaches, and many have benefited from this. I know healthy people don't need drugs, so education which leads to prevention is the answer!" He believes, after much research, that the body normally tends toward self-healing, because it is equipped to do so, and a balanced healthy state can again be re-established. Education is definitely fundamental in maintaining a healthy, functioning body.

He also states, " people must be informed of effective, natural, alternative remedies available, instead of depending only on addicting drugs, especially, after having studied in depth, researched, investigated, and examined the effectiveness of various alternative approaches and remedies." Once educated and informed, people can then decide and choose if they would like to first try a natural, alternative approach instead of drugs, and use one (or more in combination) of the many non-toxic, much less costly alternative solutions, rather then introduce more toxic chemicals(non-prescription and prescription drugs) into our self-healing bodies, which many times can lead to further damage other parts of our bodies. Knowing and understanding about alternative approaches, combined with learning through education, allows people to take responsibility for their own health, instead of being dependent on drugs." Again, this is a main goal of the wellness counseling.

Dr. Riccioli had previously worked in the area of Clinical Hypnotherapy, and was featured in 2 issues of Americas #1 leading alternative health magazine, "Alternative Medicine", now called "Natural Solutions Magazine"(Issue 25, September 1998; Issue 28, March 1999), concerning emotions, the mind and healing. His work is mentioned in America's best selling book on Alternative Medicine," Alternative Medicine: The Definitive Guide". Though he was very successful as a hypnotherapist, sometime later, he realized that the changes which took place, were a result of directly confronting various issues such as: being unforgiving, holding on to anger, guilt, bitterness, pride, etc..., which eventually evolved into negative, vicious, repetitive cycles. He no longer works as a hypnotherapist, but will resort to hypnosis and other memory enhancing techniques, only in selected circumstances. As a Christian counselor, he successfully helps people apply Biblical principles that deal with these issues and others, so they can be successfully resolved.
As a new Christian growing in the Christian faith, he was appointed the Northeast Director of Hypnotherapy for MUFON (the leading UFO organization in the world). He investigated unexplained, "real" x-files, and has helped, and continues to help people who claim to have had a so-called "alien abduction experience", or have had a documented, "missing time" phenomenon.

When Dr. Riccioli became a Christian in 1996, he continued growing in the Christian faith, and in 1999, he started a Christian Evangelistic Outreach, Christian Counseling and training ministry.

Dr. Joseph has recently served 3 years as a bi-vocational Assistant Pastor, Open Air Evangelist and musician at Christ International Baptist Church,W. Orange, N.J. He is also a Certified Chaplain with the International Federation of Christian Chaplains, and conducts training seminars in " Biblical Evangelism and Open Air Evangelism."

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