Shawniel Chamanlal, Healing Springs Wellness Center
Shawniel Chamanlal, Healing Springs Wellness Center

Shawniel Chamanlal’s Revolutionary Approach to Social Work and Business Mastery


Not everyone you meet radiates warmth and inspires hope, but Shawniel Chamanlal is one such exception. Her practice, Healing Springs, mirrors her spirit – a haven of comfort and growth. This interview explores the journey of Shawniel, a licensed clinical social worker, entrepreneur, and guiding light, showcasing her unwavering resilience and commitment to empowering others.

There are some people in the world whom, upon meeting, you immediately wish you could give a long, heartfelt hug. Shawniel is one of those people. Similarly, some places envelop you with such a sense of belonging and peace you can’t help but feel you’ve come home. Shawniel Chamanlal’s practice, Healing Springs, is precisely one of those places. 

Shawniel Chamanlal, a licensed clinical social worker, entrepreneur, mother, and wife whose journey from childhood aspirations to a successful professional epitomizes resilience, innovation, and a deep-seated desire to make an impact. Her narrative unfolds from her early realization of her entrepreneurial spirit through her academic and professional endeavors to the establishment of her private practice, illustrating a commitment to holistic healing and empowerment.

Early Aspirations and Educational Path
Shawniel’s entrepreneurial journey began in her youth, marked by an innate drive to solve problems and serve by helping others. This path led her to a profound understanding of human behavior and a commitment to facilitating healing and support for those in need.

Transitioning from banking to the human services field, Shawniel’s career is a testament to her adaptability and determination. Despite societal expectations that often challenge social workers ‘ aspirations toward financial success, she is a beautiful example of the groundwork for her future in social work.

Establishing a Private Practice
Shawniel’s vision of opening her private practice was met with skepticism, reflecting the prevailing belief that social work was not a lucrative career path. However, her unwavering resolve and innovative approach led her to defy these expectations, ultimately establishing a thriving practice that embodies her holistic vision for healing and wellness.

Overcoming Challenges and Embracing Change
The journey to establishing her private practice was fraught with challenges, including navigating the onset of the pandemic. Shawniel’s resilience and ability to pivot to online therapy services underscore her adaptability and commitment to serving her clients under any circumstances.

Expansion and Leadership
Shawniel’s practice, Healing Springs, has grown significantly, reflecting her leadership and the collective effort of a dedicated team. The practice’s holistic approach, integrating mental health care with other wellness services, showcases Shawniel’s innovative vision for comprehensive care.

Advocacy and Empowerment
Beyond her practice, Shawniel is a vocal advocate for the empowerment of social workers and therapists. She serves her community and clients, paving the road for other therapists and helping them become profitable business owners. Shawniel encourages them to embrace their identity as business owners deserving of financial success, challenging the bias that social workers should work for minimal compensation. Through coaching and mentoring, she provides valuable resources and support to professionals in the field, promoting sustainable business practices and self-care.

Personal Growth and Self-Care
Shawniel emphasizes the importance of self-care, particularly for those in the helping professions. Her practices serve as vital outlets for relaxation and rejuvenation, enabling her to continue her work with passion and energy.

Shawniel’s unbelievable story is about perseverance, vision, and the transformative power of believing in oneself. From her early days as an aspiring entrepreneur to her current role as a leader in the wellness industry, her journey is a compelling example of how dedication, innovation, and a holistic approach to care can create a lasting impact and inspire others to pursue their dreams and achieve financial success.

I am very proud and happy to introduce Shawniel Chamanlal and her inspiring business, Healing Springs Wellness Center.

Interview: Pinar Ozyigit
Photos: Debra Chute

Shawniel Chamanlal, Healing Springs Wellness Center
Shawniel Chamanlal, Healing Springs Wellness Center
Shawniel Chamanlal, Healing Springs Wellness Center
Shawniel, as the “Manifestation Queen,” could you outline your process for manifesting goals and intentions, especially in building a business?

It all begins with a spark—an intention, a deep-seated desire. This is where the magic starts. Use your imagination to paint a vivid picture of what you’re aiming for. Visualize it so clearly that it feels like you’re already there, living that dream. This visualization isn’t just daydreaming; it’s setting the stage for reality.

Now, with that vision glowing brightly in your mind, it’s time to embody it. Act as if you’ve already achieved your goal. This isn’t about pretending but aligning your actions and mindset with your vision. It’s about becoming the person who has already crossed that finish line.

Next up, aligned action. Think of manifesting as goal setting but with a spiritual essence. It’s not enough to wish for something; you have to move towards it. Set tangible goals and take steps every day to inch closer to your vision. Remember, the universe can’t steer a parked car; you’ve got to be in motion.

Mindset is your powerhouse. Cultivating a mindset of confidence and belief in your ability to achieve your desires is crucial. Sometimes, we encounter blocks—those pesky barriers that seem to stand in our way. Recognizing these blocks and actively working through them, whether it’s through healing, therapy, or self-reflection, is part of the journey.

Be intentional with your thoughts. Your thoughts have power, so steer them towards your goals. Affirmations are a fantastic tool here. They reinforce your belief in your ability to manifest your dreams. Speak your success into existence.

And then, faith. Trust in the timing of your life and your business. Trust that what you’re working towards will materialize at just the right moment. This faith is what keeps you grounded and hopeful, even when the path gets rocky.

Lastly, enjoy the journey. There’s beauty in the process, in the growth and lessons along the way. Surrender to the outcome, knowing that you’ve done your part and that the universe will do the rest.

How do you incorporate the concept of holistic healing into your practice, and why do you believe it’s essential for both clients and therapists?

Incorporating holistic healing into our practice is at the heart of what we do at Healing Springs Wellness Center. We see each person as a complete universe unto themselves, where mind, body, and spirit are not just connected but deeply intertwined. This perspective guides us to approach healing in a way that addresses the entirety of a person’s being.

Our approach is multifaceted. We dive into emotional health through mental health therapy, understanding that our thoughts and feelings are powerful influencers of our overall well-being. But we don’t stop there. We also explore physical health, emphasizing the importance of nutrition and the undeniable link between what we consume and how we feel, both emotionally and physically.

Spiritual health is another cornerstone of our holistic healing model. Through energy healing and other holistic practices, we tap into the spiritual dimension of health, recognizing that our spirit’s well-being is just as crucial as our mental and physical health.

We operate within an integrative and collaborative model. This means we bring together professionals from various disciplines to work as a unified team, ensuring that we address every aspect of a person’s health. This multidisciplinary approach allows us to create a comprehensive healing plan tailored to each individual’s needs.

Moreover, we’re keenly aware of the impact external factors have on our clients. Relationships, work stressors, and generational trauma, among others, play significant roles in shaping behaviors and overall well-being. By acknowledging and addressing these external influences, we aim to foster lasting and sustainable change.

We believe holistic healing is essential for both clients and therapists because it promotes a deeper understanding of the complex interplay between different aspects of our lives. It encourages us to look beyond symptoms and to treat the root causes of distress. For therapists, this approach enriches our practice, offering us a broader toolkit to support our clients. For clients, it offers a path to comprehensive healing that considers every part of who they are, leading to more profound and lasting well-being.

Shawniel Chamanlal, Healing Springs Wellness Center
Shawniel Chamanlal, Healing Springs Wellness Center
You’ve been successful in expanding Healing Springs and plan to grow further. Can you share recommendations for future therapists interested in scaling their practices while maintaining quality care?

Absolutely, stepping into the future with a vision for your practice is key. Imagine the structure, the environment, and the impact you want to create. It’s like painting a picture of your dream practice—every detail matters. Now, bringing that vision to life? That’s where your team comes in. Surround yourself with experts—lawyers to navigate the legal landscape, coaches to guide your growth, consultants to fine-tune your strategy, and a financial team to keep your numbers in check. Remember, building a dream team isn’t a luxury; it’s a necessity. You’re not meant to walk this path alone.

Laying a solid foundation is crucial. It’s not just about getting off the ground; it’s about preparing to soar. This foundation includes everything from your business model to your compliance with regulations, from your operational workflows to the very essence of quality care. It’s about creating a practice that’s not just surviving but thriving.

As you focus on operations and quality care, you’re essentially drafting a blueprint for expansion. This blueprint should include scalable systems, processes that ensure consistency in care, and a culture that prioritizes the well-being of both clients and therapists. Remember, quality care is the cornerstone of your practice. It’s what sets you apart and what will fuel your growth.

In essence, visualize your dream, assemble your dream team, lay a solid foundation, and focus on quality care. These steps are your roadmap to scaling your practice while maintaining the heart and soul of your work. It’s about growing without losing sight of why you started in the first place—to heal, to help, and to make a lasting impact.

Facing the traditional views on social work’s financial aspects, how did you maintain your conviction and prove the potential for success in this field?

Facing traditional views on the financial aspects of social work, I leaned heavily into transforming my mindset and challenging those limiting beliefs head-on. It’s easy to get caught up in the narrative that social work and financial success are mutually exclusive, but I refused to let that dictate my journey. Cultivating an unapologetic belief in my ability to succeed was crucial. I knew that to make a significant impact, I needed to prove that it was possible to thrive in this field, not just survive.

I looked for inspiration in those who had paved the way before me. Seeing examples of successful social workers and mental health professionals who had built thriving practices or organizations was incredibly motivating. It showed me that my goals weren’t just dreams; they were achievable realities. This research was a powerful tool in reprogramming any doubts or limitations I had internalized.

Moreover, I didn’t try to go at it alone. Hiring coaches and consultants was a game-changer. These experts provided me with the guidance, strategies, and support I needed to navigate the unknowns of building a successful practice. Their insights helped me to avoid common pitfalls and accelerated my growth.

Finding a community of like-minded individuals was also pivotal. Surrounding myself with people who shared my dreams and values, who understood the challenges and triumphs of this work, created a support system that was invaluable. This community wasn’t just about networking; it was about building relationships with people who could empathize, encourage, and inspire.

In essence, maintaining my conviction in the face of traditional views came down to a relentless belief in possibility, seeking out examples and mentors who had achieved what I aspired to, leveraging expert advice, and immersing myself in a supportive community. This approach not only helped me to prove the potential for success in social work but also laid the foundation for a practice that could truly make a difference.

In what ways do you mentor or coach other therapists to help them navigate the business side of their practices, and what common issues do you help them address?

Clarifying Vision is the first step is getting crystal clear on what they want their business to look like. This isn’t just about the services they want to offer but also the impact they want to have, the clients they wish to serve, and the lifestyle they want their business to support. It’s about dreaming without limits and then mapping out a path to make those dreams a reality.

Goal Setting is vital. Together, we work on setting realistic and achievable goals. This means breaking down their big vision into manageable steps. It’s about creating a roadmap that not only outlines where they want to go but also includes milestones along the way to celebrate progress.

Resource Gathering is very important. I guide them in identifying and securing the resources they need to elevate their practice. This could be anything from financial investments, technology tools, to educational materials. It’s about knowing where to look and how to leverage these resources effectively.

Financial Mastery is A key part of our work together involves developing financial skills. This is crucial for building a practice that’s not just clinically effective but also financially sustainable. We dive into budgeting, pricing strategies, and financial planning to ensure their practice thrives.

Building a Dream Team is the most important thing. Expansion and avoiding burnout are significant themes. I emphasize the importance of cultivating a team that aligns with their vision and values. It’s about understanding when to delegate, how to hire effectively, and creating a culture that supports growth and well-being.

Confidence in Leadership is a must. Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, I focus on building their confidence to run a successful and profitable business. This involves overcoming imposter syndrome, embracing their role as a leader, and developing the skills to make tough decisions with grace and authority.

Common challenges we tackle include overcoming leadership fears, mastering marketing and client acquisition, and managing operational tasks. My goal is to help therapists transform their practices into thriving businesses that fulfill their financial goals and allow them to make a significant impact.

Shawniel Chamanlal, Healing Springs Wellness Center
Shawniel Chamanlal, Healing Springs Wellness Center
Can you share the story behind the creation of Healing Springs and how you envisioned it as a sanctuary for clients and fellow therapists?

The journey to creating Healing Springs was deeply inspired by my experiences across various healthcare settings. I witnessed firsthand the gaps in traditional approaches—where the focus was often on treating symptoms rather than addressing the root causes of distress. This approach felt like putting a bandaid on deeper issues, and I knew there had to be a better way.

My perspective shifted dramatically while working in an integrative medical center. Here, a multidisciplinary team came together to treat the whole person, blending medical care with emotional and spiritual healing. The impact was profound: fewer readmissions, happier clients, and a holistic approach to health that truly resonated with me. It was a revelation to see the power of combining different healing modalities, including the pivotal role of social work in addressing emotional health.

This experience ignited a desire to create a similar sanctuary of my own, one that would not only embrace holistic healing practices, including energy healing—a personal catalyst for my own spiritual growth—but also foster a nurturing environment for both clients and therapists.

For the team at Healing Springs, I envisioned more than just a workplace. I wanted to cultivate a supportive oasis that prioritized self-care, recognizing that those in the service industry, especially in mental health, are often at risk of burnout. By investing in our team’s well-being, we ensure that we can provide the highest quality of care to our clients. This commitment to both internal and external care is the foundation of Healing Springs, making it a sanctuary where healing begins with us and radiates outward to those we serve.

Shawniel Chamanlal, Healing Springs Wellness Center
Expanding Healing Springs, you’re growing a business and fostering a community. How do you ensure your team members embody the practice’s core values and mission?

In expanding Healing Springs Wellness Center, it’s crucial that every team member not only understands our core values and mission but lives them in their daily work. Our mission is to create a sanctuary for healing and personal growth, where we offer a wide range of mental health and holistic wellness services. This includes cutting-edge practices like EMDR, somatic therapy, narrative therapy, expressive arts therapy, alongside holistic approaches such as Reiki, functional nutrition, and wellness workshops. Our commitment extends to breaking down barriers to mental health care, normalizing the need for treatment, and providing compassionate, innovative, and effective care to diverse communities.

To ensure our team embodies these values, I focus on several key strategies. Passion for Holistic Care, Cultural Sensitivity and Continuous Learning, Team Chemistry, and Alignment with Mission and Values.

Because it’s essential that our team members are not just skilled in their respective fields but are also passionate about holistic care. Whether they come with a background in holistic practices or demonstrate a willingness to embrace and learn our approach, their commitment to treating the whole person is non-negotiable.

We also prioritize cultural sensitivity and an ongoing commitment to education in this area. Understanding and respecting the diverse backgrounds and needs of our clients is foundational to our practice. Our team members must be open to continuous learning and growth in this critical aspect of care.

Additionally, good team chemistry is vital. The process of expanding our team is not just about filling roles; it’s about finding individuals who can contribute to and thrive within our community. This means taking the time to screen and hire the right people who can drive our mission forward with enthusiasm and dedication.

During the hiring process, I look for individuals who resonate with our mission and values. This alignment ensures that they are not just looking for a job but are seeking to be part of a movement that aims to transform lives through holistic healing.

By focusing on these areas, we can build a team that not only supports the growth of Healing Springs Wellness Center but also fosters a community where both clients and therapists thrive. It’s about creating an environment where everyone involved is dedicated to empowering individuals, families, and groups on their journey to wellness.

You’ve successfully turned the tide on the perception of social work as a low-income field. What advice would you give new social workers or therapists to help them build a profitable and fulfilling practice?

No matter the noise around you, stay true to your vision. The path to changing perceptions and building a successful practice is paved with dedication and sometimes sacrifice. Remember, the most rewarding journeys often require us to push through challenges. Hold Fast to Your Dreams.

There’s no room for doubt in pursuing your goals. Be bold and unapologetic about what you want to achieve. Your conviction will not only drive you forward but also inspire others around you. So Be Unapologetic About Your Ambitions.

Find your tribe—a community of like-minded individuals who understand your dreams and the importance of your work. This network will become your foundation, offering support, encouragement, and invaluable advice as you navigate your career. Surround Yourself with Support; this is a priority.

The field of social work and therapy is ever-evolving. Don’t shy away from new experiences or knowledge. Diversifying your skills and understanding different approaches will only enhance your ability to serve your clients and grow your practice. Embrace Learning and Growth daily.

Amidst the hard work and aspirations, don’t forget to take a moment to appreciate the journey. The experiences, growth, and connections you make along the way are just as important as the destination. So Enjoy the Journey.

Shawniel Chamanlal, Healing Springs Wellness Center
Shawniel Chamanlal, Healing Springs Wellness Center
Your advocacy for holistic healing is revolutionary in the field of social work. How do you see Healing Springs evolving to incorporate holistic practices further, and are there any new services or collaborations on the horizon? 

At Healing Springs Wellness Center, our vision is to integrate holistic health care deeply into the fabric of every community, treating the mind, body, and spirit as one. We’re expanding our holistic practices beyond our current offerings like EMDR, somatic therapy, and Reiki, to include new services and collaborations with experts in fields like acupuncture, yoga therapy, and mindfulness meditation. Our goal is to create a comprehensive wellness ecosystem within a luxurious and welcoming space, making holistic health accessible, celebrated, and effective for diverse communities. We aim to be a national leader in mental and holistic health, transforming wellness care into a movement that redefines true well-being.

Could you share your top five recommendations and five cautions for social workers looking to transition into the role of a profitable business owner in social work?

Top 5 Recommendations

Be Clear on What You Want: Start with a clear vision of your business. Understand your why, your target population, and the unique services you want to offer. This clarity will guide your decisions and keep you focused on your goals.

Continuous Learning: The field of social work and business is ever-evolving. Commit to lifelong learning to stay updated on best practices, emerging trends, and innovative business strategies. This knowledge will empower you to offer the best services and run your business effectively.

Align with the Right People: Surround yourself with a supportive network of mentors, colleagues, and professionals who share your vision and values. This community will provide invaluable advice, encouragement, and collaboration opportunities.

Financial Literacy: Understanding the financial aspects of running a business is crucial. Invest time in learning about budgeting, pricing, and financial planning. This knowledge is key to building a sustainable and profitable practice.

Diversify Your Skills: While your social work skills are your foundation, diversifying your skill set can enhance your business. Consider learning about marketing, leadership, or even holistic practices that complement your services. This diversity can set you apart and attract a broader client base.

Top 5 Cautions:

Avoiding Financial Planning: Neglecting the financial planning aspect of your business can lead to challenges. Ensure you have a solid plan in place for managing your finances, including savings for lean times.

Underestimating the Value of Marketing: Don’t underestimate the power of effective marketing. It’s essential for attracting clients and building your brand. Invest in marketing strategies that resonate with your target audience.

Ignoring Self-Care: As social workers, we’re prone to focusing on others’ well-being before our own. Remember, self-care is crucial for sustaining your energy and passion for your work.

Resisting Technology: In today’s digital age, embracing technology can streamline your operations and enhance your services. Don’t resist using digital tools that can improve your practice.

Overlooking Legal and Ethical Considerations: Ensure you’re well-versed in the legal and ethical considerations of running a social work practice. Compliance is key to protecting your business and your clients.

Connect with Shawniel Chamanlal
Healing Springs Wellness Center
1006 S Main Street Suite 4
Plantsville, CT 06479