Cristina is a Licensed Professional Counselor and a National Certified Counselor. She has specialized in counseling children and families since 2007 and has made significant contributions to local organizations and families since 2003. Her extensive experience working with children and families has equipped her with the skills to address all issues of childhood, such as early childhood, parenting, and the management of chronic illness afflicting either child or parent. Cristina enjoys involving the parents in the process because their involvement is critical.
She has a background in play therapy and is StoryPlay Practitioner with StoryPlay Global. She finds that this is an approach that can help a child/family express themselves and find the strength within them to overcome life’s challenges. Her strength-based approach to counseling promotes resiliency, hope and healing while honoring the children’s needs and ability to express themselves through play, stories, metaphors, arts and crafts.
Cristina has over 16 years of experience, knowledge and contributions to children, adults and the families dealing with serious medical illness. This has resulted in a great passion for helping others as observed in her community work and professional development. Her passion led her to work on the adult oncology and pediatric oncology units of Banner Desert Hospital during her clinical internship.
Cristina continued her professional development as a therapist working within an integrative health team. As an integrative health team member, she worked extensively with doctors, nurses and nutritionists within a federally qualified community health center using the Mind-Body holistic approach in the treatment of illness and creation of positive outcomes. She worked on the Pediatric unit for almost 5 years and also has experience working on OB/GYN and Family Medicine units. Cristina credits this opportunity with gaining experience working with a wellness approach to living with medical illness.
She is equally proud of the opportunities she has had to serve the community and her continued work with people with chronic illness. In 2003, Cristina founded and created an award winning program to support children and families for the Arthritis Foundation. She also presented on the topic, “Living with Chronic Illness and Pain” at the Arthritis Introspective National Conference. Cristina also has experience facilitating support groups at the Cancer Support Community, formerly known as the Wellness Community for adults, and families dealing with cancer. Most recently, Cristina presented at the national level for the Arthritis Foundation in both Phoenix, Arizona for the West coast conference and in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania for the East coast conference. At these conferences, she spoke within her specialty of coping and focusing on the child’s inner strengths in dealing with childhood medical illness. Cristina’s practice is enriched by her own personal diagnosis of a childhood medical illness along with her extensive professional training. Cristina finds it essential to help facilitate the client to find strength, hope, resiliency and courage “through it all”.