Christina DeAngelis

To explore our thoughts, feelings, and surroundings, we must feel safe. To feel safe, we must be able to trust others in our environment. To make sense of our inner and outer world, we must be able to engage in play. We construct stories out of these experiences about ourselves, our families, others, and the world. These stories are the narratives of our lives.

Safety, relationships, play, and stories all have a special place in the psychotherapy journey. Healing and growth flourish when we feel safe enough to explore our feelings and thoughts freely and without fear of judgment. my hope is that psychotherapy offers you the opportunity to integrate your experiences in a way that brings clarity, peace, and understanding.

As a clinician, I strive to provide a safe therapy environment characterized by compassion, openness, and a bit of humor and joy. Therapy is a collaborative contract! I will provide my expertise and guidance in a nonjudgmental and compassionate manner during our time together. Therapeutic change is most effective when skills are practiced outside of the therapy session. As with any new skill, we must practice, practice, and practice some more, to experience change.

Currently, I am a Counseling Psychology doctoral student and practicing psychotherapist with almost 8 years of clinical experience. Research interests include community-based research methods, culturally representative and relevant research, trauma & resiliency, psychosocial effects of systemic racism, and physical/mental/emotional correlates of stress and trauma. Research interests also include understanding chronic illness during adolescence and its biopsychosocial correlates. I am passionate about upholding values of cultural humility and openness as a clinician, researcher, and educator.

I am passionate about working with pre-adolescents/adolescents, young adults, and their families. As a therapist, I believe it is important to look beyond the individual and family, to acknowledge the influence of culture. It is the glue that connects us, and its importance cannot go unnoticed. I utilize a strengths-based and person-centered perspective. I believe we can work together to build on what already exists.

I additionally utilize a variety of theoretical frameworks in psychotherapy including cognitive-behavioral theory, family systems, mindfulness, existential theory, compassion-focused, and psychodynamic interventions. I have experience working with adjustment-related disorders, anxiety disorders, childhood trauma, chronic illness, depression, obsessive-compulsive and related disorders (body dysmorphic disorder, hair-pulling disorder), panic disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, and family/relationship issues.

Specialties

  • Complex PTSD in teens and adults, stemming from early childhood experiences and family issues
  • Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (including body dysmorphic disorder, hair-pulling disorder, etc)
  • Chronic pain and health issues in pediatric and adult populations
  • Couples
  • Families going through separation and divorce
  • Those struggling with stress, self-esteem, and self-harming behaviors
  • Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder in children, teens, and adults

Treatment Approaches

  • Attachment Based Play Therapy
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
  • Culturally Sensitive Care
  • Emotion Focused Couples Therapy
  • Trauma Focused
  • Exposure Response Prevention
  • Psychodynamic
  • Strength-Based
  • Feminist
  • Mindfulness

Education

  • Bachelors of Science in Psychology from University of Michigan
  • Master of Arts in Counseling Psychology from Wayne State University

 

What are your pronouns? She/Her

Why did you decide to become a mental health professional? My journey to become a mental health professional was not a straightforward one. If I had been asked this question earlier in life, I would have confidently told you that I was going to be a medical doctor. However, life experience and my own evolving interest led me to the field of psychology, instead!

What is your favorite thing about your job? One of my favorite things about being a psychologist is that there is never a shortage of learning, whether it concerns learning about new research developments/perspectives or learning about the life story of a client. I enjoy learning!

What is your ultimate wish for every client? My ultimate wish for every client (and every person) is to be able to trust in one’s wholeness; to be able to love oneself unconditionally and compassionately, and to have the courage to extend that unconditional love and acceptance to others, as well – to be able to find connection and safety within oneself and among others.

What is your favorite quote? “The mind has its own chronicity.” Quoted by an excellent psychologist, who quoted another excellent psychologist, and so on. My understanding of this quote is that the mind has a way of returning to old habits (beliefs, judgments) – and that is perfectly okay. What is most important, is how we learn to notice and respond to those “old habits”. We grow when we can learn to respond from a place of understanding, curiosity, and acceptance rather than fear, self-criticism, or disappointment.

Who is someone who inspires you? I am not inspired by any one person but rather find myself moved by the stories of others, more generally. I am also inspired each day by little things such as the sunlight, changing seasons, and simply knowing I’m part of this cool thing called life.

What is your favorite self-help book? “Attached” by Amir Levine & Rachel S.F. Heller and “Self-Compassion: The Proven Power of Being Kind to Yourself” by Kristen Neff.

Who is your ideal client? My ideal client could be an individual, family, or couple who is seeking therapy for a variety of concerns. I mostly work with adolescents and adults across the lifespan. I am comfortable working with individuals, families, and couples from diverse backgrounds. What is most important for therapy to be effective is that clients feel a good “fit” working with their therapist, and if that isn’t the case, I am happy to support new clients in finding someone who is a “fit”.

Which conditions do you most enjoy treating? I most enjoy treating anxiety disorders, issues relating to body-image, obsessive-compulsive disorder, depressive disorders, relationship issues, life & role transitions (loss, divorce, empty nest, etc.), physical health concerns/chronic illness, and trauma.

What modalities do you love implementing as a therapist? I try to take an integrative approach to therapy that is heavily informed by cognitive-behavioral, attachment-based, and family systems theories. My approach understandably varies with each client depending on specific need(s). However, beyond theory, I employ a lens grounded in social justice and ecological systems. I believe it is essential to consider how systems (family, neighborhood, culture, history, sexism, racism) influence our understanding of ourselves, others, and the world, and influence how we develop mental wellness and illness.