Cristina Smugala, MA, LPC, CTTS Certified Trauma Treatment Specialist Owner and Professional Counselor
Cristina is a Licensed Professional Counselor, member of the American Counseling Association, and member of the International Association of Trauma Professionals. Cristina earned her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Master of Arts in Human Growth and Development Counseling from St. Louis University. In addition to providing services at Clarity Counseling, Cristina currently works as a clinical therapist at McCallum Place Eating Disorder Treatment Center. As an experienced clinical mental health clinician at various intensive inpatient and outpatient mental health and substance abuse treatment centers in St. Louis, Cristina offer years of experience providing counseling services to couples and clients that struggle with addiction, PTSD, depression, trauma, and eating disorders.
Whatever your unique challenge is Cristina has the advanced knowledge and excellent clinical skills necessary to help you reach your goals. Cristina's approach promotes compassion, inspiration, motivation, and growth. Cristina's sense of compassion and warmth are strengths that are recognized and valued by those in her life and in her care. Cristina has a passion for helping people, she understands the empathy needed to move past shame and rebuild trust. Cristina will help you believe in yourself again no matter what the struggle. Through couple's therapy Cristina focuses on assisting partners to develop a deeper understanding of each other's internal world and to rebuild their connection.
Cristina possesses training in Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), the Internal Family Systems Model (IFS), the Trauma Recovery and Empowerment model, Trauma Informed Care, Experiential Therapies, Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy, and Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT). Cristina has experience collaborating with interdisciplinary teams of various mental health providers, community and government social service agencies, and clinical team members to provide clients with comprehensive clinical treatment. Along with managing individualized treatment Cristina facilitates psycho-educational classes, provides couple’s and family therapy, and group therapeutic sessions. Cristina also works as a family educator at McCallum Place Eating Disorder Treatment Center.
Cristina obtained exceptional experience in her graduate studies at Saint Louis University’s Center for Counseling and Family therapy. At the center Cristina gained experience counseling individuals, couples, families, adolescents, and children. Cristina obtained advanced supervision in Internal Family Systems therapy, Relationship Therapy, Motivational Interviewing, and Children's Art and Play Therapy. Cristina also completed her internship at Queen of Peace Addiction Recovery Center where she spent two years specializing in the treatment of trauma and addictions.
Cristina cultivated her professional clinical experience providing services at the following exceptional treatment facilities in the St. Louis Area:
I am a licensed professional counselor, and member of the American Counseling Association. I earned my Bachelor's degree in Intercultural Studies from Moody Bible Institute in 1999, and earned my Master's in counseling from Saint Louis University in 2012. I am trained in EMDR, and experienced in using Cognitive Behavioral principles. My work is also influenced by my study of Internal Family Systems, as well as my experiences in working with traumatized individuals and communities. We humans have an amazing capacity for self-healing- physically and mentally. For many clients who experience unpleasant reactions to past trauma, or feel "stuck", EMDR is effective at promoting mental and emotional self-healing. Clients can experience less and less distress associated with the traumatic event, and with reminders of the event.
I strongly believe that the insights and connections we discover for ourselves (as opposed to being told and directed) really end up staying with us and transforming our thoughts, emotions, and actions. So, I prefer to collaborate with clients, honoring and affirming their experiences, perspectives, and backgrounds. I enjoy working with clients from diverse backgrounds.
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141 N. Meramec Ave. , Suite 300 Clayton, MO 63105
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