Christina M. Schultz, MA
Resident in Counseling
Supervised by Megan A. Ellis, LPC
Thriving Families Counseling, LLC
I am a Greek-American Christian, remarried wife, and mother to two adorable yet fiesty young daughters newly living in Roanoke County.  My personal journey with spousal caregiving, young widowhood, and postpartum depression eventually led me to change careers to become a counselor.  Prior to this career, I served over 10 years in the federal civil service at three federal agencies and earned a master's degree from The George Washington University in Criminal Justice, Crime in Commerce.

Counseling Experience 

From October 2016 to August 2018, I served as a Resident in Counseling, supervised by Thomas F. Lamp, LPC, owner of New Directions Counseling Group.  In this role, I have supported 71 teen, adults, and couples facing issues of depression, anxiety, anger, trauma, grief, codependency, postpartum depression and anxiety, relationship/marital conflict, premarriage preparation, infidelity, codependency, sex addiction, and major life transitions.

From  January 2016 to August 2016, I served as a Graduate Counseling Intern, supervised by Falls Church Wellness Center co-owner Jessica S. MacNair, LPC (Virginia License #0701004421). In fall 2015, I completed  my Practicum Counseling experience at Psychiatric Rehabilitation Services (PRS) Mount Vernon, in Alexandria, VA.  In these roles, I facilitated psychoeducational classes and Support Groups (Bereavement, Caregiving, Postpartum, and Retirement). 
Related Volunteer Support Experience
In May 2015, I volunteered for Hospice Caring's children's bereavement weekend camp called Camp Caring, where I served as a Big Buddy to an elementary-school aged Little Buddy.  

From July 2015 to June 2016, I volunteered for Postpartum Support Virginia as a co-facilitator for a bi-monthly support group supporting women facing postpartum stress and mood and anxiety disorders.  

From February 2016 to February 2017, I volunteered for St. Mary's Catholic Church as a facilitator for a bi-monthly Catholic Faith-Based Adult Bereavement Support Group. 

In September and October 2018, I will serve as Support Group Volunteer Co-Facilitator for Carillion Hospice's Soul Survivor's 8  week joint spousal and parent bereavement program, in which I will work with Kindergarten to Second Graders coping with parent bereavement.

Education & Training
In August 2016, I earned my Pastoral Clinical Mental Health Counseling master's degree from Marymount University, in Arlington, VA and graduated with a 3.97 cumulative GPA. In May 2016, I received an Outstanding Scholar Award in the Pastoral Clinical Mental Health Counseling Department.  I received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Brandeis University in Psychology and a Master of Arts degree in Criminal Justice, Crime in Commerce Concentration, from The George Washington University.  

In addition to Marymount, I have sought and received additional trainings on couples counseling (basics of Emotion Focused Therapy and Gottman Method), adult and childhood bereavement support, grief counseling, men coping with anger and shame, healthy eating for emotional health, adults coping with eating disorders, mindfulness for ADHD children and couples, acceptance and commitment therapy, postpartum maternal mental health, trauma-focused cognitive behavioral therapy, and other important topics through Hospice Caring, Postpartum Support Virginia, PESI, and Northern Virginia Licensed Professional Counselors.
In February 2017, I completed a two day Healthy Sexuality Trainig via the International Instistitute for Trauma and Addiction Professionals, which provided me background to assess and identify sex issues in individuals and couples, and sex therapy treatment approaches.  

In April 2017, I completed Intermediate Grief Therapy training at the Association for Death Education and Counseling, and presented my research proposal for exploring the role of continuing bonds with the deceased for remarried widowed adults on marital satisfaction.
On 1 October 2017, I attended the Embracing Life After Loss program to learn more about therapeutic tools that promote healing and hope among children, teens, and adults, including techniques for facilitating a bereavement support group.

On 16 and 17 November 2017, I completed Postpartum Support International's two-day Perinatal Mood Disorders certificate program to further my foundation for diagnosing and treating PMADs as a mental health counselor.

Professional Associations
I maintain professional memberships at Association for Death Education and Counseling, and Postpartum Support International.

Counseling Orientation and Approaches
As a counselor oriented to Existential therapy, based on the philosophy developed by Victor Frankl, I accept the ontological and phenomenological perspectives which accepts the wholeness and uniqueness of each client's nature.  I appreciate the existential philosophical approach to viewing human nature, in that existential therapy allows for four ways of being (with the physical world, interpersonal world, personal world, and spiritual world), which includes the spirit or soul.  Thirdly, I appreciate the positive existential perspective of human nature allowing for hope, growth despite suffering, and individual free-will or choices (even if the choices are extremely limited by our environment, our biology, and past experiences).  Lastly, I accept, as Victor Frankl explained, that human meaning and health is not found in homeostasis, but rather as experiencing existential tension and creating and living our personal meanings.   

I approach clients as a caring friend and collaborator helping clients uncover what they may control, how the past is coming up in the present, developing more meaning, and support clients to engage in the present life through integrating Existential Therapy with Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Psychodynamic, and Gottman Couples Method approaches.  I believe in employing assessment tools and therapeutic assignments as a way to guide counseling sessions, process unfinished business, and increase self-awareness and motivation.  I encourage clients to take ownership and track their own progress, as this is ultimately your counseling, your time, and your monetary investment.  I also welcome feedback and dialog with clients in order to track and enhance counseling support and grow as a counseling professional.