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San Francisco Mental Health Expert Succeeds In A Variety Of Roles

Christina Villarreal, Ph.D. is a clinical psychologist, adjunct professor at UC Berkeley, executive personal coach/consultant, digital media expert, blogger and public speaker. She completed a B.A. in psychology from Emory University and opted to complete a master's degree in marriage and family therapy at The University of San Francisco. Afterwards, Villarreal decided she wanted to further develop her clinical and forensic assessment skills and teach at a graduate school level, so she earned a Ph.D. in clinical psychology at The California School of Professional Psychology at Alliant International University. Here, she had a wide range of experiences, including year-long clinical rotations at some of the Bay Area's most prestigious teaching hospitals: The San Francisco VA Hospital, UCSF/San Francisco General Hospital, and the flagship Kaiser Hospital in Oakland. Villarreal conducted research and completed her doctoral dissertation on the gender and cultural influences on sexual risk behavior among Latinos in the U.S.

(Photo Courtesy of Christina Villarreal, Ph.D)

What are the responsibilities of your current role? 

"Currently, I function in a variety of professional roles. As a mental health expert/psychologist, I help people manage a variety of problems, including mood disorders, interpersonal/familial difficulties, sexuality issues, job related stress, and improve social functioning and health/wellness. I also provide forensic assessment, consultation and expertise in legal settings and for media purposes (televised interviews, digital journalism, newsprint/magazines.)."

"As an executive/personal coach, I work largely with the Bay Area's tech community, helping high-achieving millennials and Gen X'ers improve their emotional intelligence, work-life balance, dating goals, time management/organization, leadership growth, and career development/transitions. I publish digital articles that reflect the mental health and life management issues my clients are working through in my practice. I also serve in an advisory/consultation role for tech startups aiming to develop mental health tools or wellness resources within their company. Lastly, I am an instructor at UC Berkeley in their post baccalaureate program in psychology."

What is your favorite part of your daily duties?

"I really enjoy the process of helping people tap into their full potential and achieve their life goals. It's an honor to be given opportunities to reach wider audiences and educate the public about improving mental health and wellness."

Do you feel your education prepared you for your current role? 

"My education allowed me to gain the necessary knowledge and expertise to practice in a variety of roles within my private practice as a mental health professional, coach, author, and educator. After years of practicing as a psychologist, I opted to seek additional coursework and training as an executive coach through The College of Executive Coaching in order to better serve high functioning individuals reach their respective career and life goals."

Do you have any advice for people who desire to pursue a similar career? 

"I encourage people to work hard and stay focused on what is most important to them, and to talk as often as possible to people who are practicing in the roles they hope to achieve."

Michelle Guilbeau is a writer, reviewer, teacher and business owner living in Chicago, Illinois. She also has experience in school administration, literacy coaching and is proud founder of and Michelle enjoys sharing her knowledge of Chicago, food, travel, education and parenting issues with her readers. Her work can be found on

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