Christine MacInnis, LMFT
The Full Story
After twenty-five years of working with teens and young adults in a school setting as a school counselor, I am honored to support families struggling with such issues as anxiety, ADHD, and depression. I love helping parents and teens in high conflict families learn to communicate more effectively and build stronger relationships as well. I find that I am a very effective mediator and am able to support both sides equally in family therapy.
My passion lies in helping those in the transgender and gender expansive community with co-occurring mental health concerns, transition, family education and acceptance building and referrals to the medical community. Working closely with programs like the Trans-youth Center for Health and Development at LA Children's Hospital and St. John's Well Child and Family Center's Transgender Health program, I strive to provide needed resources and continuation of care if that need arises. I also volunteer my time to our local South Bay PFLAG (Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays) Chapter as a facilitator and as a board member. I am a member of WPATH (World Organization of Transgender Heath and CAMFT (California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists.
Lastly, these past two years have taught all of us more than we ever would have wanted to know about trauma so I decided to become more trauma informed and dive into the practice of EMDR. It has completely changed my work as a therapist now being trained in a somatic based, trauma informed approach that is backed by over 30 years of research. Here I help clients of all ages process traumas, large and small that are holding them back from living a full life. Read more about it EMDR- click
My main tenant is the belief that the client is the expert of their own self and that I am merely the guide. There will be no shame or judgement, simply support. I often use laughter and humor as well as a tool to remind the client not to take themselves so seriously. We will laugh and cry in session a lot!
My therapeutic style uses person centered and solution focused methods to instill self-understanding among clients and encourage them to learn the best ways for them to react to life situations. I also work from a trauma informed perspective and utilize neurobiological approaches such as EMDR to heal oneself through the power of your own brain. That's the fancy therapy talk.
What it means is that I do not sit back and nod at you; rather I work hard to be with you in the therapy room or online providing active listening and even gentle challenging you when needed. I use humor. We will laugh, a lot! I will be searching for your strengths and quickly identity those areas where you are excelling and build upon them. For my gender expansive clients, I will also be an affirming ally and a strong advocate for your needs in all areas- social, family, educational, career and medical. My work is also anti-racist informed. By that I mean, I pay black folks who do anti-racism training to continue my education and challenge my privilege. I read extensively and try to advocate using my own privilege. My favorite resource for anti-racism training is www.theblackful.com.
It is essential to keep in mind that therapy is not a magic pill or a quick fix: therapy is a healing process that necessitates participation and investment from the client and family alike. But in the end, making small changes to self-defeating behavior and coping with feelings of sadness, fear, and pain can bring life-altering results. I love watching the transformation occur as clients learn to cope with their lives in their own way.
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