My Background and Journey

 dr cristina dorazio

As a first generation American-born woman and college student, I received many messages about womanhood, career choice, and psychotherapy that have informed my practice as a psychologist. I learned early on that immigrant groups have diverse experiences of integration that are influenced by many contextual factors, which can either help or hinder their experience of acculturation. This awareness sparked my interest in people, how their environments inform how they interact with the world and ultimately how we all perceive counseling.

I am passionate about providing culturally sensitive counseling to help individuals navigate their challenges in an empowering way, and I can conduct sessions in Italian as well as English. I recognize that we all exist in a larger social and cultural context and our unique experiences shape our sense of who we are and how we are expected to behave. Knowing that something is culturally appropriate doesn’t necessarily mean that it is right for that person. It is important to give people the space they need to explore the factors influencing their identities so they can decide for themselves what parts of their cultural experience they want to take or leave behind.

I became a counseling psychologist because I believe that a genuine, therapeutic relationship can foster truly remarkable healing. I value how safety and compassion can promote personal growth and lead to healthier relationships. I understood that counseling could help people deal with common life issues, such as stress and work-life balance, as well as more serious medical or mental health concerns, including infertility, chronic illness, trauma and anxiety. We all have internal strengths and goals, and I want to help people find the resources, skills and support they need to build on those strengths and begin living fulfilling, engaged lives.

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I earned my Ph.D. from Columbia University, where I used empirically validated clinical approaches to help my clients understand and address personal, relationship and professional challenges. As a native New Yorker, I had the opportunity and privilege to complete my clinical training at counseling centers, hospitals and community mental health centers around the city. For example, I received training at Bellevue Hospital Center’s WTC EHC Mental Health Program where I worked with people who were suffering from trauma and illness following the events of September 11th. Also at Bellevue Hospital, I worked at the Program for the Survivors of Torture with a diverse population assisting clients with their asylum process and developing strategic coping skills to process and heal from trauma. In addition to expanding my cultural awareness, I was exposed to a wide variety of presenting concerns and treatment models that informed and refined my approach.

Therapy is a mode of self-care, like working out or eating right, that can help you foster a better relationship with yourself, your body and the people you care about. It can help couples resolve conflict, support individuals as they work toward personal growth and give organizations the tools they need to increase productivity and staff morale. Throughout my work as a psychologist, I became passionate about women’s health issues. I saw how many women felt like they had to internalize their challenges and power through pain. But, when women can give their experience a voice, there is a shift – an improvement in their physical and emotional wellness. 

In 2005, I began providing in-house training to diverse organizations, such as college campuses, high schools and medical centers. I recognized that one of the most effective steps an organization could take to increase staff morale and productivity was to focus on the overall wellness of the people with whom they work. In addition to providing diversity workshops and mindfulness in the workplace training, I support individuals through one-on-one career counseling and career assessments. Using an interactive, collaborative approach, I help individuals develop the resources, awareness and skills they need to manage stress, communicate their needs and feel focused and fulfilled in the workplace and in their lives.

In addition to running my private psychology, coaching and consulting practice, I am actively involved in my community, serving on panels to destigmatize mental health and giving talks on parenting, behavioral modification and nanny training.  When I am not in my New York City office, I enjoy learning about and experiencing new cultures, languages and cuisines.

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I have always had an appreciation for the different experiences that shape the way we engage with the world. I even named my practice Unity Psychological Consulting because I help my clients unify different aspects of themselves in an attempt to foster a more fulfilling, freeing experience. At Unity in New York City, I value you for who you are, and I can help you find relief, healing and growth. To contact me for a free 15-minute phone consultation, please click the button below. 

Read about My Approach to Therapy here.