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Life Lessons

Meet Therapist Christina Pettinato

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Photo by Mike McKenna

Join us in welcoming the newest member of our eTalkTherapy family, Christina Pettinato, who brings with her a wealth of clinical experience and a refreshing take on the importance and application of meaning in the therapeutic relationship. Get to know more about Christina in today’s blog post.

What does therapy mean to you?

It’s a complex question, but I believe it is the conscious act of two or more people engaging in purposeful and honest conversation with the intention of gaining insight, meaning and trust.

What makes therapy successful?

What I believe makes therapy successful is the devotion to the therapeutic relationship. There is nothing more important to therapy than the connection between two people. This unique connection lays a secure foundation that in turn creates a space for exploration, meaning, mindfulness and self-reflection.

How has existentialism shaped your role as a therapist?

Existentialism shaped my role as a therapist the day I walked into my first class called Existential Psychotherapy. Right then and there I knew I had been craving for something different; a new way of thinking and a desire to travel deep within myself so that I could help others. I now have a new perspective on life, meaning, and finding purpose. It has been a liberating journey and I’m looking forward to the road ahead.

What is your life philosophy?

What I would consider my life’s philosophy is the act of understanding how I choose to devote my life’s energy to maintaining a life in the here and now. I value the act of creating meaning, helping others and making choices with purposeful action and gaining great comfort in the acts of learning and helping.

Describe yourself in three words?

Passionate. Inspired. Intuitive.

What was the last book you read? Your thoughts on it? 

Therapy with Children An Existential Perspective,” by Chris Scalzo. I really enjoyed it because as you read his words, you can really gain a sense of the author’s feelings of care and understanding related to children. This book provided me with an existential view on how to work with children while breaking the barrier that existentialism is a practice solely meant for adults. His rich words, research and ideas on the subject intrigued me, as this work is written with simplicity and taught by connecting theory with real world application. That approach is sadly lacking in many books and articles written on the subject of existential psychotherapy and counseling.

If you could meet someone living or dead, who would it be AND why?

If I could meet someone living or dead? I would love to meet my great, great, great, great, great (I believe it is that many “greats”) grandmother, the matriarch of my family and our name. I listened to her story being told many times by my older relatives as I grew up, and I have had the honor and privilege to visit and walk the streets she was known to have walked in our home country of Italy. Words could not describe how that moment would feel or what it would mean to me.

Share something about yourself that others would be surprised to learn?

I believe that others would be surprised to learn that I have been a co-host of a podcast (and soon a new podcast called Existential GPS). I say this because if you would have asked or known me before I dove head first into this adventure I probably would have said “No way, I can’t do that!

Complete this sentence “The quality I most value in a friend”

The quality I most value in a friend is trustworthiness. Period.

Complete this sentence “The quality I most value in myself”

The quality I most value in myself is my integrity. Period.


If you are looking to make positive changes in your life, we can help! Please contact us today about how to register and schedule your live video-chat counseling session with Christina.

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