“I have always loved working with children.”
Christina Girlando, Psy.D.,
Licensed Psychologist, Health Service Provider
Dr. Girlando’s Training in Psychology
I am a licensed clinical psychologist in both California and Iowa. I have received several years of clinical training. Specifically, I received my doctorate in Psychology (Psy.D.) from Azusa Pacific University, an APA accredited school near Los Angeles. I also completed an APA accredited internship and APPIC accredited postdoctoral fellowship at a residential emergency shelter with abused and neglected foster youth.
I had a lot of work experience before becoming a psychologist.
As a part of my graduate work, I worked in a position where I completed psychological testing for children and teens on the autism spectrum. Also, I worked in an inpatient hospitalization setting with adolescents diagnosed with an eating disorder. In addition, I provided therapy in an elementary school. Prior to my graduate training, I worked with youth struggling with sexual acting out behaviors. Finally, I worked for 6 years with my local regional center as a child development specialist for infants and young children with significant developmental delays.
Dr. Girlando’s Areas of Specialty
- Adoption and Foster Care Youth
- Preschool Children with Mental Health Needs
- Children with Behavioral or Emotional Concerns
- Mild Developmental Delays, such as Autism or Cognitive Disabilities
- Children, Adolescents, and Parents
- Trauma-Focused Therapy
- Dialectical Behavior Therapy
- Parenting Skills Training with Elements of Collaborative Problem-Solving and Parent Child Interaction Therapy
- Depression in Children
- Anxiety in Children
- Eating Disorders in Children and Teens
Dr. Girlando’s Areas of Interest and Specialization
I have had specialized training with foster and adopted youth. Many of these children were exposed to severe physical, emotional, and/or sexual abuse, as well as neglect. I have been trained to work with those struggling with trauma. Also, I enjoy working with children with eating disorders, depression, suicidal behaviors, anxiety and obsessive-compulsive disorders. In addition, I work with youth with minor to moderate substance abuse.
I enjoy working with children and adolescents of all ages. However, I have particular interest in working with those in early and middle childhood. I use attachment therapy, play therapy, trauma focused cognitive-behavioral therapy, and dialectical behavioral therapy in the work that I do.
I believe that all children are a product of the systems to which they are exposed. As such, I welcome collateral work with parents, teachers, doctors, dietitians, psychiatrists, and other specialists with whom the youth is involved. I greatly respect and value the work of other people’s experiences in learning more about a particular child.
Dr. Girlando’s Media Services
Dr. Girlando writes regularly for the Hope Springs’ Well-Being Blog, and has provided interviews to The Little Hawk, the City High School Newspaper. Dr Girlando is a strong believer in the importance of community and providing outreach services to families in the Iowa City, Coralville, and Eastern Iowa areas.
What is a Psy.D.?
A Psy.D. is a doctorate of psychology. While it requires the same level of education and training as a Ph.D. (a doctorate of philosophy), it is different from a Ph.D. in that the training is more clinically specialized and promotes a strong focus on becoming a clinical practitioner (aka therapist), whereas Ph.D. programs tend to place additional emphasis on academic training to become a researcher or professor.