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Areas of Practice

  • 0 -6 Psychotherapy including infant, toddler and family mental health

  • Child and youth mental health

  • Family therapy

  • Individual therapy for women

Christina Vengris

Registered Social Worker

I am a passionate clinical social worker with a specialized focus in child and family mental health. I have expertise in helping children and their families with anxiety, mood difficulties, disconnected relationships, and stress. I take a collaborative approach to my work and strongly believe in the importance of teaching reflection and self-care as a key to change.

I went through a lot of difficult stuff as a child and am proud I was able to face what I went through head on via therapy, exercise and gaining a better understanding of what's built my resilience. I feel more connected to the people I meet because when we can learn to look at, accept and even embrace our mucky parts, we realize not much separates us from the next person who's had struggles - because we all have!

I continue to learn everyday in my practice as I meet new faces. With collaboration, inclusion and innovation at the focus of my work, I am committed to serving children, their families and our community.  I value my work a lot and feel privileged in helping people to see their own strengths, resilience and capacities.


Q & A with Christina

What made you decide to choose your current profession?

" Kids. When I started volunteering with kids at the young age of 15, I felt a spark about the hope, creativity, and resilience that kids bring to the world. Fast forward to my first stint in post secondary school where I worked at a group home for kids with special needs.  I was also hired to do a special role as a one to one worker with a young boy who had Autism; I learned so much about what it means to build connected relationships, embrace unique ways of being, and what inclusion really looks like.  Six years later, I knew I wanted to work with kids and found a degree that helped me to do that. "

 

What do you like most about what you do?

" I like meeting new people and hearing their stories; everyday, I get to hear about strength, resilience and what makes people unique - it's incredible. "

 

What does 'integrated health' mean to you?

" Understanding and respecting the interconnected-ness of our minds and bodies and the roles different health practitioners have in supporting people to achieve well-being. "

 

What does 'wellness' mean to you?

" Wellness means having compassion for and listening to your needs. "

 

What do you think are the biggest misconceptions about mental health?

" People think mental health primarily means being unwell and don’t understand that it's a spectrum. This is part of why there is still a stigma! Mental health is a part of all our brains; I love being a part of educating the wider community on what it means to learn about and care for everyone’s mental health. "

 

What do you want your clients to know about you and what it will be like working with you?

" I want clients to know: they are in the lead of their experience with me.  If it's a good fit, awesome.  If it's not, we'll find someone who is!  I care.  I genuinely care about people and their feelings, experiences and perspectives.  I respect people and their choice to seek professional support.  I've often been described as warm, welcoming and down-to-earth.  I’m a very collaborative practitioner - we are building a partnership, as well as a therapeutic relationship.  And, I have lots of sayings / metaphors to make complex ideas come alive - they often get people laughing because of how goofy they can be - but I work with kids and it comes with the territory! "

 

What do you value most in a client?

" The willingness to partner with me and put their trust in me. "

 

What would you like a client to say about you?

"I’m easy to talk to and non-judgmental.”

 

Why should a potential client come to everwell?

" Because it's going to be an awesome space where you can get a variety of your different wellness needs met! "

 

What is your personal mantra or favourite quote?

For a seed to achieve its greatest expression, it must come completely undone. The shell cracks, its insides come out and everything changes. To someone who doesn’t understand growth, it would look like complete destruction.
— Cynthia Occelli

What's the one piece of advice you would give others about life?

" Learn to be present in your day to day; to really take it in, listen to the conversations you're a part of, see the beautiful trees, taste the buttery deliciousness of homemade baked goods, smell that freshly brewed coffee, feel the tenderness in the handhold from your toddler, snuggle for an extra five minutes with your partner in the morning.  Learn to train your brain to take life a day at a time because life is too short to be constantly projecting your future or living in your past. "

 

What wisdom would you pass along to the next generation?

"Be kinder. First to yourself and then to others.  When we're compassionate to ourselves (actually a hard life lesson), we are automatically more compassionate to others and the world would be a much better place that way - I truly believe that. "

 
I want clients to know that I care. I genuinely care about people, their feelings, experiences and perspectives.

Specialties

0-6 Psychotherapy

  • Specialized training in infant mental health

  • Family mental health in the early years

  • Psycho-education / support on the toddler years

  • Emotion regulation in the early years

  • Attachment systems

Child and youth mental health

  • Specialized training in treating anxiousness and low mood

  • Relationship / peer struggles

  • Difficult family dynamics

  • Identity searching

Family therapy

  • Attachment focused family therapy

  • Strained difficult dynamics

  • Going through tough life transitions

  • Breaking unhealthy relational patterns that have built up over time

Individual therapy for women

  • Learning about self compassion / care

  • Identity and empowerment development

  • Self esteem and confidence building


Education / Accomplishments /Awards

  • Bachelor of Arts, University of Guelph

  • Bachelor of Social Work, McMaster University

  • Masters of Social Work, University of Windsor

Professional Memberships

  • Registered Social Worker - Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers

  • School Social Worker - The Hamilton Wentworth Public School Board

Certifications

  • DBT Skills Training Certificate

  • Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) Level 1

  • Narrative Therapy Externship Certificate

  • Infant-Parent Psychotherapy Internship Certificate

  • Dydactic Developmental Psychotherapy Introductory Certificate

  • Family Group Conferencing Facilitator Certificate


Average Cost

  • $110.00 - $120.00 ( per session )

  • Check with your insurance provider for coverage opportunities


What personal qualities are important for the job that you do?

Warmth
Empathy
Thoughtfulness
Strong listening skills
Training and experience


Just for fun

Guilty Pleasure

" Junky reality TV shows!  I'm talking anything from 'Beat Bobby Flay' to the 'Real Housewives of New York', and I love a good episode of 'Dateline'. Oh... and anything 'Super Soul Sunday'. "

Fav book

The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom by Don Miguel Ruiz. It changed my life 10 years ago; I still read it every couple of years and will happily lend it to anyone who will want to  borrow it (with a disclaimer that if you're spiritual but not religious, like me, you have to put your own words into spots where he speaks about God).  The message is SO powerful! "

Coffee or Tea?

" Coffee all the way - two milks! Cream, if it's not an awesome brew. "

Top 3 things you heart about Hamilton

" 1) The people; it's a friendly and diverse place.  2) The green space! So much green space. I recently learned it has the most green space per person in all of Canada's biggest cities!  3) The Hamilton Farmer's Market! I love the sense of community and good local food there. "


Next Team Profile > Jenna Pessot