Dr. Villarreal’s Biography

Dr. Christina Villarreal is located in the Bay Area, California with offices in San Francisco and the East Bay (Rockridge/North Oakland).  She began practicing in mental healthcare in 2003 helping people manage anxiety, depression, relationship or interpersonal difficulties, explore sexuality/sexual problems, job related stress conditions, managing medical illnesses and/or chronic pain, social isolation, bereavement, and phase of life transitions.  Dr. Villarreal was trained in evidence-based Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) techniques, and has expertise working with a wide range of culturally diverse populations including the LGBTQ/Kink/Poly/BDSM community.  Dr. Villarreal has experience conducting forensic psychological assessment and consultation for civil, criminal and immigration purposes.  She has served as expert witness testimony in Alameda County.  She has taught as adjunct faculty at Argosy University (San Francisco Bay Campus) , University of California, Berkeley, lectured annually for the Neuropsychological Assessment Seminar at University of California, San Francisco at San Francisco General Hospital, and supervised doctoral students in psychological assessment at The Wright Institute.  Doctoral level courses taught include Cognitive Psychology, Personality and Forensic Assessment, and Behavioral Medicine/Health Psychology.

Dr. Villarreal’s post graduate professional training took place at leading healthcare institutions such as UCSF/San Francisco General Hospital, Dept. of Psychosocial Medicine ,  Kaiser Permanente Hospital (Behavioral Medicine Department), San Francisco Veteran’s Hospital, and Laguna Honda Hospital’s Pain Education Program.  Dr. Villarreal was awarded her undergraduate degree in Psychology (B.A.) from Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia and holds a Master’s Degree (M.A.) from the University of San Francisco where she studied Marriage, Family, and Child Counseling. She earned a doctorate ( Ph.D.) in Clinical Psychology from The California School of Professional Psychology (CSPP) at Alliant International University, with specialization in Health/Behavioral Medicine. She has conducted research through the Center for HIV and AIDS Prevention (CAPS) at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) and has published research in the area of sexual risk behavior among Latinos.  Dr. Villarreal has completed post-graduate coursework and professional training through the College of Executive Coaching, with ongoing, continuing education in Industrial/Organizational Psychology.

Dr. Villarreal’s experience in providing mental health services to the Bay Area’s tech community began in the mid 2000’s.  Her private practice clientele base began shifting in response to the rapid influx of young professionals working for local tech companies, large, mid-size and small.  Dr. Villarreal has worked closely with employees of Google, Pixar, Apple, Facebook, Genentech, LinkedIn, Zynga, Pandora, Netflix, Twitter, Jawbone, Box, Fitbit (to name a few), as well as those from incubators like Y Combinator, AngelPad, and 500 Startups.  Other clients seeking professional support came from lesser known startups still in beta or stealth mode.  While the mental health issues of this clientele base varies, some trends exist, and Dr. Villarreal has gained a strong understanding of how to best provide support for improved health and functioning.  In addition to helping Millennials and Gen Xers reach their life goals and manage transitions, Dr. Villarreal has developed expertise in helping managers of fast scaling start-ups through the challenges of company growth stages.  She can provide effective assessment tools to better understand the needs of employees.  She is also effective at teaching practical tools/techniques for building strong company culture, and provides on-site seminars on health/wellness.  She is now accepting referrals in her personal and executive coaching and consultation practice.

Dr. Villarreal produces digital articles, televised and print/digital/televised interviews on current issues in mental health and tech culture.  She has been a featured mental health expert and consultant for a variety of international publications and television news networks including The Wall Street Journal, Techcrunch.com, The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), ABC News, CBS News, Fox News, The Oxygen Channel, The Lifetime Channel, Scholastic Scope Magazine, Topix Media Lab, and La Tercera, Chile’s national news publication. Her professional writing has been cited in textbooks produced by Princeton University’s Clinical Psychology department.  She is the mental health writer in Oakland, CA for Examiner.com

Currently, Dr. Villarreal balances her professional time between personal and executive coaching and consultation, writing and educating in both higher education and within the tech community.  She is no longer accepting health insurance for payment of services/psychotherapy.