Hello! I am Cristina Ally, Licensed Mental Health Counselor (LMHC), Registered Play Therapist (RPT), and owner of Flourish Counseling Co. in Winter Park, Florida. I am a graduate of Palm Beach Atlantic University and received my Master of Science in Counseling Psychology with a specialization in marriage and family. I am trained in Accelerated Resolution Therapy (ART), EMDR, and the Reconsolidation of Traumatic Memories. I enjoy using these tools to resolve traumatic memories for clients.
As President of the Mental Health Counselors of Central Florida (MHCCF), a non-profit organization with a mission to help clinicians in the Greater Orlando area, I enjoy serving my community through advocacy, education, and service. Additionally, I hold Professional Memberships with the International Association of Eating Disorder Professionals (IAEDP) and the Florida Mental Health Counselors Association (FMHCA). These professional networks facilitate learning and continue to challenge me as a clinician to utilize cutting edge treatments in psychotherapy.
I get asked often why I chose the counseling profession. Well, to be quite honest, I am passionate about what I do because optimal mental health makes a difference in our every day lives – including my own. I have found the counseling profession to be tremendously rewarding in that I am able to enter into the most sacred places in the lives of those I serve. It brings me great joy to see those I work with set free from the thoughts, feelings, and fears that have held them captive for so long.
At my core, I am a creative. I enjoy the creative process and the variety of ways creativity can be expressed. I consider creativity and spirituality to be deeply connected – hitting aspects of experience that cannot be reached with words. I believe this is why play therapy, even with adults, is incredibly effective. This is also why I enjoy the counseling room – it is always filled with creativity, exploration, curiosity, and grace which also brings me to life as a clinician.
While I personally adhere to the Christian faith, I welcome all those who are seeking truth and healing. I truly believe healing is complete when the mind, body, and spirit come into a cohesive synthesis. It would be an honor to help you discover the gifts that live within.
I would be happy to touch base with you so please feel free to reach out. You have the right to find the best therapist for you. Therapy is a lot like art, music, dance, or any other relationship. Remember, you must find the right fit for you to truly enjoy the process.
You already possess the strengths needed to be successful in overcoming life’s challenges. It may be that the past or present is too overwhelming for you to draw upon these resources and live your best life. It is my goal to help you to explore and reinforce these strengths to help you become more resilient as you move along your journey of recovery and growth. I have extensive experience working with teens and adults who have undergone trauma (neglect / emotional / physical / sexual abuse, domestic violence) and have seen that recovery and happiness are possible. I believe in using an experiential approach of drawing awareness to thoughts/feelings surrounding both past and present disturbances and helping to relieve the distress they cause. People often report finding balance, feeling safer to access their feelings, and act in more adaptive, self-serving ways.
I am currently a registered marriage and family therapy intern and have years of clinical experience with teens and adults. My interest in mental health began in high school when I began working for a suicide prevention program. I spent ten years educating teens on the importance of mental health and reducing the stigma around seeking help. I then went on to complete two master’s degrees programs at the University of California, Los Angeles (2013) and Alliant International University (2015) in behavioral neuroscience and marriage and family therapy, respectively. I will soon be completing my doctorate in social psychology at Walden University. In therapy, I often integrate my knowledge of neurobiology, how attitudes/cognitions/needs function in interpersonal relationships, and my understanding of how to motivate people towards change with my clinical experience. In addition, I am currently trained in trauma-focused cognitive behavioral therapy (TF-CBT) and and will be fully trained in eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) by the beginning of March 2023. I am also trained in emotionally focused therapy (EFT), which helps couples identify their problematic “dance” and help them reconnect by in a healthy way by addressing each partner’s needs. My comprehensive background helps me best address the unique needs of individuals, couples, and families who present for treatment with a variety of presenting problems ranging from depression and anxiety to complex PTSD.
We are open to those seeking internship opportunities. While we may not be able to accommodate all requests, you are welcome to send us your resume and headshot at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Undergraduate Student Internships
We are open to those seeking internship opportunities. While we may not be able to accommodate all requests, you are welcome to send us your resume and headshot at email@example.com. Internships can include anything from working with the business side of mental health counseling (i.e. marketing, community outreach, local partnerships, systems management etc.) as well as the potential to co-facilitate (or shadow) during groups.
Graduate Student Internships
Graduate Student Internships would need to be coordinated with your graduate program internship coordinator in order to ensure we can provide the types of programs, hours and services that may be required by your university.
Internships can include anything from working with the business side of mental health counseling (i.e. marketing, community outreach, local partnerships, systems management etc.) as well as the potential to co-facilitate (or shadow) during groups.