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June 15, 2024

E259: Cristina Castagnini - The Reality of Eating Disorders

E259: Cristina Castagnini - The Reality of Eating Disorders

Cristina Castagnini, PhD, is a is a licensed Psychologist and Certified Eating Disorder Specialist who has over 20 years of experience treating patients presenting with a variety of mental health issues. After overcoming her own struggles with having an eating disorder, it was always her dream to focus solely on helping women with similar challenges with food and body image and to achieve a balanced life.

Check out Dr. Castagnini Podcast at:


In her own words:

There was really never a question that I was going to spend my life trying to help people who were in pain or suffering feel or get better. I just somehow knew it was something I was going to do.

Perhaps others saw that in me as well. When I was in high school, my friend’s dad saw an ad in a local paper for teen advice columnists, he told my friend I should apply because everyone was always coming to me for advice. So, out came the hefty typewriter, and off went my application. Before I knew it, I was writing a teen advice column.

My Education....

The University of California Santa Cruz was where I realized that I wanted to pursue a career in mental health. Starting with my first psychology course, I just "knew".

Initially, I thought I wanted to pursue medical school and become a psychiatrist. So, while I majored in psychology, I also took the courses required for medical school. I even took the MCAT's. But, then something hit me as I was knee-deep into med school applications: I truly loved all of my psychology courses. I loved experiencing actual clinical work during an upper-division course.

This led me to do something completely unexpected: I switched gears and applied only to graduate programs in clinical psychology.

After two years at UCSC, and one year studying on exchange at the University of British Columbia, I earned my BA in Psychology, graduating with honors.

2 years later, I was inducted into Psi Chi, the National Honors Society for Psychology, as a Lifetime Member, and earned my MA in Clinical Psychology, with an emphasis in Marriage and Family Therapy from Pepperdine University.

I completed my doctoral studies at the University of Southern California, where I earned my PhD in Counseling Psychology.

My Career....

After graduate school, I was a postdoctoral resident at Kaiser Permanente. I spent the following 15 years as a staff psychologist in the adult psychiatry department while also running my own small private practice one day a week.

While at Kaiser, I was the lead eating disorder specialist in my department.

As the years went on, I realized that I wanted to continue doing clinical work. But, I also wanted the opportunity to do something different. Something that had a bigger, wider reach.

So, I left Kaiser in October of 2019 to open my practice full-time.

And Here We Are...

I love that I have an opportunity to start something truly meaningful and personally near and dear to my heart.

This podcast is for those of you out there who are: struggling with disordered eating....a full blown eating disorder....yo-yo dieting and struggling with weight.....body image issues.....feel like you can only be happy if you lose weight or look a certain way....or are just plain feeling trapped in a life where you can't make peace with food or your body.

I was there. For years. And when I was going through my struggles, podcasts just did not exist. I wish they had. I needed to know that other people were going through what I was. I needed to hear about what types of help are out there..even help besides therapy. I needed to hear other people just talk about it. To know I was not alone. To hear that recovery is possible.

I have worked with enough patients over the years to know that once you get information....once you gain the knowledge and awareness....things can start to change. But you need to hear it first.

So, I am trying to get this information heard. I am trying to help from beyond the couch in this next chapter. I can only do so much from behind 4 walls---time to break them down and help more people now.

I welcome you to join me and listen.

I welcome you with open arms and an open ear. This podcast is for you...tell me what you want to know and hear.

I'm also listening.

To your health, welcome!

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