My name is Cristina Bruington and I am a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, Licensed Clinical Addictions Specialist, and Clinical Supervisor Intern. While working in the field of substance abuse treatment, I became aware of the family dynamics throughout the lives of my clients and how the addiction was centered within the family. There were, in many cases, generational levels of the addictions. It was this concept that motivated me to move into marriage and family counseling. We are all affected by the systems that we are involved in whether that is the system we are born into, the system that we are raised by, the system that we are taught by, the systems we chose to include in our lives, and even the legal system we fall under. Family relationships are the core to changes in an individual’s life. Through the process of my education, I begin to realize that the impact of the “FAMILY” has NO limits to the amount of impact on an individual’s entire life. I have been in the counseling field for a combined total of 9 years and as I continue to learn, study and train, I have discovered that, although I have a great deal of knowledge, I will never have a full understanding of the event that is human.
Change is one of the most difficult things we face, but change is inevitable. One reason we don’t like change is we get comfortable where we are. We get used to our friends, our job, and the place we live. Even if it’s not perfect, we accept it because it’s familiar. What worked five years ago may not work today. If you’re going to be successful, you have to be willing to change. Upon meeting with a client for the first time, I determine their comfort level with the therapeutic process. Based on that comfort level, we move forward at their pace. From my point of view, every individual is unique. It is my belief that there is a different approach that will work with each unique individual. It is because of this that I have developed an eclectic style of counseling. The truth about the counseling process is that you may feel worse before you get better. I have an innate ability to ease that discomfort by developing person centered approaches to assist an individual through any bumps in the road. I always encourage clients to be forthright with me if there are certain feelings that they are not ready to explore or process. I believe in celebrating all personal victories no matter how small.
It took me a long time to learn the importance of taking care of myself. These days I enjoy either taking a walk my two dogs or cuddling with my “fur babies." Asia is a little tiny baby in a giant dog’s body. Cyn is a wandering soul. Her nose tends to always get her into trouble. I enjoy spending quality time with my family in Marion NC as well as reading Steven King novels. As for television...one might say that I like to binge on shows like The 100, The Walking Dead, Game of Thrones, and Once Upon a Time just to name a few. Practicing self-care allows me to have more tools in my toolbox which in turn motivates me to demonstrate acceptance and support of a client regardless of their individual circumstances.