Clinician Spotlight: Christine Villarosa, NP

Innerwell Team

Let’s start with something easy. Can you tell us a little about your professional background and areas of focus?

My professional background actually started out in general pediatrics. In my 10 years as a pediatric nurse I witnessed all kinds of family dynamics and social situations, caring for the child and subsequently for the family as well. This led me to pursue a role as a Family Nurse Practitioner where I began practicing Primary Care about 5 years ago. I was lucky enough to be part of a practice that looked at people holistically and at root causes for illness, working with a wonderful physician who is a leader in Lifestyle Medicine. I did become frustrated with the lack of mental health treatment options available for my patients and for personal members of my family. This led me to begin researching psychedelic therapy and pursuing a role that I could play in this treatment. The transition to working in this space has been so fulfilling, and I'm excited to continue to see what's to come.

How would you describe your approach to therapy?

My approach to therapy is meeting the client where they are in their journey in a compassionate and individualized way. We all come with so many nuances, so being able to devise a plan in partnership with my clients based on their individual needs is very important to me.

What would your patients say about you?

My patients would say that I'm kind and understanding, and I listen and truly hear them. Based on their needs, I present options based on the available clinical evidence to help them make informed decisions. They may say I have a silly sense of humor and try my best to make the visit comfortable.

How did you become interested in working with psychedelics including ketamine?

I've been keeping my eye on the research related to psychedelics over the years, especially when I became frustrated with the available treatment options for mental health in primary care. I also began researching to look for options for my own family members that needed help with mental wellness. This led me to the discovery of ketamine treatments. I took a chance pursuing a role in this field, and now here I am today. The happiest and most aligned I've ever been with my work and so thankful to be here.

What has been your most meaningful experience in working with psychedelics?

There's honestly too many experiences to choose from, but I'll try. I think one of my most meaningful experiences was seeing a client move from being severely depressed, lacking purpose and hopeless, towards feeling motivated, achieving work accomplishments, and now pursuing writing a book about their story. It's amazing seeing clients connect to their true selves and moving towards their full potential. I'm truly honored to be able to accompany individuals on this journey.

What excites you most about the future of psychedelics?

Everything! I'm most excited for more options for people in their mental wellness. I'm excited about further research and de-stigmatizing psychedelics and mental health. It truly has been amazing to see the growth of this space and the potential to help so many people, in turn helping our collective society as a whole.

Enough about work! Let’s try some rapid fire questions;
  • First, Where do you live? -Southern California
  • What's a perfect afternoon? - Sipping some tea while hanging out with my husband and dogs.
  • Favorite food? Pizza/Pasta - Tough question. I love all kinds of food.
  • Describe yourself in two words. - Kind optimist

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