Counseling Services in Albuquerque and Rio Rancho
for Adults, Adolescents, Couples and Families
Christina Vento, PsyD, MACP, ABMP
I am a clinical and prescribing/medical psychologist who provides integrated psychotherapy and medication management for adults and teens from a person centered, collaborative perspective. I became interested in working with psychiatric medications as a tool to help patients with moderate to severe symptoms whose intense emotional pain can make engaging fully in the treatment process very difficult.
I work with a variety of mental health conditions including all types of depressive, bipolar and anxiety disorders. I have particular experience with the LGBTQ+ community, cross cultural issues and people living with chronic pain/illnesses. To provide quality care, all of my patients need to also be established with a primary care provider (with whom I can communicate by phone and fax) before I begin treatment.
After my doctorate from the University of Denver, I completed a post-doctoral Master’s degree in clinical psychopharmacology from New Mexico State University. I became the first psychologist to prescribe psych meds at NM State Hospital in Las Vegas, and directed the NMSU Psychopharmacology Training program. Later, I worked at St. Martin’s/Hopeworks with people experiencing homelessness, with immigrant families in Albuquerque’s South Valley, and at Albuquerque Indian Health Center. Habla español de forma intermedia.
Outside of my work I enjoy travel, art, losing fishing tackle at local lakes, and study stand up and improv comedy. I am a mom to a dog and two cats who frequently require family therapy interventions.
What is Medication Management?
Medication management is an online psychiatric service that Thrive Counseling Services provides. We have a prescribing psychologist who can assess and prescribe medication for mental health issues such as depression, trauma and anxiety. Prescription medication has been shown to be a powerful tool for some people who are using medication alone or using it while they also attend regular therapy sessions with a counselor.
What is a Prescribing Psychologist?
A prescribing psychologist is a person with a doctorate in psychology who has undertaken medical training and is legally allowed to prescribe medication in the state in which they are licensed. A prescribing psychologist is different than a regular medical doctor or a psychiatrist but has many of the same functions when it comes to prescribing medication for mental health. However, here at Thrive Counseling Services we believe that they are better suited to provide integrated mental health treatment (therapy and medication) than their other prescribing counterparts because they have taken more training geared specifically to help people with mental health issues.
What makes our prescribing psychologist a better option for people in Albuquerque, Rio Rancho, and New Mexico as a whole, is that unlike online-only medication services she is located locally and insurance covers the costs of treatment whereas online-only medication services tend to be large companies located out-of-state with no real investment in the local, New Mexico community. They also often charge people out-of-pocket and cannot accept insurance since they are not licensed to practice in New Mexico.