Approach

I believe that with a little determination and exploration, each of us can make positive changes in our lives that will lead to more fulfilled and satisfying relationships.

I provide my clients a safe, nurturing environment, while supporting them during difficult times or while they are taking courageous steps to make changes in their lives.  

I draw from a variety of therapeutic approaches. Through a psychodynamic approach, I am able to help clients explore how their early experiences impact their current relationships and relational patterns. I also use a cognititve-behavioral approach to assist clients in finding more adaptive ways of perceiving themselves, others, and circumstances, which may create positive changes in mood and behavior.

Specialties and Issues 

I am a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in Tustin who provides counseling services to adults, teenagers, and couples. I specialize in relationship issues, including helping clients to achieve more healthy and satisfying relationships.

I also work with many college and graduate students, helping them address young adulthood issues, including difficulties transitioning to college, perfectionism, setting boundaries, and help forming healthier relationships with family, friends, and partners.

Other concerns I address include family of origin issues, attachment issues, divorce or break-up adjustment, help healing from infidelity, anxiety, depression, low self-worth, grief & loss, trauma, stress, difficulty adjusting to life transitions, and maternal mental health issues.

Experience

Created and facilitated a workshop for incoming college freshmen and their parents, which taught coping and communication skills to assist in their adjustment to college.

Therapist at community-based mental health clinic, where I provided counseling to adults, teens, and families.

Co-facilitated a group for children which helped them cope more effectively with family changes due to separation or divorce.

Therapist in private practice setting, where I was trained in the Gottman method and provided counseling for couples, as well as worked with individuals on relational concerns.

Counselor in a juvenile diversion program, where I provided counseling to adolescents and their families, facilitated drug and alcohol groups, and gave presentations on drug and alcohol usage and juvenile laws to high school students.

Worked at a low cost counseling center for women and families. 

Education

  • Master of Arts in Psychology with an emphasis in Marriage and Family Therapy, Chapman University

  • Bachelor of Arts in Psychology, Chapman University

  • Advanced Level Participant, Somatic Experiencing Trauma Institute 

License and Certification

  • Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, (license no. MFC52415)

  • PREPARE/ENRICH (Pre-Marital and Marriage Enrichment Program) Certified Counselor

Specialized Trainings

Currently completing Maternal Mental Health certificate training (Postpartum Support International)

Completed 216 hours of Somatic Experiencing Professional Training (Somatic Experiencing Trauma Institute)

Completed Training for Gottman Seven Principles Program Educator (The Gottman Institute)

Completed Level 1 Training in Gottman Method Couples Therapy (The Gottman Institute)

Media Interviews

Christy Zail, Marriage and Family Therapist Interview, NBRFM.com, New York, NY, February 22nd, 2019.  http://nbrfm.com/radio/show/2019/02/22/christy-zail/

Publication

  • Brougham, R. R., Zail, C., Mendoza, C., and Miller, J. (2009) Stress, Sex Differences, and Coping Strategies among College Students. Current Psychology, 8, 85-97. 

Professional Memberships

  • California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists, Clinical Member