Therapist Christy Nyakana Photo

Christy Nyakana, LCSW, LISW

Stress, Anxiety Relationship issues Trauma and abuse Depression Coping with life changes
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About me

Hello and welcome to BetterHelp! My name is Christy Nyakana and I am a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) who works with young people and adults who find themselves struggling with their emotions, relationships, or life experiences. In the 20 years that I have been practicing as a therapist, I've learned that life is tough and doesn’t always go as we had hoped or planned. I firmly believe that the most important things many people are missing in their life are kindness, compassion, and empathy. For that reason, I am committed to providing therapy that is always positively focused and that encourages self-acceptance while you work to become the best version of yourself. Throughout the course of my career, I've worked with a variety of people and issues in many different settings. This has helped me develop a non-judgemental, casual and personal approach to therapy.

My start in social services began as a volunteer in schools and hospitals when I was 15 years old. My love for educating and helping people find their way has only gotten stronger since then. In 1997, I earned my Bachelor of Science degree in Sociology/Criminology from the University of Utah. Following graduation, I worked for several years as a court advocate for victims of violent crime. In 2001, I began my Master of Social Work degree with a focus on clinical mental health at the University of Pittsburgh. During my graduate work, I had the opportunity to intern at Magee Women’s Hospital outpatient clinic and Catholic Charities Roselia Center, which served pregnant teen mothers and their children. In these two roles, I discovered a passion for women's social, emotional, and mental health issues.

After graduating with my MSW in 2003, I have been incredibly fortunate to work in a variety of positions that include inpatient social work in psychiatric hospitals, in-home family therapy services, doctor's offices, military installations and, of course, by providing individual psychotherapy in community and private practices. Through these experiences, I have met the most amazing and resilient people! I am certified in providing MARI (Mandala Assessment Research Instrument) assessments, am certified to provide clinical supervision and hold a certification in bariatric counseling. I am currently working toward my AABC (American Association of Bariatric Counselors) certification. To date, I have completed more than 300 hours of post-graduate continuing education, and am an active member of the Society for Military Psychology and the OAC (Obesity Action Coalition). I am an active Give An Hour Provider and have completed all levels of the Star Behavioral Health Providers training; both of which provide specialized services to active and veteran military service members and their families.

My areas of expertise include:
Military informed treatment
Mood disorders/Depression
Women’s issues
Grief and loss
Caregiver fatigue
Self-image and body dysmorphia
Bariatric counseling—pre- and post-surgical

In addition, I am a sex positive, LGBTQ+ and Kink informed therapist.

Professional experience

20yrs in practice

Additional areas of focus: LGBT, Family conflicts, Grief, Anger management, Self esteem, Career difficulties, Bipolar disorder, Compassion fatigue, ADHD, Attachment Issues, BDSM, Kink, Alternative Sex Culture, Body Image, Caregiver Issues and Stress, Codependency, Communication Problems, Disruptive Mood Dysregulation Disorder (DMDD), Divorce and Separation, Domestic Violence, Eating and Food-Related Issues, Family of Origin Issues, Family Problems, Guilt and Shame, Infidelity, Midlife Crisis, Military and Veterans Issues, Mood Disorders, Personality Disorders, Polyamory / Nonmonogamous Relationships, Post-traumatic Stress, Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), Self-Harm, Self-Love, Sexual Assault and Abuse, Women's Issues, Young Adult Issues

Clinical approaches: Attachment-Based Therapy, Client-Centered Therapy, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Psychodynamic Therapy, Trauma-Focused Therapy

License information

PA LCSW CW015530

OH LISW I.1901701


These quotes represent just a few of the many positive reviews that we have received for Christy Nyakana. We don't pay anyone to provide their review and they are all made voluntarily. Some people's experience receiving therapy with BetterHelp might be different.

Best therapist I’ve ever had

Written on Nov 16, 2022 after therapy with Christy for 11 months on issues concerning relationship issues, intimacy-related issues, self esteem, and coping with life changes

Christy is just the best. I feel lucky to have connected with her (after my first match on here wasn’t great.) The progress she’s helped me make— from crisis mode when we started, to addressing latent issues in a healthy, forward-minded way and thriving—is incredible. In the past I’ve utilized therapy only as a tool for extreme moments of need, but working with her over a longer period has changed the way I see therapy entirely. I am growing and enjoying the process.

Written on Jul 18, 2022 after therapy with Christy for 6 months on issues concerning depression, stress, anxiety, relationship issues, family conflicts, trauma and abuse, grief, self esteem, career difficulties, coping with life changes, coaching, and compassion fatigue

Amazing therapist! She offers resources and information helpful to my my healing . Amazing listener, flexible and understanding.

Written on Apr 18, 2022 after therapy with Christy for 4 months on issues concerning depression, stress, anxiety, relationship issues, family conflicts, trauma and abuse, self esteem, and career difficulties

Fantastic listener and guide. She has been tremendous help.

Written on Mar 12, 2022 after therapy with Christy for 2 weeks on issues concerning depression, and coping with life changes

Christy has been a great help in my mental health journey, providing a safe space to express what I'm feeling and experiencing, and provides not blanket advice but tools to use to help process. She is very easy to talk to and, being my first time in therapy, made it so easy to feel comfortable and open up.

Written on Feb 23, 2022 after therapy with Christy for 2 weeks on issues concerning depression, stress, anxiety, relationship issues, intimacy-related issues, and self esteem

Christy has made me feel so comfortable sharing topics I usually wouldn't feel comfortable sharing with others and I truly admire her for that. I've only been with her for a few weeks but I have learned so much from her already and have been actively trying to apply her suggestions/advice throughout each week. She has a broad range of knowledge and experience and has been able to tackle and discuss many different issues I have brought up. I always feel very refreshed after each session and I'm grateful for her powerful messages and insights she shares with me.

Written on Jan 20, 2022 after therapy with Christy for 1 month on issues concerning relationship issues, and trauma and abuse