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Cris Bissonnette, Psychiatric NP

Clinical Staff Member

Cris Bissonnette She/They
BA in Psychology 
MS in Nursing
Licenced Family Nurse Practitioner and Psychiatric Nurse practitioner.

I’m a queer cis/fluid woman and I’m honored to be able to offer psychiatry services at Berkeley Therapy Institute. I have been a Nurse Practitioner for the past 10 years in community health and have now turned the focus of my practice towards mental health care. I am deeply passionate about working with people who are motivated to improve their lives by improving their mental and emotional health. 


I use a trauma-informed approach when working with clients, taking into account not only symptoms but also the social, environmental, and cultural context of their experiences. My frameworks include harm reduction, acceptance therapy, mindfulness, and attachment theory. 


My goal is to provide compassionate and competent care to everyone who comes into my office, especially those who may otherwise be unable or reluctant to access mental health care due to fear of stigma or lack of resources. My belief is that mental and emotional wellness is a nonlinear process, often characterized by periods of stability, growth, and occasional setbacks- and I am here to support clients in whatever stage they are in with compassion and non-judgment. I don't believe medication is always warranted, but for those that it is it can be a key component of care, along with therapy and a healthy lifestyle.  I view my work with clients as a collaborative effort to support their desired goals. 


I have experience working with clients who are struggling with a variety of psychiatric and mood conditions as well as issues related to parenting, step-parenting, sexuality, grief and loss, addiction, trauma, gender identity, and relationships. I am trans-affirming, sex-positive, believe that intersectional feminism helps all genders and I am committed to supporting racial justice in my professional and personal life. I particularly enjoy working with people who identify as LGBTQ+ and individuals in non-traditional relationship and family structures such as ethical non-monogamy and platonic co-parenting. 


I am very interested in the emerging research and clinical trials being done with psychedelic medicine for the treatment of depression, addiction and PTSD, and will continue to follow the study outcomes closely so that when they become FDA approved I can be a part of a team that uses these methods. 


In my non-working time, I enjoy hanging out with my twins, gardening, hiking with my german shepard, doing acro-arts, and seeing live music.

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