Profile image of Christine  Lillja

Christine Lillja(She/Her/Hers)

Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, LMFT
College & graduate student mental health- Trauma-Suicidal ideation- Life transitions- Depression- Anxiety -

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This therapist is currently not accepting new clients. Find available California therapists on Zencare.

AboutSpecialtiesLocationsInsurance & FeesTestimonials

Professional statement

Dr. Christine Lillja is a dually licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and Clinical Psychologist in Laguna Hills, CA. She works with clients of all ages that feel misunderstood, alone, and have a story to tell and improve upon. Her specialty is young and middle aged adults trying to achieve independence. Many of Christine's clients come in when they are trying to find their place in a family, school, or job, and feel they don't fit with the rest of the group. Christine is particularly invested in young adults from 18-30 years of age. She also has advanced training in the area of trauma and is a certified trauma professional and holds certification in EMDR.

Christine is trained in Dialectical Behavior Therapy, which uses a person's ability to discern between problems that are unfixable, and those that are manageable. In session, Christine focuses on creating a therapeutic relationship where a client feels respected and welcomed. This approach supports clients to make productive changes in their life that comes from a place of health.

Christine's style is interpersonal and relational. When a client first comes in, the most common thing they say is "I already feel comfortable with you." Christine is dedicated to providing a relationship that is reciprocal, collaborative, and hopeful.

Christine received her doctoral degree from California Southern University and wrote her dissertation on effective treatment strategies for working with depressed teenagers and young adults. She gained experience at a local community college and worked for free there for several years to better appreciate the challenges of being an emerging adult in today's world, while learning to appreciate how hard it is to navigate the financial, social, and emotional roller coaster clients experience in their teens, twenties, thirties, and beyond. She works weekends to accommodate people's busy schedules.

Message to clients

The hardest part to finding the right therapist is taking that first step and seeing lots of names and degrees that sound the same. You have hit your own personal breaking point and you just want to find a person who "gets" you even when you don't "get" yourself sometimes. You need a place you can kick off your shoes, laugh or cry depending on the moment, and feel supported on even the worst of days. I would welcome the opportunity to be that person for you and offer a blend of professionalism with compassion. The first call is the hardest, but it leads to the first step of forming a great relationship with your new therapist. I look forward to hearing from you and becoming the person who "gets" you!

Work and Education

Years of Experience: 29 years

Saddleback Community College, Supervising Psychologist
Harmony Heals Holistic Counseling Center, Supervising Psychologist
Private Practice, Psychotherapist

California Southern University, Psy.D., 2018
California State University, Long Beach, M.S. , 1995
University of California, Irvine , B.S., 1992


California: 31094 - California: 36078




College & graduate student mental health - Specialized strategies for common issues of young adulthood, including school and career stressors, support around healthy relationships, existential concerns, drug or alcohol issues, eating disorders, and anxiety and/or depression.

Trauma - Coping and healing after threatening or scary events, such as witnessing accidents or experiencing sexual, verbal, emotional, or physical abuse

Suicidal ideation - Support living with intense pain, distress, and feelings of persistent hopelessness; strengthening meaningful relationships and experiences in one’s life

Life transitions - Coping with difficult or impactful life changes, such as moving to a new area, relationship transitions, child rearing, or career changes; learning self-care to better manage resulting stress

Depression - Providing support and promoting healing of hopelessness, low motivation and energy, sadness, irritability, sleep disturbance, and loss of interest and pleasure in life

Anxiety - Coping with excessive worry, nervousness, or stress; intense discomfort in social settings (social anxiety); sudden and intense feelings of panic (panic disorder)


  • Adults (24+)
  • Children (<12)
  • Couples
  • Families
  • Parents
  • Seniors (65+)
  • Teenagers (13-18)
  • Young adults (18-24)

Locations & Hours


  • Aetna
  • Anthem Blue Cross
  • Blue Shield of California
  • Cigna
  • Evernorth
  • Harvard Pilgrim
  • Meritain Health
  • Optum
  • Oscar Health
  • UMR
  • United Healthcare

Out-of-pocket fees

  • Individual sessions:$175 (50min)
  • Initial session:$175 (50min)
  • Couples sessions:$200 (50min)
  • Family sessions:$200 (50min)
  • EMDR$275 (90min)

Additional session information

Out-of-network billing options

This provider can support you in getting reimbursement from your insurance company if you are seeking out-of-network reimbursement. Here are the out-of-network billing options they provide:

  • Super billing
Payment options
  • Cash
  • Check
  • Credit Card
  • Venmo
  • Zelle
Session frequency

Frequency of sessions this provider offers to see clients once you are an established client.

  • Weekly

Client testimonials

"She responded very quickly and was incredibly helpful. I look forward to working with her."
- Zencare client March 2023