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Cristina Benki


Pediatric psychologist
Windsurfer, music lover and living room dancer

Cristina Benki is a psychologist who cares for children and teens with chronic pain and illness. As part of the integrated pediatric pain and palliative care service, she provides psychological consultation and treatment in the hospital as well as the clinic. A member of a multidisciplinary team focused on treating the whole child, she collaborates closely with doctors, nurses, integrative medicine specialists, physical and occupational therapists, child life specialists and social workers.

Benki is particularly interested in interventions that treat the intersection of chronic pain and trauma. She has specialized training in trauma-informed care, pediatric traumatic stress, post-traumatic stress disorder, traumatic grief, anxiety and depression. She is trained in treatments that include cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), trauma-informed CBT, cognitive processing therapy (CPT), biofeedback, eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) and Triple P (Positive Parenting Program.

Benki earned her master's degree in counseling psychology and her doctorate in clinical psychology from the University of California, Santa Barbara. She completed a residency at Boston Medical Center through the Boston Consortium in Clinical Psychology, followed by a fellowship in child and adolescent psychiatry at UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital Oakland.

Benki is a member of the American Association of Pain Psychology's pediatric division. She also serves on the pediatric mental health working group for UCSF's Chronic Illness Center.

Since she was a child, Benki has lived in 10 cities, including Hong Kong, Miami, Boston and Honolulu. Inspired by her youth, she enjoys exploring new places in her free time.

  • Education

    UC Santa Barbara, MA, Counseling Psychology, 2008

    UC Santa Barbara, PhD, Clinical Psychology, 2012

  • Residencies

    Boston Consortium in Clinical Psychology, Child Track, 2012

  • Fellowships

    UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital Oakland, Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 2013

  • Languages


I believe the best treatment is the kind that nourishes the whole person – mind, body and soul.

Where I see patients (2)

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