Two Iona University Alumnae Live Out Mission of Service through Mental Health Counseling

“It is important for me to do this work because it allows me to help others find true happiness and growth within themselves.”

Alumni Success

From the classroom to gaining diverse fieldwork experience in their communities, Iona University alumnae Jessica Cabrera-Guzhnay ’14, ’18MA and Christina Lanzetta ’17MA have gone on to excel in their postgraduate accomplishments as professional mental health clinicians in Westchester County. As classmates in their master's program at Iona University, the alumnae acquired invaluable job and internship experience, with mentorship and guidance from professionals in Iona’s Mental Health Counseling program.

Jessica Cabrera

Jessica Cabrera-Guzhnay ’14, ’18MA

Christina Lanzetta

Christina Lanzetta ’17MA

Cabrera-Guzhnay is currently the senior bilingual mental health clinician at Family Services of Westchester (FSW), where she specializes in the treatment of children and adolescents who present with a range of emotional, social and behavioral difficulties.

“I have the privilege of directly impacting students’ lives by providing support, guidance and therapeutic interventions that help them navigate challenges, build resilience and thrive academically and emotionally,” said Cabrera-Guzhnay.

In her six-year tenure at FSW, Cabrera-Guzhnay has taken on various roles, including coordinator of a student acculturation group and elementary school-based supervisor. FSW was recently recognized in LoHud, which highlighted the organization’s commitment to making mental health services accessible to families in need.

Lanzetta also previously worked with Family Services of Westchester as a licensed mental health clinician and supervisor, overseeing clinicians in the Port Chester School District. More recently, Lanzetta co-founded her private practice, Counseling Connect Mental Health Counseling, PLLC.

“It was my education at Iona that helped ensure my skills and confidence, and it is important for me to do this work because it allows me to help others find true happiness and growth within themselves,” Lanzetta said.

In her experience supervising interns from various academic programs, Lanzetta always felt that Iona gave her the building blocks to be a great clinician, which allows her to provide the same support to others.

Cabrera-Guzhnay earned her bachelor's degree in psychology in 2014 and a master's degree in mental health counseling in 2018. Lanzetta earned her master's degree in mental health counseling in 2017.

The alumnae recommend taking advantage of the diverse experiences in the mental health field, such as internships, volunteer positions or part-time roles to be a well-rounded clinician with a  broad understanding of populations, treatment approaches and practice environments.

“As a professional woman working in a field that I love and now a recent business owner, I think it is so important to allow others to have limitless opportunities,” Lanzetta shares.

Cabrera-Guzhnay adds that “witnessing the impact that supportive therapy can have on individuals and families inspired me to pursue a career where I could provide compassionate care and empower others to lead fulfilling lives.”