Name: Dayna Pizzigoni, PhD, LCPC, NCC
Atlantic Region Executive Committee Member Role: Secretary
Biography: Dr. Dayna Pizzigoni joined the AAPC Atlantic Region Executive Committee in January of 2018. Dr. Pizzigoni received her doctorate in Counselor Education and Supervision with a specialty in Pastoral Counseling from Loyola University Maryland. She was the 2017 receipt of the Barry Estadt Medal for Excellence in Pastoral Counseling for her academic excellence, eloquentia perfecta, leadership, clinical excellence, and teaching at the graduate level from Loyola University Maryland. She also received the Dr. Joseph Ciarrocchi Research Award given to one graduating PhD student for excellence in research from Loyola University Maryland. Her dissertation was entitled “The Role of Spirituality in the Internalization of Objectification and Eating Disorder Symptomatology in Women”. Additionally. Dr. Pizzigoni developed, facilitated, and statistically evaluated a peer-based program named, “The Imago Dei Experience” that integrates spiritual and mental health practices to support positive body image for adolescent girls. This second project began in her Masters program, and through supportive mentorship and perseverance, will be published in April 2018 in the Journal of Counseling and Values.
Supported by her research, Dr. Pizzigoni’s clinical specialty is integrating spirituality into mental health for women and, particularly, supporting women with eating disorders at The Renfrew Center. She has presented her work and research at the Maryland Psychological Association’s Conference, the APA Div 36 Mid-Year Conference, the ACA’s ASERVIC Conference, and the AAPC’s Mid-Atlantic Conference. Dr. Pizzigoni was also invited to share her research about body image and spirituality for women with graduate students at Trinity Washington College. Her teaching includes guest lecturing on group therapy to Pastoral Counseling, PsyD, and MS students; co-teaching diversity issues in counseling, and guest lecturing on eating disorders to undergraduates at Loyola University Maryland.
Dr. Pizzigoni’s passion for women’s issues as a psychotherapist and researcher sits within a wider commitment to social justice education. Dr. Pizzigoni generated a stage-model called, “The Intersubjective Diversity Awareness Model”, to guide budding clinicians through stages of diversity awareness and piloted the “Mercyworx Summer Institute” with Georgian Court University and the Center for FaithJustice in the summer of 2017. This sense of call is also evidenced by her former work as a member of the Board of Trustees at the Center for FaithJustice and her published essay in the 3rd edition of the Commitment to Justice in Jesuit Higher Education. Lastly, her role as an educator and servant leader extends beyond students and clinicians to include wider outreach and ministry including her brief appearance on Fox45 News, her appearances on Realfaith TV, her Theology on Tap presentation about spirituality and mental health to young adults, and various presentations to schools and local community groups.