Courtney Blackburn, PsyD

As a member of the World Professional Association for Transgender Health, Dr. Blackburn is passionate about providing inclusive behavioral health care and supporting LGBTQ+ patients.

Where are you from?

I’m originally from a small town named Belfry in Eastern, Kentucky. I’ve been a West Virginia resident since 2015, with the exception of a year-long internship completed in Ohio. 

What inspired you to become a therapist?

Like many of us in the helping professions, my primary goal has always been just that—to help! I went back and forth on my career plans throughout adolescence, originally planning to become a teacher. However, I sat in on a psychology course during a college visit and immediately knew that I needed to make the switch to psychology. I fell in love with the idea of walking with others through life’s difficulties—not balking at the dark, scary, or uncomfortable, but instead, journeying with people through these challenges to find healing and joy. 

Mental health stigma is a big problem. What do you believe needs to be done to address it?

Friends and family members can reduce stigma by meeting their loved ones with compassion, grace, acceptance, and a helping hand when needed. As professionals, those of us working within the health care setting can reduce stigma by listening to our patients, offering adequate referrals, and assessing the ways in which mental and physiological health play together. Language is also a key factor in the conversation surrounding stigma, and working to use appropriate wording when discussing mental health can help address this part of the problem. On a societal level, making mental health care accessible and affordable is yet another way that stigma can be reduced.

What would you say to someone who is considering therapy, but hesitant?

I often tell my patients that being hesitant, anxious, or uncomfortable with therapy makes perfect sense! Therapy requires openness and vulnerability at times, which is something that feels foreign and scary to many of us. But, the benefits of challenging ourselves to sit in that discomfort are often well worth it!

What is your favorite part of your job?

I truly love having the opportunity to sit with people during the difficult times in their lives and to help them navigate their way through. It is a beautiful thing to watch someone achieve their therapeutic goals, and I feel honored every single time that I get to be a part of that experience.

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