Do you find yourself worried about yesterday and tomorrow instead of noticing today? Are you doing things to avoid feeling much of anything? You are not alone and I’m here to listen and help you start feeling better.
I’m Courtney Whinnery, a licensed professional counselor. I work with adults struggling with depression, anxiety, trauma history, and addiction. My approach is much like my personal life – pretty eclectic. I like to get to know you and then we will work together to figure out what might help you feel better. There is no one size fits all for mental health treatment or nobody would have problems, right?
I’ve been a counselor since 2009. I began my career working primarily with people struggling with addiction. I got to work in a residential setting and then in outpatient where I was able to watch clients’ progression from active addiction to recovery. I’ve worked in medication assisted treatment settings and am a strong supporter of the harm reduction model. This demographic remains close to my heart. I’m also passionate about helping their loved ones to understand addiction and how to stay healthy, themselves, through all the stages of addiction.
I’ve worked in a community mental health and crisis setting as well as in integrated health clinics. What I’ve learned from working in these diverse settings is that we are all fundamentally the same. The labels to describe our problems may differ, but we all have them, and we all deserve to feel better.
I tend to use aspects of Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) and Accelerated Resolution Therapy (ART) most often with clients. DBT allows us to learn and practice distress tolerance skills, identify irrational or negative thoughts and change them, and to learn how to communicate effectively with people. ART helps us to work through trauma memories and any ongoing suffering. This is done by helping the mind and body communicate with each other so that you feel safe and in control in this moment. Listening to the body is where it’s at!
My desire to become a counselor didn’t happen all at once. I studied English and journalism, became a mom, and THEN became interested in the mental health profession. I’ll let you in on a little secret: most of us become counselors because we have our own work to do. I wanted to understand myself and my issues. That process led me to realize that every single one of us is on a path that led us exactly where we are. Every choice made sense. Once we understand that, we can identify other choices that might make us happier.
Outside of work, you can find me at the beach as often as possible. The water helps to center me. Yoga, music, jigsaw puzzling and hanging with my kids are other things that give my life balance.
To read Courtney's Psychology Today Profile click here