Meet Dr. Justine Devlin

Dr. Justine Devlin

What inspired you to pursue a career as a therapist?

In the spirit of authenticity, I will speak my truth. An important factor in understanding what led me down this path is having the knowledge that I grew up in a small town. Growing up, I had little to no exposure to any conversations or psycho-education on mental illness, or mental health conditions. I have always been inquisitive, observational. Even referred to as rather “sensitive” various times throughout my childhood (which I now know was simply empathy and compassion). I could never have imagined the profound impact psychology would soon have in my life.

In February of 2009, I was in a car accident and sustained serious injuries, including a traumatic brain injury (TBI), at 18 years of age. Along my recovery, I was encouraged to attend psychotherapy for the adjustment process. I remember feeling skeptical initially; however, soon after, I experienced a freedom from myself, to become myself that I had never known. I started researching psychology, educated myself and set a goal I was on fire to achieve. Then, once again, my passion was solidified when some people in my life, that I fiercely loved, were diagnosed with mental health concerns. I have observed the suffering, judgment, stigma, effort, and feelings of helplessness these incredible humans were surviving with. I wanted to be a part of the healing, a part of educating and reducing stigma. Surviving with mental illness, is difficult enough, specifically when compounded with judgment, it can exacerbate symptoms significantly. 

I truly believe the stigma and judgment to be a lack of understanding, education and awareness. I am motivated to continue educating to reduce the additional pressures and societal perceptions that can be damaging, and I truly believe others genuinely want to learn and grow. Being a psychologist is an absolute privilege, and should be treated as such. I have the privilege of being an observer to the resiliency, courage, strength, and vulnerability that humans are capable of. Having this privilege forever changes the way you see the world, hints of gratitude for just being are present are gifts that can be found in most things. See, without suffering, how would we experience joy?

What are your specialties and what drew you to them?

Marriage and Family therapy, substance use disorders, and mood disorders are my 3 primary specializations. Throughout my life, and in training, I have realized the impact of substance use and mental health issues that encompass and impact the family dynamics and relationship patterns developed within a family unit. Familial support is paramount to recovery from substance use and mental health disorders. Having supportive persons in your life can make the difference in the severity of the issues, as well as having education and support for the family members of persons with these illnesses are imperative in gaining understanding and coping with the many stressors that can surface as a result of the persons suffering and behaviors. I have also witnessed the power of marriage and family therapy, utilizing a relationship to heal current and historical traumas is one of my absolute favorite processes to observe and be a part of. A lot of time, the couples and families have developed unhealthy communication patterns that have led to being disconnected and significantly impact mental health. 

Through therapy, couples and families are able to gain imperative communicative skills, become insightful and aware of patterns that create unhealthy and toxic environments, and focus on the attributes and parts of the relationship that they once loved and have lost connection with due to the many stressors of life. Guiding couples and families in rebuilding that connection, healing, and observing the relationship prosper is one of the most rewarding experiences I have ever known.

2 thoughts on “Meet Dr. Justine Devlin”

  1. Heather Rogers says:

    Justine, I am so proud of you and all that you have accomplished. Calling you a friend is so special to me.
    Thank you for all the “free therapy sessions” (lol) throughout the many chapters of our friendship.
    I know you’ll help move mountains in your patient’s lives, as you’ve helped me do many times already.
    The world is lucky to have people like you in it.
    <3 Heather

  2. Cynthia says:

    Your are an inspiration to others. So proud of all your accomplishments classmate. Your selflessness is contagious and I hope you continue to spread your love and speak your truth for many days to come. Godspeed.

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