About Licensed Psychologist Abigail Blackburn, PsyD
As a licensed psychologist in Massachusetts, I specialize in a number of areas, including issues relating to relationship problems, divorce, eating disorders and injuries from childhood. Varying degrees of depression and anxiety often accompany these struggles so addressing these symptoms are also part of an overall treatment plan.
The people who come to see me frequently see therapy as a sign of “weakness” and just getting in the door is a really hard thing to do. Lots of times they are doing so because a spouse or partner has “had enough” and threatening to leave if they don’t see a shrink.
Sometimes parents are at a point where they don’t know what to do and their kids feel resentful and responsible at the same time. These families need a place to sort things out.
Or someone is struggling with out of control eating patterns and arrives full of shame, thinking she is the only one who does “disgusting” things in secret.
Good therapy helps people find some way to feel better without hurting themselves in order to do so. Each person who comes to therapy needs space and time to figure out what unique thing will work for him.
You might be curious about my credentials and background.
I have a Master’s degree in Social Work from Simmons College and a Doctorate in Clinical Psychology from the Massachusetts School of Professional Psychology. I trained in a number of different places around the Boston area including the New England Conservatory Counseling Center, Shriner’s Burn Institute, Boston Regional Medical Center and Stony Brook Counseling Center.
Prior to entering private practice, I was the Clinical Director of Hallowell Center Needham, an agency that specializes in the evaluation and treatment of ADHD.
The kind of therapy I practice is called “interpersonal” or “relational” therapy. Interpersonal therapy looks a lot at the relationships in people’s lives, including the kinds of things people have learned about relationships growing up.
Frequently we learn about the world and ourselves through our emotional connections, for example how our parents or other caregivers behaved around us and what they taught us to do when angry or stressed.
Sometimes the things we have been taught are really helpful. Other times these lessons get in the way, such as when a child learns she needs to be really careful about her feelings and keep everything to herself or else the grownups in her life will get overwhelmed. This child can grow up into an adult who has trouble dealing with stress or who chooses partners that are really fragile.
My belief is that people do things to try to take care of themselves, often in order to try and manage really painful thoughts and feelings.
They may cut the skin around their hips, throw up their food or drink twelve martinis all in an effort to feel better.
The problem is that these kinds of attempts at coping often developing a life of their own.
Before folks know it, their attempts to help themselves turn into full blown symptoms that take over their lives.
My professional experiences include work with
high risk juveniles
individuals struggling with major mental illness
adults and children with trauma histories
young children with adjustment problems
individuals with developmental disabilities
people who have ADHD.
To find out how
therapy can help you
617 . 686 . 2420
Therapy with Adolescents and their Families