Prior to receiving his PhD from the University of Alabama - Tuscaloosa in 1984, Dr. Thurstin completed dual undergraduate degrees in Psychology and Mathematics from the University of South Carolina and a Master degree in Applied Statistics from South Carolina. Upon completing his Doctoral Clinical Psychology internship at Bay Pines VAMC in Bay Pines, Florida, he joined the Department of Psychiatry at UAB School of Medicine. During his tenure with UAB, he educated medical students and residents and clinical psychology graduate students, interns, and postdoctoral fellows. As part of his training responsibilities, he twice served as Director of the UAB-BVAMC Clinical Psychology Internship Consortium and was the supervisor of the initial psychotherapy practicum for UAB Medical Psychology graduate students for more than a decade. Recently retired after 35+ years at UAB, he attained the rank of Full Professor and served as the Department of Psychiatry Chief Psychologist from 2006 until his departure.
Over his many years of practice, he treated individuals ranging in age from late adolescence into older adulthood as well as conducted general psychological evaluations and brief neuropsychological assessments. Among disorders and problems treated are depression, anxiety, eating disorders, trauma, complicated grief, personality dysfunction, and adjustment difficulties. His assessment skills extended to evaluating personality functioning, memory changes, cognitive complaints, attention disorders, and candidates for bariatric and organ transplantation procedures. Though generally oriented toward a cognitive perspective, he utilizes Interpersonal, Schema Therapy, and Existential strategies for more intractable or longstanding concerns.
For people of faith, he integrates faith-based content to support the process of change and acceptance. Many basic psychological principles are imbedded in Biblical stories and passages, but we often overlook the "hidden" meanings or are blind to the messages that help reduce suffering. It is part of the process to identify how such messages can support psychological health.