Dr. Devlyn McCreight, PhD, LMHC is a therapist who works to promote healing through traditional talk therapy and graphic psychotherapy.

He is currently conducting research regarding the therapeutic benefits of creating comics alongside psychotherapy clients, and has several writing projects underway. He will accept new clients in his Pinehurst, North Carolina office starting late summer 2018.

Dr. Devlyn McCreight

Graphic Medicine
Graphic Medicine

Dr. Devlyn's Writings


Writing in Counseling Today

Member Insights: Creating Comics with Clients
By Devlyn McCreight, PhD

Academic and clinical interest regarding the intersection of comics and health care is high right now, with the American Counseling Association, the American Psychological Association and the American Medical Association all recently devoting time and journal space to covering the topic. This signals that mental health counselors are not alone in wanting to explore the positive impact that comics can have on delivery of services. Read the article.


Book Review by Dr. Devlyn

Taking Turns: Stories from HIV/AIDS Care Unit 371
By MK Czerwiec

MK Czerwiec’s graphic memoir Taking Turns is one of the latest entries in the Graphic Medicine series published by Penn State University Press. The book chronicles Czerwiec’s seven years serving as a nurse on the dedicated HIV/AIDS Care Unit at Illinois Masonic Hospital. Read the review.




Questions about graphic psychotherapy

First off, I have loved comic books since I was a kid….and I have been reading them ever since! I imagine I started off like most kids, checking out volume upon volume of comics like Peanuts and Garfield from the local library when I was five or six. When I got a little older, I began picking up the Marvel and DC Superhero comics that my brothers were reading. In high school and college, I began to discover that there were comics that dealt with real-world issues, such as Maus and Persepolis.

Once I finished my dissertation, I needed a break from heavy academic reading, so I began seeking out new graphic novels to read. After doing an online search for “comics and mental health” on a whim, I stumbled upon Ellen Forney’s graphic memoir Marbles, which opened a whole new genre of comics for me. I reached out to her, and she was awesome enough to direct me toward the Graphic Medicine movement that had been gathering momentum over the past few years.
Thankfully, no! Over the past ten years, the Graphic Medicine movement has been using comic art to "reach diverse audiences and to provide a platform for marginalized voices— [and] can make visible and reflect upon the urgent subject of health access.” The founders of the Graphic Medicine Movement - Ian Williams and MK Czerwiec - were trained in both medical and fine arts, which made them uniquely qualified to begin bridging the gap between patient care and the (sometimes) esoteric reality of medical diagnosis and symptoms using comics.
There are a growing number of medical and mental health professionals using comics as a medium to communicate important information to their clients and patients. When a mental health provider uses comics to connect with a client, this is called bibliotherapy. For example: when I am working with clients who experience symptoms of Bipolar disorder, I often use Ellen Forney’s Marbles to help facilitate conversations around diagnostic criteria, possible medication effects, and therapeutic process. Clients also often share that being exposed to Marbles – and the author’s first-hand account of the difficulties associated with Bipolar disorder – also helped them feel less alone. For individuals suffering from chronic mental illness, feeling understood is incredibly important, because they can oftentimes dismiss their own experience by writing themselves off as “just crazy” – which is not tremendously helpful in the long run.
Well, calling something “therapeutic” can be inherently problematic, because it largely depends on the context under which the evidence is gathered. Given that comics are grounded in visual storytelling, there is a natural tendency to categorize any produced works as "art therapy." As Slayton, D'Archer, and Kaplan (2010) explained, as art therapy interventions continue to be used in the treatment of complex trauma and other mental health disorders, "it is ever more important that art therapists produce evidence to support our intuitive knowledge that art heals" (108). Because the field of Graphic Medicine and comic-creation as a therapeutic intervention is still in it's infancy, there is very little published clinical data on the efficacy of the intervention. While anecdotal (first-hand) evidence obtained from medical personnel, university instructors, mental health counselors, graduate students, and their clients / patients seem to strongly indicate that creating comics is indeed therapeutic, there is very little empirical evidence available right now to support these findings. Helping move the field towards more evidence-based practices is the goal of my research, as it will allow comic creation to be more widely accepted, implemented, and championed in academic, medical, and mental health circles which are sometimes still largely skeptical (or outright dismissive) of anecdotal evidence.


Questions about Dr. Devlyn's Practice

Sure! I earned my MA in Pastoral Counseling from Seattle University in 2010, and then obtained my PhD in Counselor Education and Supervision from Loyola University Maryland in 2016. During my time at both universities I was expertly educated in the fundamentals of facilitating mental health treatment with a diverse range of populations who suffer from a wide spectrum of mental disorders. Spiritual growth and development over the lifespan was a key component of both programs, which trained me to have the competency to address issues of religion, spirituality, and theology as they arise during the therapeutic process.
Certainly not – just because I have a specialization in this area does not mean that this will be helpful for you. My main concern is that we address those issues in your life which most need our attention, and I understand that those may or may not be explicitly spiritual or religious in nature.
I often tell my clients, “the best any therapist can do is to listen well and ask good questions.” While there certainly can be a problem-solving aspect to therapy, I believe that therapy is most effective when the client feels safe enough to talk openly about their experience. It can be difficult honor our own thoughts and feelings – especially when we have been taught that certain emotions or beliefs are “wrong.” My goal is to provide a safe enough space for clients to be able to work through those thoughts, feelings, behaviors, or situations which cause them to suffer.
It is true that clients can report experiencing higher levels of distress, anxiety, or depression while working in therapy. There is also the old adage in therapeutic work that “things sometimes get worse before they get better.” In some ways, this could be expected – after all, when people deal with unpleasant thoughts, feelings, or experiences this typically perpetuates more unpleasant feelings. However, we are not designed to “suffer forever,” even when dealing with traumatic experiences. When you make the decision to come to therapy, you are acknowledging the possibility of being able to reduce your own suffering through the thoughtful and compassionate examination of your experience. It is through intentional and sustained compassion for ourselves that painful experiences often loosen their grip, allowing us enough freedom to move forward in our lives.
Scheduling is easy – you can simply click the “contact” button at the top of the page (or simply scroll down a little farther), and you will be redirected to my contact information.



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