Get to Know Your PT: Courtney Sullivan PT, DPT, OCS, MTC

Get to know Courtney Sullivan PT, DPT, OCS, MTC as she shares what made her want to become a PT, her plans for further education and her favorite way to unwind after a long day.

Take the time to figure out what works best for YOUR BODY, and make it happen!

When did you know that you wanted to be a physical therapist?

I have always been amazed with the human body. It’s powerful and mysterious, fragile at times but also incredibly tough. Even at a young age I recognized the beauty in human movement. Both my career as a gymnast, and watching my grandmother succumb to Alzheimer’s, sparked my passion for learning everything I could about the human body, specifically movement and the neurological control behind it all. 

What’s your favorite song to get you motivated?

Born This Way, by Lady Gaga 

What is the biggest challenge involved in being a PT?

Wanting to study and learn as much as possible. The more you learn, the more you realize… there’s a lot more to learn!

How do you like to stay active?

I like anything I can do outside (running, hiking, going for walks with family and friends) or in the garage gym my husband and I built (weightlifting, yoga, interval training, body weight activities)! 

What surprised you the most about the physical therapist profession?

I was most surprised to learn that PT’s can work in many different specialties. From pediatrics to wound care, from working with newborns to veterans, every niche can benefit from having a physical therapist on staff. 

Are you currently pursuing any further education or certifications?

I am currently exploring different schools of thought that emphasize neurological control and human movement, looking at the brain and body from a developmental perspective. By understanding how our body is structurally and functionally meant to move, we can more efficiently and effectively diagnose and treat movement dysfunction. 

What’s your go-to breakfast?

Eggs scrambled with scallions and feta, spinach sauteed with shallots, half an avocado, bacon, arugula drizzled with olive oil. All sprinkled with Maldon salt and Sunny Paris herbs from Penzey’s in Menlo Park. And chamomile tea!

What do you wish everyone knew about physical therapy? 

I wish everyone knew that EVERYONE can benefit from PT. We aren’t just here to help when a problem arises, we are here for injury prevention, increasing performance with all activities, education about movement and health and nutrition, and to help people with any wellness goal they have. New patients are usually surprised by this, since most people think you can only see a PT after injury or surgery. 

What is the most important personality trait that a therapist must have?

I believe a PT must be willing to carefully listen to their patients, and understand their goals. These two things allow PTs to then create the best Plan of Care for that specific patient. 

What do you do to de-stress/unwind?

I spend time with family and friends, read a good book, or cook something fun!

Finish this sentence: On Saturday mornings, you can usually find me… 

Doing something fun outside in Santa Cruz, or relaxing with my family and some decaf coffee. 

What is your favorite piece of wellness advice to offer?

Take the time to figure out what works best for YOUR BODY, and make it happen! Whether it’s meditation, yoga, eating Paleo, going to bed early, whatever!

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