As the child of two college professors, Cortney was raised in an academic environment. In addition to attaining a formal education in the classroom, she traveled extensively, getting a “real-world” education. Before the age of twenty, Cortney had lived in Australia and Argentina and traveled throughout Central America, South America, Russia, Scandinavia, and Western Europe. Exposed to a diversity of cultures and lifestyles from an early age, she was intrigued by the ways cultural and environmental conditions affected the psychological well-being of individuals, groups, and even entire societies.
Her interest in psychology and issues of cultural diversity took academic shape as an undergraduate at Macalester College in St. Paul, Minnesota. Under the exceptional mentorship of Drs. Jaine Strauss (Macalester College) and Nancy C. Raymond (University of Minnesota), Cortney developed a strong interest in the cultural components of eating disorders, and undertook supporting research and clinical activities.
After graduating magna cum laude from Macalester, Cortney entered the doctoral program in clinical psychology at Texas A&M University. Funded by the American Psychological Association’s Minority Fellowship Program, Cortney sought out the mentorship of Drs. David H. Gleaves and Antonio Cepeda-Benito, who specialize in cross-cultural and linguistic issues in the assessment and treatment of eating disorders and substance abuse. From there, she completed her pre-doctoral clinical internship at McLean Hospital/Harvard Medical School and joined the faculty at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV) in 2006.
Through her formal and informal learning experiences, Cortney saw the ways in which we lie to ourselves on a daily basis and the danger that it posed to our emotional well-being. Helping people understand themselves and see their own self-deception became a fundamental part of her clinical practice, research, teaching, and personal way of life.
Although Cortney received tenure at UNLV in 2012, she formally retired from academia in 2014 to pursue a career that would allow her more time with her family and more interaction with the general public. As Cortney moves into a new phase of her career, she plans to use psychological research and clinical observations to help the public live more fulfilling lives by confronting their self-deception. In addition to doing this generally, Cortney plans to address how self-deception contributes to unhealthy eating behavior and negative body image. For more information, see her new book, Lies We Tell Ourselves: The Psychology of Self-Deception.
- American Psychological Association (www.apa.org)
- Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies (www.abct.org)
- Eating Disorder Research Society (www.edresearchsociety.org)
- National Eating Disorder Association (www.nationaleatingdisorders.org)
- Academy for Eating Disorders (www.aedweb.org)
- American Psychological Association Minority Fellowship Program (www.apa.org/pi/mfp/)
- Phi Beta Kappa Society (National Academic Honor Society (www.pbk.org)
- Phi Kappa Phi (National Academic Honor Society (www.phikappaphi.org)
- Psi Chi (National Honor Society in Psychology (www.psichi.org)