Welcome to the website for Sky Kershner, LPC, LCSW.


I am an emotion-focused therapist based in Charleston, WV. I specialize in both individual and couples therapy, using a psychodynamic and active approach called ISTDP (Intensive Short-Term Dynamic Psychotherapy), and complemented by attachment-based methods like Emotionally Focused Therapy Couples Therapy (EFT) and the Psychobiological Approach to Couple Therapy (PACT). 


ISTDP is an experiential dynamic therapy. Rather than talk about feelings, this approach encourages us to experience and feel our feelings rather than avoid them, and to help our bodies learn to be less anxious, overwhelmed, or scared of them. Most anxiety and psychological symptoms, some medical symptoms and even some physical pain, can be related to difficulty feeling our feelings. Fear of our feelings leads to suffering. 


In addition to my clinical practice, I serve as an Assistant Professor at WVU School of Medicine, where I teach Psychodynamics and Motivational Interviewing to Psychiatry Residents.

With over 40 years of professional experience in my field, I actively guide, teach, supervise, consult, and train counselors, social workers, nurses, doctors, educators, clergy, peer recovery coaches, and other healthcare professions. My areas of expertise include Motivational Interviewing, Critical Incident Stress Management, Psychodynamics, Professional Boundaries, Marriage and Family Systems, Cultural Sensitivity and Diversity, and Trauma Informed Care.

My mission is to help people develop better relationships
with themselves and with others.

I help ordinary people in extraordinary circumstances.

I support what motivates people to make positive changes in their lives.

Feel free to reach out to me on my Contact Page



PS - I Welcome all cultures, races, colors, religions, sexes, orientations, gender identities, kinds of relationships, and national origins. All are welcome here.



+ + + + Bio / Introduction  + + + + 


Sky Kershner motivational interviewing cism therapist counselor


Sky Kershner, is an Assistant Professor in Psychiatry at WVU School of Medicine. Sky has a Doctor of Ministry degree as well as a Masters in Clinical Social Work. He is the retired Director of the KPCC Counseling in Charleston, WV.


Sky is a Member of MINT, the Motivational Interviewing Network of Trainers (one of two in WV), and is a MINT Certified Trainer (one of 85 world-wide). Sky has trained over 8000 professions in Motivational Interviewing across WV, the US, and abroad.


Sky has received several awards for his professional work, including the WV Counselor of the Year and the WV Civil Rights Award. He is a certified ICISF (International Critical Incident (traumatic) Stress Foundation)  instructor and has served onsite and debriefed teams of first responders at a number of Critical Incidents in WV. 


Sky’s biggest “15 minutes of fame” moment is that he once appeared as a guest therapist on the Discovery Studios show “Hoarders.”  He is also a contributing author for the book “ACT Therapy for Pastoral Counselors,” edited by Steven Hayes. And is a contributing editor to the Journal of ISTDP.


Sky's presentation topics include Addiction and Recovery; Parents, Couples, and Partners and Addiction, Optimism and Resilience, Spirituality and Recovery, Trauma Informed  Care, Cultural Sensitivity, and Professional Boundaries for Clergy, and Transitions. Sky is the Pastor/Spiritual Leader at Unity of Kanawha Valley on Bridge Road.


Sky grew up in Eastern Pennsylvania, trained, practiced, and taught in New York City before making West Virginia his home over thirty years ago. Sky lives in Charleston with his wife, two kids in college, and a little dog.



+ + + + Presentation Partners + + + +


Sky Kershner cism motivational interviewing therapist counselor


WVU School of Medicine

WVU School of Social Work

WVU School of Nursing

WVU Neuroscience

WVU Center for Excellence in Disabilities  

Marshall University

WV School of Osteopathic Medicine

WV State University

University of Charleston

MINT International Forum, New Orleans

MINT International Forum,Tallinn, Estonia

MINT International Forum, Online

WV-MI Network for Motivational Interviewing

Charleston Area Medical Center

Thomas Hospital

St Mary’s Hospital

Holzer Hospital

WV State Medical Association

WV Rural Health Care Association

DeVita Kidney Care

Fresenius Kidney Care

The Health Plan - WV

WV Public Safety Expo

Charleston Fire Department

Charleston Police Department

WV Mine Safety Board

Alpha Natural Resources

US Federal Court, Southern District of WV 

WV State Supreme Court

Jackson Kelly Law

Steptoe Johnson Law

Spillman Law

WV Head Start

WV Early Childhood Educators

WV Early Childhood Training Center

WV Birth to Three

WV Perinatal Care

WV Social Emotional Institute

Mountain Child Advocacy Partnership

Allegheny Highlands PAT

Putnam County Board of Ed

WV College Counselors

Mountaineer Montessori 

Charleston Montessori

Mary C Snow Elementary

Sacred Heart Elementary

Charleston Catholic HS

Black Diamond Girl Scouts

Genesis Youth Crisis Center

United Way of Central WV

The Snowshoe Institute

Rotary Club of Charleston

Workforce WV

Human Resources Development Foundation WV

WV Opioid Network

Help and Hope WV

Charleston Treatment Center

Partnership of African American Churches

Presbytery of WV

United Methodist Conference of WV

Lutheran Synod of WV

Episcopal Diocese of WV

Catholic Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston

WV Council of Churches

United Theological Seminary

Louisville Presbyterian Seminary

Easter Baptist Theological Seminary

American Association of Pastoral Counselors

WV State Bureau for Behavioral Health

WV Department of Health and Human Resource

WV Higher Education Policy Commision


WV-LPC Association

WV Counseling Association

WV Peer Recovery Network




+ + + +  Testimonials and Resume  + + + +


Sky Kershner cism motivational interviewing therapist counselor


“You received great reviews from the staff conference!  We would love to have you back next year.”  Stephanie Ahart, Executive Director. HRDF-WV


“Thanks for the feedback and the extra session time, Sky. It is still my goal to develop some training internally that we can use with new staff and that these core folks are able to develop tools and conduct that training. Although I admit, I personally think your basic session for Trauma Informed Care and MI are hard to beat and I would love to make that an annual thing too!” - Susan Klinkoski RN BSN CCM,  Director, Medical Management, The Health Plan, Wheeling


“I’ve been reviewing the training evaluations and comments, and reporting them to our cabinet, and I wanted to say thanks again for your leadership and presence at all of our trainings. You have a unique gift and ability to put people at ease, along with the expertise to facilitate wisely and compassionately. I have really appreciated watching you work, and have learned a lot from your approach.” - Rev Bonnie McDonald, WV Conference of the United Methodist Church


“It was such a blessing to have you as a teacher at our event!  Your presentation was interesting, balanced, relevant, and extremely helpful.  As one of the coordinators of the event, I was particularly appreciative of how you monitored your time and showed respect to our schedule. Your kindness and graciousness was front and center throughout your time.  I could not be more pleased with nor more thankful for the presentation.” - Rev Christine Olson, Pastor, Trinity Lutheran, Martinsburg/Arden, WV



Presenting credentials, click here


Sky Kershner's Professional resume is available here


For a list of Sky’s speaking and workshop topics, click here



+ + + +  Tidbits   + + + +


Sky Kershner is best known for his work as a pastoral counselor and marriage therapist, his work on Interfaith initiatives, his care of families and workers after industrial disasters, and for his many presentations to professional, community, and corporate groups on stress, addiction, crisis response and resiliency, spirituality, and communication, and connection.


Sky is passionate about his life’s work: to help people have better relationships with themselves and with others, Sky sees understanding and acceptance as core values of his ministry.


Sky has traveled widely, before settling in WV in 1989. Photographs of his travels and humanitarian efforts have been featured on the front page of the Charleston Gazette-Mail https://goo.gl/rhcENK


A profile on Sky was done by Sandy Wells in the Charleston Gazette-Mail in 2014 and can be found here: https://goo.gl/i7f9Z