James takes the viewpoint that every adversity can be turned into a positive. The way we deal with and interpret the events of our lives can be a learning opportunity or cause us to repeat them. Working in a collaborative way to reframe the circumstances that led to the problems can give us enormous freedom and allow us to live a more positive, fulfilling life.
James uses a number of proven therapies to deal with traumatic events and childhood issues. EMDR, Somatic Experiencing and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy are among the most effective ways to work with our natural brain functions to improve trauma symptoms including PTSD and attachment disorders. These methods, along with a variety of “mindfulness” techniques are also effective in dealing with anxiety and depressive symptoms.
Born in St. Louis, MO, James grew up in Southern Illinois in a small farming community. Having drug and alcohol addiction on both sides of his family, James developed a drug and alcohol problem early in his teens. Typical of addicts, he dropped out of high school and entered the military at 17 yrs old. His problem with substance abuse continued to grow. At 22 years old, after some problems with the law, James decided to sober up and entered a well known 12 step program. As of today, he has been continuously sober for 32 years. He is a strong proponent of a 12 step, spiritual approach to recovery and life in general.
James married his wife Janet in his early thirties and states that his marriage has made his life what it is, positive and successful. Janet brought two very young children into the marriage and he has raised them as his own along with a daughter the he and Janet have together. “Being a parent is the most wonderful, fulfilling, stressful and heartbreaking experience we will have,” James states. It is through parenting that James experienced the most growth in his life.
James has two bachelor’s degrees from the University of Texas, Austin. With degrees in Journalism and History with a minor in Spanish, he had planned to pursue international journalism, but changed his mind when he became a parent and wanted to be close to his family.
James has been a small business owner/entrepreneur most of his adult life. After his three children were raised he decided to take up psychotherapy and obtained his Master’s Degree. He brings a lot of life experience to therapy as well as the educational knowledge required for this field. It is very possible he has experienced problems similar to your own and brings personal experience and understanding to the session.
James believes that the best opportunity to help others is in working with young people to overcome their challenges and move into adulthood as capable emotionally well regulated adults. Play Therapy as well as EMDR, SE and CBT are excellent, proven approaches to the issues unique to young people. Play Therapy is considered the industry standard for working with kids because those under 12 typically don’t have the communication skills of adults. Playing is their primary means of communication and has proven to be very effective.
In his spare time James does gardening of flowers and herbs, the same herbs he uses in the gourmet dishes he likes to prepare for his family. James also likes to do woodworking and home improvement activities when the need arises. He and his wife like to travel, visit relatives and see historic places.