“Our capacity for wholeheartedness can never be greater than our willingness to be broken-hearted. It means engaging with the world from a place of vulnerability and worthiness.” – Brené Brown
One of the greatest things in life is when we learn more about who we are and then actually get to walk in that identity. James believes in facilitating an environment where that identity can be safely discovered without shame or judgement. That process might look different for every person, but through working with the client’s beliefs and values, the client can find where there is dissonance that brings distress which can leak into multiple facets of life in both seen and unseen ways. James primarily has experience working with clients suffering from substance use disorders, but would love to expand on that experience and work with other presenting problems a client may be experiencing. So far, James has primarily conceptualized through attachment and personality lenses to learn about the individual he is working with. He then uses that information to incorporate skills/interventions from various modalities like Dialectical Behavioral Therapy and Acceptance or Commitment Therapy based on the needs and wants of the individual.
James went to the University of Georgia for his undergraduate career where he received degrees in Psychology and Middle Grades Education. From there, he worked for a campus ministry, the UGA Wesley Foundation, for three years where he split time between middle and high school youth ministry and working with college students in various capacities. After leaving Wesley, he worked for a middle school after-school program as well as some odd jobs here and there which led him to entering the mission field briefly. Because of events while working in missions, James decided to go back to school at Richmont Graduate University after seeing first hand the strains experienced by those working in ministry, missions, education, etc.. He is currently a student in his internship year completing part of that internship at Summit Counseling Center while also interning at a residential addiction treatment center.
Outside of the counselor’s chair, James is usually spending time with friends or learning as much as he can about some kind of new hobby. A learner at heart, the real hobby is learning new hobbies, and James has dabbled in everything from cooking to crocheting to candle making and who knows what else in between. He finds true joy in cooking for friends and family and seeing everyone come together around the table to enjoy not only the food but also each other’s company.
James Shafer is under the directed experience and clinical supervision of Alice Hoag, Ed.D. LPC, CPCS, BCPCC.