About the counselor

Near Chicago, a marriage counselor in Oak Park, IL 60302. Here at Pathway. I help couples restore selfless loving in marriage! I also have counseled hundreds of people individually over more than 20 years of working in this field.

I entered the people-helping fields back in 1993, when I saw a church homeless ministry doing more than just give a little change to people in tough spots. They actually talked to people and tried to help.

When I realized that I have the ability to help people by really listening to them, I dove in! I tutored kids, worked with a diverse range of people, including on a telephone hotline, and eventually began training for counseling. This included working under professionals' supervision, and also going back for a Master's in Social Work (MSW) degree. I earned this from the Jane Addams College of Social Work at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) in 1999. I also have a Bachelor's degree from Northwestern University. Scores of additional trainings honed my current specialization in several forms of marital counseling, as well as my proficiency in helping with mood difficulties, men's issues, and many other issues (see the Other Counseling page). I provided counseling at Lutheran Social Services of Illinois for 7 years until I began here at Pathway in 2002. That math shows that I have been here at Pathway for 14 years. I also have mental health experience working in hospital settings. In addition, I worked for the national Christian inpatient program Rapha and at several Christian ministries. I also have spoken to various audiences, including on Happily Married, Men Breaking Free, and Attachment Parenting, among other topics. My "critical incident response" work has taken me into some tragic work sites as well, sometimes in response to tragedies seen in the news. I hold memberships in the National Association of Christians in Social Work (NACSW) and the American Association of Christian Counselors (AACC). I am licensed by the State of Illinois as a Clinical Social Worker (LCSW).

I am widowed, losing my wonderful wife Nancy this past year. We were married for 22 years. I have seen over and over the good that can come amidst some of life's mo st painful moments. Not only have I seen this in my own life, but also in hundreds and hundreds of people to whom I have provided counseling over the years. I have met many people who attest, like Joseph in the Old Testament, that what seemed very bad, "God used for good." I am drawn to the conviction that there is always hope! Perhaps your situation can improve! Or, if you are not having a particular problem, then perhaps with the right therapist, you can achieve the personal growth you are seeking. I'd love to try to help if I can!

Thanks for reading!

- James

As all good counselors should do, Pathway will refer elsewhere some people with situations or issues that are not in Pathway's areas of expertise.
Also, while there are no guaranteed outcomes, I look forward to trying my best to be helpful to you!