WHY EUSTRESSIN'?: JAMES HARRISON
I have never thought about combining private detecting with mental health counseling. James an array of skills and it was a pleasure to learn how he adds Eustress to his life. Check it out!
HEY JAMES, WHY EUSTRESSIN’?
WHAT DO YOU DO FOR A LIVING/ HOW LONG?
I am a licensed private detective ( going on 3 years ) as well as an on-call/independent contractor who specializes in mental health, pastoral & biblical counseling. I have worked in health care for 31 years. Much of that has been mental health, behavioral health and substance abuse addiction. I have worked in church ministry/counseling for 30 years.
DO YOU EVER THINK ABOUT YOUR MENTAL HEALTH IN YOUR PROFESSION?
Yes, working in mental health for almost 20 years, as well as in the faith-based community ( The Church Community ), I've taken several LOA, as recommended by my mental health care providers. Anyone who serves in any counseling capacity, should have a therapist or some clinical supervisor.
WHAT UNIQUE CHALLENGES DO YOU ENCOUNTER SPECIFICALLY FOR YOUR JOB THAT HAS AN IMPACT ON YOUR MENTAL HEALTH THAT OTHERS MAY NOT KNOW ABOUT?
As an ordained minister and certified pastoral counselor, my desire is for the faith-based community to be more open to discussions about ways to bring mental illness awareness to the church-community. Although there are some of who are doing as much as we can to campaign for mental health counseling in the faith-based community( particularly the African-American faith-based community) it's still a slow process. The reason is too often in our history, mental illness has been associated with "demon-possession" or people are just being "mean or having bad days." So, just prayer or reading your bible has been some of the traditional recommendations. Attempts to prompt the faith-based community to be open to learning about mental health has been quite the challenge.
WHEN DID YOU REALIZE THAT YOU SHOULD ALSO CONSIDER YOUR MENTAL HEALTH WHEN TAKING ON DAY-TO-DAY ACTIVITIES?
When feelings of low self esteem and rejection from peers, started taking precedence over my concentration and functionality. That's when I knew I needed supports.
HOW DO YOU MANAGE THOSE STRESSORS ON A DAY-TO-DAY BASIS?
I talk with friends; prayer, take a drive, read and make attempts to apply the same counseling, theological and psychological strategies I share with others. I also try to eat well and practice good sleeping habits; which is very important for both mental and physical health care. .
HOW DOES BEING MENTALLY HEALTHY HELP YOU IN YOUR FIELD OF WORK OR ON THE JOB?
Helps me to stay focused as well as empathetic to the needs of others. Empathy and compassion is the sole purpose of being a Christian. If I can't "feel" someone else's pain, then I'm no good to them as a counselor.
WHAT DOES EUSTRESS LOOK LIKE FOR YOU AT WORK? AT HOME/AWAY FROM WORK?
Quarterly; if not monthly, team building exercises. Recognition ceremonies, ie: birthday celebrations, away from the office luncheons, field /road trips. Oh, did I mention something to do with food? ( laughing ).
WHAT IS SOMETHING THAT YOU WOULD TELL SOMEONE JUST STARTING IN YOUR PROFESSION OR A YOUNG PERSON WHO ASPIRES TO BE THE PROFESSIONAL THAT YOU ARE?
I would want them to know the importance of having an outlet; something that is done outside of work, that would promote health, happiness and humor. In addition, to be sure to have someone to talk to as well. Also, have something/someone higher than yourself to seek for help and guidance during times of stress.To me, this helps keep you humble, knowing that no human can do it all. As a Christian, my allegiance is to The Lord Jesus Christ.
ANY OTHER INFORMATION YOU WANT PEOPLE TO KNOW ABOUT YOU AND WHAT YOU’RE UP TO?
Yes, Pastoral Counseling is an integration of both theological and psychological therapy.There are some who are unaware of what it is and sometimes mistaken it for pastoral care.
In addition to receiving my certification as an insured pastoral counselor and a board certified biblical counselor, I recently received my certification as a professional life coach. I am in the process of being scheduled to present some "mental health and faith seminars" later this summer, at various churches as well as the opportunity to teach an online class on Udemy
HOW CAN PEOPLE CONTACT YOU FOR MORE INFORMATION?