Dr. George James
Using Communication to Heal
George James is the Program Director of the Master’s in Couples and Family Therapy Program offered in conjunction with Thomas Jefferson University. James specializes in helping couples improve the quality of their relationship, reconcile conflicts and overcome intense situations such as affairs, lack of communication, parenting struggles and much more. He also works extensively with professional athletes, adult and young adult men on various issues including defining manhood, career and work-life balance.
His expertise also includes treating actors, entertainers, college students, faith-based concerns, anxiety and depression. In addition, he speaks and consults with universities, for profit and non-profit organizations and family owned businesses. James is devoted to helping people improve their quality of life, and is involved in the healing of their wounds and enrichment of their relationships.
Defining moments: The most defining moment that comes to mind was my parents. Both were from Jamaica and came to the U.S. Both worked very hard. That love and sacrifice opened opportunities for me to study, to learn and grow.
Their example of love, sacrifice and faith were instilled in me and helped me through every aspect of my career. I wouldn’t be able to do what I’m doing, where I’m doing it or how I’m doing it had they not made those sacrifices.
Significant accomplishment or project: I am honored to create safe spaces to talk about some of individuals’ deepest, darkest hurts and pains as well as their expectations and in doing that, being able to help people restore their relationships, their romantic relationships, have those conversations with their family members that they wanted or needed to have or even help them find the courage within themselves to do amazing things.
Advice for young people: Find someone who is doing what you want to do and try to connect with them. One thing that I have learned is that it is important to be persistent and nice. Busy people are busy, so it might take some time, but you also want to be nice. You don’t want to be rude or come off in a negative way or they might not find time for you. My mentors and those I reached out to for guidance have helped me to not only learn a lot about my career but about myself.
They have opened amazing doors that allowed me to do things that I’ve dreamt about but also do things beyond those dreams.
How to build relationships within the African Diaspora: Being someone of Caribbean descent, we all know that the slave ships came from Africa and some went to the Caribbean, and some went to America and others went to South America and if we really were to think about it we are all connected. It’s disheartening to me when people try to separate us all or when people think of us in different ways rather than recognizing that we all had to go through the pain, sometimes in a different way but we’ve had to go through that historical pain.
It would be beneficial for us to see the value in one another. Once we recognize the value in one another, we are more likely to communicate and work with one another to accomplish great things. That’s how I think I’ve gotten anywhere in my career and that’s because people see value in me and I see value in them.