James Homerding, LCSW, has brought a wealth of experience to the Counseling and Wellness Center of Pittsburgh following years of dedicated practice with homeless veterans and their families. This background provided him with extensive insight into a diverse range of mental illness and substance use disorders. James is a firm believer in the universal advantages of mental health therapy, acknowledging mental health as a widespread concern influenced by societal factors that often lead to self-blame and shame. His primary mental health therapy modalities include Cognitive Behavioral Treatment (CBT) and Motivational Interviewing (MI).
During his 10 years with the VA, James helped many individuals, couples, and families to uncover the truth about how core beliefs develop first from our family of origin and socio-economic environment from early childhood to the present day. He has extensive experience working with veterans who have experienced trauma and PTSD before, during, and/or following military service. His mental health therapy is focused on treating nearly all forms of mental and behavioral illness, including but not limited to mood disorders, trauma, anger, marriage, and family counseling.
For substance abuse disorders, he is able provide counseling focused on the 12-step recovery model while emphasizing that sessions are not to replace healthy fellowship participation outside of therapy. He believes individuals are more complicated than a diagnosis and everyone may benefit from gaining an outside perspective in search of a better quality of life.
James wants prospective clients to understand that they will have an experienced mental health therapy clinician by their side. As a staunch believer in the Social Work Code of Ethics, he sees self-disclosure as a valuable asset for clinicians, to be used when it benefits the client. His dedication and compassion stem from visiting the homes of formerly homeless veterans, where he witnessed firsthand how mental illness and substance abuse disorders impact every member of a household and learned effective strategies for overcoming these challenges. James emphasizes that initiating a course of treatment in a non-judgmental space requires only a small level of trust, and although facing the unknown can be challenging, he views this experience as both enjoyable and enlightening.
Education & Experience
Born in Houston, TX, and later relocating to Oak Ridge, TN during high school, James pursued his education at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in anthropology. Delving into a course load centered on understanding world cultures, past and present, he aimed to gain a comprehensive insight into the human experience, exploring shared and diverse beliefs and values. His academic journey included a semester at University College Dublin, Ireland, where he focused on studying Irish archaeology. James attributes his foundation in anthropology and education as pivotal in shaping him into a culturally competent clinician, enabling him to connect effectively with a diverse clientele.
Before pursuing his MSW at the University of Pittsburgh, he dedicated time to the field of education at the Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh. In this role, he coordinated Children and Family Programs, overseeing teachers and graduate students to deliver engaging educational programs on natural science, including overnight experiences at the museum.
Post-MSW, James dedicated seven years to healthcare at the VA, focusing on assisting homeless veterans and their families in transitioning from homelessness to permanent housing. Acknowledged for excellence as a case manager, he earned a promotion to an administrative position, where he provided oversight for VA-contracted transitional housing facilities.
Hobbies & Interests
James has been in the Pittsburgh area since 2003. He enjoys traveling and has spent summers in San Francisco, and several international destinations. His favorite trip was going on safari in Kenya in 2015. He also loves being a dad to his sixteen-year-old daughter.
Get Started With Mental Health Therapy
James provides in-person mental health therapy at our Monroeville location as well as online therapy. You can reach us at 412-856-WELL or email us at email@example.com to get started. Or contact us here.