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The Credentials

James P. Desta is a Licensed Professional Counselor with experience in both inpatient and outpatient settings regarding issues related to depression, anxiety, addiction, and mood disorders.  However, his training in EMDR also allows him to effectively address traumas and long-term mental health issues.  He has worked with diverse individuals of all age, but he has been involved extensively with children and adolescents in varying capacities, both in community and clinical settings. 

Feeling a little Goofy
Two out of three ain't bad
Milky White, the unsung hero of our production of Into the Woods
We did it!
Much better than a parrot!
At a friend's wedding
About to raft with some friends
Foolish wedding dancing
Singing With Arya
Cape May January 2020
Woody & Bonnie
Beach Trip October 2020
Family Picture November 2019
A&L August 2021
First Sunday at Church

The Person

One of the most important values in counseling (and anywhere) is authenticity. Yes, this is my professional website, but I'd rather give you a genuine idea about who I am rather than throw a bunch of buzz words your way (synergy!).

I live in Huntsville, AL with my wife, Bess, and our daughters, Arya and Lily. I attended the University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH) where I earned degrees in both Music and Psychology with a minor in Theatre.  In fact, Bess was my assigned accompanist when I auditioned for the music department, and I haven't been able to get her out of my mind since!  We are active in the arts community and we are definitely a Disney-Pixar family.


I appreciate visual art a great deal, though I'm a terrible artist, myself.  I wish I could be outdoors more, but I am also a huge fan of spending rainy days indoors with just the right amount of lamp light and a hot cup of tea.  I'm a fairly sentimental guy.  I love animals, but especially dogs, and I think it would be awesome to have a wolf companion.  I would choose the power of flight over invisibility.  I don't worry about robots, but I am wary of them.  I love video games, but don't have a ton of time to play them anymore, so the Nintendo Switch is amazing for me.  I would just as soon listen to Sinatra as Weird Al, though I most consistently listen to Ingrid Michaelson AJR (that's the closest thing I could find to a "strikethrough" effect, but Ingrid Michaelson canceled our stop on a tour once and we're still mad at her for it).  I wear the term "basic" like a badge.  I learned a while ago to stop insisting that reality match my expectations, and I'm happier for it.

I have done some very important things right, but I have also made some very important mistakes.  I'm good at some things, I'm bad at some things, and I'm average at most of the rest.  In other words, I'm a person, and I do not and will not judge you for being a person, yourself.  Plus, I've literally worked on a psych ward and been the guy in the Emergency Department at the hospital that screens the psychiatric emergencies.  Because of those experiences, my response to anything that involves the phrase "If you can believe it" is always "Yes, I can believe it."

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