Hi, I'm James McLintock and I am a California Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist #114137. I specialize in working with paramedics, firefighters, military, and law enforcement professionals—and I offer professional counseling to ALL ADULTS IN CALIFORNIA—no matter what you do for a living. I have learned that there is nothing more painful than a broken heart or a crushed spirit, and if you are struggling with a difficult season in life, I would enjoy the opportunity to connect with you.
My style of therapy is very relational and I like to explore if there is a way to slow things down, take a step back, help stabilize the situation with a teamwork approach to our work together, and help the client relaunch in a healthy new direction. My theoretical orientations include—but are not limited to—Emotionally Focused Therapy, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Humanistic Theory, Attachment Woundedness, Solution Focused Therapy, Trauma Therapy, and Talk Therapy.
I work with individual adults and specialize in helping emergency responder professionals. In my private practice, I work closely with the California Department of Forestry/Cal Fire Emergency Responders and provided PTSD support for the Butte County Sheriff's Department Peer Support Team for the 2018 "Camp Fire" wildland fire. I have solid training and experience in working with trauma, anxiety, panic, depression, divorce recovery, anger, stress, social anxiety, childhood issues, emotional abuse, pornography addictions, and substance abuse recovery.
My communication style
It can be a highly anxious moment when a client first meets a therapist. I try to create a down-to-earth and relaxed environment. I have been told that I am easy to speak with, have empathy and understanding for what clients are enduring and that clients experience my sense of humor--as well as grace and mercy. I am also direct--with heart--when necessary.
My journey to mental healthcare
I was born at Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton’s Naval Hospital and raised in North Coastal San Diego County. As the son of a World War II and Korean War veteran, my parents were from the same small town in Ohio. When the USMC transferred my dad to Camp Pendleton, the moment he experienced the glorious weather of Southern California, he took leave to Ohio and brought my mom back to Oceanside with him—where they lived for the rest of their 60+ year marriage! I grew up enjoying the outdoor recreation and aquatic opportunities that were available for military families. With a strong swimming and athletic background—and a passion to be of service to those in need—I became a career Ocean Lifeguard Supervisor/EMT—and—Police Officer in Orange County. As a result of both public safety professions, I found a way to help others even more profoundly—as a member of the Police Department’s Crisis Response Team (a predecessor to our current PERT teams). During that time in the 1990s, many of my police teammates were reserves in the military and were called to duty for the post-911 wars in the Middle East. Some died serving our country. Others returned home and were mere shells of their former selves. I watched the negative impacts of PTSD, anxiety, depression, panic attacks, trauma, suicidal thoughts, pain medication addictions, and divorces take their toll on our department. My coworkers were encouraged to attend counseling sessions and I heard these common complaints: “None of the therapists have familiarity with being a police officer. They don’t understand the military. Nobody has street experience.” These complaints were not just occurring within the police department—I heard similar stories at our fire departments—and in our military. So, I decided to bridge this gap and be the therapist who has actual hands-on, street credibility and who specializes in proving world-class counseling to emergency responders and the military. I attended Azusa Pacific University’s Behavioral Sciences Program where I earned an M.A. with Honors in Clinical Psychology with an emphasis on Marriage and Family Therapy. Since 2008, I have been working in the mental wellness profession and it is a dream come true to be a therapist who specializes in working with emergency responders and military heroes throughout California.
My goals for you
I have found that some clients attend sessions with specific treatment goals in mind, while others may not have a clear direction to go. I like to meet clients right where they are at and develop a teamwork approach to goal setting and session direction.
My first session with you
During the first session, I explore the client's comfort zone and try to understand what would help them feel comfortable. Some clients have experienced professional therapy before and can just jump right in and get started. Others may not know what to say or how to begin. I like to come alongside each client and let them know that I am on their team--and to let me know if they are feeling uncomfortable or anxious--and if so, that it's okay and actually quite normal. I will do my best to help clients feel heard, understood, valued, and respected--and at any time during our session, they can let me know if they would like to stop and find a different therapist--and that too is perfectly normal. I also like to have the client experience my style--which sometimes includes personal stories where clinically appropriate--and my sense of humor about life events.