James Skelton, CSAC, CAI-Intern
Recovery Specialist for Phoenix Outdoor
James’ interest in helping others through their struggles with addiction started by taking a summer job in a residential treatment center, while he was waiting for an electrician’s apprenticeship program to begin. He quickly realized that counseling others and seeing people grow was far more interesting to him than avoiding being shocked by electrical lines!
Once the summer job ended, he re-enrolled in the Lone Star College System in Houston, Texas, and began working towards becoming a substance abuse counselor there. James obtained an Associates of Applied Science with a focus on Human Services, a certificate in Chemical Dependency Counseling with Distinction, and a certificate in Human Services. He is a fully-licensed Chemical Dependency Counselor in Texas, where he has worked the last 4 years in an outpatient setting with teens and their families who have struggled with substance abuse. While there, he began to infuse the 12-step program on wilderness trips and other activities. From his first wilderness experience, James knew that wilderness therapy was his calling. He believes in the transformative power of a natural environment.
As the SUWS Recovery Support Specialist, James brings his experience in helping teens and parents engage in a 12 Step program to recover from addictive behaviors and codependency issues. He is described as enthusiastic, humorous and insightful. He believes that all people are capable of healing and growth. In his spare time he enjoys hiking, mountain biking, snuggling with his puppy, Maya, and he can be considered a connoisseur of fine coffees.