James Robbins is a licensed professional counselor, published author and co-owner of Dallas Whole Life Counseling. He has over 15 years of experience helping people in various life stages that come from a wide variety of cultural, economic and family backgrounds. James specializes in several of treatment areas:
- couples counseling and relationship issues
- trust and infidelity
- sexual issues
- meditation and mindfulness
- small business coaching
- coping with cancer and other life-threatening illnesses
- spiritual exploration
- creative expression
James’ unique therapy style appeals to clients who value authenticity and the lifelong pursuit of self-knowledge. His genuine openness and irreverent sense of humor bring a true sense of person meeting person to the therapy room. He believes it is essential to question what People Who Know have taught you. Parents, employers, teachers, preachers and coaches (to name a few) have a profound impact on how you view life. James encourages clients to openly examine their core beliefs, better understand where they come from and how they persistently shape day-to-day experience. He encourages clients to loosen their grip on old fears, to dive in and get to know themselves as they truly are. James teaches radical self-honesty, as he feels shining a direct light on long-held insecurities naturally allows them to dissolve.
“Look around you. Take a look at your friends, your family, your next door neighbors. Do these people have The Answer? Because if they don’t, who does? You do. Whatever you’re questioning, you’re already sitting right on top of the answer. And by the way, if you’re not questioning something you’re probably just not paying attention. If you’re always waiting for something to happen, you’re missing your life as it happens right now. This week, this day, this hour–this is the right time to figure out who you really are. It’s never a convenient time. We spend much of our lives trying to avoid ourselves, so there’s always an excuse. After I meet the right person, after the holidays, after I buy a dog–then I’ll buckle down and fix my (choose one): marriage, job, family, health, bank account. If you’re serious about getting on with things, then you first decide that this is the time you quit postponing. So what do you do? You start examining your own experience more closely, taking a look at your habitual reactions to those around you. You admit to yourself how often you complain without taking action, how easy it is to blame your life on someone or something else. As a therapist, this is when someone finds me. When they are really ready to start taking on the giant task of getting to know their truest, deepest, most compassionate and satisfying self. What do I do? I simply guide the client to be totally honest with themselves about what they are thinking, feeling and doing. Figure yourself out–or at least take a few brave steps in that direction–and your seemingly impossible life tangles begin to untangle themselves.” –James Robbins
After performing as a professional musician in Austin, TX for several years in his late teens/early twenties, James began to teach meditation and mindfulness practice. Supporting his 2003 book, Build A Better Buddha, James spoke around the country, emphasizing heightened self-confidence through unflinching self-awareness. His evolution as a speaker and teacher led him to pursue a more formal path in counseling. James Robbins holds two graduate degrees, a master’s degree in English literature from the University of Texas at Austin, and a master’s degree in professional counseling from Amberton University in Dallas.
James draws from a wide variety of traditional approaches when working with clients, but is always willing, when appropriate, to throw away whatever blueprint to try something new and creative. For many clients, CBT (cognitive-behavioral therapy) tools provide a satisfying structure and clear sense of progress in treatment. CBT helps clients break down life’s seemingly overwhelming challenges into clear, workable goals, while teaching them to recognize ways in which past learning may be preventing their present success. Some clients benefit from a more family systems or psychodynamic framework. These approaches help the client explore core aspects of self-identity and self-worth. Roles within families are examined, both past and present, to better understand the client’s “automatic” strategies for dealing with stress, anger and loss. Various mindfulness and meditation techniques are often threaded into the process, facilitating relaxation, focus and spiritual connection. James may assign homework or recommend reading between sessions, as he feels active, energetic participation leads to personal growth. Many clients find James when they are looking for something elusive or “hard to put in words.” Maybe they are relatively content with their relationships, their career. Maybe they want to feel a more passionate connection to life, a fire in the belly that gives deeper meaning to their day-to-day experiences. Whatever the therapy approach, James helps clients recognize their daily swirl of exhausting, terrifying What Ifs as nothing more than paper tigers.
James Robbins is DWLC’s lead couples counselor and couple’s counseling supervisor. He believes you get the relationship you earn. There are no victims in a relationship. Although it’s easy to blame your partner for whatever seems lacking in your life, James reminds clients that they chose that partner form some reason. “You don’t have to wait on your partner to change for you to be happy. If you’re waiting on your partner to do something, you feel helpless, stuck in relationship limbo. The thing is, you’ve got to work on yourself–regardless of what you’re partner is doing. If you work on yourself, you will level up in your relationship happiness. Maybe you grow to a point where you find yourself leaving that relationship for something even better. Maybe you work on yourself only to discover your partner’s dedication to self-discovery equals your own. The usual relationship strategy of ‘working on the other person’ inevitably leads to resentment and power struggles. But by working on yourself you can’t go wrong.”
James has appeared in radio, print and television media in Texas (The Dallas Morning News), California and Washington. Within these popular formats, he offers his plain-language views on a variety of topics: relationships and sexuality, anxiety and stress, career, spirituality, and many other areas surrounding the ongoing challenges of being a person.
James’ book: Build a Better Buddha
These days, the search for self-actualization and liberation can be rather overwhelming. With so many spiritual systems and teachings readily available, many of us feel confused and intimidated. We want to find just the “right” system or teacher–but how? In this book, James Robbins guides you beyond the seeming complexities and idiosyncrasies of various beliefs and traditions, redirecting you toward a few, simple truths common to all paths of realization. In doing so, Robbins helps you recognize and distill the core teachings of both traditional and non-traditional paths into your own unique way. With this book you learn that you already have everything you need to expand your conscious awareness, recognize where you are on your path, and fully experience the profound beauty of life and the world we live in–right here, right now.