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James J. Crist Biography

Personal, Addresses, Career, Member, Honors Awards, Writings, Sidelights

Born 1983; University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, M.S. (clinical psychology), 1985, Ph.D. (clinical psychology), 1990; attended Northern Virginia Community College substance abuse certification program, 1991–92.


Office—13649 Office Place, Ste. 102, Woodbridge, VA 22192.


Writer. Child and Family Counseling Center, clinical director; clinical psychologist in private practice; substance abuse counselor; workshop leader and lecturer. Argosy University, Washington, DC, adjunct faculty in professional counseling program, 2003–.


American Psychological Association, National Association of Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Counselors, Northern Virginia Society of Clinical Psychologists, Virginia Academy of Clinical Psychologists, Virginia Association of Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Counselors, Virginia Psychological Association, Phi Beta Kappa.

Honors Awards

Sigma Xi grant-in-aid of research, William R. Kenan, Jr. fellowship; Ralph Bunche scholarship; New York State Regents scholarship.


ADHD: A Teenager's Guide, Center for Applied Psychology (King of Prussia, PA), 1996.

Alcoholics and Families: A Guide for Kids, Continental Press (Elizabethtown, PA), 2000, expanded as When Someone You Love Abuses Alcohol and Drugs, Wellness Institute (Gretna, LA), 2003.

James J. Crist

What to Do When You're Scared & Worried: A Guide for Kids, Free Spirit Pub. (Minneapolis, MN), 2004.

What to Do When You're Sad & Lonely: A Guide for Kids, Free Spirit Pub. (Minneapolis, MN), 2005.

Contributor to periodicals, including Challenge and Clinical Exchange.


In addition to working as a clinical psychologist, James J. Crist writes books to assist young people in dealing with difficult situations. In What to Do When You're Scared & Worried: A Guide for Kids Crist discusses a wide array of scary situations, ranging from phobias to common concerns. He offers easy-to-understand coping mechanisms and helpful information that provides his readers with a perspective on their own situation, including case histories. In addition to including an indepth analysis of possible childhood fears, Crist also includes a detailed chapter that describes the counseling process. What to Do When You're Scared & Worried "will empower children and help them to understand, confront, and master troubling emotions," commented Sharon A. Neal in a review for School Library Journal, adding that Crist's "easy-to-follow" book has "child appeal."

Crist told SATA: "I have been interested in helping others since I was a teenager. I have also been a fan of self-help books, as I think they can empower people to cope with their problems in a positive way. As a psychologist, I found that there were many self-help books for adults dealing with various disorders, but relatively little for children and teenagers. My motive in writing books for kids was to bring the strategies used by adults in coping with disorders such as ADHD, anxiety, and depression down to the level of a child so that kids too could benefit. It is such a joy to see that kids can relate to my books and that they find them helpful. It is so validating to realize that you're not alone—that other kids share similar problems.

"In terms of substance abuse, I have worked with many families of alcoholics and drug addicts. I have seen how devastating it can be to the children who don't understand why their parents or older siblings can't stop drinking. They tend to blame themselves, thinking if only they acted better than the drinking would stop. I wrote When Someone You Love Abuses Alcohol or Drugs to help children understand the nature of addiction, what makes it so hard to stop using drugs or alcohol, and what they as kids could do to cope with their feelings."

Biographical and Critical Sources


School Library Journal, July, 2004, Sharon A. Neal, review of What to Do When You're Scared & Worried: A Guide for Kids, p. 119.


James J. Crist Home Page, http://members.aol.com/drjcrist (January 30, 2006).

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