Therapist James Rusk Photo

James Rusk

Stress, Anxiety Family conflicts Grief Coping with life changes
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About me

I am a New York State Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) with over 16 years of clinical experience serving diverse populations in various agency, private practice, and medical settings. I am primarily a Narrative Therapist and use principles from Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) to inform my work with clients. I believe that one of the central tasks of one's life is to make meaning out of experience, regardless of whether that experience is perceived to be "good" or "bad." How we feel about our life's path depends a great deal on the stories we tell ourselves about our past and our future.

Even though these elements of past and future are important, how we feel about ourselves in the present, and in fact our ability to be willingly present with whatever circumstances come up for us, is a powerful predictor of feelings of competence and well-being. Many times we struggle "against" our own experience, causing needless suffering for ourselves and even for those around us.

In my experience, the only prerequisite for meaningful change is a willingness to believe that it can be possible. Even if you question whether you're willing to believe this, I believe that we can work together to influence factors that ultimately lead to willingness and a meaningful excursion into a change process. In my therapeutic process, we are partners - you're the expert on you, and I bring the Narrative, Psychodynamic, and ACT focus to train different lenses on your situation, all with respect and compassion, and without advancing an agenda of "shoulds." If you're courageous about digging into the rich material of your inner life (even if you're anxious about it too), we'll be a good fit.

Professional experience

17yrs in practice
Stress, Anxiety Family conflicts Grief Coping with life changes

Additional areas of focus: Addictions, LGBT, Relationship issues, Intimacy-related issues, Parenting issues, Self esteem, Career difficulties, Bipolar disorder, Depression, Compassion fatigue

Clinical approaches: Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), Client-Centered Therapy, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Existential Therapy, Mindfulness Therapy, Motivational Interviewing, Narrative Therapy, Psychodynamic Therapy

Services offered

Live Chat


These quotes represent just a few of the many positive reviews that we have received for James Rusk. We don't pay anyone to provide their review and they are all made voluntarily. Some people's experience receiving therapy with BetterHelp might be different.

James rusk and I started working together during lockdown and I really don’t think I would have made it through without him. Having a safe space to vent, explore and pick apart my struggles have been life changing. I was someone that occasional engaged with therapy- but now and COMPLETELY because of James- I cannot imagine my life without that ritual to keep to tethered to myself and where I want to be. James is patient and thoughtful and has never made me feel that my mental health healthy is as easy as a check in and another exhale. In other words- he emboldens his patients to really take the helm of their journeys which really really worked for me . James is great!

Written on Apr 16, 2023 after therapy with James for 2 years and 8 months on issues concerning depression, stress, anxiety, lgbt, relationship issues, intimacy-related issues, self esteem, career difficulties, coping with life changes, coaching, and adhd

Having seen more therapists over the course of my life than I can even remember, I was beginning to think my expectations of therapists were too great until I met James Rusk. James has been the most "right for me" therapist I have ever had.

He was an intentional listener, insightful, extremely intelligent and self-aware, considerate, observant, eloquent, and placed a high value on the economy of language. He continuously made substantive contributions to our (spoken and written) dialogue that reflected both his authenticity and extreme attentiveness. He was immensely thoughtful, patient, and curious about the meta-experience of how the therapy process itself impacted his clients. It was clear that he had no interest in imposing a personal agenda (which is something I have repeatedly encountered with other therapists), and he was open and direct while being mindful of (and accountable to) the potential emotional impact of his words.

He treated me with such care and compassion, worked relentlessly to make me feel supported in between sessions as well as during them, and intuitively came to understand so many things about me based on our discussions that I felt I was not only understood and valued, but in the care of someone I could trust. In our time together, I went from struggling to feel that my experience was valid, to being able to depend on it to more effectively act in my own self-interest.

His warm, humble yet enthusiastic presence made me feel safe and even though I was going through great difficulties we were able to find humor in them at times. It was such an honor to be his client and every time I think I have "captured" what made him so exceptional, I then remember one more thing I want to add, and then another, and I suspect that this list will continue to grow as I continue to make the journey through my life.

Written on Jan 20, 2023 after therapy with James for 1 year and 2 months on issues concerning depression, stress, anxiety, relationship issues, family conflicts, trauma and abuse, eating disorders, sleeping disorders, self esteem, anger management, coping with life changes, compassion fatigue, and adhd

James is a fantastic therapist. He is compassionate and full of support. He is an intent listener and tailors the experience towards your current needs. He recommended me some particularly good books as well, that I found extremely relevant towards what I was going through at the time.

Written on Jan 03, 2023 after therapy with James for 1 year and 5 months on issues concerning depression, stress, anxiety, trauma and abuse, self esteem, career difficulties, and adhd

james has been the best therapist i’ve ever had. he’s understanding, asks good questions, and reflective. he genuinely cares and works hard to help you become a better human.

Written on Oct 12, 2022 after therapy with James for 11 months on issues concerning depression, stress, anxiety, addictions, relationship issues, self esteem, and coping with life changes

I worked with James for a little over two years. We ended our time together because I relocated to the west coast.
I’m still in process of the appreciation for all the support, insight, tools James offered in our time together. He listened with respect and intention. I’m forever grateful for the ways I learned about myself and how to be here now in it all. I moved through a lot but he always helped me remember it is doable, with compassion and understanding. I feel ready for the next stage of my journey in life and healing and I know partly because of the work we did together. If you want to work with someone who gets the neurological parts of trauma as well as applied somatic practices, I would most definitely recommend him.

Written on Sep 11, 2022 after therapy with James for 2 years and 1 month on issues concerning depression, stress, anxiety, addictions, relationship issues, trauma and abuse, eating disorders, self esteem, coping with life changes, coaching, and adhd

James is an amazing therapist!

Written on Aug 30, 2022 after therapy with James for 1 month on issues concerning lgbt, relationship issues, intimacy-related issues, and self esteem