About Dr. James P. Norris

James Preston Norris has a passion to give back to his community by using his experience, training, and skills in providing mental health services to individuals, couples, and families. He feels a responsibility to help others reach their goals as others helped him reach his.

Dr. Norris is a 38-year-old black man who grew up in the inner city of Los Angeles, California, in a single-parent household. Gun violence was a frequent occurrence in his neighborhood. Even though Dr. Norris was exposed to many negative experiences, his mother stressed to him that education would be the avenue to create a better life for himself.  One barrier that could possibly stop him from getting an education so he could get out of the inner city was lack of the financial resources to pay for his education. His mother told him that he would have to use his mind and athletic abilities to get funding for his education.

He was successful in obtaining his Associate of Arts degree from Los Angeles Valley Community College in a year and a half. He then received a football scholarship from Western Illinois University and completed his degree in Liberal Studies with a focus in education. After graduation, he pursued a professional football career, signing two Arena Football League contracts with the Spokane Shock and Stockton Lightning.

When his playing career was over, he began a career as a Corrections Officer for the King County Jail in Seattle, Washington. Over the past eleven years that he has worked for the King County Jail, he applied to and graduated from a masters-level graduate program in clinical psychology at Seattle University.

Dr. Norris received his doctoral degree in Counselor Education and Supervision at the University of the Cumberlands. His graduate training was a catalyst in helping him understand how his childhood experiences in Los Angeles County have given him a unique perspective on mental health for individuals, couples, and families. He understands how valuable mentors and counselors can be in providing a safe place where individuals, couples, and families can untangle from past suffering and venture forth with strength and hope.