James Oliver is a Youth Addiction Counselor and United States Armed Forces veteran.
“My sister and mom were grossly obese and THE DONUT SHOP could have helped our family immensely,” said James Oliver, a youth addiction counselor. “Working in a clinic, I have had several students with eating disorders. THE DONUT SHOP speaks directly to them.”
James notes that the play “helps people address the topic with compassion so they can better understand what people suffering with eating disorders go through.”
James views THE DONUT SHOP as being impactful for families. “The play helps those who love people who are suffering. Even for those who don’t directly know anyone with an eating disorder yet, the play will help develop compassion for when they do.” He says.
“Further, the play helps clinicians be more effective – I am a better counselor for reading it and incorporating it into my practice.” James says. He sees THE DONUT SHOP’s usefulness in group sessions. “I look forward to using scenes from THE DONUT SHOP in a clinical setting as a catalyst. I view it as a tool for counselors and therapists to facilitate breakthroughs in a manner that adolescents can find more relatable and playful. THE DONUT SHOP play is play!”
James served in the U.S. Army from 2003-2009, working as an engineer with the 172d Stryker Brigade Combat Team. From July 2005-December 2006, he served his country in Mosul and Baghdad.
A combat Veteran, James regularly volunteers to support homeless veterans who grapple with PTSD, addictions, and depression.
“Although we don’t see a high rate of eating disorders in the homeless veteran community, they’d benefit from reading THE DONUT SHOP as they often suffer from drug and alcohol addictions, as well as other mental health challenges,” He said. “THE DONUT SHOP can entertain, while opening doors to explore those addictions.”
James’ GIVES include offering interactive youth activities that:
1) strengthen survival skills; 2) teach biomechanics; 3) guide nature hikes; and 4) design succulent gardens. He also collaborates with Sorenity Rocks Malibu to create crystal-succulent take-home mini-biospheres.