James “J” Stamatelos graduated from the Duquesne University coaching program in May of 2013. Since that time, he has helped countless individuals – especially men – replace chronic insecurity and shame with a sense of internal peace and grounded confidence. J specializes in helping people break out of what he calls “anxious insecurity,” or the chronic feeling of not being “enough” regardless of how much we achieve. This was his battle as well. Plagued by intense self-loathing, this issue nearly cost him his life.
He had a unique journey to this work. Before coaching, J worked in worked in emergency response and counter-terrorism. Struck by the events of 9/11, which took place when he was 15 years old, J was convinced stopping radicalization and violence was the best way to help his community. After getting multiple degrees in the field he went on to work for the City of Pittsburgh Office of Emergency Management & Homeland Security and Region 13 Counter-Terrorism Fusion Center.
As an emergency management specialist, he routinely deployed with Pittsburgh SWAT to barricaded suspects and hostage situations, responded to major natural disasters such as blizzards and severe flooding, trained citizen responders, and authored the operationalization of Pittsburgh’s evacuation plan. An an Fusion Center intelligence analyst, he conducted full-cycle OSINT intelligence assessments, conducted Critical Infrastructure & Key Resource (CIKR) site assessments alongside federal agencies, and assessed the local impact of global threats.
Thanks to a mix of chronic stress and endless self-loathing, J hit his own rock bottom in December of 2010. Luckily, he was fortunate to be surrounded by great people who taught him how to repair his relationship with himself. This event – and the way others engaged with him – changed his life.
As he began to heal and reconnect with others, James realized that virtually everyone around him was going through some version of the same problem. While rarely as extreme as his personal experience, the same elements were there – constant self-criticism, a deep sense of worthlessness, and hiding our truth from others in shame. These internal mental and emotional problems were causing far greater issues than any external terrorist threat. If he really wanted to help, he needed to learn why this was happening – and how we could really fix it.
Determined to help grow the good instead of just fight the bad, James received his professional coaching certification from Duquesne University and has been working in the field ever since. He is proud to now play the role of helping others in the way he was helped years ago.
J recently completed book manuscript, tentatively titled Enough, that explores two major questions: why do so many Americans battle chronic insecurity, and what interventions actually work in resolving it? J makes heavy use of academic research and evidence-based modalities in his work. Real-life results – not theory of guesswork – plays the central role.
Travel is J’s favorite activity. He has backpacked through 19 countries across North & South America, Europe, Northern Africa, and Central Asia. He loves foreign languages, ethnic food, music, and memorable conversations with strangers. He also enjoys Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, soccer and rugby. He is a lifelong musician with the violin as his primary instrument.