"We were desperate for help with our young adult sons when we were referred to James. Honestly, we thought we were too late for any positive change in our family dynamics. What we didn't know was how effective and meaningful James' program would be. The progress feels like a true miracle, and I find myself telling all my friends about him. We have and continue to make progress towards the family we envisioned when we had our first child - a connected, close, loving unit built from independent and responsible individuals. We can't thank James enough."
"We were completely at a loss with how to help our 12 year old boy. He had an array of various challenges, including mental processing delay and physically slow reactions. He was very immature for his age and fought with us constantly over the smallest things. He suffered terribly socially. He was depressed and miserable and it was getting consistently worse. It had gotten to the point that on most days either he or I would end up in tears. We had worked with a series of expensive professionals for years, and while some of the efforts may have been helpful, none of them had been able to put an end to the constant decline we were experiencing."
"At the suggestion of our psychiatrist, we met with James. The service was described to us as unconventional and expensive, but worth a try given our situation. In our first meeting with James, I could immediately tell this time would be different. Instead of telling us all the problems our son had and describing how terribly he acted, James focused on why he acted that way and how to help him improve. For years I'd left meetings with professionals distraught and frustrated after they sought to only explain to us how our son did this or that badly. Their repeated description of the situation was of no help, as we already knew what was going on. What we needed was help with what to do about it. James was the first professional to bring insight into how we got to this spot and how to get out of it. He was able to describe the world from our son's point of view with an intuitive insight we had never heard before. He clearly understood adolescent boys. He explained that the work had to start with us as parents. If we changed how we interacted with our son, it would help him learn to improve. He put us as the parents in "training" and gave us practical insights and a tangible plan. The other big and important part of the work was that another member of the team would work with our son several times a week. It was to happen in our home, in our son's environment. Unlike other therapy, the fact that it was to take place in the real world, in the context of real life, was fundamentally different. The plan took serious work and a willingness to change the way we saw our son and our parenting role but we were motivated.
The result was miraculous. Within a few weeks the arguing had lessened. Within a few months it had all but stopped, and we saw a new confidence in our son that had never been there before. Others and his school started stopping us to tell us how well our son was doing. Our son started asking to do healthy things like martial arts that he had always before refused to try. In short, James and Shane (who worked with our son) have facilitated fundamental change within our family for the better. This was likely the best thing we ever did for him or for the family. We would wholeheartedly recommend this service for any family with children that are struggling with behavioral issues."
"With James, we processed issues that continued to drag us down in spite of years of office visits to great therapists. James was right there to see how we really operated as a family, and he offered help right in the moment of conflict. Because of James' blend of humor, clinical expertise and integrity, we discovered what needed to happen in order to improve our family dynamics. I am proud to say with all the positive changes, we're a different family than we were one year ago. James has our highest recommendation, and our son thinks he's one cool guy!"
"Our family situation was so bleak. We spent far too many years relating to one another in this negative pattern, and I thought we would never be able to recover. James has helped us grow into a family that can now communicate with one another without the unproductive behaviors like yelling and arguing. We don't always agree with one another but we are definitely on the right path."
"We have nothing but high praise for the work James has done with our teenage son over the past 2 years. He is going through the challenges of young adulthood as well as coming to terms with his own disabilities, including autism. Not only has James been an excellent role model for our son, but he has also helped us, as parents, to relate to our son on a much more constructive and productive level. We highly recommend FIT services."
"Before the FIT program was in or lives, we had very little hope for our son. We had been to numerous other specialists with little to no success. James and the FIT team showed us how to change the way we looked at our son, thus leading to new and effective ways to manage his bizarre behaviors. The tools and strategies that my son has learned to use and apply in everyday life have really helped him become a better and more productive person. The mindset and the philosophy that we as parents have learned to implement has really helped us focus on our son's true needs, and we have become much more effective parents because of it."
"James Giantis has been working with our son, who is now 23 years old, for almost 6 years. Over time, he was able to develop an excellent rapport with our son, who has high functioning autism and learning disabilities. This was not an easy task, as our son is very withdrawn and difficult to engage, but James persevered and never gave up. Now James is the person that our son feels most comfortable with, and the only person that he confides in.
James is a person with great integrity and he serves as an excellent role model for our son. He has a wealth of knowledge about family dynamics and has helped my husband and I tremendously with relating to our son in a more effective way. He has helped me be a better parent and to accept and love my son for who he is."
"I'm not exaggerating when I say that I don't know what we would have done without James. I'm very grateful that we found him. He has helped our family in so many ways, and has made a huge positive impact on our lives. I have no reservations about wholeheartedly recommending James."
"It has been 2 years since I graduated from the FIT program, but I still call Shane every time something good happens, because I want him to be proud of my accomplishments."
Chris, 18 yr. old challenged with ADHD and learning difficulties
"He's cool, and he helps me deal with my anger. He is also a lot of fun and teaches me things in a fun way."
David, 10 yr. old challenged with severe emotional and behavioral problems
"If you knew me before I started FIT, let's just say you wouldn't want to. Now that I have done this program, I have noticed that my life has done a 180-degree turn-around. Thanks to James and FIT my life has never been better, and I've never been happier."
William, 20 yr. old challenged with anxiety, depression and ADHD
"I really needed someone to understand me and more importantly my family. Mike taught me to believe in my reality and how to express myself in a way that could be heard by others. Not only was he a good role model but also a lot of fun."
Brian, 19 yr. old removed from 3 schools and his family for 2 years due to severe behavioral problems
"I like working with Dave, because he is fun and he likes to do fun activities with me. He takes me on hikes, fishing, to the park, and jumps on my trampoline. He helps me with my anger and teaches me how to do better. Oh yeah he is also really good at helping me with my homework."
Jonathan, 11 yr. old with difficulty managing anger
"Dave shows a true interest in the things that I enjoy doing and never makes me feel bad about who I am. He has also shown me that there is more to life than gaming, and he has helped me get involved in other fun activities."
"I like working with Shane, because he never judges me and is always willing to listen to me and give good advice."
"James is an intelligent, innovative, compassionate professional who understands that families and at-risk youth often need much more than what can be provided in a one-hour therapy session. The FIT program assists families who face insurmountable obstacles in finding a renewed sense of hope and wellbeing. James has put together a team that creates an environment for families to make significant, meaningful changes with integrity and humor. I have had over 25 years of experience working with at risk families, and the FIT program is one of the most responsive, creative and caring approaches to families that I have ever seen."
Licensed Clinical Social Worker
"While working as a Mental Health Services Care Coordinator, I had many services available to the youth on my caseload. I saw more growth and improvement from the clients using FIT than from any other service. The quality of staff impressed me. The training and supervision of each staff member was extensive, frequent and individualized. I knew that each of my clients would get an individual, strengths-based approach that would produce great change."
Director, Social Service Agency of San Diego
"I rely on FIT to help me with families to provide an in-home or 'wraparound' component of social coaching. The coaching that FIT provides is like a highly sophisticated 'big brother' or 'big sister' approach, with a reflective component for the youth, parents, and the family, and it has proven very effective for many of the families I work with. The range of people they've helped with include children, teens, and adults with diagnostic challenges, including anxiety disorders, mood disorders, ADHD, learning disorders, Asperger Syndrome, high functioning autism, and even eating disorders. James is very responsive and communicative with me, and when needed, I have meetings with his staff to coordinate our work. FIT provides a needed service that supports outpatient care in manner that is naturalistic and effective."
"Over the past year, as a program therapist, I have had the privilege of working closely with James Giantis with San Diego's most challenging population of youth dually diagnosed as severely emotionally disturbed (SED) and developmentally delayed (DD). James' effective blend of experience, knowledge, and personal approach has been instrumental in greatly improving the quality of their lives. Furthermore, James has a unique gift of compassion, humor, and understanding that flavors this difficult process of fostering change, making it comfortable and fun for all involved. I have over 15 years of experience working in the field of social services, and it is easy to share my endorsement that James' competence and concern for the health and wellbeing of others is rare to find. Without a doubt this program would serve as an essential benefit to those who seek his support."
Marriage and Family Therapist (MFT)
"As a director in a social service agency working with disadvantaged youth and families dealing with every imaginable obstacle, I've had the privilege of seeing James and his team change lives in amazing ways. They are able to engage the whole family in a process in which each person feels heard, valued, and empowered to make positive choices for change and healthier living. The youth feel someone finally understands them, and the parents feel they finally have some tools to make their family life more manageable. Families who have felt out of control have found strength, success, and hope - often for the first time."
"I have complete confidence in referring a family to James and his team of mentors. There have been several families who have greatly benefitted from their unique approach to helping youth re-integrate more productively back into their home and community."
Director, Residential Treatment Program