Jimmy McGuffin, PhD

Welcome and thank you for visiting my page. I hope that the information here answers any questions you might have about me and what our work together might look like. I also offer a free 10-15 minute phone consultation to discuss your specific needs, answer any questions you have, and mutually determine whether we would be a good fit for each other. Finding a counselor who you feel comfortable and confident in working with is one of the most important aspects of the therapeutic process.

I am a post-doctoral fellow, supervised by Drs. Zane Dodd and Carla Pulliam (for more information on post-doctoral fellows, please visit the Common Questions page). I received generalist training with an emphasis in Child and Family Therapy from the University of North Texas (UNT) Counseling Psychology program and have worked in a variety of settings including community clinics, college counseling centers, and Veteran Affairs (VA) medical centers. I enjoy working with individual adults and adolescents, groups, romantic relationships, and families. I have experience with a wide variety of concerns in addition to the specialties listed below.

Populations Served

Some of the people and concerns I work with include:

    • People who experience depression and anxiety
    • Those who have histories of trauma (including physical/sexual abuse, neglect, betrayal, combat, etc.)
    • Family of origin/attachment-related concerns
    • Romantic partners of all relationship structures (dating, married, cohabitating, LGBTQ+, non-monogamous/poly, etc.)
    • Identity exploration (emerging adulthood, spirituality, sexual/romantic orientation, gender expression, etc.)
    • People with stress related to intersecting identities (culture, race/ethnicity/nationality, gender, religion, sexual/romantic orientation, occupation, etc.)
    • Issues related to military service (transition out of military, trauma/abuse, discrimination, etc.)
    • Artists/musicians/creative personalities/”geek” or “nerd” culture/identity
    • Concerns around sexual functioning
    • Folx seeking letters for gender affirmation services
My Approach to Therapy

I view therapy as a process of meeting people where they are and helping them navigate the path to where they want to be. The further people deviate from what really gives their life meaning and purpose, the more pain and suffering they experience. I work collaboratively with people to clarify what gives their life meaning, explore past efforts to solve problems that have not worked, develop insight into themselves and their relationships, and help make lasting changes to live a fulfilling, valued life. I integrate interventions from a variety of scientifically supported treatments including humanistic, existential, acceptance and commitment, relational, cultural, emotion-focused, cognitive-behavioral, and family systems theory. I strongly believe that, regardless of therapeutic approach, the counseling relationship is the most influential factor in therapy. Our connection with one another as humans is crucial. As a counselor, I strive to create an environment that honors each person’s autonomy and experiences in the context of their unique and intersecting identities. I value and affirm each person I have the privilege of working with, regardless of race, religion, relationship structure, sexual orientation, and gender expression.

What You Can Expect

When working with me, you can expect a collaborative approach tailored to your specific needs. Therapy can look very different depending on the concerns that are being addressed and the personal characteristics that make each person unique. For many, therapy can bring up any number of distressing emotions, thoughts, sensations, and memories that they were not expecting. Often, people report feeling worse before they begin to feel better. With this understanding, I want to work with you through this sometimes messy process of growth.

We will work as a team to create a therapeutic relationship built on mutual trust, respect, and safety. I believe in contagious humanity: the more authentic we are around others, the more others are able to share their true selves. As with any authentic relationship, the more time we spend connecting with one another, the greater likelihood we will experience conflict. This is normal and gives us an opportunity to work together to navigate any disagreements that may arise.

My commitment to every person I work with is to honor all parts of their humanity. I do not view the people I work with as a “disease” or as someone who needs to be “fixed” or “cured.” If we can be certain about anything in life, it is that there will be suffering. How we respond to this suffering is crucial to living a life full of meaning, purpose, and vitality.

Education

2019-Present: Post-Doctoral Fellowship in Private Practice, The Chrysalis Center

2018-2019: Pre-Doctoral Internship in Health-Service Psychology, University of Texas at Dallas Student Counseling Center

2013-2019: Masters and Doctoral degree in Counseling Psychology from the University of North Texas

Dissertation: Military and Veteran Mental Health Stigma and Help-Seeking Behaviors: Role of Leadership and Attachment

2011-2013: Bachelors degree in Psychology from the University of North Texas

2005-2009: Associates Degree in Public Affairs from the Community College of the Air Force

Training And Experience
    • My doctoral training program was a generalist program, which means I have experience with many models of therapy across a variety of emotional, relational, and behavioral issues.
    • My training included an emphasis in Child and Family Therapy, where I learned specialized approaches to work with children/adolescents, partners in romantic relationships, and entire family systems.
    • In addition to being a veteran myself, through my doctoral research and clinical experiences I have worked very closely with military veterans and their families.
    • I completed my doctoral internship at the University of Texas at Dallas, where I delivered individual, couples, and group counseling services to college students, performed psychological assessments for general personality, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, and Autism Spectrum Disorder, and received specialized training in letter writing support for gender confirmation treatment for transgender and non-binary people that aligns with the World Professional Association for Transgender Health standards of care.
    • I have facilitated therapeutic groups on issues of relationships (interpersonal and romantic), trauma, student veterans, “geek/nerd” community, mindfulness, and healthy coping.
    • I have worked in outpatient community clinics, university counseling centers, and VA medical centers.
    • I have supervised doctoral-level clinicians in the delivery of psychological services and have served as a professor for undergraduate- and graduate-level psychology courses.
Research

The majority of my research has focused on military veterans’ psychological well-being, including risk and resiliency related to transitioning to college, insomnia, combat trauma, leadership, mental health stigma, help-seeking, and attachment. I have also investigated issues related to romantic attachment and family systems.

Publications
    • McGuffin, J. J., Riggs, S. A., & Taylor, D. J. (2019). Role of Combat Exposure and Insomnia in Student Veterans’ Adaptation to College. Behavioral Sleep Medicine, 17(2), 213-223.
    • Riggs, S. A., Carver, K. S., Romero, D., Morissette, S. B., Wilson, J., Campbell, R., & McGuffin, J. (2019). Attachment, Communication, and Relationship Functioning Among College Student Veterans and Nonveterans. Journal of College Counseling, 22(2), 110-124.
    • Riggs, S.A., Raiche, E., Creech, S,, McGuffin, J.J., & Romero, D. (submitted for publication). Military Mental Health: Role of the Family Attachment Network. Manuscript submitted for publication in the Journal of Family Psychology.
    • McGuffin, J.J. & Riggs, S.A. (in preparation). Military and Veteran Mental Health Stigma and Help-Seeking Behaviors: Role of Leadership. Under review.
    • Riggs, S.A., McGuffin, J., Raiche, E., & Woolford, B. (in preparation). Evaluation of Client Change in a Doctoral Training Practicum in Couple & Family Intervention. Manuscript in preparation to submit for publication.
Presentations and Trainings
    • Raiche, E., McGuffin, J.J., Kroll, S. (2017, November) Military Trauma and the Family System. Symposium presented at the Texas Psychological Association annual convention, Houston, TX.
    • Penk, W., Riggs, S.A., Kalmbach, K., McGuffin, J.J. (2017, November) Growing Psychology: Services for Military-connected Students. Symposium presented at the Texas Psychological Association annual convention, Houston, TX.
    • Raiche, E., McGuffin, J.J, Flachs, A., Titus, J., Riggs, S.A. (2017, November) The Association between Post-traumatic Stress Disorder and Post-traumatic Growth in Combat Veterans. Poster accepted for the Texas Psychological Association annual convention, Houston, TX.
    • Raiche, E., Riggs, S.A., McGuffin, J., Mahmud, F. (2017, August) Early Emotional Maltreatment and Adult Relationships: Mediation by Coping and Emotional Distress. Presented at the American Psychological Association annual convention, Washington, DC.
    • McGuffin, J., Raiche, E., Baxter, L., Quinn, J., & Riggs, S.A., (2016, November). Attachment, Leadership, and Mental Health Stigma in the US Military. Presented at the Texas Psychological Association annual convention, Austin, TX.
    • Raiche, E., Riggs, S.A., McGuffin, J., & Captari, L. (2016, November). Self-compassion as a Protective Factor against PTSS in Combat Veterans. Presented at the Texas Psychological Association annual convention, Austin, TX.
    • Woolford, B., Schumacher, M., Oosterhouse, K., McGuffin, J., & Riggs, S.A. (2016, November). Depression among Military Members: Relation to Sexual and Relationship Satisfaction. Presented at the Texas Psychological Association annual convention, Austin, TX.
    • Raiche, E., McGuffin, J., Quinn, J., & Riggs, S.A. (2016, August). Attachment and veteran status in relation to coping strategies used by college students. Presented at the American Psychological Association annual convention, Denver, CO.
    • Riggs, S.A., McGuffin, J., Raiche, E., & Woolford, B. (2016, August). Individual, Dyadic and Family Change: Treatment Outcomes in a Family Intervention Training Program. Presented for the American Psychological Association annual convention, Denver, CO.
    • Riggs, S.A., McGuffin, J., Carver, K., Campbell, R., Romero, D. & Raiche, E. (2015, November). Attachment, Communication, and Relationship Functioning among College Student Veterans and Non-Veterans. Presented at the Texas Psychological Association annual convention, San Antonio, TX.
    • McGuffin, J., Riggs, S.A., Raiche, E., Newcomb, G., & Romero, D. (2015, August) Combat, Insomnia and Adaptation to College Among Student Veterans. Presented at the annual convention of American Psychological Association, Toronto, Canada.
    • McGuffin, J., Riggs, S.A., Newcomb, G., Romero, D., & Woolford, B. (2014, November). Student Veterans Adjustment to College: Role of Combat Exposure and Insomnia. Presented at the Texas Psychological Association annual convention, Dallas, TX.
    • Romero, D., Riggs, S.A., McGuffin, J., & Raiche, E. (2014, November). Coping, Social Support, and Psychopathology among Student Veteran. Presented at the Texas Psychological Association annual convention, Dallas, TX.
    • Carver, K.S., Riggs, S.A., Campbell, R.J., & McGuffin, J.J. (2014, August). Relationship functioning among student veterans: Deployment, PTSD, and communication style. Presented at the annual convention of American Psychological Association, Washington, D.C.
    • Romero, D., McGuffin, J., & Riggs, S.A (2012, November). Dissociation: Role of childhood support, adult attachment, and post-traumatic stress. Presented at the 2012 Texas Psychological Association annual convention, Austin, TX.
Affiliations

American Psychological Association

Texas Psychological Association

Association for Contextual Behavioral Science

Psychotherapy Action Network (PsiAN)

Recognitions and Awards

Senator (Department of Psychology)- UNT Graduate Student Council

Director of Recruiting- Texas Psychological Association, Student Division

Student Representative- Texas Psychological Association, Military Division

November 2015- 2nd Place, Texas Psychological Association Poster Contest  “Attachment, Communication, and Relationship Functioning among College Student Veterans and Non-Veterans.”

November 2014- 1st Place, Texas Psychological Association Poster Contest “Student Veteran Adjustment to College: Role of Combat Exposure and Insomnia”