About the Author

Jason Wittman, M.P.S., received his master’s degree in counseling psychology from Cornell University in 1975. While still a grad student, he founded and ran a residential drug rehab and then his first street program for high-risk teens. Since then, he has directed youth programs in Tucson and Phoenix, Arizona, and, for the last fifteen years, L.A. Youth Supportive Services in Hollywood, CA (la-youth.org).

Because his first love has always been working directly with high-risk teens in need, in all these programs he was the lead counselor as well as being the executive director. In addition, he has raised thirteen foster teens and has an adopted son.

Wittman also has a private practice as a life and mentor coach to parents of teens and young adults. He regularly speaks to parents’ groups on teen issues and effective parenting of teens, and is the author of the forthcoming book, Parenting by Permission.

More information regarding coaching with Jason or getting him to speak to your group or organization can be found on his parenting website: TheParentsCoach.com, or by writing to him at jason@theparentscoach.com

Author’s Statement From the Preface of the Novel

“I’ve been in the street shrink business for about thirty-five years. It started when I was still a grad student at Cornell University. After founding and running one of the first therapeutic residential communities for drug addicts in the country, I decided to see what I could do to short-circuit the progression from nice pre-teen to troubled, addicted teen.

In the early 1970s, people were just becoming aware of a growing drug problem. The idea of “drug prevention” was something we had to invent and develop on the fly. There was exactly one book in Cornell’s 6.5 million-book library on how to work with kids who were living mostly on their own, on the streets. Not knowing exactly what to do, I decided to hang out where most of the kids in town did, on a low wall just outside of Cornell’s main gate, and figure it out from there. And figure it out I did! Thirty-five years later, I’m still hanging out with teens on the streets, on the phone and any other place where they’re in their comfort zone.

Much of what you are about to read is verbatim, and reflects real-life events, although the small cast of characters is an amalgam of the stories and events in the lives of hundreds of kids. The names have been changed to protect the guilty.”

Here is a Complete Bio of the Author

Jason Wittman received both his B.S. degree in business management and his Master of Professional Studies in Counseling Psychology from Cornell University in Ithaca, New York. He is also a Certified Hypnotherapist and a Certified Practitioner of Neuro Linguistic Programming.

In 1971, he founded Alpha House, a residential therapeutic community for drug addicts and alcoholics in Ithaca, N.Y. and was its Executive Director for four years. In those four intensive years, he accumulated over 8,000 hours of group counseling experience and more than twice as many hours counseling individuals.

He then turned his attention to a much neglected group of teenagers, the street kids. Since then, he has developed a methodology called “Counseling On Demand,” that enables therapists to reach and assist the most unreachable and incorrigible of street kids. In his current program, a single team of therapists has been able to move an average of 25 adolescents and young adults per year, off of the street. Over the years, he has designed and run programs that have effectively worked with youth and young adults of many backgrounds, such as middle and upper class white kids in Ithaca, N.Y., male street hustlers and gay and Lesbian youth in Phoenix, AZ. and Hollywood, CA and Mexican-American kids, in Phoenix, AZ.

In April 1995, he recognized the need for a social and supportive services agency to work with adolescents and young adults who, through circumstances beyond their control, were on their own without any semblance of support and guidance from responsible adults. Along with his private practice, he has been the Executive Director of Los Angeles Youth Supportive Services, Inc. (LAYSS) ever since.

He also has been in private practice as a life and mentor coach since the middle 1980s. He currently specializes in coaching Parents of Teens and Young Adults. He teaches and coaches effective parenting and is currently writing a book on the subject. Over the years he has assisted countless clients walk through the trials, tribulations and joys of their lives. He has worked with Hollywood celebs that needed assistance with stage fright and with the fears and hassles that quick success can bring. He coached executives on how to better work and communicate with their employees and bosses. Many clients, including parents of teenagers, credit his coaching with being the critical factor that allowed them to successfully walk through difficult personal relationships and transitional times in their lives. His ability to intuitively know the “rest of the story,” combined with his skill as a certified hypnotherapist and Neuro-Linguistic Practitioner has served his clients well. Because of his skills in coaching the “inner game,” he is regularly called on to assist clients who are having problems with getting their insides in sync with their aspirations.

Through the years, Jason has done many interesting things. He is a trained community drum circle facilitator. He is a press, commercial and fine art photographer.  He was an Air Force officer, including a tour in Viet Nam.  As a Fuels Management Officer, he was responsible for all the petroleum products used on an air force base. In his off-duty time, he raced motorcycles in the Mid-West and had the largest live collection of poisonous and non-poisonous reptiles in Viet Nam. He has been a private pilot; a progressive-rock disc jockey; an actor, a singer, an ice hockey player; a licensed, single-parent foster parent; a practitioner of Tai Chi Chuan; an urban farmer; and a welding sculptor. He has had other work experiences including being a farm hand, a car salesman; an undercover narcotics investigator, a private detective, an owner/operator of a mobile windshield repair business and a facilities manager of a manufacturing plant. Other than that, he has led a pretty dull life.

The Street Shrink Chronicles is
Now Available, in paperback, direct from the publisher
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