About James

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James Willhite


My first degree was a BA in Business and for 20 years I worked in finance and sales management. During this time I found my passion for speaking and coaching individuals on a “life” level rather than just a professional level. Although I enjoyed my career, I wanted to give back in a way that felt more meaningful to me. So I decided to shift careers.

I am licensed in Utah and support clients, both online and in person. After graduating from Lamar University with a Master’s in Clinical Mental Health Counseling, I began speaking, coaching, and practicing therapy full-time.

I now give back in multiple ways. Along with Steven Shields, I founded Accepted, a collection of exclusively trained experiential guides. At Accepted, we lead individuals, families, groups, and corporations to maximize their health and connection. Through speaking, workshops, therapy, and coaching, Accepted connects hearts and minds to build skills for lasting and real change.

I am also on the board of three non-profit organizations (Unashamed Unafraid, A Warrior Heart, and the Heart of a Woman) and am directly involved in their causes.


James Willhite has been helping others in and through their healing journey since 2012. As an experiential therapist, coach, and consultant, his unique balance of curiosity and deep wisdom creates a space for those dealing with trauma, abuse, betrayal, depression, anxiety, and addiction to feel a gentle safety in individual and group workshops. James leads two nonprofit organizations in which thousands of individuals have experienced life-changing healing of some of their deepest wounds.

James loves spending time with his wife, Kristy and with his 4 children. He loves nature, indie music, trying new foods, and documentaries. James firmly believes that as we work to remove the obstacles and barriers of trauma, our true and divine identity will be uncovered at our core. It is then that we can become who we’ve longed to become and live out the lives we deserve.

What I bring to the room


"To be mature you have to realize what you value most.
It is extraordinary to discover that comparatively few people reach this level of maturity. They seem never to have paused to consider what has value for them. They spend great effort and sometimes make great sacrifices for values that, fundamentally, meet no real needs of their own. Perhaps they have imbibed the values of their particular profession or job, of their community or their neighbors, of their parents or family.
Not to arrive at a clear understanding of one’s own values is a tragic waste. You have missed the whole point of what life is for."
- Eleanor Roosevelt


"One of the best guides to how to be self-loving is to give ourselves the love we are often dreaming about receiving from others. There was a time when I felt lousy about my over-forty body, saw myself as too fat, too this, or too that. Yet I fantasized about finding a lover who would give me the gift of being loved as I am.
It is silly, isn't it, that I would dream of someone else offering to me the acceptance and affirmation I was withholding from myself. This was a moment when the maxim "You can never love anybody if you are unable to love yourself" made clear sense. And I add, "Do not expect to receive the love from someone else you do not give yourself." - Bell Hooks


"The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have

These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity, and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, and a deep loving concern. Beautiful people do not just happen."

- Elisabeth Kübler Ross


"The art of war teaches us to rely not on the likelihood of the enemy's not coming, but on our own readiness to receive him; not on the chance of his not attacking, but rather on the fact that we have made our position unassailable."

- Sun Tzu


“Life will break you. Nobody can protect you from that, and being alone won’t either, for solitude will also break you with its yearning. You have to love. You have to feel. It is the reason you are here on earth. You have to risk your heart. You are here to be swallowed up. And when it happens that you are broken, or betrayed, or left, or hurt, or death brushes too near, let yourself sit by an apple tree and listen to the apples falling all around you in heaps, wasting their sweetness. Tell yourself that you tasted as many as you could.”

- Louise Erdich


"It’s usually more important to be in the right room than to be the smartest person in the room.

A person with great judgement and average intelligence will usually beat someone with great intelligence and average judgment.

Judgment is knowing what room to be in."

- James Clear

Some Client Stories

Shared with permission
“It’s hard to summarize the experience of an Intensive with James without it sounding clichéd. My experience, in short, was life-changing. I came searching for answers, looking for a path trying to understand why I felt lost. Over the 3 days, I reconnected with my core values, established/reset my value system, and came out of the experience more self-assured and confident in myself than I have ever been. It’s hard work but it’s worth the journey… amazing experience.” 
— S.B. (male, 40's)
“I am so grateful I had the recent opportunity to attend the Accepted workshop in Hawaii. This for me is exactly what others have described as “Life-Changing.” My authentic self had been locked down by shame and trauma from the time I was a small child. Working through the process of this workshop and through the guidance of the Accepted team my authentic self was rescued. I am filled with so much hope for my future now! I will be forever grateful I was able to find Accepted and begin this healing journey with them!"
— M.B. (Male 40's)
“Hawaii was a life changing experience. I worked with James that week and was able to pin point the exact work that I need to do. Everything is planned extremely well, the staff is amazing, the dinners are amazing, and location is obviously amazing. Thank you to the Accepted staff for everything." 
— E.S. (Male 30's)
"I found significant healing and emotional safety at the Accepted Workshop in Hawaii. The group work was exponential in its benefit and helped me go deeper and broader in my trauma recovery. The guides are so caring and so invested in their efforts to make this experience meet the specific needs of each group member. The staff was equally supportive and responsive to our needs and it was a beautiful and cherished experience for me, and worth far more than the cost!"
— H.B. (female 50's)
"James has a gift for gently guiding his clients toward their truth. He has a gift for simultaneously seeing others as they are and as they could be: more whole, more authentic, more connected. He’s the best therapist I’ve ever worked with, hands down. I am blessed to have experienced healing through our work together in Hawaii and through 1:1 counseling. James is helping me become who I need to be to recreate my marriage. I can’t think of a more important gift to give another human."
— c.w. (female 40's)
"James is one of the most gifted therapists I’ve ever worked with. He’s kind, caring, and not afraid to help me find where I've needed to go and stay there with me in the dark, offering enough light so I can do the work of seeing, feeling, and healing what I’ve needed to. He has an uncanny ability to hold me safely while still holding me accountable. He has been a worthy, "no BS" guide as he has already forged his own path and knows the way to and through!"
— Heather
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My Passion

"I found my passion for speaking and coaching individuals on a “life” level rather than just a professional level. Although I enjoyed my career, I wanted to give back in a way that felt more meaningful to me. So I decided to shift careers." - James