Trails Carolina Staff Bio

Sarah James

Clinical Team


Sarah James, MA, LCMHC, LCAS

Primary Therapist

Sarah received her Masters in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Appalachian State University. She is Dual-licensed in Clinical Mental Health and Addictions Counseling in North Carolina.

Self-esteem & Empowerment | Identity Exploration | Emerging Personality Disorder Features | Trauma | Anxiety | Depression

Sarah considers herself a life-long learner in the areas of autism spectrum disorders and gender-affirming care.

Sarah believes that authenticity, emotional immediacy, honesty, and assertive communication are foundations for healthy, meaningful relationships. She works to create experiential therapeutic interventions that highlight incongruencies between individuals’ external presentation and internal values. Sarah believes that when adolescents become more aware of their behaviors and emotional needs, they have opportunities to make more intentional and empowered choices. 

Sarah earned her Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling with a certificate in Addictions Counseling from Appalachian State University in Boone, NC, and a Bachelor of Science in Psychology with minors in Business and Gender & Diversity Studies from Xavier University in Cincinnati, OH. Sarah is both a Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor and a Licensed Clinical Addictions Specialist in the state of North Carolina.

Prior to working at Trails, Sarah has worked in residential healing communities, helping adults with severe and persistent mental illness diagnoses as well as co-occurring substance use disorders.  She has also worked in other wilderness therapy settings, helping both adolescent and adult students heal by promoting resilience and self-awareness. 

Sarah was born and raised in Charleston, West Virginia, and enjoys hiking, camping, gardening, crafting, and amateur herbalism. In 2018, she completed a solo thru-hike of the Colorado Trail (500 miles from Denver to Durango). When not in nature, she enjoys spending time with her husband and their two cats, George and Ethel.

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Trails saved my daughter’s life. Amanda is an amazing human and a brilliant therapist. I am so grateful to her, Science Steve, and the other wonderful people who could reach my daughter at a time when I could not.

Margot Lowman August 2022

Great life changing experience for our son. After becoming addicted to gaming during covid he was very depressed. At Trails he experienced the wilderness, Science Steve, learning survival skills and top notch therapy and support etc… I highly recommend! This gave our son and our family a renewed family bond full of love and excitement about his bright future.

Winnifred Wilson July 2022


Outstanding clinical work and superb staff! There’s a great culture at this company and it shows with how they engage with families/clients.

Kristin Brace June 2022


Family Education & Growth

A Comprehensive Wilderness Therapy Program Combined With Residential Programming, Base Camp And Accredited Academics