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Meet Jeannie Campbell, The Character Therapist

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

I want you to meet a very special person today.  I call her the therapists' therapist. :) For me anyway. I've been counseling for thirty years, but as a writer, maybe especially as a writer I need someone with Jeannie's skill set. One of the passions that she and I both share is "helping those not afflicted with mental disorders understand those who are." Jeannie helped me pin down some of my heroine's motivations in Secrets of the Heart. I'm sure I'll be utilizing Jeannie's skills again soon in my next book as I go through the revision process for Chameleon. Please welcome Jeannie Campbell.

Jeannie the Therapist:

Jeannie Campbell is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (MFC # 45366) in the state of California. She is Head of Clinical Services for a large non-profit in Humboldt County, and enjoys working mainly with children and parents.

Jeannie graduated summa cum laude from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary with a Masters of Divinity with Specialization in Psychology and Counseling and magna cum laude from the University of Mississippi with a double major in psychology and journalism. She has worked in a crisis pregnancy center, psychiatric hospital, drug rehabilitative program, several non-profits and homeless shelters, a foster family agency, and in private practice.

Jeannie the Writer:

Jeannie has been writing ever since she received a diary for her fifth birthday. She began writing angst-ridden middle-grade novels in junior high, often commandeering the family computer for hours on end. After eight years of higher educational pursuits, she moved onto adult contemporary romance and romantic suspense, frequently using her day job as a therapist to generate lots of fodder for her night job as a writer.

Two of Jeannie’s “therapeutic romance” manuscripts have garnered the high praise of being finalists in the Genesis Contest for unpublished writers, sponsored by the American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW), of which she is an active member. She writes a popular monthly column for Christian Fiction Online Magazine and has been featured in many other e-zines, newspapers, and blogs.
My tag: "on online therapy service for fictional characters"

Often say: "Get some couch time" and "on the couch"

What is Character Therapy?

Character Therapy is what I do when I use my professional training and experience as a licensed clinician to evaluate and diagnose fictional characters.

How can you—a published or aspiring writer—benefit?

1) Write characters more realistically.

Using a search engine to find out information about a mental disorder yields a very different result than asking a therapist who has treated those same problems in real life. Instead of getting a bunch of stale facts, I can help you breathe life into your characters while taking into consideration your unique story world.

2) Plot more feasibly.

Plotting the external conflict around your character’s internal conflict is essential to create tension on every page. Understanding the character’s driving goals and motivation in relation to their emotional state will help you figure out what plot points need to occur to maximize the character’s arc to its fullest potential.

3) Avoid clichéd or incorrect depictions of mental disorders.

My passion is helping those not afflicted with mental disorders understand those who are. Since one in four adults have a mental disorder, the likelihood of one of your characters having one is pretty high. But you want every nuance to ring true about the character, not feel cardboard cutout or stereotyped. So pick my brain instead of yours to avoid pitfalls of re-writing later.

Have I piqued your curiosity? Think your characters might benefit from some couch time?

Website for a couch appointment:


  1. thanks for this post, jill! i like that...a therapist's therapist. lol!


  2. Hey there Jeannie,
    Love what you have to offer all of us. You are one smart woman. I'll be leaving this post up till next Tuesday so more folks have a chance to see how your skills may help improve their skills.

  3. Convenience is something to consider more than personality when looking for a therapist. Although you of course want a therapist who is at ease to talk to and friendly, you should also take into consideration how many patients he or she sees, because this will determine the amount of time available to be spent on you. Also look at the location from his or her office to your home and consider a therapist who is willing to meet your specific needs.

    therapist in Irvine CA