By: Daniel Seamans, News Anchor For WWAYtv-3 News     

Tags: Extraordinary Person of the WeekJames August ZankerMusic TherapyZanker Counseling Services

   James August Zanker uses Music Arts Therapy in various settings to help troubled youth.



WILMINGTON, NC (WWAYtv-3) — ….A child without direction can lead to a life of trouble.  In some cases, they may end up spending more time in jail than at home. Our Extraordinary Person of the Week is a Mental Health Counselor. He’s an Addictions Counselor too. He also has a unique way of connecting with troubled youth in our area.  “Up in New Jersey, I was in gospel rock groups,”  James August Zanker told WWAY’s Daniel Seamans…. “We played for 7 years.  I played keyboards and the drums. We played at Juvenile Centers and Churches, and developed this therapy where we’d play and talk to the juveniles after, while having pizza with them.”   After those 7 years working the Juvenile Center and Church Circuit of the Tri-State area up north, he found his way to North Carolina, where he’s been for over 30 years now.  “So I came down here and got a Degree in Psychology from UNCW,”  Zanker said, “and they had a practicum where I was going to the Juvenile Center (in New Hanover County), and it went off…’Wow, why not create my own therapy program?’ So I started calling it Zanker Music Arts Therapy.”   Since moving here, Zanker has spent nearly two decades helping troubled kids in our area….sometimes in his office ZANKER COUNSELING SERVICES, providing LICENSED MENTAL HEALTH and ADDICTIONS THERAPY, in the Historic Downtown Wilmington Cotton Exchange….and sometimes in more unique settings, where he goes to the kids & teens because they can’t come to him. He takes his art, drums, guitars, bass, and keyboards, into Juvenile Centers, Churches & Schools,  With The Goal Of Creating A Goal.

“I always try to encourage them,” Zanker said. “If someone is offering you a chance to play a drumset, (I tell them) take the opportunity, and grab opportunity in life.  There are so many lessons….It’s incredible what you can do to have them chip away at something so they may experience delayed gratification….”   Delayed gratification is the ability to resist the temptation for an immediate reward and, instead, wait for a later reward.  It’s direction for a lost soul.   A road map of sorts to help get the youth on the right path. “You get your hobbies in line, you try a lot of different things, widen the envelope, then all of a sudden you’re not even thinking about the drugs,” Zanker said. “In this case, the juveniles, (not thinking about) the crime OR drugs, they are just looking to do good with their lives.”  That’s not just good, James August Zanker, ….that’s extraordinary!   

Zanker also uses other forms of Therapy, and Creative Healing, like art, in his practice.   

He can help you!

You may speak directly to James by calling (910)791-4478.    You may find more information on his mission and services by clicking on www.zankercounselingservices.com  and find him on YouTube:  zankermusicartszmt

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