James “Pete” Steven Barden, MDiv, LCSW-C

Practicing Since: 1986

James has been educated and trained to serve as both a Chaplain and as a Clinical Social Worker. He has completed professional and clinical training in Theology, Cognitive Behavior Therapy, Gestalt Therapy, Couples’ Therapy, Crisis Management, Trauma Treatment, Treatment for Mood Disorders; Family Law Mediation; Home Study Evaluations; and Custody and Child Access matters. James practices using a task-oriented model which is often “results/progress oriented” and very interactive during sessions. He also strives to convey compassion and where appropriate, seeks to point everyone to the most important resources for healing, growth, and recovery which, he believes, are spiritual in nature. 

James Barden grew up in Virginia and after finishing college at the University of Memphis, completed the Master of Divinity Degree in preparation for a career in ministry. After serving in that capacity in Maryland for two years, he completed training as a professional Chaplain at Spring Grove State Hospital. In 1986, he was awarded the Master of Social Work Degree from the University of Maryland with a concentration in Mental Health Counseling and training in Gestalt Therapy and Couples’ Therapy. Following certification as a Clinical Social Worker, his work experience then led him to the Anne Arundel County Department of Social Services where he investigated cases of alleged child abuse and neglect and adult abuse and homelessness. From there, he served as a Custody Evaluator in the Circuit Court for Anne Arundel County working with high conflict families and individuals in crisis who were facing separation and divorce. James currently continues to work as a Circuit Court Mediator. He is also a certified community service chaplain. 

James embraces the belief as a Clinical Social Worker that effective counseling should result in some form of behavioral transformation.  As a Christian, he embraces the belief that Pastoral Counseling or faith-based counseling offers a far more significant means of inner transformation that leads to new perceptions, new thinking, new priorities, new attitudes, and a new “world view.” True healing from wounds to our spirit/soul is spiritual/divine in nature and not based upon “self” effort. As the Apostle Paul wrote in Philippians 1:6: “He that began a good work in you (the Christian) will bring it to completion.” True inner healing is based upon divine intervention from God’s Holy Spirit and upon His ability (not ours) to bring it to pass.                     

James was born in Richmond, Virginia and has lived in Maryland for many years. He is married to his wife, Diana, who is a professional nurse practitioner. They are active members at Heritage Community Church in Severn, Maryland. James enjoys spending time with his wife and family, riding his Harley Davidson motorcycle as a member of “Bayside Believers,” reading Christian books, Bible Study, good food, and eating.

James is licensed in the state of Maryland #05986.