Joe Harris

Joe Harris, PMHNP-BC

Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner

Joe Harris works with people of all backgrounds and all ages to help them overcome problems through medication, natural treatments, and behavioral approaches. He utilizes a patient-centered approach to help patients achieve their goals for wellness and recovery.  He previously worked as a community mental health nurse for six years on an assertive community treatment team where he gained experience working with patients with severe and persistent mental health issues.

Clients he works with

  • All backgrounds and ages

Therapeutic approaches

  • Medications
  • Natural treatment options
  • Lifestyle
  • Spiritual
  • Diet

Background

Joe received his Bachelor of Arts in Biology from Appalachian State University and then his Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Western Carolina University.  He completed his Doctorate in Nursing Practice as a Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner at East Tennessee State University and is a member of the American Nurses Association (ANA) and the North Carolina Association of Nurses (NCNA).

When Joe is not in the office, he enjoys spending time with his wife, engaging in outdoor activities, gardening, photography, and cooking. 

What inspired you to go into psychiatry?

Mental illness is often misunderstood and stigmatized throughout the world.  People who take blood pressure medication for instance usually do not feel the need to hide that they are taking medication.  But it is often seen as taboo to take an antidepressant to deal with depression or anxiety, as if being depressed or anxious is a character flaw or weakness.  Statistically one in four will have some mental health issue within their lifetime.  I went into the mental health field so that I can help reduce stigma, empower people to overcome their mental health issues, and help them realize that their diagnosis does not define them.  

What is the most challenging thing about your job?

The most challenging aspect of my job is recognizing the limitations of the medications I can prescribe.  There is no such thing as a perfect drug that is going to do 100% what I want it to do and cause no side effects.  I want patients to realize that while medications can help along the journey of wellness, there is so much more to recovery then taking the right medications. 

How do you manage stress in your own life?

I manage stress by working in my yard.  I have a vegetable garden, flowers, shrubs, and trees that I must tend to on a daily basis.  The physical activity of lugging water, digging in the dirt, and spending time in the sun is usually enough to de-stress me. 

What would you like patients to know before their first meeting?

It is common to “put off” getting help. There is a mentality that if you try hard enough to pull yourself up by the bootstraps that you will get better. I often hear from my new patients that they were “scared to come in.”  Most patients who feel this way make it a point to note that the process of getting help was much easier than they thought it was going to be and not nearly as scary.  My sole investment in the meeting is to help you get better and to better meet your needs.  I cannot and have no interest in “forcing” someone to take medication.  I am merely here as a partner in your mental health recovery. 

Hours

Monday Tuesday Thursday 7am – 5:30 pm

Wednesday 7am – 5 pm

Teletherapy

Currently offering teletherapy only

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