Get to Know Our Therapists: Jacob Ernst

Jacob Ernst is a therapist, writer, and speaker who teaches young people how to stop apologizing for being their true and authentic selves. He's an expert in child development; he provides Psychotherapy to adults, adolescents, children, and their families who are learning to adapt and cope with diverse cognitive, behavioural, and mental health challenges.

Jacob is a wonderful therapist, but also brings a fantastic energy to Shift. Beyond his credentials, he has a lot to offer the world, and we wanted to give you a chance to get to know him a little better!

What is your idea of perfect happiness?

For me, happiness comes when I'm able to feel my full range of emotions. We can't experience pure joy, excitement and happiness unless we also create space for anger, frustration and hurt. 

Which living person do you most despise?

"I got no time to hate people who hate me. I'm too busy loving the people who love me." - RuPaul

What do you consider your greatest achievement?

I was the first person in my family to complete a Masters degree.

Who are your favorite writers?

Brené Brown, Janet Mock, Malcolm Gladwell. Not only are these folks really great writers (who do an excellent job putting language to our experiences), they are also courageous and powerful thought leaders. 

What is your motto?

Treat others the way they want to be treated. 

Which historical figure do you most identify with?

Growing up, I really didn't have any prominent figures I identified with. If I'm using my own definition of historical figures, I'd say that The Macaronis, Dorian Corey, and RuPaul Charles are people whose stories I wish I had access to growing up. All of them are unapologetically themselves and I love that. They all pushed boundaries and dared to be different. Look them up - each of them are brilliant and truly underrepresented in popular media and history. 

What is your most marked characteristic?

I've worn glasses since grade five, so I really don't have a solid of who I would be without glasses. My thick black frames really define me and that has something that has stayed constant for a long time now.

What is your favorite occupation?

I love anything to do with art and design. If i wasn't a therapist, writer, and speaker, I'd definitely be an architect, artist or designer of some sort. My dad was a carpenter and cabinet maker and I've always admired those who can build and create things with their hands. There's something about the art and design component that puts me completely at ease.

Who is your hero of fiction?

Miss Frizzle has to be one of the most iconic and most brilliant educators. I love that she loves to take chances, make mistakes and get messsssssssy!!!!

What is your greatest regret?

I try to live my life free of regrets because at some point in my life, the thing I would regret was exactly what I wanted. I find it more productive to make peace with, and learn from, my decisions so I can move forward. Mistakes are just proof that we're trying our best. 


Jacob recently led a webinar, "How to Figure Out Who You Are While Managing Transition" with our friends at Disruptt. Check it out here: