Hello, I'm Amy.
What I know for sure is you don’t need to go through life as a numb and disconnected stranger to yourself. You must stop running from your feelings to live fully by being courageous and curious enough to embrace them ALL. This opens the door to your full experience, allowing you to be aware, awake and alive.
Skip to my credentials and education.
"I understand now that I am not a mess but a deeply feeling person in a messy world. I explain that now, when someone asks me why I cry so often, for the same reason I laugh so often - because I am paying attention".
~Glennon Doyle Melton
I know this to be true because I’m an addict. I’m addicted to perfectionism and control. This addiction started as far back as I can remember, probably around 3 or 4 years old. I was addicted to being not just good enough but perfect. This perfectionism kept me small, scared and depressed. In spite of the smallness and fear, I did things and performed beautifully all as means of trying to be loved by others and to be seen. I learned to love through acts of service and self-sacrifice. It was incongruent and inauthentic with my values and true self. It was exhausting.
I assumed my perfectionism was serving me and nothing was wrong with it. In fact, I could very comfortably justify it and make sense of it. I assumed running to stand still, feeling depressed and having very few moments of joy and true presence was normal. But then the deeper, wiser part of me knew it wasn’t. It was as if the universe and this deeper wisdom kept tapping me on the shoulder with some lesson to learn as to how my need for control over everything, including my emotions was holding me back and downright unhealthy.
My crisis happened when the best thing of my life occurred, the birth of my beautiful daughter, Lucia. I thought I would be able to gracefully manage all the spinning very full, heavy plates and I even narcissistically thought I would be the exception to the stressed out parent statistic. I would be a calm, loving, carefree, emotionally aware parent. That was bullshit. I wasn’t. In fact, I couldn’t have been farther from that. That was when the ass kicking happened and my total unraveling occurred.
What I realized was that I falsely had been priding myself on being so emotionally intelligent, vulnerable and compassionate. It became unfortunately crystal clear that I had been living a lie. Just because I could define, spell, identify feelings and use them in Words with Friends didn’t mean that I was actually living them, feeling them and embracing them. Feelings were nothing more than a theory. The harsh fact was I was running away from them, all of them, because they made me feel too helpless and vulnerable and out of control. By choosing to keep things so perfectly buttoned up and in control, I wasn’t living, feeling or loving how I wanted and craved. I truthfully wasn’t living, feeling or loving at all. I was living in grey tones and I wanted to be living in color, fantastical bright vivid color. I yearned to be aware, awake and alive.
I had to make a decision, continue to live how I had been or try something drastically different, horrifying and uncomfortable. I chose the later. Through consciously choosing fresh alternatives, I began to feel fully, live fully and be soulful. Don’t get me wrong, there are days that I am knee deep in the swampland and I think there has been no progress. Then I remember that the success is in embracing the full catastrophe of life and all that the rowdy roller coaster brings, the joy and the pain. I’m still an addict. The beautiful difference is that I am now in recovery.
My why for doing this work is simple. I love it. I love watching people begin to truly feel for the first time. I love seeing them embrace all of their feelings including the scary ones behind the dark, unexplored corners. I love watching the blossoming relationship they have with their emotions and newly colored life. I am good at it. It’s my gift. I’m in the business of holding hope and holding the hands of those brave enough to explore all of their feelings in becoming aware, awake and alive. I promise I will show up authentically and never ask you to do something I don’t wholeheartedly believe in or practice daily myself, which means I can attest that it works. This journey takes courage and diligent practice and is so so worth it. This is my passion!
Dive Deeper - The Official Bio
I have devoted years to my own growth as well as to my education and profession. Over the last 16 years, severe and complex trauma has become my specialty and focus. This has paved the way for my understanding of the need to feel fully and be comfortable in embracing all feelings. The experiences I utilize to join you on your path are:
18 years as a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist specializing in complex trauma
20 years as an educator, trainer and speaker
Ph.D. in Interdisciplinary Studies with an emphasis in Transformative Psychology
M.A. in Counseling Psychology
Completing Doctorate in Traditional Naturopathy
Cognitive Processing Therapy Certified
Prolonged Exposure Certified
MBSR (Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction) Certified
Dream Tending and Nightmare Rescripting Certified
500 hour Registered Yoga Teacher
Processed over 4,000 traumas
Adjunct Professor for Master’s level counseling programs
Clinical Supervisor of unlicensed therapists/interns
Clinical Director of a 122 bed inpatient psychiatric hospital
Founder of Strong Hope Military Program
Assistant Director of Hospice Program
Clinical Director of a first responder residential trauma program
Founder of PTSR - intensive trauma retreats
A gazillion hours of personal therapy