I SEE YOU.
I believe that all humans are worthy and good, at the core of who we are.
I believe that our life experiences sometimes prevent us from knowing ourselves as worthy and good, however this does not make it untrue.
I believe that all of us are deserving of dignity and respect, and that we have value simply because we exist and are here. I also know that our experiences may not have left us feeling dignified or respected, and so we many of us do not know ourselves as worthy or valuable.
I believe that we have right to physical and emotional safety, and that we may not have had the agency or the power to create this, in the past. This was not our fault, although we may have begun to think that it was.
I believe that we all have a unique contribution to express into the world and that we create meaningful lives through the actualization of this expression. I understand that we may not have had the access or privilege that we needed in order for this expression to have been actualized. This, too, was not our fault but we may feel responsible and blame ourselves.
I believe that empathy and kindness are more powerful conduits for change than shame and self judgment. I believe that every behavior we engage in is an attempt to meet our needs, and that we always do the best that we can with the resources and information that we have at the time.
I believe that we can come to a compassionate understanding of what we have needed to do to cope and survive, and that we can release ourselves from shame.
I believe in you and I trust you. I trust your body. I trust your intuition, your knowing, your truth. I know that you belong, that you can find and cultivate community, and that you can express yourself fully into the world. I understand that you may not have had what you have needed to do so because the world is full of people, systems, and institutions that are actively invested in you staying small. I believe that therapy is a powerful way to reclaim the birthright of your dignity, worthiness, and self trust.
I see you. I hear you. This is your journey, at your pace, and with your goals in mind. I see you, radiant and resilient you, and I will join with you equitably regardless of race, religion, sexual orientation, sexual identity, gender, gender expression, relationship status, relationship structure, class, financial physical or psychiatric ability, body size, and all other identity intersections you inhabit. You are the expert on you, and I am here to help you reconnect to yourself. Let’s redefine what thriving looks like for you.
“Amber is an outstanding Marriage and Family Therapist, compassionate supervisor, and brilliant teacher. In her practice and teaching, she does not only draw from an impressive number of years of experience and above-the-cut education but also her innate sensibility for the human psyche. I heartily refer clients to her and cannot recommend her strongly enough. I wish there were more therapists who had her solid common sense and her boundless empathy. If you have a chance to work with her, you will not walk away disappointed.”
Veronika Stutz, MA, MFTA
APPROACH TO THERAPY
I am highly relational in my work with my clients. Therapy is led by the client and is highly personalized to support progress toward the goals that the client has identified. My clinical approach draws heavily from the Adaptive Information Processing Model which is an evidence based model for the treatment of trauma. I often utilize EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) in my sessions with clients, however I will use interventions from many different models of counseling including relational psychology, humanistic, existential (Gestalt), post-modern, cognitive behavioral, internal family systems, social justice theory, feminist theory, motivational interviewing, and spiritual psychology. I am highly informed by the work and research of Carl Rogers, Brene Brown, Daniel Seigel, Ester Perel, Francine Shapiro, Ron and Mary Hulnick, Be Nourished, and Health at Every Size.
SPECIALIZATION AND AREAS OF FOCUS
Trauma: I am highly specialized in the treatment of trauma. Trauma can be defined as the mental, emotional and physical responses that result from a distressing events or life situations. Untreated, trauma can manifest as depression, anxiety, PTSD, compulsive behavior, eating disorders, or any other number of distressing experiences and conditions. Trauma work involves the building of resources and strategies to cope with what happened, while also doing the deep, inner work of healing the wounding that occurred. Trauma comes in many different forms. Many of us think of trauma as the big events such as natural disasters, war, sexual assaults, and experiencing or witnessing violence. However, trauma can also result from being marginalized, shamed, bullied, or otherwise stigmatized or made to feel unworthy, defective, unlovable, unsafe, or without power.
Sexuality: I am a sex-positive clinician, and enjoy supporting clients in connecting to their bodies, to pleasure, and to desire. I am happy to work with individuals who are ethically non-monogamous, kinky, and involved in non-traditional partner and family constellations. I embrace and celebrate all gender identities, sexual orientations, and relational styles. I hope to support you in experiencing love, sex, intimacy, and pleasure on your own terms.
Intuitive Eating, Health at Every Size©, and Body Trust©: I welcome clients who are focused on healing their relationships with food and with their bodies. I align with the values and principals of Health at Every Size© which celebrates body diversity, values the body’s experience and wisdom, engages in compassionate care to the body, and challenges the cultural assumptions and messaging around bodies, weight, and food. I support clients in developing resiliency to weight bias and heal from the traumatic effects of body shame and stigma. My practice is weight neutral, and in my office we are free from food policing, body checking, body comparison, weight assumptions, diet talk, narrow beauty standards.
EDUCATION AND EXPERIENCE
M.A., COUNSELING PSYCHOLOGY
I am a graduate of University of Santa Monica where I received a Masters Degree in Counseling Psychology with an emphasis in Spiritual Psychology.
In my role as the Clinical Director for an outpatient school based therapy clinic, I designed modified classroom environments and programs for special education students with mental health concerns. I led a team of clinicians in providing individual, group and family therapy services to the students.
I am an adjunct professor at Antioch University in Seattle, Washington, where I teach counseling graduate school students. Antioch adopted a course I designed called "Effectively Using Countertransference" that I especially enjoy teaching.
AAMFT APPROVED CLINICAL SUPERVISOR
I completed the education, training, experience and supervision mentoring requirements established by the AAMFT for the Approved Supervisor designation. Supporting and developing clinicians is a true love of mine.
PSYCHOTHERAPY AND EMDR
I have practiced counseling and psychotherapy in private practice, agency, school-based, home-based, and community health settings. In 2014, I completed EMDR I and II, and am currently completing my EMDR certification.
BODY TRUST PROVIDER IN TRAINING
I am currently in the process of completing a certification in Body Trust through Be Nourished in Portland. Body Trust is a radical revisioning of what it means to occupy and care for your body. It is a pathway to acceptance of the body, an alternative dialogue to the conventional paradigm of food, body image, and weight concerns in our culture. Body Trust is paradigm shifting work that invites bravery and fierce body compassion.
RETREATS, WORKSHOPS, AND TRAINING
I regularly facilitate workshops and retreats around the US, and provide professional development training for clinicians, life coaches, leaders, and other helping professionals.