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Mental Health and Wellness
My name is Amanda! I am a counselor who focuses on sex addiction, trauma, and couples work.
My blog is in no way meant to be a replacement to therapy.
I do, however, want to spread awareness, provide some information, debunk some myths, and add a bit of personal development as well.
I think about things holistically, which means I do believe that many things go into emotional wellness. Happiness is determined by physical health, relationships, mindset, career, and spirituality.
Though I will mostly be posting about mental health, I’ll occasionally add a few things that are more indirectly about mental wellness as well.
Helping others has always been alluring to me.
Growing up I remember feeling stupid, wounded, and full of shame at my inability to cope with my emotions. I thought “I want to help others to not feel this way”
Granted, I didn’t know what kind of career would lead me there.
Eventually I found myself reading one of my mom’s psychiatric nursing books. I came to a realization. Counseling is what I wanted to do with my life.
When I finally graduated with my Masters degree I was so excited and inspired to do some good work. I was terrified, but willing to learn. Insecure, but ready to get out of my comfort zone. I had so much passion and eagerness. To say I was ready to go above and beyond is an understatement. But it was also the perfect recipe for disaster in the counseling field.
Burnout Is a Real Thing
You know what I think is actually kind of traumatic?
Working in the counseling field and realizing that I spent so much time, effort, energy *and nearly 200k in debt* just to work for a broken system where the most I was every going to make was $36,000 a year.
There is so much change needed in the mental health field (aka the world at large, really).
I found myself being run ragged trying to give my clients the care they deserved. That was my number one priority.
But when you work for a system that’s more focused on covering your ass and looking good on payer, good client care is the first thing to go.
And trust me, I made it my personal mission to make that never become my truth.
I promised myself if I ever got burned out, I would find a way to resolve it. And I did. I tried doing self-education, reframing things, ignoring the downers, surrounding myself by the few people who seemed to have their priorities in order.
It got to the point where I would cry at least 3 times a week the second I got in my car and out of the public eye. There were multiple times where I would feel so disgusted I was literally sick in the bathroom wondering if I was suffering a physical ailment.
I remember another counselor (who was chronically burned out) telling me that maybe I wasn’t fit for the field, if I couldn’t handle the unethical way things were run. (she didn’t use the word unethical, but whatever).
I almost went back to school for a different career
If I’m not helping people, then what was the point?
No matter what I did I wasn’t good enough in (most) of the managers eyes nor most of my clients eyes. What’s worse, I wasn’t good enough in my own eyes.
I was literally sick trying to live up to the unrealistic expectations and not having the time or energy to prepare for direct care.
Everything I did was checking a box off of the never ending to do list. That’s when I realized I had to leave.
And I consider myself one of the lucky ones.
Suddenly everything changed
I was in what I call a transition job, though still in the counseling field (something I thought I would do for a pay check while I went back to school) when I referred a client to my supervisor from grad school. She offered me a part time job at her private practice and I accepted.
I seriously feel like she saved my life.
I now work for her full time, have my LPC, and feel like I am thriving career wise. THe passion and excitement I once felt was back.
I want that to be everyone’s story. I want everyone in the field to find a job that feels like a safe space, rather than constantly treading water.
And I want to offer some help or tools to people who can’t afford to receive counseling from private practice.
As I said before, this blog is not an alternative to therapy. But perhaps it can add some tools or information. Perhaps this can be a safe place for people to talk about their experience. Maybe we could build a community here to help people feel less alone and more understood.
The spring Equinox is a great metaphor for our spiritual energy. Celebrating the Equinox is a great way to develop spiritual connection to the earth. It is part of the natural cycle of the seasons. Read more…
Generally, I feel that codependency has become a very common phrase, not just in the counseling world, but specifically in the world at large. It has changed shape and lost its’ originally meaning, for sure. Read more…
Get in Touch
I'd love to hear from you.
Shoot me an email, or leave me a comment on one of my posts.