Getting to Know Your Counsellor: Amanda Hamm
The counsellors at Peak Resilience work from a human-first approach to counselling. We believe in the power of being real humans who are authentic and vulnerable - just like you. This led to our blog post series called "Getting to Know Your Counsellor", where we'll feature our counsellors answering questions so you can:
1) get to know us better, and
2) hopefully feel even more safe/comfortable when you come in for counselling.
Alright, let’s get started with Amanda!
Q: What is the best advice someone has given you?
A: Maybe this doesn’t count as advice necessarily, but this book by Viktor Frankl has had an enormous impact on me since I first came across a copy at Value Village as a teen. It’s a big part of what initially started my path into counselling and is one I come back to every few years.
Q: What do you love about counselling?
A: Um, everything? In a general sense, I think there are too few spaces where people feel safe to be truly vulnerable with other people. I believe that healing often happens in relationships, and that counselling creates opportunities for reflection and connection that can be hard to find elsewhere. What a magical space!
As a counsellor, I consider it such a privilege that people allow me to witness their daily struggles and successes. My work is about helping folks build capacity to see themselves in a different light, make sense of what’s been going on, and take care of themselves - could anything be better? I just love people in all their quirkiness. Grateful doesn’t even begin to cover it.
As a client, counselling has been invaluable to me in all sorts of ways: gaining insight, changing some things that weren’t working for me anymore, and growing more compassion for myself.
Q: What’s your favourite thing about Vancouver?
A: I am super fortunate to have a pretty tight-knit chosen family in Vancouver, and they are a major part of what I love about being here. Beyond that: just how green it is (I always miss the trees and mountains and ocean when I go elsewhere), being able to walk most places, and Rain or Shine ice cream.
Q: What do you most admire about other counsellors on the team?
A: It would take a whole blog series to get through what I appreciate about the other counsellors on the team. Although everyone shares some similar values, especially when it comes to counselling, it’s pretty hard to lump them all together. Part of what I admire is how different everyone on the team is and how unique their perspectives are. Beyond that, everyone is pretty unapologetically themselves, and I really dig that. I also admire everyone’s willingness to be vulnerable, and human, and a little ridiculous sometimes.
Q: What's a big goal for you right now?
A: I went to a Mindful Self-Compassion training last year and had a pretty transformative experience. It’s had a big influence on my life and my work with folks in individual counselling. Right now I’m working towards being able to teach the course myself - hopefully by next year! Other than that, I have a mad list of sweaters I’m knitting this year.
Q: What do you do for self care? What’s your fave way to relax?
A: I like having a good variety of things - anything from knitting with a bit of mindless TV (drag race is a fav), to spending time in my garden, going for long walks, or connecting with my pals and playing some D&D. I usually also have a stack of books from the VPL on the go.
Q: When do you feel more authentic/most alive?
A: Having a good laugh, especially with the people I love.
Q: From your perspective now, what would you want your younger self to know?
A:I’ve always connected a lot to music. If I could, I would go back in time and show my younger self this song. I’d also highlight one of Sam’s speeches in my copy of Lord of the Rings, particularly this: “But in the end, it’s only a passing thing, this shadow. Even darkness must pass. A new day will come. And when the sun shines it will shine out the clearer.” Yeah, it’s cheesy, but it’s also a good reminder (and I’ve always connected to Sam - I’d probably also pull out a bag of spices for roasting chicken on the way to Mordor).
If you’re still not sure who might be a good fit for you, you can also fill out our finding the right counsellor form - we'll match you with the best counsellor for you within 24 hours.