GET TO KNOW AMY

“Sometimes the bravest and most important thing you can do is just show up.” – Brené Brown

Amy Johnston, LCSW

Hi, I’m Amy.  I support children, adolescents and adults dealing with lots of different challenges.  Some of my specialties include trauma and grief, compassion fatigue, and postpartum anxiety and depression.  I believe in our capacity to grow and change, and in the healing power of human connection.

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TRAUMA & GRIEF

We all have a story, and lots of stories include trauma, grief and loss.   Whether you’ve experienced violence, medical or birth trauma, abuse, or another traumatic event, trauma can have an impact on your physical and emotional health and wellbeing.  I work with clients to develop recovery goals, stabilize disruptive symptoms, and practice and integrate healthy coping skills.  Grief and loss can be complicated, bringing up a mix of sadness, anger, guilt, and even relief.  Grieving includes adjusting to a new reality, and that can feel like a rollercoaster of ups and downs.  When speaking about grief, Joe Biden said that you know you’re going to make it when the memory of your loved one brings a smile to your lips before it brings a tear to your eye.  We’ll create space for you to remember and honor your loss, while we build resilience and move toward a place where happiness can co-exist with grief.

COMPASSION FATIGUE 

Caregiving can be rewarding and meaningful, and also physically and emotionally draining.  Caregivers are parents, nurses, medical providers, social workers, and others who devote their time to taking care. If you’re experiencing compassion fatigue, secondary trauma, or burnout, you might feel helpless or hopeless, that you can never do enough, like you’ve lost your creativity, or experiencing fear, anger, cynicism, or an inability to empathize.  You want to be meaningfully engaged in your life, but you’re exhausted.  We’ll focus on questions like, “Why am I doing what I’m doing?” and “Is this working for me?” as we navigate your response to the trauma and suffering of others.  We’ll work on finding balance, and renewing your compassion for others and for yourself.

MATERNAL MENTAL HEALTH

You’re experiencing something you never expected, and you have no energy to deal with it, but postpartum depression and anxiety is not your fault, it is not who you are, and with support, you will feel better.  Having a baby is one of the biggest physical and emotional adjustments you will ever make, and sometimes it can be overwhelming.  Postpartum anxiety and depression is temporary and treatable, but alone, recovery can feel like an impossible task. Together, we’ll identify your symptoms, practice grounding techniques and make a plan to get you feeling more like yourself again.  I’ll be present with you every step of the way.

HOW I HELP

My role is to create space for you breathe, slow down, and be attentive to what’s happening in your body and in your life.  I use an integrative, trauma-informed approach to help you tell your story, identify your strengths, and build your capacity for resilience.  We’ll work together to identify what’s going wrong, what’s going right, and what kind of changes you want to see in your life.  I incorporate body-based mindfulness, emotion regulation, grounding and resourcing techniques, and creative arts, while always holding space for empathy and compassion.

I have experience working with children and adults in a lot of capacities including mental health treatment, pediatric intensive care/medical trauma, and family conflict.

MORE ABOUT ME

I’m a mom of two little kids, so I spend A LOT of time watching The Incredibles 2 and Mary Poppins Returns.  I love getting some alone time on my yoga mat, and I’m learning to play the fiddle…I’m big on travel and even lived in Ireland for five years…I’m always up for experiencing new foods, new places and new cultures.