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Amanda Hamm

BA, MA, Registered Clinical Counsellor #13287

What experience or background do you bring to your counselling practice that is uniquely yours?

What I hear most often from folks is that I am very warm and welcoming, and that they appreciate that I’m a real human. I’m not afraid to bring my nerdy, quirky humour into the work (and sometimes snort when I laugh). I’m also a passionate advocate for self-compassion.

What is your favourite thing about working closely with people every day?

Seriously, how could I possibly pick a favourite? I am so darn privileged to sit alongside folks as we work through their struggles, build on their strengths, and celebrate their many successes. So many people come to counselling feeling shame - this sense that there’s something awfully wrong with them. I really love helping them work through that and treat themselves with the kindness and care they deserve. The folks I work with surprise and inspire me every day with their tenacity, kindness, and resilience. I couldn’t imagine doing any other kind of work.

What is a personal challenge that you have overcome in your own life?

In grad school, I was the youngest in my cohort and struggled with imposter syndrome - this looming sense of “Oh shit...I don’t belong here and people are going to find me out.” When I was constantly doubting myself, it was hard to be present and let people really get to know me. It took me some time, and counselling, and reading things like The Gifts of Imperfection to realize that I belonged and didn’t have to buy in to that voice. I was able to connect with my peers (who, it turns out, often felt like the same way) and really own my own badassery.

What have you learned from your work?

I’ve worked with everyone from teenagers experiencing homelessness to students and doctors and lawyers. I’ve written about this before, but what I’ve learned is that we are all struggling in our own ways, and that everyone (yes, everyone!) is worthy of care and compassion. This, and nothing is insurmountable - there is always hope.