Amanda Hough, CSW

Working With Me

Do you compare yourself to others, questioning why your life looks nothing like theirs? You may catch yourself wondering:

  • Will I ever feel that happy?
  • Will I ever be that successful?
  • Will I ever find that kind of love?

Questions like these often lead to feelings of hopelessness, regret, shame, guilt, anxiety, loneliness, and inadequacy. This results in a serious downward spiral, negatively impacting your self-esteem and interactions with others.

Well no more! It’s time for your life to change – to feel better about yourself and your relationships.

 

I’m here to help you live the life you want.

As your therapist, I support you in understanding why you are struggling. I validate your experiences. We will collaboratively explore how to make effective changes to develop a life that is rich, full, and meaningful to YOU. I’ve worked with many challenging issues in my career and one of my skills is accepting all people without judgment. No matter what you are facing or how bad you think you are, I’m here to listen, understand, and find a way through your struggles. This gives you the opportunity to be open without fear of being criticized or rejected. We’re all our own worst critic, but I want to help you accept yourself for who you really are.

Mindfulness – the practice of being aware and accepting of the present moment – is a fundamental component of how I work with you. Developing and strengthening your “mindfulness muscle” enables you to notice when you’re being consumed by judgments, fears, and the ever-present “shoulds.” It gives you the ability to redirect your focus on what is rather than what you believe things should be. You can then be more present to your own experiences and the people in your life. Being fully present gives you the power to make the changes you want to improve yourself and your relationships.

Who Am I?

I was born in the suburbs of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to a large family filled with love, support, and lots and lots of dogs. The youngest of five children, I learned early on to quietly observe the behaviors of my siblings and parents to learn what was – and sometimes more importantly, what was NOT – an effective way to manage challenging family dynamics. My informal study of relationships contributed greatly to my appreciation of psychology, which I pursued as my major at Boston University. Upon completing my undergraduate degree, I obtained a Master’s in Social Work.

It was during my time in graduate school that I began to truly appreciate the significant roles both early childhood experiences and external societal influences have on our development. I have a passion for understanding how these forces shape our self-concept, and how this impacts the way we engage in relationships. Appreciating these complexities has helped me develop a nonjudgmental and validating clinical approach. Understanding the forces that brought us to where we are now, while also accepting responsibility for making needed changes are essential to living a rich, full, and fulfilling life.

One of the fundamental components of my journey to my personal and professional growth is the commitment to my passion of olympic-style weightlifting. This activity gave me a new perspective on strength and resilience. It taught me that pushing through fear and uncertainty can reveal an entirely new well of strength I did not know I possessed. I discovered growth is often preceded by pain. I learned the importance of accepting encouragement from others when feeling weak and deflated. Most importantly, I know that self-care is a fundamental component of personal progress. Each of these lessons has had a profound impact on my clinical perspective, as they all involve the fundamental balance of self-acceptance and appreciation, and the push to make necessary changes to become better versions of ourselves.

As your therapist, I aim to help you find and ignite your passions, in whatever form they may come. I enable you to see just how resilient, strong, and capable you truly are, both on your own and in relationships. Ready to take positive steps in your life? Schedule an appointment with me today!

My Education

M.S.W., Social Work, West Chester University, 2015
B.S., Psychology, Boston University, 2012

Other Experience and Training

2016-2019 Dialectic Behavioral Therapist, OPAL DBT, LLC
2016-2019 Group Therapist, St. John Vianney Center
2015-2017 Forensic Therapist, Joseph J. Peter’s Institute
2014-2015 Therapist Intern, Joseph J. Peter’s Institute

2016 Intensive DBT Training Part I and II
2018 Intensive DBT Prolonged Exposure Training
2018 Treatment of Shame in DBT and Compassion Focused Therapy