Change happens when the pain of staying the same is greater than the pain of change.
- Tony Robbins
Amanda Bailey, LMSW
Supervised by Leticia Jimenez LCSW-S
Amanda has her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Louisiana State University and her Master’s degree in Social Work from the University of Texas at Arlington. She has been a licensed social worker since 2015 and has experience with forensic and clinical assessment and case management in many settings and fields. Amanda’s passion for empowering and supporting those in need and her unwavering ethical principle of respecting the worth and dignity of each person have always guided her work. Amanda has been involved in adoption work since 2016, including completing home studies for families adopting internationally, domestically, and through foster care, as well as supporting birth parents through the adoption process. She has found immense pride in helping to create families through adoption and counseling birth parents through trauma, grief, and loss. Amanda also has experience facilitating group therapy with juvenile sex offenders, as well as in intensive psychiatric inpatient and outpatient settings.
Born and raised in Louisiana, Amanda is an LSU fan and loves cajun food. She enjoys watching LSU baseball, being anywhere near water, and spending time with her husband and five children.
Let’s face it… life is hard, and sometimes we simply do not have the answers to our problems. Sometimes we don’t know what to do to feel better or have any hope for the future. Let me say that it is okay to feel this way at times. It is normal to feel as if no one could ever understand what you are going through. Despite what anyone else may tell you, the truth is that it takes a lot of courage to admit when you need help. Regardless of what the problem is, you deserve to be heard, and therapy can be a gift that helps you to be heard. It can also serve as a comforting experience that no person could ever take away from you.
Making the decision to seek therapy is the first step to being mindful of your capacity for change. Change is difficult… this is true. It is also true that you have to live your own life, and no one else can live it for you. You deserve to live the best life you possibly can. I can be your guide as you untangle the undesirable or unpleasant pieces of your life and replace them with hope, stability, and even more. I’d like you to consider these questions: What is important in your life? What kinds of things have you suffered? What is stopping you from realizing your dreams? The answers to these questions are what make you who you are today, and you have probably already thought about these questions in some way or another. I am glad you are here, and I would be humbled to listen to your story.
How I Work
For Individuals: My approach to therapy is highly individualized. There will never be another person like you on this planet, and no movie or story or diagnosis could ever capture the experiences you have had in your life. I am fascinated by human experience, and I would love to know yours so I can help you move forward in the most meaningful and productive way possible. I work from a strengths-based perspective, and I utilize humanistic and person-centered techniques in therapy to ensure we are addressing your specific experiences. I will follow your lead when we talk about your goals and progress in therapy, and I will always be honest with you in giving my professional opinion, as well as setting realistic goals and expectations for our sessions.
For Couples: There are many facets of a relationship that need attention in order for it to be a lasting partnership. The three of us will be a team working together to strengthen companionship and intimacy, tackle destructive communication patterns, and develop shared goals for the relationship or marriage. We will utilize techniques of active and reflective listening, truth in love exercises, empathy letters, and individual exercises to address costs and benefits, perceived and authentic feelings, and better understanding of each other’s world and how that impacts the relationship or marriage. Couples Counseling should be a safe place for both parties to share freely while I observe and help you to understand each other, and ultimately learn to accept and embrace your differences.
For Everyone: As a therapist, it is my job to provide you with an atmosphere where you feel safe to be completely honest, genuine, and vulnerable about who you are and what you want and need without fear of judgment or disapproval. This will be a place where you can be your true self (the good, the bad, and the ugly), and you can feel comfortable sharing things that you have maybe never told anyone else. Trust is vital. I sincerely believe that in any context, when a person is willing to risk sharing deeply personal information with another, that person deserves to know that information is sacred and confidential.
I often tell clients to put their feelings and thoughts down on paper, especially when they are in settings that are calming and allow them to reflect on the topic in a seemingly effortless way.
What made you decide to become a counselor?
A lot of people kept telling me I was a good listener, and I fell in love with my first psychology course in college. Since college, my experience has shown me that when I am serving others and actually see a tangible difference in the lives of others, it is always worth it.
If you could teach the world one skill or technique to improve their lives, what would it be?
To take a time out before reacting to distress or stress with negative emotions in order to reduce the likelihood of causing emotional or physical damage to others.
Have you personally been in counseling and if so, what did you learn about yourself?
I was in therapy briefly in college to address problems with concentration and stress, and I have also participated in several intensive courses related to infidelity healing. I learned that I was a more impatient, angry, and impulsive person than I ever realized, but the most important thing I learned was that pain and suffering are necessary parts of life that can transform into incredible blessings. Since I was very little, I was always emotionally sensitive and tended to wear my heart on my sleeve. I had always been focused on the idea of justice always prevailing in life, but this is not always the case in interpersonal relationships or family dynamics. Counseling helped me look in the mirror and discover what I could not control and how to cope with being "okay" with that so that I could move forward for myself, despite the world around me.
If you could recommend one book to all your clients, what would it be?
Emotional Intelligence: Why It Can Matter More Than IQ by Daniel Goleman
Who is your ideal client?
Someone who is flexible and adaptable to change (not avoidant), even if he/she is disagreeable, negative, and self-deprecating in the process.
What inspires you to help others?
Honestly, remembering how I feel when someone helps me in my time of need.
How do you personally practice self-care?
I need a little quiet time to myself every day. Journaling is my method for relieving stress, as well as staying mindful and aware of my mood and thinking patterns. Long, hot baths are nice too!
If you are hosting a dinner party, who are the 3 people you would invite and why?
Lucille Ball, Sandra Bullock, and Robin Williams. Because I love to laugh, and laughter is good for the soul.
How do you relate to Mindfulness? How do you incorporate it in your sessions?
Those moments in life when I catch myself being mindful of the good things in my life are the times I feel most happy in life. I love when I am driving in the car and suddenly have a moment of clarity and mindfulness about how good life is and how powerful and precious the human experience is.
I think journaling and making lists of the positives are excellent ways to be mindful. I often tell clients to put their feelings and thoughts down on paper, especially when they are in settings that are calming and allow them to reflect on the topic in a seemingly effortless way.