Most of the time, therapy is about us getting to know YOU! Here at Nourish Your Mind, we welcome you to get to know us too. No stuffy therapists here!
Meet Amanda N. Karam, LMHC, FNS! Amanda sees clients in Nourish’s Warwick, NY location Full-Time. Amanda is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor who has a certification in Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction and as a Fitness Nutrition Specialist. She is currently furthering her nutrition knowledge by studying with the Nutritional Therapy Association to become a Certified Nutritional Therapy Practitioner.
What is the most important thing you have learned in the last five years?
I think something that’s been incredibly helpful in learning over the past 5 years is to trust your intuition, let go of perfectionism, and to allow time for things to transpire. Entering the world of work in a therapeutic, professional setting, could be intimidating and opens you up to experiencing vulnerabilities, rejections, challenges, insecurities, and self doubt, but trusting in your self to gravitate towards inspiring mentors that foster growth, guidance, strength, acceptance and resilience is part of the journey. We are all a work in progress and constantly working to evolve and to learn. It’s been helpful to allow myself to be a “project” rather than a “finished product” and to continue to learn alongside my clients.
What is your favorite part about working for Nourish Your Mind?
I love the ability to explore all branches of wellness and focus on the multidimensional approach that is offered at nourish your mind. I’ve always strived to find a position that encompasses majority of where my Interests, values, personal development, research and education lies and provides more than textbook psychotherapy while allowing room for an innovative treatment plan.
Tell me how you first got involved in with Social Work . . .
Interestingly enough, it wasn’t until I had graduated undergrad that I found an interest worth investing in. I was a biology major which offers a plethora of options in continuing education but I was unsure of the type of field I’d be passionate about. Through internship and volunteer work I was able to explore different types of environments and fell in love with working with people and making a change on a small scale. I was once taught in order to make a change in the world, one must start with themselves and then bring that to their community. Social work felt like the perfect fit and most direct way to bridge my passion with work.
What do you like most about your job?
I love the ability and freedom to use creativity in sessions and the encouragement and support to think outside of the box with treatment approaches. The offices are safe and cozy. I’m also a huge fan of my colleagues 😀
How would you describe your therapeutic style?
I believe that ultimate wellness encompasses 8 different aspects of life. Wellness is more than just health. The model I use in therapy includes physical, emotional, mental, social, spiritual, environmental, occupational and intellectual wellness. I incorporate a holistic approach to evidence-based theories which helps create a supportive environment conducive to growth. It is often difficult to identify where we struggle and how to blend these 8 branches to find homeostasis and balance. My goal as a therapist is to help bridge the gap and provide a safe environment for individuals to explore their own therapeutic journey.
What do you feel makes you unique as a therapist?
I think my extra credentials provide me with an eclectic foundation of tools to utilize in session that may be helpful for some individuals. For example having a background in mindfulness based stress reduction, conferences completed on gratitude and cognitive behavior therapy as well as research presented in an academic setting, a constant interest in fitness and nutrition (FNS) as well as acquiring a nutritional therapy certification to better assist a growing need, can all find its way into treatment if necessary.
What might someone be surprised to know about you?
I have a cat named Tuna that plays fetch better than most dogs. 😛
Motto or personal mantra?
-I’m doing the best I can with the time I have.
-I am thankful to be a work in progress, and to have issues that I can actually work on within my control. I am grateful to have loved ones who will listen to me and I am hopeful for my journey.
-The only constant in life is change.
What are three career lessons you’ve learned thus far?
-I’ve learned that therapists are humans too and that having a few extra letters beside our names doesn’t exempt us from having universal human experiences of pain and suffering. We also work hard to do “the work”, navigate new roles, work through experiencing broken hearts, making mistakes and losing loved ones.
-I’ve learned to be comfortable with silence and create space to let clients organize their thoughts verbally.
-I’ve learned that people have a vast capacity for courage, love, and forgiveness and that how we communicate with ourselves deeply impacts our quality of life.
What would you tell someone who is thinking about seeking counseling for the first time?
I’d tell them that it’s perfectly normal to be nervous or scared but to show up completely whole, as you are, so that they can foster an authentic relationship.
What do you do when you aren’t working?
When I’m not working I’m usually on a jog, or a walk with friends or family. I’m also usually getting lost in the most recent psych thriller novel, or trying new things. I enjoy exploring restaurants and live music. I travel often which I think helps broaden my understanding of cultural backgrounds and enables me to find respect in unique traditions.
What is an ability you wish you had?
It would be amazing to turn back time or to jump through time to visit memories/experiences that you’ve once had.
If you were an animal what would you be? And why?
I think I’d be a bird. I’ve always wanted to feel the freedom and liberation of picking up and flying away, flying into sunsets or sunrises.
What is the last joke you recall?
Well this isn’t the best joke but here goes nothing, “did you hear the rumor about butter…? Well, I’m not going to SPREAD it”
Interested in meeting Amanda in person? Give us a call or text at (845) 547-0479 to begin your journey to find balance!