Q and A with Amy Beth Acker, LCSW,CCTP
Tell me about your qualifications, Amy.
Sure! I am a counselor, coach, and writer serving women who are tired of living with a perfectionist mindset and are ready for a better way. I absolutely love what I do and I feel privlidged and grateful every day to do it!
In terms of training, I double majored in Psychology and English at Rutgers University where I graduated with honors in 2005. I then went on to receive my Master's Degree in Clinical Social Work from NYU in 2007. Later, in 2012, I received my certification to provide clinical supervision to psychotherapist candidates seeking their clinical licensure. In 2017, I earned the credential of Certified Clinical Trauma Professional.
I am also a wife to another counselor (in a different clinical field) and a mother to two beautiful daughters. In my downtime, I love cooking, writing (both for public consumption and for myself in the form of journaling), meditation, and trying different forms of exercise -- especially yoga, and hiking with my family, and more recently I've been enjoying weight training.
I'm also hugely into reading and have a voracious appetite for new information and learning how the mind works specifically and have been going deep into the subjects of spirituality (and its intersection with psychology), feminine and masculine energy, human consciousness, and mindfulness in the past few years. These studies greatly inform my work with my clients.
I also love reading non-fiction and have been enjoying the Outlander series lately.
For music, I love to listen to artists that remind me of my past or give me a feeling of emotional alignment. I'm currently into Elliott Smith, Velvet Underground, and The Rolling Stones.
I chose to become a psychotherapist because therapy has been profoundly impactful to me personally in my own journey as well as the journeys of friends and family that are near and dear to me. I have known from a young age that our thoughts and beliefs about situations greatly impact our experience of the situation, and have always had a passion for helping and empowering others to find peace from their past and freedom in their futures no matter what challenges they have gone through.
I see mental health as the most important and valuable asset we have. Nothing is more important or more valuable because nothing effects every aspect of our lives and every experience we have the way our mental health does. Our ability to give and receive love, our sense of self-worth, our integrity, and our ability to experience all life has to offer without suffering and without fear all come down to our mental health.
Nothing that I have in my life would have been possible without my commitment to my emotional and spiritual growth and my mission is to give its gifts to as many people as I can so that they can craft a life of intention, authenticity, connection, and meaning.
Who do you work best with?
In the past decade, I have worked with hundreds of clients of varying ages, backgrounds, races, sexual identities, and cultures.
I have found that my passion lies in working with women who are in a life transition and are feeling stressed, alone, disconnected, or stuck in their lives. I specialize in working with women who are tired of trying to be someone they're not and are ready for a better way.
A life transition can be a major life event like marriage, divorce, becoming a new mom or a mom in the making, changing careers, graduating college...the list goes on! It can also mean a quarter- or midlife crisis.
My clients are smart, sensitive, and savvy but often find themselves defining success by what they don't have or what's just out of reach. They are terrified of disappointing themselves and others and are often their own harshest critic.
They may have had a painful experience of being the target of someone else's anger, or may feel like they're not quite able to move past mistakes.
It is my intention to help women to think and act in ways that truly honor their gifts to the world, and in doing so, to give them their lives back.
I work best with clients who are committed to positive change in their lives (even if they don't know exactly what that change will look like), are interested in living with greater peace, integrity, and authenticity, and are willing to commit to therapy and invest in themselves.
What Is the difference between counseling and coaching?
Counseling gives you freedom from your past. We will look at root causes of your present struggles in life and heal old wounds. Counseling will give you the tools you need to uncover blocks that are keeping you stuck in unhealthy patterns and to ultimately discover the person you really are at your core. This foundation is crucial for lasting, meaningful change.
Coaching (Clarity Sessions) gives you freedom to live a life that is truly in alignment with your intuition and core values. It allows you to get clear on your ideas, dreams, and goals for the future and then design a path to get there.
Please note that coaching is NOT counseling. If you are not sure which is right for you, let's schedule a free consultation, so I can learn more about you and what your needs are and make a personalized recommendation.
Click below to schedule a consultation:
You can also click here to learn more about my counseling services and read my frequently asked questions about counseling
Click here to learn more about my coaching services.
I want to reach my goals. What would be stopping me?
Any time you let something new into your life, even if it's something you deeply want, you are taking a risk.
Some common risks are:
- You might fail and be disappointed.
- You might hurt or damage a relationship with someone you care about.
- You might feel like you're already working at maximum capacity and if things get any harder, you won't be able to handle it.
- You might secretly question whether you are really a person who is worthy of achieving your goal.
When there is a risk that moving in the direction of your goals will in fact lead you to greater pain or less freedom in your life, it makes total sense that you will find yourself with a complete lack of progress!
To make matters worse, you will likely feel frustrated and exhausted or even take your lack of progress as a sign that you're not good enough.
Together, we will look at what's holding you back with a genuine curiosity and compassion, and paradoxically, this will help you move forward with greater freedom, ease, and self-confidence.
Has this worked for you in your own life?
Yes-- very much so! Everything I do is motivated by a desire to increase feelings of joy, authenticity, and freedom in my life.
One way I bring more joy into my life is by helping others to do the same. That being said, it has by no means been an easy journey. I have struggled with autoimmune diseases, multi-generational family dysfunction, anxiety, and perfectionism.
Without fail, these struggles have always led to tremendous inner-growth, integrity, and alignment with my own intuition and inner-wisdom, and ultimately, greater joy and freedom in my life.
Isn't it selfish to always focus on your own freedom and joy? What about your family or clients?
I believe that in order to be my best self to my friends and family and to be a change maker in the lives of women, I need to embody the principles I encourage them to live in their own lives. I can't be of service to others if I am not taking care of my own needs and coming from a place of true alignment with who I really am and what I really need.
How can I help others connect with their value and sense integrity if I am not connected to my own?
This is a lesson I have learned repeatedly throughout my life and yet continue to struggle with all the time. Like everything that leads to growth and change, my effort to take care of my own needs is definitely a journey and a work in progress.
Anything else about you?
I love to look at meanings and possibilities in people, situations, and life in general. As such, I'm always looking for creative solutions to problems.
I have been described as down-to-earth, a nurturer, determined, passionate, insightful, and protective. I've also been described as perfectionistic, stubborn, and overly private.
I am extremely sensitive and intuitive and have done a lot of work to see that quality as the gift it is instead of as a weakness that I need to fix or conceal.
I still don't have everything figured out--no expert does because we're all humans on this beautiful, crazy journey called life!
If you're interested, or even curious, I'd encourage you to complete the form below so that we can connect and you can find out what this journey is all about!