Amanda Wallingsford

Amanda Wallingsford, LMFT-S

My Approach

I am that person who sees the good in everyone.  I trust people have good intentions.  I know people want to make positive changes and be their best self, but often they don’t know how to do so.  I wholeheartedly believe all people are worthy of love and deserving of a fulfilling life

But, I know sometimes life is not so easy.  In fact for some, the road has been difficult for what may feel like forever.  Perhaps the difficulties stem from traumatic experiences, a difficult childhood, unhealthy relationships, loss, or perceived failure. 

Whatever it is, I’m ready to help you work through it.  I will create a safe, trusting, and honest environment to support you in your personal growth.

I specialize in helping people find their inner strength, build their self-esteem, and live up to their full potential.

My Resume

Ever since I was a little girl, I have been a deeply empathetic person.  At a very young age, I recognized that some people struggled more than others as a result of underlying mental health issues, difficult childhoods, traumatic events, and societal challenges such as poverty.  I witnessed a family go through a very traumatic experience and saw how it impacted their lives.  From this, I knew my calling was to become a therapist who could help people through their pain.  To achieve this dream, I attended Vanderbilt University to study Human and Organizational Development with an emphasis in Health and Human Services for my undergraduate degree.  Additionally, I minored in Child and Adolescent Development.

Instead of going straight in to graduate school, I decided that I wanted to gain real life professional experience first.  I wanted to extend my knowledge beyond books and classroom lecture.  During that time, I learned that I best aligned with the values and teachings of Marriage and Family Therapists because of the discipline’s emphasis on how relationships and systems impact nearly everything we do.  Therefore, after five years of practical experience, I entered graduate school at San Diego State University where I earned a Master’s degree in Counseling.

I specialize in helping people find their inner strength, build their self-esteem, and live up to their full potential.

Real Life Experience

My education has definitely impacted my skills as a therapist by learning the theoretical foundations and techniques of well-established professionals.  But without a doubt, my real life experience has been more impactful.  Professionally, I have nearly twenty years of experience working with children, teens, families, and adult individuals.  Throughout my career, I have worked extensively with:

  • Impoverished and underprivileged communities
  • Homeless and runaway youth
  • Youth and adults who struggle with mental illness
  • Serious offenders within the juvenile justice system
  • Youth and adults who have experienced significant trauma
  • Predominantly first and second generation Latino populations
  • Diverse cultural groups and backgrounds

Who I am as a therapist has also been shaped by my experience of being a therapy client.   During times of struggle or when I want to work on a personal goal, I turn to therapy for support.  Therefore, I know what it feels like to be a new client, to be vulnerable enough to show my raw self, and to try different interventions.  I keep my experience of being a client at the forefront of my mind to ensure that I always remain in-tune with what my client may be experiencing.

Combining my experience as a client and as a professional, I lean towards client-centered, family systems, attachment, cognitive behavioral, and solution-focused theories.  I hold myself to very high standards in regards to being culturally sensitive and responsive.  I always operate from a trauma-informed and strength-based lens.  I often use art intervention throughout treatment if the client is interested.