Sharing is Caring
Caitlin, Olivier’s Mom Collingwood, ON
Prior to play therapy, I had been hearing negative things from my child’s teacher and school. He doesn’t like school or learning there, but LOVED all the things him and Amanda did together (which is also learning, he just didn’t realize it). It was also nice to have reassurance that we have a good kid, we are all doing the best we can and dealing with experiences with the tools that we have.
It was nice to have someone say: “hey, you’re doing a great job”.
Amanda is so approachable, warm, and caring. She supports both the child and the parent. Amanda really shows great patience and can see the best in every person. Her care and compassion shines through.
Oli loved spending time with Amanda. His favourite parts about child-led play therapy were:
chocolate chocolate cookies, kinetic sand and having fun playing together!
Julie, Emaline’s Mom
Me and Emaline have been butting heads since her birth. It's been a journey of many hard days, nights and moments of wondering why we can't just get along.
Over the years I have found many ways to heal our relationship and tools that I've used. Some on the physical level, some the emotional, some the spiritual. And we've come a LONG WAY! BUT there has still been this pinch of resistance from both of us that keeps us in the same place. We are very much alike - she is my biggest mirror! So yes, this has some to do with it but I've always felt like I've been searching for the next thing I could bring to our relationship to help her through her feelings and mine. And then I met Amanda.
Amanda has many wonderful gifts and one of them is working with children through Play Therapy. What is play therapy? Well, that would be a blog post! There's so much to share! But the Coles notes is to give your child a safe space to express their feelings through play. One of Emaline's go to expressions is that she goes into fight or flight when she is feeling certain things. She will either become aggressive or she will run away - literally, to both (I've been kicked and jumped on and I've ran around Costco or out of the park after her). Amanda works one on one, in virtual sessions, with Emaline, through play and this allows her to understand her more and is able to give her tools that will bring her back into a safe space more quickly when she is triggered by something.
We are only 4 weeks in and I am amazed at the difference these sessions have made in her ability to express how she is feeling. She's communicating more instead of going into her fight or flee reactions. I've been able to learn SO MUCH about her from the session take aways that Amanda sends after each one. And she has SO MANY amazing tools and ideas on how to address a certain situation or recurring patterns through play, that Emaline has really enjoyed.
I will be honest. Having to look to someone else for support with Emaline and her feelings and growth REALLY hit my EGO. A LOT. haha. But even though I've learned so much about all the things, sometimes your child just doesn't want to hear about it from you. I HAD TO GET REALLY OK ABOUT THAT. And I'm glad I did because our entire family is winning from this! It's SO important to understand how your child plays! Cause that's where their feelings are. And once you start to understand their feelings, is where the magic happens.
Port Townsend, Washington
“My experience working with Amanda was completely transformative and one of the most profound experiences of my life. When I met Amanda I was suffering from chronic fatigue, depression, food sensitivities, and PCOS. Despite my committed efforts to a wide gamut of healing protocols from both western and alternative doctors, I could not get healthy.
In working with Amanda, my health transformed and I underwent a paradigm shift in self-perception and thus my perception of life beyond my self. In each session, I felt the weight of my symptoms evaporate and a growing sense of power to heal from within. To speak of my transformation is to speak of the way it feels to be alive. My life and vision for my future is limitless, unbounded, broken open and expanding. My symptoms of fatigue are significantly less, my hormones are easily balanced, I eat for pleasure, and I am simply happy. I'm working full-time for the first time in my life. At the end of the week I feel energized and excited for the weekend. I spend long hours in the art studio; a practice I had abandoned in my sickness. I am more connected with friends and family. I feel true self-love.
In the big picture of health care, I believe there is nothing greater that one can receive than the ability to heal from within, and the empowerment that comes from the process of realizing this power. Thriving health is available to everyone Amanda works with. Amanda's coaching creates immediate and potent changes in health.
Amanda is warm, kind, loving, and non-judgmental. Her presence in our sessions was full of light and positivity. She is intuitive and perceptive of other people's needs. These qualities combined with her deep understanding of neuroplasticity made for effortless and powerful sessions. From our first meeting, I felt safe to be vulnerable with Amanda. When she listens, I feel like she is really hearing me and when she speaks, I feel renewed focus and confidence.
Another one of Amanda's strengths is her ability to reflect her clients' progress.
Given the non-linear path of recovery, this was totally critical in my journey. At the times when I lost sight of my trajectory, Amanda celebrated my hard work and my wins...in a sense stepping into the role of a higher self when I was struggling to occupy that level of mind. This catalyzed my healing and shortened my lapses of self. This speaks to Amanda's dedication and true caring for her clients.”
“Amanda is a wise and insightful person. She cultivates joy and is an immensely positive role model for both children and adults alike.
Being a new mother can be an incredibly daunting and humbling task, especially when faced with the sleep deprivation that a newborn can provide. Amanda was the only person my husband and I trusted to care for our young children. She is calm, patient, and childcare is intuitive for her. She can step into the door, read a novel situation and is so experienced and capable that she can immediately respond in a sweet, sensitive and child-focused manner that captivates children. She can positively transform their mood within minutes of her arrival. She is kind, compassionate and reassuring; they know Amanda values their thoughts, words and feelings, and she is amazingly perceptive and caring to their needs. As they have grown, into an eight-year-old and a four-year-old, Amanda has grown with them. She is firm but fair, imaginative and brilliantly creative. Somehow she juggles their different personalities, and various needs and wants, with a steadfast ease. When challenging situations arise, Amanda remains focused on helping the child weather the emotional storm that may be occurring so they can arise from the experience more equipped to communicate with words, knowledge and integrity. Amanda has been a key part of my family’s “village”.
“Exceptional” is the word I would use to describe my experience with Amanda. She cares in a profoundly beautiful way about helping children feel loved, valued and respected. She is a teacher, through and through, using every opportunity to instill and encourage healthy life choices for kids. She is so adept at this that the children often don’t realize how masterfully she has redirected their attention onto a positive activity, or in a more compassionate direction. She observes and listens carefully to children, providing wise guidance on their mindset and has many tools that can help improve relations to make the family calmer and more in tune to each other. My daughter relishes when she gets to spend one on one time with Amanda, practicing breathing, yoga, painting ceramics, baking, walking, dancing, singing, drawing, reading, journaling…Amanda has shared with her some unique techniques to help her express her feelings and emotions regarding school, friends and family; I have to admit that these tools have made my daughter a happier and more confident child as she continues to practice the skills that Amanda has taught her to help her navigate the ups and downs of grade 3.
My daughter, whom Amanda has helped to care for since she was a newborn, describes her as “Phenomenal!” She says “Amanda is my best friend and older sister in one - she is uplifting, creative, always kind and listens to me with respect.” “She helps me learn how to stay calm and breathe.” “I like how she helps me to feel positive and happy. My four-year-old son describes her as “Fun!” “She tells good stories.” “I like her unicorn and colourful rocks.”
“Amanda first came into work with our son using the neuroplasticity program based on this idea of love and acceptance having the power to heal, using lots of the principles and tools based on the “Son Rise” program. Amanda met with us and listened to what we had to say. We discussed the challenges and areas of growth (what areas we thought he could use some support in). After that, Amanda spent time in the playroom connecting and bonding with him to then figure out the approach that would work best for him. She tailors her approach to each child, family and their needs. She does not use a “one size fits all” approach and is willing to work with the child and parents to figure out what might be most helpful to the child and family as a whole (mind, body and soul). Amanda worked with my son, finding the best ways to help support him to help him transition back to school. Using her intuition and connection with my son, Amanda used several modalities during these sessions including neuroplasticity/play therapy, intuitive energy healing, yoga, family meditations, and even brought in crystals which he was very drawn to. She helped me to see that he was really aware of the energy around him and that the key was him feeling safe enough in the environment to join in, get grounded and that calming his nervous system was the key to doing so. Amanda makes it so fun and connects with kids at the level that they understand while still achieving the results of the learning that is ready to happen. Amanda makes healing fun, like it’s a game! Her approach is lighthearted with effective results. She helped my child to connect with what he loves, go into his world (“join”) to connect with him and work her magic.
Amanda is so genuine, sincere, loving, and non-judgemental. She listens and is so intuitive. Amanda’s vibe and aura is full of positivity, happiness that anyone can’t help but feel when she is around. Amanda brings that positivity and spreads it around to whoever she is with. Children and especially those with special needs have this sixth sense about people and my son absolutely loves Amanda. He knows when people are being genuine and he loves her so much. Amanda goes above and beyond the call of duty to help her clients and it doesn’t just end when she leaves. She always cares. She sees the whole picture as opposed to just one part of it. Amanda has instilled the whole concept of love and acceptance as the key to moving forward.
One of the biggest changes for my son was that after working together, he has transitioned back to school after being homeschooled for 2 years. He started school in 2018 going for half days 5 days a week but had a tough time with this and needed some one-on-one support before trying to retransition. When he first tried to go back to school, he started having huge meltdowns, refused to go to school and did not want to be there. It seemed like he was experiencing the world as being “too much/too loud” (sensory overload) and he was not able to feel safe in the environment. Amanda could feel that this was the case and her own experience with sensory sensitivity and overstimulation from her own brain injury allowed her to understand this and apply what helped her in helping him. My son feels safe around Amanda and it allows him to feel safe enough to enter the world and “join”. This approach helped him to be able to go to school and feel safe enough to open up to others in a new environment.
As a result of Amanda’s work with my son, it was pretty obvious that when he re-entered back to school, he was able to transition without the same issues that he faced initially. He was able to cope better, sensory overload stimuli had decreased and one of the best things was Amanda was able to accompany him to school at first to see which areas needed more work. She was able to liaise with the school to speak to them about different strategies to use and observing what she saw in school, she would further work with Danyal at home to help him.
Now in 2019, Danyal is attending school for extended periods of time where he is participating, integrating, and spending time with others. His behaviours in school have decreased. Danyal is more accepting, able to participate, learn, sit, better able to listen to teachers and join in!
I can’t really put into words how meeting Amanda has changed me. She is truly inspirational and her positivity, enthusiasm, and kindness are contagious. Amanda has really helped me to see things differently and accept what is and what could be. I will be forever grateful for her. I met Amanda during one of the most difficult periods of my life. At the time, Amanda was brought into work with my youngest son. However, it became apparent that I was in desperate need of coaching, self-love and healing. I was feeling alone, uncertain, vulnerable, and not able to see my own worth. I wasn’t sure how I could ever rise above it at all or see a way through. Amanda helped me see that I was worthy of putting myself first after a long time of putting others well-being before my own.
After working with Amanda, I was able to focus on myself and believe in myself. This gave me the confidence to do things that I never thought I could do and it changed my approach and way of thinking. I was able to find a job after not working for a long time because of the “I can” belief instilled in me by Amanda really teaching me that everything is possible and nothing is impossible! I was doing stuff that I normally would not do because of all the talks we had together and how Amanda taught me to approach and see things. She helped me to see that when I put myself first, this has a positive effect on the whole family (like an upward spiral or “ripple effect”). I can see that if I’m not in a good place, that affects everybody. If I am not in a good place mentally and physically, then I can’t help the rest of my family. I have learned to apply this in different areas of my life and learned coping strategies to deal with any “symptoms”, emotional challenges (outbursts) or difficulties my child is experiencing. I can see how supporting myself in those moments also supports him.”
Since my 5-year old son has taken the 8-week Play-Based Healing Program with Amanda, I have noticed much more space for emotions in our family. We are talking more about the emotions that we witness in each other. Amazingly, when we name the emotion, I can see an instant shift. The emotion is still present but less overwhelming. I see we are all taking more ownership for how we feel when the emotion is identified and that allows us to then honour the emotion and then take care of what we need. The most amazing shift was being coached and validated through our journey of embracing anger. I really have begun to trust that all emotions are safe and valued!
Amanda helped me to believe that all emotions are welcome. As a parent, I did know that emotions are communicating to us but I couldn't trust that they were all safe. The space that Amanda created and all the validation and support she provided consistently showed me that. I would (and have) recommended Amanda to others! Emotions are so important and I would hope more children and families are able to have support with understanding and embracing and communicating their feelings.
Amanda is a FANTASTIC communicator. Her positive energy is contagious. Amanda's shining quality is her ability to listen with her heart and show genuine compassion and interest. My son Clark would say EVERYTHING is the best part of Amanda. I think he just loved her presence, attention, and enthusiasm for play. I know he also really loved her play space. I really appreciated the follow up emails sent the same day as the appointment, I loved that I could email Amanda in between appointments and I loved the little journal she gave Clark. Amanda has a really wonderful program here!
Thank you Amanda for being you and shining your light onto my family!!
"Since working with Amanda, I feel much more aware and accepting of both my thoughts and emotions — and better understand their connection. I now have tools to use when the going gets tough which has been a positive thing for both my and my family. Generally, I feel calmer and things feel easier than they did before our work together (because of the shifts within myself).
What was most supportive was Amanda’s ability to connect the dots within our family — see where the patterns were and how we can help each other by helping ourselves. My most amazing shift has been releasing the control I was (unknowingly) trying to have over everything and everyone. I now have new awareness and thinking about/seeing things differently thanks to Amanda’s coaching.
I would 100% recommend Amanda to others because she has a unique gift and is just a really wonderful person to get to spend an hour with each week. Amanda has a unique and super effective way of ‘getting at’ the blocks and subconscious thoughts that are holding us back, and helping to move through them with love and acceptance."