“Amanda Mitchell is a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor and Board-Certified Dance/Movement Therapist that works in private practice with children and adults, providing individual, family, and couples psychotherapy, dance/movement therapy, and wellness classes.”
Amanda E. Mitchell Therapy Services, LLC | Email: firstname.lastname@example.org | Website: www.intouchandmotion.com | Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/InTouchandMotion/ | LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/aemitchelltherapy | Phone: 773-850-9046 | Practice Location: 3806 W. Irving Park Rd, Chicago, IL 60618
About Amanda Mitchell
Amanda Mitchell specializes in trauma and anxiety, and has worked with many clients who have experienced abuse, neglect, assault, sexual and relationship violence, as well as veterans who have experienced military sexual trauma and combat. Amanda strongly believes in the mind-body connection and has a holistic approach to therapy that incorporates all parts of the self – cognitive, behavioral, emotional, relational, physical, and spiritual. Amanda supports her clients in developing their unique creative and healing process that allows them to then express, feel, and own that for which words are not enough. Amanda works with children 3 years of age and older as well as adults.
I have worked with survivors of sexual violence and trauma since 2008 providing psychotherapy, dance/movement therapy, psycho-education and prevention services to clients ranging from 3-years-old through adulthood. However, before becoming a therapist, I developed a strong interest in using dance and movement as a tool to help others learn, grow, and heal. I completed my Bachelor’s degree in dance with a minor in psychology, and have taught dance to underserved youth. I completed my Master’s clinical internship at a rape crisis center and continued my professional career working at a non-profit agency with trauma survivors that were involved in foster care or were military veterans. I am a member of the American Dance Therapy Association and have presented my work to local and national audiences. I am a strong advocate for prevention, participating in or coordinating Take Back the Night and One Billion Rising rallies, and was the Sexual Assault Awareness Month Coordinator for DePaul University in 2016. I also received the 2012 Alumni of The Year Award from Columbia College Chicago’s Department of Creative Art Therapies, for my work and contributions to the dance/movement therapy field.
My Interest in Working with Survivors
I believe that every survivor is more than a survivor. What happens to you does not define you. I have witnessed women, men, and children fight to feel whole again, strive to gain some understanding, and learn to overcome the ways their trauma has seemed to control their life. It is possible to take back your power, control, and safety within yourself. I consider it an honor to be able to support my clients as they grow from surviving to thriving in all that life has to offer.
My Approach to Trauma-Informed Care
Providing trauma-informed care requires comprehensive knowledge, understanding, and empathy for what survivors may experience during and after a trauma. I have specialized training and experience regarding civilian and military sexual trauma, the impact of trauma on children and their development, the medical and legal processes that may be experienced by survivors, as well as the effects trauma can have on the brain and body. This allows me to provide a safe, supportive, and empowering atmosphere for healing.
As both a psychotherapist and dance/movement therapist, my approach to therapy integrates both modalities based on the client’s interests and desires for their treatment. In psychotherapy, a combination of client-centered and cognitive-behavioral techniques are used, focusing largely on my client’s strengths. I believe in survivors’ personal power to take charge and create the positive growth they desire toward becoming their best self. We work on recognizing and understanding patterns in thoughts and actions that may be a barrier to healing. Highlighting strengths allows us to examine what goes well and learn how to apply those strengths across other areas of life.
Dance/movement therapy creates an environment for both verbal and non-verbal awareness and expression. It can include any combination of stillness, breathing, guided movement and expressive improvisational dance. Allowing some awareness of our bodies, sensations, and emotions as they manifest physically can in turn promote mindfulness in the moment and the ability to establish a sense of control and safety again. There may be times where we simply focus on sitting still, breathing fully in our body, and feeling what is experienced internally. There may be times when you want to shout or dance with freedom and abandonment of all inhibitions. Other times we may move together in a contained calming manner. Together, we will create the path to healing.
How My Practice Holistically Addresses the Impacts of Sexual Violence
There are many cognitive, emotional, and physical layers to the experience of sexual trauma, and this can be confusing sometimes for survivors. During a trauma, the nervous system requires the brain and the body to automatically take over control in order to protect oneself quicker, often leaving the mind unable to make conscious decisions in the moment. It is not uncommon for memories to be incomplete, to have guilt or confusion, feel “on edge”, or not feel like yourself after a trauma. A combination of psychotherapy and dance/movement therapy provides the opportunity to explore and gain an understanding for all of these layers while also establishing a variety of skills to feel empowered and safe again within your own skin.
My approach to treatment is collaborative in nature with each client. Every individual is unique and thus should be their treatment. I draw upon the strengths and interests of my clients in order to support them in using their own creativity as a tool to gain insight and healing. Everything I suggest or inquire of my clients during movement or conversation is an option that can be accepted or denied. If there is a desire or need to talk, we talk. If there is a desire to move or dance, then that is what we do. I believe my clients know themselves best and encourage them to make choices that may challenge them to grow while also maintaining a sense of safety.
I accept all major credit cards, HSA/FSA, checks or cash for services. I currently do not have any open sliding-scale slots, but I encourage clients to reach out to me to figure out the best option for their needs.