Amy O'Hana

Professor, Clinical Mental Health Counseling

Dr. Amy O’Hana has been a full-time faculty member in the clinical mental health counseling program since 2021. She graduated from Oregon State University in 2005 with a PhD in counseling and has been a full-time counselor educator for 19 years. She is a licensed professional counselor in Oregon and a Board-approved clinical supervisor. She is currently taking coursework for the graduate certificate in sport and performance psychology towards the certified mental performance consultant credential and has a deep appreciation for the integration of CMHC and SPP.

Dr. O’Hana manages her own clinical supervision practice and has served as the director of two counseling training clinics. Her clinical expertise is in counseling ethics; diagnosis and assessment; career and vocational counseling; first responders and military; and grief, loss, and adjustment. Her research interests are human potential and motivation, erotic intelligence (which isn’t necessarily about sexuality), integrative approaches and spirituality.

Outside of the classroom, Dr. O’Hana loves to write. She is the author of three books: When Your Child is Grieving (2019), Beyond Burnout: What to Do When Your Work Isn’t Working for You (2020), and Working with Erotic Intelligence: The Smart Woman’s Guide to Beating Burnout and Achieving Incredible Success at Work (2022). She has authored or co-authored many other professional publications and presentations, and she is a regular podcast guest.

Download Dr. O’H’s podcast fact sheet.

When not writing, counseling or teaching, you can find Dr. O’H working on her fixer upper, playing with her French bulldog Sunny, kayaking or exploring the mountains of Central Oregon.


What made you decide to teach at  UWS?

I love teaching at UWS because our programs are stellar. We train counselors and SPP consultants from an integrative model. Spirit – body – mind approaches are an interest of mine, and it fits within the wholistic wellness paradigm of the counseling profession.

Where does your passion for teaching stem from?

I experience transcendent moments when teaching. It is in these moments that I realize that I am truly “following my bliss” (Joseph Campbell). There is no other work in the world that I should do – I AM a teacher.

You’re also a researcher – what do you study and why?

I’ve studied quite a bit about vocational burnout, but I have always been fascinated by theories and models of human potential. Several years ago, I stumbled across a phenomenon called erotic intelligence (Er-I), which is all about helping people achieve their highest good while maintaining a state of equilibrium and wholeness. Most people are surprised to learn that the erotic is not always about sexuality. Learn more in a paper I co-authored with UWS SPP doctoral student, Andrea Grasmick.

Download Ontology of the Erotic: Toward an Applied Theory of Erotic Intelligence.

I regularly collaborate with UWS students on my writing and research, and I am honored to serve as a dissertation chair and committee member.

Can professional counselors and SPP consultants use Er-I in their work?

Yes. Though Er-I comes from a metaphysical phenomenon, it can be utilized in practical ways in counseling, sport and performance psychology, and other human helping vocations. The applied use of Er-I is what I study — follow my LinkedIn page for research updates.