Amy O'Hana

Professor, Clinical Mental Health Counseling

Dr. Amy O’Hana is a licensed professional counselor in Oregon and an Approved Clinical Supervisor. She has been a full-time counselor educator for 18 years, manages her own private practice and has been the director of two counseling training clinics. Her clinical expertise is in ethics; diagnosis and assessment; career counseling; grief, loss, and adjustment; and clinical training in practicum and internship. Dr. O’H has taught at UWS as a full-time CMHC faculty member since July 2021.

Dr. O’Hana’s research interests are human potential and motivation, erotic intelligence (which isn’t necessarily about sexuality), spirit-body-mind integration, and spirituality. She is the author of two published books, When Your Child is Grieving (2019) and Beyond Burnout: What To Do When Your Work Isn’t Working For You (2020). She writes every day – whether fiction and non-fiction, poetry, journaling, letters or emails. 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 come to UWS?

The opportunity to train counselors within an integrative model. Spirit – body – mind approaches are an interest of mine, and it fits within the wholistic wellness paradigm of the counseling profession.

What excites you most about the school’s future?

The potential for growth and world-wide recognition as a cutting-edge university in integrative health. Also, developing the CMHC program to be one of the top counselor education programs for students seeking careers in integrative health, athletics and as passionately creative human helpers.

Where does your passion for teaching stem from?

I experience transcendental 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.

Why do you think the role of clinical mental health counseling is so important to integrative health care?

Counseling is based on a wellness paradigm, which strives to help people become their best selves. While much of counseling is verbal (and sometimes non-verbal), the process of developing self-awareness and the skills to function in rich, satisfying relationships is transformative and utterly powerful. Healing the body is so important, but to achieve wholeness, the human mind and spirit must be nurtured too.

Courses taught:

In my 17 years as a full-time counselor educator, I’ve taught most of the courses in the CACREP counseling curriculum. I am most skilled at teaching ethics and law, professional orientation, practicum and internship, and assessment and diagnosis. My favorite courses to teach are career counseling and DSM-5 (psychopathology).

Watch Dr. O’Hana’s interview with CMHC program director, Dr. Michelle Cox.