Dr. Amy O’Hana graduated from Oregon State University in 2005 with a PhD in counseling. She has been a counselor educator for 17 years and begins teaching full-time for UWS in July 2021. She is a licensed professional counselor in Oregon and a board-approved clinical supervisor.
Dr. O’Hana manages her own clinical supervision practice and has served as the director of two counseling training clinics. Her 20 years of clinical expertise has focused 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 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, non-fiction, poetry or blogging. On weekends you can find Dr. O’H cooking something great in the kitchen, playing outside or engaging in coffee conversation with loved ones.
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.
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).