Amy Wagner, M.A., LMHC
Registered Marriage and Family Therapist Intern
Somewhere along the way I finally learned that we are all on a long journey “home”….home to that place within ourselves that is filled with the peace and joy of leaning into our authentic and genuine selves.
When I was a kid, I frequently felt “that homesick feeling” in my belly. I felt it all the time…with my family, at school, with friends, on a beach vacation. Sometimes I had the courage to share with my people what I was feeling, as I was curious and wanted to be connected to others by sharing my inside feeling experience. Many times, my courageous share was met with silence, disinterest or dismissive words. My soul felt crushed, abandoned, alone and isolated.
I learned to numb my feelings, disconnect from my tough childhood experiences and move far away from the person I was meant to be. I left “home” while growing up, and stepped into the person everyone else wanted me to be.
My journey to become a therapist began the moment I was born, although it would take me decades to realize that. The universe was keenly aware of its job to equip me with profound experiences throughout my lifespan to allow me to step fully and deeply into my mid-life calling of becoming a therapist. I thought my journey began a handful of years ago…silly me! Divine wisdom and the universe conspired together many moons ago, and did a thorough job preparing me. When I feel down and struggle with the “why me’s” of my childhood experiences, early adult life struggles and blah, blah, blah….I take a breath and feel thankful that my unique journey has prepared me to be present on the journey with you as you begin to hold space for your “home”.
I am a highly sensitive and multi-faceted introverted human…and much, much more.
I graduated from the University of Central Florida with a B.S. in Interdisciplinary Studies, just three weeks after my 50th birthday and the death of my mother. Wow, that was a wild emotional experience. Going back to finish my undergrad degree was a “check off the box” activity to allow me to take care of requirements for grad school. Even though my soul knew I was meant to be a therapist, there were some obligations that had to be met along the way. I excitedly graduated from Rollins College in May 2017 with a Master of Arts degree in Mental Health Counseling and Certificate in Marriage and Family Therapy.
I began college at 18, flunked out at 19 and opened a dance studio at 20. During the next dynamic 15 years of my life, I soaked in being the creative director of one of Eastern Pennsylvania’s most vibrant dance studios for youth. I loved the kids, their families, our accomplishments together…it was an amazing season of my life. Many of those students now have families of their own and are treasured friends I hold close in my heart.
I am a mom of two amazing kids; a daughter still in college and a son lighting up his emerging adulthood.
I am divorced after a long marriage. I love animals, especially my faithful golden retriever Mulligan.
Being a therapist isn’t a job for me, it’s a way of life. My calling intermingles with my world view and walk through life. I hope to be kind, loving, compassionate when I am kayaking, at the movies, with my friends, traveling, at the beach or reading a book….and sometimes my humanity kicks in and I mess it all up with harsh words, a frustrating sigh, emotional overload, my own need for control or the dreaded perfectionism riding shotgun in my life.
Those are the times when I know it is time to pause, breath and remember to return “home” to myself. Helping you return to your “home” and be the person you are meant to be is my passion.
American Counseling Association
Central Florida Marriage and Family Therapists
Mental Health Counselors of Central Florida
International Society for Study of Trauma and Dissociation