Amanda Peña, LSW
Not Accepting New Clients
Who I Am
I am a bilingual (Spanish/English), first generation, currently non-disabled, demisexual, cis-hetero, Chicana (Mexican American Woman). I have a deep respect for the various ways in which people experience their humanity and spirituality. I am queer/gender affirming, sex-positive, kink/BDSM affirming, and fat positive (Health at Every Size-aligned).
My practice is heavily influenced by my upbringing in a large, working class Mexican family, so I seek to understand individuals in the context of their relation to the family unit and community at-large. But, my experiences as a first-generation ethnic minority in both my college and career journeys heavily shaped my activism and commitment to justice, equity, and collective liberation.
I nourish my soul and recharge my spirit by spending quality time in nature, with friends and family, or cuddling with my cat, Tubbs. I also enjoy traveling, running, hiking, cooking, dancing, and eating foods from as many cultures and regions of the world as I can.
What I Do
Whether this is your first time starting therapy or you’re simply looking for a new therapist, I am so glad you’re here. The decision to embark on your therapy journey is not always an easy one. In fact, for many people, committing to the therapeutic process is sometimes the hardest decision to make. Humans are complex, messy, and imperfect; but they are also resilient, inspiring, and creative forces with the capacity to transform darkness into light. But it’s okay if you don’t see or believe any of that, yet. We’ll start wherever you’re at, whenever you’re ready, and in whichever direction you choose. I’m just a passenger, along for the ride, accompanying you (and your partner or family) on the bumpy road to healing and liberation.
Because therapy is so profoundly intimate and vulnerable, the invitation to join you on that journey is a sacred privilege I do not take lightly. As a therapist, I use a relationship-based, culturally sensitive, trauma-responsive, and harm-reductive approach that is rooted in unconditional support, grace, compassion, and understanding. I also bring in a lot of my experience as a former high school teacher into my practice. I understand that learning and growth happens in many forms, so I strive to create a safe and supportive environment that encourages you to reflect honestly, try different things, make mistakes, and explore anything as deeply as you want to. And I will bring in a mix of techniques and resources to help you do that—as an individual, as a couple, or as a family.
Ultimately, you are the expert of your own life. I value and respect your wisdom, intuition, boundaries, and goals. So, when you work with me, there is no such thing as failure—even if you relapse or regress or do that thing you swore you weren’t going to do—because the mere act of showing up for yourself is still an investment in your healing progress. Throughout our journey together, you will learn how to identify the thought patterns and behaviors that challenge your internal peace and your relationship with yourself and others. You will learn coping strategies and new ways of thinking that will slowly transform your actions and outlook on life. You will grow and stretch; you will fall and rise again. As you set the pace and rhythm for your healing journey, I will point out, encourage, and nurture your strengths while gently challenging you through the areas that you find yourself struggling in. Together, we will celebrate your wins. Together, we will get through the disappointment and the grief and the embarrassment and the pain. I know the path to healing is not linear, but I’m ready to buckle up for the adventure.
I work with
Childhood, Religious, and Family Trauma
Racial & Cultural Identity
Low Income & First generation
Loved ones of those with BPD, Bipolar, & Schizophrenia
Licensed Social Worker
Master of Social Work, University of Pennsylvania
Bachelor of Arts, University of Notre Dame
Fluent in Spanish & English; Proficient in Portuguese