Hey Friends, welcome to my about me page.

My companion and fellow gray-haired creature

What I’m doing on Medium

Forever fascinated by people and the things they do, I’ve been studying Psychology in one way or another for over twenty years. I want my writing to be a form of psychoeducation. This is a new term that I’m kicking around these days, it means helping people learn about themselves, by introducing cognitive science to them in a fun and interesting way.

The way I came to writing was through teaching. I’ve worked as a psychology professor for years, and have a deep love of getting my students excited about this topic…


Photo by Filipp Romanovski on Unsplash

I have always been the woman of my dreams ~Nayyirah Waheed

I love this quote but I can only wish that I felt this way. I know that as much as I am supposed to accept myself and be with all of my own mess, I am only really able to do that for about three minutes a week. ⁣

To me, it brings to mind the idea of faith. My whole life I struggled with the idea of faith because I associated it with believing in some eye in the sky, which felt false and frightening.

It wasn’t…


Tips and tricks from therapy, group, and life experience

A group of people in the woods sitting around a campfire
A group of people in the woods sitting around a campfire
Photo by Tegan Mierle on Unsplash

Last week I had the joy and terror of spending an entire week with my family. We haven’t been all together in three years, and it was exciting to know that I’d get to have some quality time with my brothers. But. As many of us who are in recovery know, family can be the BIGGEST trigger!

It’s probably safe to say that if you struggle with addiction, there is a family history to go along with it. Even if you are the only one who has turned to substances to mitigate your pain, it’s possible that others in your…


Without this practice, I don’t think I ever would have found peace

a loom with yellow threads and a woman’s hands
a loom with yellow threads and a woman’s hands
Photo by Aditya Wardhana on Unsplash

This month I’m celebrating three years of sobriety. I’m proud of this fact, and there have been so many positive changes that have happened because of it. But my journey to sobriety started a couple of years before the last day I drank.

Five years ago I attended a 10-day silent meditation retreat. I had little to no experience meditating, and I jumped into 8 hours a day. It was intense, to say the least. But it started me on the road towards discovering who I am at my core. Without the anxiety, without the shoulds, without fear. …


STRATEGIES TO QUIT

The wave is coming — how will you handle it?

Photo by Hoang M Nguyen on Unsplash

If you’ve ever taken a yoga class taught by a skillful teacher, you may have already learned urge surfing. Often in yoga, when you find yourself twisted into an uncomfortable position, your body screaming out for you to move, the teacher will invite you to “breathe into the discomfort.”

It’s not clear that this technique originated with ancient yoga texts. There is not much evidence that the practice of mindfulness, as we know it today has its roots in anything except 1970's Western Psychology. During the '70s there was an explosion of East-meets-West philosophy and a sharing of ideas. …


Is this just a new trend or an important evolution in sobriety?

Photo by Sanzo Sparkling Water on Unsplash

There is a new term being said in sober circles, and although it’s been around for a couple of years, I’ve only recently heard it used with some seriousness.

That term is Cali sober, or California Sober. It was first popularized in a Vice article where author Michelle Lhook wrote about giving up alcohol and “hard” drugs in favor of smoking weed and occasionally using psychedelics. She touts the usual health claims of “glowing skin” and increased energy and creativity. But also, a decrease in selfishness and an ability to be more present for her life.

Cali sober is now…


And applying what I learned from the first one

Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash

Last month, I tried the 30-day writing challenge. I went for the submit-to-30-publications-in-30-days-challenge. It was hard, and I did OK (you can read about my results here). One result that emerged was the realization that I’d rather spend more time writing each piece, and stick to a few specific topics.

I have so many interests. Being a psychologist, and someone who writes about human behavior and mental health, the possibilities sometimes seem infinite. But, rather than skimming the surface of a shallow pool, I want to explore the concept of Deep Work and scuba dive into a single topic. …


I give myself a solid C+

Photo by Jamie Street on Unsplash

Last month I got very excited about doing a 30-day writing challenge. I saw it not only as an opportunity to get back into the writing habit but also as a way to overcome my perfectionism. Did I succeed? Kinda. Was it worth it? Absolutely.

I started out strong, writing and publishing every day for the first week. Then I missed a couple of days, went on and off for the next week, and fell off after that. All told, I published 12 pieces.

But, I knew I’d probably struggle, and hitting the 30…


Your ISFP shouldn’t keep you from getting a promotion

Photo by Kinga Kołodziejska on Unsplash

The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (or the MBTI as it’s commonly called) is an outdated, poorly designed test that has little value. It’s not accurate or useful. There’s also new data emerging that personality tests could be culturally insensitive, sexist, and creating more bias in the workplace. I would argue that it’s dangerous for companies to continue using it. Don’t believe me? Want to cling to your ESTJ? Please read on.

The MBTI was the hobby project of a home-schooled aristocrat and is based entirely on her opinions of people. Katherine Briggs read a book about personality by psychologist Carl Jung…


I felt like I was a part of something greater, and my smallness for the moment was not a problem.

Photo by Flash Dantz on Unsplash

Our preferred way to receive love may be determined by moments in our childhood. Although we all may appreciate affirmative words, hugs, and gifts, our preference for one over the other is shaped by the most meaningful connections made in our youth. The way I feel most loved is when I get to spend quality time with the people I care about. This time doesn’t have to be complicated, I simply want a shared experience. …

Amanda O’Bryan

Psychologist and Human mood ring.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store