I have always fascinated by the bonus features that reveal what happens behind the scenes of the films and television shows that I love. I have an endless curiosity for all of the details and inner workings that come together to ultimately create the final picture of what is presented on screen. What the viewer sees is meticulously edited, filtered for an audience, and seemingly perfect, but I’ve always wanted to get beneath the surface to understand the intricacies that make up what we see.
While I believed that I wanted to be a movie director growing up, I realized during college that, while I was fascinated with film production, I wanted a career built on creating meaningful connections with people. My interest in getting “behind the scenes” wasn’t just for movies; it was also about understanding our inner workings as humans. So somewhat fearfully, but hopefully, I made the decision to transition my path to becoming a clinical psychologist.
Growing up with a twin sister, my identity has always been shaped by my understanding of who I am in connection with someone else. Like anyone who is relational by nature, I’ve also had to navigate the harm caused by certain relationships in my life. I’ll be honest – some deeply impacted my sense of self-worth. Through trials filled with both successes and hardships (and a whole lot of therapy!), I learned that not only was I allowed to have a voice but that I actually needed to use it in my relationships with others if I wanted to be truly known. As I continued to develop a deeper sense of myself, my worth slowly uncoupled from my perception of how people viewed me. Fueled by this feeling of freedom and empowered by evidence-based psychological practices, it is a privilege to now help others experience peace from harmful relationships, dysfunctional patterns of behavior, and distorted views of self.
As a woman of size, my relationship to my own body was one of the most traumatic bonds I experienced early on. Deprograming the messages of diet culture, fatphobia, and weight stigma was incredibly challenging, but necessary, work and now strongly informs my guiding mission as a therapist. Using a foundation of concepts from Health at Every Size and Intuitive Eating, I have been incredibly fortunate to work with several individuals as they resist and change the message that their self-worth is determined by the numbers on the scale or the size of our pants.
As intrigued as I am by the special effects that create the images we see on screen, as a clinician I consider it an ethical imperative to fully develop an understanding of the intricacies that have formed my clients into the people that sit across from me during our time together. Guided by interpersonal process theory, I work to gain an intimate understanding of the many events and relationships that have formed my clients’ sense of self in relation to others, the world, and their body. In the work I do, we heal maladaptive relationships and unpack, challenge, and redefine the dysfunctional messages that my clients have been given so that they are fully able to see, own, and proclaim their value as an imperfectly worthy human being.
Dr. Amber Stevens is a licensed clinical psychologist and the Associate Clinical Director of Galia Collaborative. She completed her doctoral internship at Ohio University’s Counseling and Psychological Services in Athens, OH followed by a post-doctoral fellowship at William Rainey Harper College’s Psychological Services outside of Chicago, IL. Dr. Stevens then worked at various group practices in Chicago before returning home to Cincinnati in 2018 to start her own successful private practice. Dr. Stevens joined Galia Collaborative in 2020 to continue her mission of healing and growth alongside a team of like-minded, passionate women.
Dr. Stevens is skilled in treating depression, anxiety, and other mood disorders. She specializes in working with concerns related to low self-worth, life transitions, dysfunctional relationship patterns, gender and sexual identity issues, grief, trauma, and healing relationships with bodies and food. Her approach to therapy is relational, collaborative, active, and nonjudgmental. Dr. Stevens strongly believes that a safe, authentic, and trusting therapeutic relationship plays a key role in the healing, learning, and growing process. She deeply values transparency, humor, and flexibility and encourages open and direct feedback from her clients. Dr. Stevens intentionally uses an integrative approach to psychotherapy that incorporates tenets of interpersonal process and relational theories, cognitive-behavioral therapy, and mindfulness techniques in order to facilitate growth, healing, and change in the lives of her clients.
- You can’t diet your way to self-worth.
- Pain comes from living a life incongruent with your value system.
- Boundaries are necessary and powerful.
- Perfection is a fallacy. Humans are fallible, and there is beauty in making mistakes.
- Healing comes from nurturing connections with others.
- Diet culture, weight stigma, and fatphobia cause trauma.
- Everyone deserves to take up space.
- There is no braver act than that of being vulnerable.
- Transparency in communication is vital.
- All things begin and end and that’s okay. Even relationships.
- Motherhood is HARD.
- Fear and envy interrupt progress and growth.
- Freedom comes from letting going of body shame and unrealistic beauty standards.
Amber is one of my most trusted and cherished colleagues in Cincinnati. I know that I can always confidently and safely refer clients to her, knowing that they will be provided a space filled with warmth and total acceptance. Amber fantastically incorporates humor, realism, and challenges into her connections with others. Amber's challenges are perfectly timed which makes you think more deeply and leads you to an eye opening moment of self reflection and clarity. Anyone fortunate enough to work with Amber will grow, strengthen, and exponentially increase their ability to love and accept themselves.
Allie McLaughlin, MS, LPCC, LICDC, Clinical Counselor, Cincinnati Renewed Wellness
Dr. Stevens is a 5-star therapist! She is such a delightful person and we are SO lucky that she moved back to her hometown of Cincinnati. She is warm, empathic, intelligent, and a pleasure to be around. I happily refer clients her way because I know they will be in great hands.
- Dr. Bailey Bryant, Clinical Psychologist, Hello Mental Health
Amber is one of my go to referral sources! I never hesitate to refer to Amber as I know she has strong clinical skills and will make any client that comes into her office feel comfortable, heard and safe.
- Dr. Natalie Winters, Clinical Psychologist, Inspired Living, LLC
As a colleague I see and experience Amber exuding authenticity. She’s the type of therapist who is incredibly competent at what she does, while also feeling like you’re talking to a real person. She’s down to earth and shows up ready to do the work alongside her clients. Finding a good therapist can be tough and frustrating, but Amber is definitely one that I believe clients are honored to work with.
- Emma Schmidt, MA, LPCC, AASECT Certified Sex Therapist, Emma Schmidt and Associates, LLC
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