Amanda Woolston, MSS, LSW

Individual, Child, & Family Grief & Trauma Therapist

“You are your own greatest expert. You carry within you the answer to what you need. My job is to create a comfortable, safe, and nurturing space where your needs and expertise are honored and sacred. Your hard work for yourself is always worth it. You are so very worthy.”

I came to the Center for Grief and Trauma Therapy because my clients deserve a haven that is protective and nurturing of their needs. For the past twelve years, I have served the adoption and foster care communities individually, in groups, in writing and publishing, in education and training, and in public policy making. I partner with adopted and fostered people, birth/first parents, guardians, and adoptive and foster parents to find relief from loss and trauma. I pay close attention to ambiguous losses and disenfranchised grief – types of mourning we do in silence when our experiences are not understood by others. I help with behavioral and emotional issues, attachment, openness, reunion, post-placement grief, difficult disclosures, building self-regarding identities, parent-child relationships, adoption fluency in families, and more.

In addition to my work with adoption, I work therapeutically with all ages and backgrounds. Using a client-centered approach, I help folks navigating mental illness, domestic violence, oppression and discrimination, identity stress, neurodivergence, immigration and citizenship, family separation, bereavement, drug and alcohol dependence, incarceration and legal systems involvement, childhood trauma and abuse, child loss and infertility, child-centered parenting and more. My work is client-led, anti-racist, and LGBTQIA+ affirming. I approach every client without judgement and with their best interest at heart.


Specialties

  • Adoption & foster care: pre and post adoption support, placement stability, open adoption, transracial adoption, birth/first family support, adoptive and foster family support, search and reunion, pregnancy options counseling.
  • Mental Illness: anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, OCD, ADHD, ODD, psychopharmachology support.
  • Parenting & Families: attachment, parenting skills, parent-child relationships.
  • Identity stress: oppression and discrimination (all kinds), LGBTQIA+ issues.
  • Grief & trauma: ambiguous loss, disenfranchised grief, childhood trauma, bereavement.
  • Education: positive behavior support, 504 plans and IEPs, inclusive classroom design.
  • Peer & agency support: professional & agency consultation and training for ethical, developmentally-informed, child-centered, adoption/fostering competent practice.

Education

  • Master of Social Services in Clinical Social Work from the Graduate School of Social Work and Social Research at Bryn Mawr College.
  • Bachelor of Social work from West Chester University of Pennsylvania.

License

  • Pennsylvania LSW: SW131694

Additional Information

  • Trained in post-adoption support; functional behavior assessment; life story work; and TF-CBT.
  • Adjunct Social Work Professor
  • Adjunct Psychology & Sociology Faculty
  • Social Work Field Supervisor
  • Member of the National Association of Social Workers.
  • Member of the Association for Humanistic Psychology.
  • Member of the Association for the Development of the Person-Centered Approach.