It is a serene setting for counseling — a bright, homey room, a cozy space painted in pale blue with windows facing to the north and the west. Amanda Beer is just settling into her new office in the Island Crest Lodge building.
Beer holds a Ph.D. in counseling psychology from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She became licensed two years ago.
Born and raised in a small town in Indiana, Beer has lived in several states and recently relocated to Seattle from Wilmington, N.C., in the fall of 2011. She quickly made connections and found that Mercer Island was the right fit for her practice.
Beer offers individual counseling and psychotherapy for teens and adults, as well as counseling for dealing with life transitions, and assessment and evaluation.
“I really love people’s stories,” said Beer. “I love just learning about people and their unique experiences … I’ve always had that pull to be a helper.”
She described her approach as “very person-centered.” In the beginning, it’s about getting comfortable.
“I’m really going to meet the person where they’re at,” she said.
And the most rewarding part?
“When a client decides on their own to do something, that they would never have dreamed of doing when they first came in,” she said.
For Beer, it’s about empowerment and being personally motivated.
“They have the power to make the changes and find ways to feel better on their own,” she said.
While it is evident that Beer is ready to offer a listening ear, another of her passions is not so easy to guess: roller derby. A Rat City Rollergirl, Beer is a member of the Throttle Rockets team and the league All Star program.
The Rat City Rollergirls recently made headlines when they skated on the Alaskan Way Viaduct before its demolition.
Amanda’s roller derby name is Panda Beer, but not just because she loves pandas.
“I feel it fits me,” she said. “[Pandas] have the appearance of being soft and cuddly, on first appearance … But, I’m a little tougher than I look.”
Beer first joined the roller derby scene in North Carolina, with the Cape Fear Roller Girls, after seeing an advertisement. But, she was not new to roller-skating. As a little girl, she roller-skated in her basement and outside, of course, and she loved it. She tried out for Rat City as soon as she moved to Seattle, and was recruited.
Beer broke her wrist playing derby in February. She was out for six weeks, but started skating again in only two weeks.
“It’s stimulating in a lot of ways,” she said. “We work hard. It takes a lot of endurance.”
Amanda Beer’s office is located at 3035 Island Crest Way and can be reached at (206) 319-5221.