Amanda M. Evans, PhD


James Madison University

Member Since 2005

ACA is a community of diverse, vibrant counselors and educators who are changing lives and the world at large. Amanda Evans believes in using her counseling skills to not only empower clients, but to educate them on the very purpose of counseling.  

What is the biggest challenge facing the mental health field today?    

I think the biggest challenge facing the mental health field today is increased demands for counseling services leading to the perpetuation of health disparities in vulnerable communities. The Counseling Compact can be a great tool to address the problem in a meaningful way. It is a wonderful time to be a counselor.  

What do you think are the biggest misconceptions about counseling?  

A misconception about counseling is that we give advice and/or know what is best for the client. I believe that half of our job is educating clients about the purpose of counseling, while the other half is utilizing our counseling skills to support and empower them. Combined we can assist our clients in important ways. 

What role do you think counseling plays in the delivery of mental health services in today's society?  

I think we have a huge role to play in destigmatizing mental health and addressing the gap in the delivery of mental health services. As social justice agents coupled with the accessibility of the Counseling Compact, we can be the solution to many of the current institutional and systemic barriers the negatively impact our clients and communities.  

What do you do to take care of yourself and rejuvenate yourself?   

My spiritual identity is deeply meaningful to me. Making sure that I prioritize my spiritual health keeps me rejuvenated and ready to serve others as a counseling professional.  

What outside of counseling brings you joy? Tell us about your hobbies or outside interests.  

My family brings me a lot of joy. If I am not working, I am with my family. We love cooking, traveling, and playing games together. 

If you’d like to share how ACA membership or participation has helped you along your career journey, please do! 

ACA was a rite of passage for me as a young professional. Having joined as a master’s student, I’ve found that ACA has been there for me in all the stages of my career journey. From providing cutting-edge best practices in Counseling Today and the Journal of Counseling & Development to offering fellowship at the Conference, I have felt nurtured and mentored by the organization in many ways. At this stage in my career, I am grateful for the opportunity to serve ACA and give back so that the future generations of counselors can be successful too.