Written by Kimberley Falk
Photography by Stephen Wild
Anxiety, stress, trauma, addiction, and just an all-around inability to cope — these are only some of the emotional and psychological issues many of us face on a daily basis. Sadly, many of us feel like we need to “survive” through our problems alone. “The political climate is a bit of a hot mess right now and there are a lot of people going unserved,” says registered psychotherapist Amanda Hammond, one half of the Hammond team. Amanda specializes in addiction, women, and couple’s counselling.
Darrell Hammond (who focuses on trauma, youth, and anxiety) and Amanda take different approaches, yet are still so similar, seeing the process of receiving therapy as relationship-based. “It’s not professional versus client,” says Amanda. “It's an equal playing field. We are a team working on the same goal.
Good therapists are the ones who are authentic, real, interested and active, says Amanda.
“I've been to therapy before, and to me, it's that authentic, active participant in my well-being,” she says. “I don’t want someone just nodding and asking me how I feel about that. I would be out of there.”
Inspired by a psychologist he worked with years ago, Darrell focuses on being genuinely invested in and nurturing for his clients. “Once that trust is established and the client knows I am going to respect them no matter what, then we can decide what tools they need or let them decide what’s missing in their lives and figure out how to put it back in.”
Amanda’s niche was addiction counseling with professionals, so when she started doing private practice, many women began calling her. “My caseload started to become women with self-esteem, confidence, relationship problems, and couples,” she says. “That was universe telling me, ‘Hey, this is what you should be doing.’ Really, that’s my ideal client. I know what I'm good at and who I can help and how I can help them,” says Amanda.
Psychotherapy is about a client-directed goal, says Amanda, “Sometimes, people come to me not knowing what they’re looking for. They’re stuck and don’t know how to get unstuck; they don’t know what it is they need or want. They just know something’s not right and want to feel stronger and happier.”
“Folks with trauma will think they’re broken or damaged and not able to function as they used to, so the idea is to get them back to their comfort level,” adds Darrell. “The treatment plan is always important to keep their goal at the forefront.”
With more than 40 years of shared experience in Kingston and its surrounding communities, Amanda and Darrell Hammond have developed an authentic method of psychotherapy that sets them apart while bringing them together.
“The fact that we’re married is pretty interesting,” says Amanda. “I don’t know of any other therapy couples in Kingston. We worked together and were best friends for eight years before we even got together. People are often saying, “You’re married to a therapist and you’re a therapist? Your fights must be so boring.”
Both Amanda and Darrell Hammond offer a holistic practice that provides both individual and couple’s therapy for anyone of any age. Amanda also offers a women’s group with content geared towards the needs of the attendees. Both Amanda and Darrell love the entrepreneurial spirit of Kingston and can’t wait for someone to bring back Celebrity Sports World. They’re proud to be “regular people who just happen to do this stuff.”