• Yvette E. McDonald, LCSW

On the Couch with Amy Manko



Welcome! To our series of blog post in which I, Yvette E. McDonald, LCSW have the pleasure of interviewing one of our therapist here at Traveling Light Counseling. In our series of couch interviews the therapist will be offering us a glimpse into their speciality by answering questions about topics relevant to their field and imparting a few tips, ideas, and suggestions on ways to traveler lighter.

As a disclaimer these interviews are by no means a substitution for therapy and if in need of more specialized, personalized and/or intense help please find a therapist that would best fit your situation.



Here with me today is Amy Manko, a Licensed Clinical Social Worker who specializes in helping children, teens, families and individuals move past hurts and life challenges.  She believes that individuals have tremendous strength, spirit, and a powerful capacity for change. She helps people grow and live a more peaceful life. She has over 19 years of experience helping people bridge gaps, set and reach goals, and build unity within their family to meet the challenges and changes that occur in life. She provides individuals with an ability to pause in the midst of all that they are experiencing, helping them take a step back in order to take a closer look and move in the direction of self-compassion, happiness, and fulfillment.


So, today's interview revolves around trauma:


Question: How can a parent help their teen heal from past hurts?


Answer: If I was sitting across a parent, I would tell them these four ways to help their teen move past hurt from the past:

  1. Be there. Allow your son or daughter to know that you are there to listen and to help (when they ask for help) without judgement. It is important to build and continue that trusting bond. Teens will most likely choose friends to get support from first, but by letting them know that you are there when they need them, without judgement, they will begin to feel safe. Don’t be disappointed if they don’t come to you right away or at all, but just leave that door open.

  2. Validate and normalize their feelings. Let them know that you hear them when they share their stories and hurts. Let them know that you understand how hard it is for them or was for them. Encourage them to continue sharing with you and finding an adult or person they feel safe with to share their feelings. Let them know that they are not alone.

  3. Encourage them to engage in activities that make them feel good, whether a sport, something creative, music, writing, being with friends, etc.

  4. Let them know that they can help others as well. They can be a role model to other people by sharing their story and talking about their feelings, so that it will allow others to know they are not alone. Encourage them to continue to seek help from professionals and friends/families and that it is ok to receive help. They don’t have to deal with challenges on their own. There will always be bumps in the road and with every challenge they overcome, it will only give them the tools to deal with the next ones that arise, in a healthy and easier way.

"The deeper that sorrow carves into your being, the more joy you can contain. ~ Kahlil Gibran"


What a great interview with Amy. I appreciate her taking the time and talking with me today. She definitely knows her stuff when it comes to helping the parent child relationship continue to grow, in addition to helping teens. Teenagers are a unique breed. They desire so much to be independent but crave love, it's a blessing to have someone with this experience to help individuals, families and couples travel lighter through the journey of life by giving them a place to unpack today's struggles for a lighter tomorrow as it pertains to grief and loss.




If you feel like Amy will be a good travel companion for your journey. She offers a 15-minute free phone consultation.  During this time she will talk with you about your current stressors, you will get any important questions answered, get a better idea of who she is and how she can help you.  


So, what are you waiting for?  


Schedule a time to speak to her directly at 772-361-8448 ext. 704 or simply book your consultation online now.


Thanks Amy!




Yvette E. McDonald is the owner and counselor at Traveling Light Counseling, a practice for individuals helping them discover the person they were always meant to be, as they become the best version of self in their roles and relationships in the Port Saint Lucie and Martin County area.

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