About

Amy 5 print  Amy White, M.A., LMHC

Amy holds a B.A. in Psychology from Skidmore College, and a M.A. in Professional Psychology from Geneva College.  She is licensed as a mental health counselor in Georgia, Pennsylvania and Florida.

Amy has also served in executive roles for three non-profit agencies, where she has been strategically involved in human resource/people management; facilities, and operational roles; staff and leadership development; conflict management and resolution; community/partner building; and strategic planning.

Amy has extensive experience as an organizational consultant, educator, and professional counselor in private practice, inpatient and outpatient clinical setting. Public speaking opportunities have included universities, organizations, churches, women’s groups and national conference workshops.

Amy would love to hear from you! Consider leaving feedback below. 

24 thoughts on “About

  1. Amy, first I must say thank you for what you wrote in ” The Silent Killer of Christian Marriages”. For years I sought counsel on my situation with my husband, only to be told to just “submit”. The church( Calvary Chapel) I attended even had classes for the women on how to be a better wife, yet no classes for the men since the church taught it was all the women’s fault. I went from pastor to pastor of several different calvary chapels in Califonia and they all seemed to make it look like it was a woman’s duty to submit and kind of shunned the idea of abuse. After seven years I know know I am free in Christ, able to attend another church that is NOt a Calvary, and be allowed to be loved not punished by God if I divorce my husband who I have been seperated from not knowing if I had biblical right to divorce. I am free! Thank you so very much. I hope you can reach more women about this issue!!

    1. B – I am so happy to hear you are doing better. It can be difficult to walk through all of the decisions related to a difficult or abusive marriage. May God continue to lead and direct your steps as you seek to honor Him and become all that He has called you to be. Amy

      1. Amy,
        replying to this was the only way I could find to contact you. I just read the emotional abuse/silent killer and it really has allowed me to believe that I can and should stand up for myself and my children.
        Here is Texas there is no legal separation and once I stood up to my husband he has become fore aggressive. Everything you describe in your article he has done either openly or passive aggressively. It was such a bitter sweet relief to read what you posted and know that I am not the crazy one! lol
        Thank you so much for that and keep up doing God’s awesome work!

        With love as a sister in Him,

        Carisa

      2. Carisa – I am sorry to hear you are going through a difficult chapter in your life and am glad the article was helpful to you. God Bless you as you continue to discern what steps he would have you take to move forward. Prayers for you and your family going up! Amy

  2. Amy, I will forever be grateful to your ministry in counseling our family 1997-1998 in Pgh. Your words still bring bring a calm and a peace. Thanks to your care, we survived the storms of an abusive church.

  3. Amy, I was so happy to run across your WordPress page, and I’ve enjoyed reading it! Another Pittsburgh person grateful for the role that God had you play in my life! I’ve been married for over 10 years now, it’s a great relationship, my husband is a really good guy, and he and I are actively involved in our church in various committees, I have a job that I love as a school social worker, have been there for 3 years now, get to do some freelance writing, my 5 nieces and nephew are doing great -from sophomore in college to a first grader-, my sister is doing well, my stepkids (stepadults as I call them!) and I have grown close and they are both in good relationships, we lost my dad earlier this year but my mom is still around and we all take good care of her, I’ve got good friends, good health, I’ve been really blessed and am in a good place. I wish you the happiest of times during the holiday season and congratulations on your grandchildren and lovely family!

    1. Karol – How nice it was to hear from you and I’m delighted you are doing so well! I’m sorry to hear about your father. I’m sure you and your family will miss him. It’s hard to believe ten years have gone so fast! A blessed holiday to you as well. Take care. Amy

  4. Wow…I came across your article today when I searched for info on the internet about emotionally abusive “Christian” marriages. Your article was literally the first internet “hit” I clicked on about the subject. I prayed the day before that God would lead me to something or someone who could somehow help me regarding my situation. I had been struggling since my husband and I first married eight years ago. Our Pastor and other Christian counselors stated I had no “biblical” grounds for divorce because there was no evidence that my spouse had an affair nor did he (physically) abandon the marriage. So for a time I have stayed in this marriage to try to give it one last ditch effort. I even suggested counseling to my husband and we had several sessions last year. But nothing has changed – NOTHING. He is still verbally harsh and controlling in pretty much every aspect of our marriage, including maliciously withholding ANY affection and sex either because we had a disagreement earlier that day or as a way of being the one who has the “upper hand”. My husband even stated in one of our marriage counseling sessions that “as the man of the house, I need to be the one in control!” The Pastor barely acknowledged my husband’s insecure domination! That made me mad, and depressed at the same time. My husband even moved into a second bedroom in our home and left me alone in the master bedroom since April 2010! When the Pastor counseled me individually regarding this difficult existence with my husband, he said, “You’re stuck! You have to stay married because you definitely have no biblical grounds to divorce your husband!” My heart sunk. My husband seemed to charm the Pastor and others in the church, and many like him. But though cordial, the Pastor seems somewhat stand offish with me. I feel very alone and very frustrated. However, coming across your article today seemed to vindicate me! I feel that finally someone UNDERSTANDS what I have been going through! Thank you from the bottom of my heart for writing this article. May God bless you for giving understanding and clarity to what a person (even a “Christian” person) goes through when they are emotionally abused in a marriage relationship.

    1. Thank you for the encouraging words. I pray that God will guide and help you as you consider what steps are necessary for you to move forward. You may find some helpful resources through the American Association of Christian Counselor’s web site. It may also be beneficial for you to seek out an individual counselor to help you through your current situation. God Bless.

  5. Dear Amy,

    I need to tell you that your article on the Silent Killer of Christian Marriages has been a Godsend to me. After 40 plus years of marriage to a man who professes to be a Christian, this article hit me right between the eyes! Trouble came on slowly, but for the last 30 years I knew that we had serious trouble, and was trying desperately to get help. He has been disrespectful and used most of the tactics of verbal and emotional abuse, especially withholding of kindness and affection. He is much like the men described by the women above. But it all came on so gradually and subtly that I did not understand what was happening, blaming myself, doubting my perceptions, going to church leaders and counselors who said they couldn’t or wouldn’t help me. They did blame me and discount what I said. I knew what he was doing was sinful behavior, but had no idea it was considered abuse by anyone else but me. There had been an incident of physical abuse about 7 years into the marriage. It was never repeated, but he did not appologize or acknowledge what he had done. He did, however, throw things, yelled, and acted threatening. I never trusted him after that incident, though I did forgive and try to put it out of my mind. He was a hard worker, and thus a good provider, but always in control of how that was done. My wishes and concerns were ridiculed. He was charming to other people and fun with family as long as things went his way, and he was the center of attention.

    After studying the scriptures intensely for many years, I came to the conclusion that my husband had broken his marriage vows many years ago, and my seeking a separation or divorce was just a formality. I knew, however, that I would be accused of breaking up the marriage, which I was. For 10 years, I struggled through separations, counseling, a mediation by a well-known ministry, and problems not only with my husband, but with my children and grandchildren. A little over 2 years ago, I finally started finding helpful information online. Our legal separation was final about a year and a half ago. He is very bitter about my “breaking up the marriage”, and my grown children don’t know what to think. I did a good job of hiding things, and they have forgotten how badly he treated them. He treats them all very well today, but there are several elephants in the room of our family that are still stomping on our grandchildren. I am finally getting more information that is helping me see how to work for change.

    I was still struggling with seeing our situation as abuse, but after I read your article, I felt validated, and I could definitely call the problem “abuse”, and move on into learning how to deal with it. Thank you, Amy.

    1. J. Ann – I am sorry to hear of all the struggles you have had. It sounds as if you’ve made a lot of progress and are moving forward. I am glad the article was helpful to you and pray God will continue to bless your efforts to heal you and your family. God Bless. Amy

      1. Amy-Thank you for your kind reply, especially at such a difficult time in your own life. May God be with you…J.Ann

      2. You’re welcome. FYI, the blog is a collection of short anecdotes describing events over many years – the most recent ones occurred 13 years ago – I am doing well – thanks!

  6. J. Ann – your story sounds like a elongated version of my own. My husband has gotten physical with me, though not physically abusive (no marks or anything). He is extremely emotionally abusive and controlling and manipulative. Though I now keep my hands off of him, I used to push him away or slap him if I felt he was going to come near me. He still scares me and lives somewhere else, but is very neglectful of me and our 6 children. I am pregnant with our 7th and am extremely stressed out. I, too, and very grateful for Amy’s article because it also validated my thoughts. I went through what you did – the books, the counseling, mentors, classes, etc.
    I really thought there was something wrong with me, but deep down there was a nagging feeling of “your husband is abusive and does not love you”. I thought it was just me being mean, but now I know he is all kinds of abusive and passive aggressive also. He will purposefully aggravate me until I snap then claim victim status for himself. Then he tells the kids and his friends and family that I am abusive and crazy and have an anger problem. Later, when I threaten divorce he would apologize, but the cycle kept repeating itself. It has been just over 9 years and I am about 8 months from getting my bachelor’s online, 6 months from getting a giant tax return, and 2 months from having our 7th child.
    I still love him because I know the man he could be, but I have already spoken to a divorce attorney regarding my rights and begun surrounding myself with friends and family who care and know the situation – the real situation. Whenever I feel guilty about anything I did I just remind myself God knows the truth of this matter. He is in control, and He loves me, and He will provide and care for me and these children.

    God bless both you and Amy! There should be more publicity about these kind of relationships =)

    CAS

  7. I misunderstood. It appeared to me that your comments were current, since the blog dates were current. I had decided to look for some way to contact you, Amy, because your article was so helpful to me. I have shared it with many others. Is there any way to email you privately?

  8. Thank you for your reply, Amy.

    And CAS: I am so glad to hear that you have made so much progress in your “survival plan”. I am also glad that you are surrounding yourself and children with friends and family who are understanding and supportive. I did not have that kind of support, and it was my biggest stressor. My family and friends have not condemned me, but they try to stay uninvolved. I used to think that was good, because I still love him. I did not want him to feel abandoned, but I have changed my ideas recently after learning more. I, too, said that I loved the man that I knew he could be. Somewhere in recent months I heard that discussed, and the person giving the advice said, “Yes, you love the man you think he could be, but he has given no indication that HE wants to BE that man.” His only hope is to repent of his sin and find a true relationship with Jesus. I now understand more about church discipline, and how it helps the one under discipline realize the seriousness of unrepentant sin. I just wish churches knew how to use it properly.

    In response to your comment about needing more publicity about these kinds of relationships, I refer you to a blogsite where I have found that: http://cryingoutforjustice.wordpress.com/ . This blog has only been in existence since the first of this year, but is just full of helpful information, including 21 sermons on Domestic Abuse that are very good. I hope you will check it out. Blessings to you….J.Ann

  9. Amy,

    I came across a “Silent Killer…” excerpt today and searched out this blog. It looks like I may be the very first male poster. I was an emotional abuser, controller, manipulator, and a very angry man that was very hard to live with. My ex-wife hung in there for 23 years, and I was actually in the process of coming to the realization of my problems and earnestly seeking help when I had an emotional breakdown and resigned my ministry position. She saw it all as the ultimate act of control and manipulation, thought I had done it to spite her, and filed for divorce three weeks later. Nothing I did mattered after that, and every attempt to change, reconcile, apologize, was interpreted as more control, even years later. Today (five years later) she is married to a man the exact opposite of me (including the good characteristics of my personality), a passive non-confrontational guy, but I bless them and pray that their marriage will be all that our marriage was not for her and that she will be truly happy.

    I’ve gone through much counseling and healing prayer, read many books on abuse including Paul Hegstrom’s “Angry Men and the Women who love them”, and I’ve taken Paul’s six month classroom course called “Life Skills” that focuses on rewiring the brain from abusive/addictive patterns. While I had to learn to take full responsibility for my actions and abuse and take responsibility for changing them, I was not born a narcissistic controlling manipulative abuser. I loved my wife more than anything, and I believe we were soul mates and divinely joined together. I wanted to change, and I did not want to hurt her, but I did not know where to find the answers and I did not know how to change my behavior. Like an addiction, this monster inside was more powerful than me and yet invisible to me. The church that I was involved with was woefully unprepared and uneducated about this issue, as is the church at large in my opinion. I inherited this from my father, and he abused me, my brothers, and my mother in every way possible (except sexually) and continues to abuse my mother to this day after 55 years of marriage. I always had the prideful opinion that I was nothing like my father, but in the end I realize I was only a scaled down, more “religiously acceptable” version.

    I think there is an underlying current of opinion in much good writing on the subject that it’s impossible for an abuser to change. That’s perpetuated and enforced by the reality of thousands of men who live up to that, and simply move to the next marriage or relationship and abuse that woman. However, there are exceptions. It’s a journey that will never end for me, and that’s how I came across this blog. Today, my girlfriend of 2.5 years cannot believe the stories I tell her about things I did because I am such a different person. I’ve restored the relationships with my two children and recently took my first family vacation with them since the divorce.

    I realize now that I had to be broken and lose everything in order to realize the magnitude of my issues, see the “monster” inside and learn to recognize his behaviors, and then be motivated to do whatever was necessary to change them. Even though I knew I needed help, very little help or resources were there to be found. Now I’m relentlessly devoted to breaking this cycle in my family and keeping it broken in me, and I have a heart to see men that are looking for help and willing to acknowledge their issues find resources and programs that can help them. For those men, I hope that the women they truly love can find the grace to forgive and walk through the change with their husband until they reap the benefits of God changing him into a man that truly understands Ephesians 5:25, and how to lay down his life in love for his wife.

    Thank you for your courageous ministry to women, and I pray God continues to bless and use you.

    Anthony

    1. Anthony – how nice of you to visit my blog. Thank you for sharing your story. It seems that out of much heartache you have worked hard to change. Congratulations! I admire your courage and determination to make things different for you and your family. I am sure God will bless your efforts and the impact will be felt for generations. It is by God’s grace that all of us have an opportunity to heal and grow. Thanks be to Him for his generous mercies to us all. God bless you in 2013 as you continue to seek His will and purpose for your life. It is nice to hear good news from someone who has had so much to overcome! Amy

  10. Hi Amy,
    I found your ‘Silent Killer’ article two days ago and was astonished at how well you know this issue. I’ve been married to an emotionally abusive man for 28 years and didn’t know it until I read a little booklet on verbal abuse four years ago. Since then, I have learned to not be a victim any longer but it hasn’t been easy to know where to draw the line with my husband’s behavior. He says I am becoming more and more negative about him. I guess it’s true because I used to be more afraid of his rejection and now I think I would be relieved if he left me. My self-esteem is growing because of my identity coming from God’s love for me now, rather than from any person, especially my husband.

    I was getting better in my coping skills after going to therapists to help me and so I thought I should take care of my sexual problem (no desire). My husband allowed me to attend an expensive seminar (for women with sexual problems) after I agreed not to go to any more therapists. I learned at the seminar that I couldn’t improve my attitude about sex as long as my husband was abusive.

    Throughout the past four years I have shared with my husband about how his behavior affects me. I feel that he is gradually getting better but I’m not sure whether I could ever really trust him again after so many years of mistreatment. I’ve read that I cannot trust his changes unless he is truly remorseful and makes permanent changes. Therapists have told me I shouldn’t leave him and I shouldn’t deprive him of sex.

    What do you think? Should I continue living in a marriage where I feel no emotional connection and where I have to be constantly alert to recognize when he is trying to twist my mind? I feel like he doesn’t respect me and he treats me like a sex object.

    Thanks for your opinion.

    1. Hello – I appreciated hearing your story. I’m so delighted that you have done so much work to get to a healthy place. Concerning your questions, I’m afraid I could never recommend what someone should do regarding whether or not to stay in a marriage. That is such a personal and important decision. I do believe it is important for you to continue to grow in strength and take each step forward in all aspects of your life as God leads you. When seeking a counselor, it is important to speak with someone who understands abuse and all of its complexities, including sexuality. I pray God may continue to bless you as you seek His will for your life. Kindest regards, Amy

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