• Paisley Meekin

Amanda Soden: Local Celeb, Honest Veteran, Mental Health Counselor

Updated: Jul 18, 2019

I am SO excited to introduce Amanda to you all!  Amanda has been a kick ass Honest client since almost the beginning of my business!  She has stuck with me since Dec. of 2012 (I just looked it up!  WOW!)  Her dedication, passion and sassy sense of humor is contagious.  

Recently Amanda started her own counseling business and I couldn’t be more excited!  I also feel 1000% awesome about referring anyone to her.  Here is more about Amanda…  

Amanda Ludka (Honest peeps know her as Amanda Soden) is a mental health counselor practicing in SE Portland. Amanda graduated from George Fox University with a Master’s degree in Clinical Mental Health and works with a range of presenting issues.  Her passion is working with clients on body trust and intuitive eating.  She is currently working towards her Body Trust® certification with Be Nourished.

Amanda was born in Nairobi, Kenya and grew up in eastern and southern Africa and the Indian Subcontinent.  She earned her initial degrees in theater and philosophy and has had previous careers in the hotel and legal fields.   In Portland, Amanda also works as a professional actor.  You may have seen her on stage at Portland Center Stage, Artists Repertory Theatre, or Profile Theatre, to name a few.  She is an avid soccer fan, an animal rights activist, and a proud feminist.

How long have you lived in PDX? What is your favorite part of living in Portland, OR? I have lived in Portland for 13 years. My favorite part of being in Portland is all of the delicious food options! We are crazy spoiled in this city.

What is is that got you into counseling? I was really dissatisfied with my day job so I went to a career counselor to try and find something that was a better fit. Through our work together, it came up that I really wanted to be in a field that helped others. The desire to be a helper coupled with my own positive experience with counseling clinched it for me. While I work with a variety of issues, I am most passionate about working with clients on body trust, intuitive eating and health at every size.

What is your superpower?! I am an amazing packer. I can pack just about anything you can thinking of into a suitcase. Frankly, I should be in the Guinness Book of World Records!What is your favorite way to workout move?My favorite workout move is shuffle floor tap. I like to make it a fun dance move!

Why is working out so important to you? For me, the important thing is to participate in joyful movement. For years I didn’t work out. I didn’t like being in gyms (boring, judge-y), running hurt, I found biking frustrating, etc. It’s really hard to motivate yourself if you literally don’t enjoy the movement you’re doing. Honest was a revelation to me. What keeps me coming back is that it’s social hour with my buddies (have you been to the 7am class lately?!) and it’s always a mix-up of exercises. If there’s something I don’t like, I either modify the move or remind myself that the exercise will be over in a few minutes and we’ll be on to something else. I also feel safe coming to Honest. I feel like I can be myself and no one’s going to judge me on how I look or how I train. So coming to Honest is just plain old fun!

What 1 food and 1 beverage could you not live without?My grandfather used to say: “booze is the only answer” and I would have to concur. If it’s boozy, I’m down! Ugh, this is such a hard question!!! For food, I would have to say cheese….or really anything with sugar in it!

What is your current self-care routine, and why is it important to you?Self-care is so important and yet so hard to do. One thing I do is make sure I get enough sleep. My body needs 8 hours and I’m pretty religious about getting it. But the most important thing I’ve been doing lately is trying to practice radical self-acceptance. Life is hard and we live in a society that is constantly criticizing us for simply being who we are. We’re constantly hearing that we’re not smart enough, good enough, fit enough, skinny enough, good looking enough, rich enough, successful enough, and the list goes on. So being kind and accepting of myself has been important.

What is your biggest outlet for your creative expression?Wahoo, I’m an ACTOR! And I bet anyone who works out with me knows that because I’m not shy about it and I’m a natural loud mouth:)

What is something that most people don’t know about you?I was born in Nairobi, Kenya and spent most of my childhood in Eastern and Southern Africa and the Middle East.

Thanks for sharing Amanda!  Love ya lots!  

Read more and contact Amanda by checking out her website www.amandaludka.com Make sure you also check her out on Facebook for great articles and videos!  

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