We had the good fortune of connecting with Amanda Savage Brown, PhD LCSW and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Amanda, career-wise, where do you want to be in the end?
The end goal for me is to look back at the body of my work and be able to genuinely say, “Now that was worth doing.” I’ll know it was meaningful work by the following indicators. First, my clients and the community I serve will tell me so. I’ll see that my work mattered through the changes in my clients’ lives. Nothing thrills me quite the same as seeing the women I work with reclaim their body, mind, heart, and life from things that target and harm them (including the way they treat themselves). Another indicator that my work was worth doing is that I will remain gratified by it. I’m not a workaholic, but I am enraptured by my work. For example, I genuinely enjoy meeting the challenge of helping women to “bust” free from the unhelpful beliefs they learn to hold about women, breasts, and belonging as a result of growing up in a breast-obsessed society. Finally, my biggest dream is that the people I serve and work alongside will regard me as a torchbearer–bringing light to the harder to see, but deeply felt, mental, emotional, and relationship challenges experienced by women who augment, restore, or reconstruct their breasts with temporary and problem-prone breast implants.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I am a women’s wellness specialist. I began working on women’s health issues while earning my Ph.D. in genetics and studying why chromosome 21 misbehaves as women age which increases the chance of having a baby with Downs Syndrome. I extended my work in women’s health during my tenure as a health scientist in the US Public Health Service. However, my work in women’s health flourished once I went back to grad school to become a psychotherapist. I began working with women who people please, experienced adverse childhoods, or struggle with body-based issues, anxiety, or change (including grief and loss). In 2018, my personal and professional life aligned as I moved through my breast implant removal journey and witnessed countless women struggling with the deeply felt, yet poorly supported, mental, emotional, and social aspects of breast implant removal. To address the unmet psychosocial needs of women whose lives are touched by breast implants, I created Breast Implant Through Explant (BRITE™) Inner Healing. It provides a skills-based approach for women to bring their whole self forward while coming to terms with getting more than they bargained for from breast implants, choosing to replace or remove them, and adjusting to their post-explant chest. It’s the foundation for my forthcoming self-help book, Busting Free, anticipated summer of 2022.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I live outside Chicago, which is a fabulous city. A hand-down favorite spot is Aire spa and baths- underground, candlelit, no cell phones, whisper volume, and several pools of various temperatures and salinity. So, we’d go there for sure. We would do the Chicago architectural boat tour as well. It’s incredibly well-done. You learn so much about the city’s history and the different styles of architecture, all while cruising on the Chicago River. We would definitely go to the theatre district to watch a show, eat amazing food, and stop by my favorite speak-easy-inspired bourbon bar.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
First of all, I LOVE this! We are social creatures, and this Shoutout concept is a fantastic way to honor others in our life. I’m dedicating my shoutout to my husband. I know that’s super cliché, but he gives me unwavering support and encouragement. He’s got my back, whether I’m making a major career change, investing in my private practice, or taking risks investing in a heartfelt mission. I’ve got the drive and commitment, but he’s the wind beneath my wings.
Other: Breast Implant Through Explant (BRITE) Inner Companions: a private Facebook group for women who want to connect around the mental, emotional, and relationship aspects of breast implants and their removal. https://www.facebook.com/groups/216202973673788