Posted on August 21, 2020
Amber Dopler, LISW, has joined the Lutheran Family Service Christian counseling team as a master’s-level prepared and experienced mental health and marriage counselor. Her office is located in Bettendorf, Iowa and can serve clients in-person throughout the Iowa and Illinois Quad Cities area. Amber can also serve clients located anywhere in the state of Iowa through telehealth/distance counseling via smartphone, tablet or computer.
Amber brings over sixteen years of counseling experience to the team working with adolescents and adults providing individual, couple, and family therapy. She specializes in helping people with anxiety, depression, mood disorders, relationship issues, self-harm, life transitions, trauma, personality disorders, and couples experiencing marital issues. Amber studies and practices Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), an approach that emphasizes self-compassion, forgiveness, and the identification of values-based therapy goals.
When asked about her decision to become a counselor, Amber shared, “My initial career plans were to pursue medicine, and I spent my first three and a half years of college as a biology/pre-medicine major, which explains my fascination with the human brain and the study of the neurological processes that underly stress! I began feeling discontent with the study of science, and my interest in studying human behavior increased. I changed my major to psychology late in my junior year of college, still uncertain of where it would take me.”
Amber continues, “That following summer, I had the privilege of walking closely with a friend who had experienced a tragic loss. We grew together emotionally and spiritually during that time, and I marveled at my friend’s strength, resilience, and ability to grow and persevere through this loss. It became clear to me that pursuing a career in counseling would give me the opportunity to continually witness and participate in the transformation and growth of others.”
Feeling a strong desire to pursue Christian counseling more fully led Amber to reach out to Lutheran Family Service. She has found that believers in Christ often struggle to pursue counseling for various reasons. Because of this, Amber is very passionate about helping reduce stigma and barriers so that they can receive the assistance they need without fear or hesitation.
Amber grew up in the LCMS (Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod) church. Her father and his family were brought to the United States from Germany by LCMS missionaries in 1951. Amber’s mother’s family history can be seen on the headstones at the cemetery at Zion Lutheran Church in Taylor Ridge, Illinois. She continues to study theology and the practical application of theology to human behavior.
“Most everything I know about theology I learned from my faithful pastors. Though I describe myself as ‘rooted in theology’, I am not a pastor, and I often encourage clients to seek the counsel of their pastors alongside their clinical work with me,” said Amber.
When asked about how her faith plays a role in her counseling, Amber stated, “As a young clinician, I learned quickly that I did not have the ability to heal people. It was quite humbling! The Lord used the space between my inadequacy and my desire to serve Him (given to me by Him) to draw me nearer and nearer to Him, the true Comforter. My own faith has been strengthened by witnessing His work in the lives of others, and I often find my own insufficiency and need mirrored in my clients, something I often find beneficial to use in the therapeutic relationship.”
In all counseling sessions, regardless of faith, Amber strives to be “salt and light” and to show the love and compassion of Christ to others. Her pursuit of studying evidence-based approaches through the lens of scripture has been instrumental in her growth, both as a clinician and as a Christian.
If you or someone you know is in need of Christ-centered mental health or marriage counseling, you can set up an appointment with Amber by calling 563-359-0696 or by using the contact form at: http://lutheranfamilyservice.org/contact/.
Not located near the Quad cities? Visit our website to see if one of our other locations is near you, or, if telehealth/distance counseling is an option at: https://lutheranfamilyservice.org/mental-health-counseling/.
Would you like to work in a collaborative, supportive, and Christian environment? View our open positions today! http://lutheranfamilyservice.org/careers/.
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