About Amy

“Amy Montanez utilizes the rare gift of blending several traditions. First, she operates out of a well-honed classical training in psychological practice. She knows her theory. Next, she brings to bear the best of spiritual practice, not only from a rich Christian tradition, but also from a broader sense of the history and practice of world spirituality. Lastly, she employs and trusts a remarkable sense of personal intuition, borne out of years of practice and experience. Being in the presence of Amy, is to be in the presence of a person who listens deeply with head and heart and Spirit, and who is able to respond and guide with clarity, courage, and compassion.”-Reverend Bob Chiles, Christ Episcopal Church, Greenville, SC

“Amy Montanez is a superbly gifted counselor, spiritual guide, teacher, and writer. She is one of the most discerning persons I have ever known, and I count myself fortunate to have been at times her companion on the way to knowing God, myself, and my fellow human beings.” – E. Glenn Hinson, Professor Emeritus of Spirituality and John Loftis Professor of Church History, Baptist Theological Seminary at Richmond, Virginia

“Amy Montanez has a gift of embodied presence that somehow helps bring the truth alive, for a client or a whole room. Amy is a gifted therapist, teacher and spiritual director. But none of these talents reveal the essence she brings which is both of groundedness and Spirit — that makes her counseling, teaching and directing sparklingly alive and vital.” – Don Carroll, Director of the North Carolina Lawyer’s Assistance Program, Attorney, Life Coach and Spiritual Director, Charlotte, NC

“Amy Montanez is a uniquely gifted therapist, spiritual guide, coach, and teacher.  Her presence is both vivacious and deeply centered; her insight springs from a well of rich wisdom; and her gentle yet direct approach is like a beam of sunlight revealing each person’s inner truth.  Amy’s innate gifts allow her to easily tap into places formerly unknown, and to plumb the depths of the heart and mind with great ease.  What a tremendous gift Amy is to all those who have the opportunity to journey with her for any length of time.” – Emily Silvola, Director of the Academy of Faith and Leadership at Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary

About Amy as a retreat leader/speaker

The couples in our church raved about how helpful Amy’s series on marriage was. Attendance soared each week. Heads were constantly nodding, as she brought out in the open the real stuff of everyday married life and what responses can hurt or strengthen relationships. Amy’s style is very “today”, intelligent and captivating, appealing to both men and women. She never leaves you with awareness without strategies/practices to sustain a healthy marriage. Although topics like in-laws, sex, parenting differences, and workloads can touch on core stress, Amy kept people relaxed. Her humor, insights, and understanding of human diversity always come through. – Anne Cox, Director of Adult Ministries at Shandon United Methodist Church (ret.), life coach

“Amy was the facilitator/presenter for our 204 annual parish’s women’s retreat with 62 women participating. I am delighted to have this opportunity to share with you what an amazing facilitator we found her to be. She led three sessions and was fully present to us and engaged us in each. This is but a sampling of the comments on our evaluation form: “Amy allowed us to take her in and was able to let her own vulnerabilities show.” “The content was great; I loved the music and slides she used.” “Amy’s enthusiasm and delight in living captivated me.” Months later women are still referring to points Amy made that completely changed their perspective. We are eager to schedule her for another retreat soon.”- Reverend Linda Gosnell, Holy Cross Episcopal Church, Simpsonville, SC

“I know Amy as a small group facilitator and retreat leader which doesn’t say much at all on the face of it. Mostly I know Amy through those roles of hers to be a woman with a great and contagious zest for life, sensitively listening and generously speaking, so that others somehow catch a vision of a fuller way to be.” – Reverend Mary Moore Roberson, St. John’s Episcopal Church, Columbia, SC

“Early in my career, Amy offered me the opportunity to create and co-lead women’s spirituality retreats with her. In those10 years of annual planning sessions and wonderful exhausting marathon weekends, I experienced many of the most growth enhancing, nurturing and fulfilling experiences as a therapist. I already loved Amy because she is fun, dedicated, and real. In designing those retreats with her, I came to love her incredibly sharp mind, guided always by her huge compassionate heart, and powerful drive to create. But it was her endless support and nurturance of my expression of my own gifts, that made co leading with Amy a perpetual exercise in growth for me. And perhaps that is the gift of Amy’s that I have benefited m ost from over the years: her ability to encourage and support my use of my own gifts in the world. Being a co-leader with her made and continues to make me better at manifesting all that is within me.” – Barbara Austin, MSW, colleague and friend

About Amy as a therapist

“Having had the opportunity to work with many wonderful counselors both professionally and personally over the last twenty years, I can confidently say, Amy Montanez is truly the most talented! My husband and I started seeing her for couples counseling a little over a year ago after being separated for almost a year and a half. Amy not only provides a safe haven to discuss and work through years of pain, she also has a gift for helping you to see things from a new angle which offers a whole new layer of understanding and the opportunity to connect in ways you may never have thought. I love that she is able to do this in the midst of the harsh reality that is life hardships we are all currently living through, rather than a distant idealistic approach of how we should behave and react to these hardships. If I could describe Amy and her counseling style in a word, it would be authentic. During our experience with Amy, we quickly renamed counseling sessions, date night! We looked forward to our time with Amy, to learn about ourselves, each other, and tools to explore our relationship in new ways. It has always been difficult for me to understand why people are reluctant to go to counseling especially as a couple. We invest in education and continuing education to support our careers, but why not our relationships? They need continuing education as well. My husband and I now see Amy about every three months or so, and we enjoy and look forward to her coaching every time!” MH – Columbia, SC

“I have always been a listener, usually knowing more about friends and acquaintances than they know about me. So to have a friend who listens to me, who in fact encourages me to talk about anything and everything, has been invaluable to me in my middle age. Better yet, this friend happens to be Amy, who, along with extraordinary listening skills, brings to her profession many gifts, some acquired through years of experience, study, and practice. However, her greatest strengths, I believe, are those innate qualities within herself: her genuine compassion for people, her deep, grounded faith, her love of the arts and the creative process, and her optimistic, joyful spirit.” – DS , Columbia, SC

“When I came to Amy Montanez, I was broken in many pieces. Through her strong, yet sensitive guidance, she helped me pick up each piece and put it back in place. Today, I not only feel whole for the first time in my life, but look forward to each day with a feeling of joy and anticipation.” – AHP Columbia, SC

“When I came to Amy’s door, I was transitioning into a new community, a new church position and beginning the transition to the latter third of life.  I thought what I needed was a spiritual director who also had credentials as a therapist.  What I found was all of that and so much more!  Amy greets with total hospitality.  She is a welcoming hostess and companion for any inner work that needs attention. This work becomes fun when creatively woven with her  love of music, dance, art and literature.  Her understanding and demonstration of empathy and compassion is beyond any human I have experienced.  She is able to minister to all those, who themselves are ministers, because she shares their joy and pain and understands that this helping, healing process means she, herself, always continues her own inner work. She is deeply blessed by God and is able to be a blessing to others.  She is a most realistic and yet, a most positive person.  How to see the world as it is, and still be full of positive hope, is the gift I find in each session with her.   But, her giftedness goes beyond person to person.  She brings the same hospitality, preparation and insights to workshops and classes I have attended.  In my church, we used her book, Moment to Moment, for a twelve week small group study which deepens understanding of transformation.”  – LC Columbia, SC

About Amy’s Writing

“Amy’s writing is from the heart to the soul. In her witty, conversational style she reveals, in surprising ways, how the sacred and the day-to-day are conjoined in one inspiring and miraculous whole.” – Peggy Van Antwerp Hill, Ph.D., freelance writer and editor.

“Amy’s blog is a gift to me as a therapeutic and spiritual guidepost. I look forward to each new posting for her wisdom and her insight. She is such a gifted therapist and inspired writer – a true spiritual mentor. What a valuable resource it is for me and others.” – Warren McInnis Hughes, Columbia, SC , freelance writer.