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Sandra Dean – Registered Member

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Why using a pseudonym/pen name can prove difficult! Please help me with a decision about being a counsellor… and Happy New Year!

As many of you will know I am training to be a counsellor so that I can help others’ turn their lives around as I have done with my own.

Loaded with personal experience and understanding of numerous therapies over the last sixteen years (including psychotherapy, cognitive behavioural therapy, humanistic counselling, group analysis psychotherapy and more), having suffered with BPD, OCD, anxiety and depression, growing up with my mother who had catatonic schizophrenia, and having written about my journey in and out of these conditions over a six year period, and then formal academic training, I feel I will make a good counsellor, particularly helping those with depression and mild to moderate OCD.

Obviously, I will not practise until I have finished my sessions in my group analysis psychotherapy But, since time flies so fast sometimes, I am beginning to plan for that time.

So, my dilemma?

Well, it is simply whether to counsel and market myself as a counsellor under my real name or my pseudonym, Amanda Green. There are benefits to both.

My name

• Clients will not have access to knowledge about my personal life and previous mental health issues, which could be off putting or could be encouraging to them. But, I protect myself from any comment or bias about my past.

Amanda Green (pseudonym)

• I am known for advocating for those with mental illness under this name

• My memoirs are under this name

• I am generally more well known as connected with mental illness under this name

• I have a website all set up to market my services

• I would then be revealing myself (and the only reason I had a pseudonym in the first place was to protect my family as they feature in my memoirs, but they have never read my books or seem to care about what is in them, so should I worry about that?)

Using a pseudonym is quite a lot of work – all names had to be changed in my books, I had to set up a separate website/blog, twitter, facebook, linkedIn and other social media accounts and I have to run them separately. The thing was, I didn’t feel it was very fair on my family to tell of their lives and behaviours as me because then they could be identified, but now I am not so sure it is that important, perhaps because I do not suffer the paranoia I used to when I was writing my first memoir ‘My Alien Self’.

So, with all that in mind (and particularly if you have read one or both of my memoirs), what would you do?

Please let me know…

In the meantime, Happy New Year for 2014! I hope it will be a special year full of happiness, successes and good health.

I have already been working on my first new year resolution; clearing out everything I do not need and selling it, to help pay my, what will be, increasing bills for 2014.

Second is to do well in my counselling course at college, which is going very well at the moment – the compliments I receive on my counselling skills and homework is doing wonders for my confidence which was previously very damaged.

Third… Well, I won’t bore you with anymore right now …

Thank you to everyone who have read, rated and reviewed my memoirs in 2013 and before – as an independent self published author I rely on reviews and word of mouth to get my books noticed in the public domain, so I appreciate each and every one 🙂

Have fun!

Amanda 🙂


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1 comment to Why using a pseudonym/pen name can prove difficult! Please help me with a decision about being a counsellor… and Happy New Year!

  • amandagreenauthor

    Thank you to everyone today who replied to this post via Twitter and Facebook – I have decided to offer counselling through my real name, when the time comes, which you all agreed was best, particularly as I do need to keep any self disclosure to a minimum and only if appropriate to the client 🙂

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