Amanda Rowan, LCSW

Amanda Rowan
Founder and CEO

Amanda Rowan is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, a fighter for social justice and the founder and CEO of the Therapist Development Center, where she has been successfully preparing therapists for their licensing exams since 2008. To date, Amanda and her team have helped 23,000+ therapists pass with confidence. Amanda graduated with honors from Dartmouth College where she majored in neuroscience and completed her senior thesis on the neuroscience of the learning process. She earned her Masters in Social Welfare at UCLA.

Amanda has had a lifelong passion for teaching and helping others. She is a gifted instructor who draws from her range of teaching experiences, which include teaching MFT and Social Work licensing exam preparation with Gerry Grossman Seminars for two years, coaching for the Graduate Record Examination (GRE), and teaching Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) and Dental Admission Test (DAT) for Kaplan Test Prep.

Amanda committed a decade of her life to public service. Her senior year of college, Amanda was award the Richard Lombard Public Service Grant to fund a full year of volunteer work. Fluent in Spanish, she first went to Central America, where she worked in the Costa Rica Women's Prison and in a home for girls pregnant from incest. She spent the second half of the year in Washington DC where she volunteered at Mary's Center and was eventually hired as a case manager in their teen pregnancy and parenting program. Originally pre-med, Amanda was accepted at a number of top medical schools, but after a conversation with doctor from Harvard, when she was told that "medical school was only for people who couldn't imagine doing anything else", she realized there were many other things she could see herself doing.   She turned down medical school and started a non-profit called Ophelia's House at age 24.

Amanda taught herself grant writing and program development/evaluation and in her first year raised $65,000 followed by $100K+ the following year.  Then 9/11 happened and all the funding streams dried up.  Amanda, tired of the heat, humidity and missing the West coast, packed up her black Honda civic and her Yorkie named Poki and drove with her dad home to Washington state.  Eventually her commitment to social justice guided her to become a social worker.  Since then, she served a wide range of diverse populations including abused children ages 0-5 years, homeless people, substance users, veterans, prostitutes, victims of domestic violence, gang members, pregnant teens and the elderly. Amanda has received a number of commendations for her work, including the Points of Light Award. She served for two years on the Commission for Women in the City of Santa Monica, CA and on a number of boards.

Amanda maintained a successful private practice in West Los Angeles for five years where she worked with adults, couples, and adolescents dealing with depression and anxiety. She also provided clinical consultation and individual coaching for therapists starting private practices. She is a certified Gestalt therapist and has completed twelve years of intensive post-graduate training with the Pacific Gestalt Institute. She is also certified in the Gottman Institute’s Bringing Baby Home model.

Before starting the Therapist Development Center, Amanda purchased licensing test prep materials from 10+ companies to see if any of them were teaching the test-taking strategies and reasoning skills people needed to pass. They weren't. So after she put her first born to bed, she started developing her own study systems. 

Amanda lives in Santa Barbara with her family. She has two amazing daughters, Elana and Naomi, and two exceptionally cute dogs, Suger Magnolia "Maggie" and Mister Peanut Butter. When she’s not helping people pass their exams, she enjoys spending time with her family, volunteering for causes she cares about, reading psychotherapy books, the New York Times and the New Yorker, hiking, and sleeping.

Besides her family and her TDC staff, some of Amanda's other favorite people include Noah, Fredrick Douglas, Abraham Joshua Heschel, Jane Adams, Martin Luther King, Jr.,  Muhammad Ali,  Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Margaret Thatcher, Lindsey Graham, Baratunde Thurston, Gary Yontef, Donna Orange, Leonord Cohen, NWA, Obi Wan Kenobi and Han Solo from Star Wars, Eowyn and Samwise from Lord of the Rings, Eric Greenspan, Brandy and Ian Mussman, Rabbi Elihu Gevirtz, and Ivan Perkins.


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