Ashley Wanamaker | Top 40 Under 40 2023

Her feminist, trauma-informed approach to therapy helps those who are underserved by traditional psychology.

Photo by Jared Sych; location, Eau Claire Tower.

Age: 37

Job title: Founder and Psychologist, Being Human Club

Why she’s a 2023 Top 40 Under 40: Her feminist, trauma-informed approach to therapy helps those who are underserved by traditional psychology.

Being human can be messy and imperfect, but it’s something Ashley Wanamaker welcomes at her Being Human Club psychology practice. Wanamaker founded Being Human Club in 2021, during the COVID-19 pandemic, a time when many were struggling with mental health and seeking support. The first feminist and trauma-informed mental-health space of its kind in Calgary, Being Human Club focuses on inclusivity, and providing space and understanding for complex trauma that traditional practices within psychology may not address.

A registered psychologist, Wanamaker focuses on areas of anxiety, depression, grief and eating disorders. She is one of the few psychologists in Calgary treating eating disorders, which have one of the highest mortality rates for mental illnesses.

With Being Human Club, Wanamaker isn’t just providing mental-health services, she’s also aiming to create a safe space that destigmatizes the act of seeking support and helps create a view of therapy as a “collective act of maintaining overall health and well-being.” The clinic sells merchandise to fund therapy for those who can’t afford services, and participates in ongoing anti-racism work with Inclusive Canada. It also collects donations for Walls Down Collective Calgary, a grassroots organization that addresses hunger and social issues on the ground level.

Wanamaker has also expanded her psychology practice into the social-media realm, sharing mental health information and resources with her more than 50,000 followers on TikTok. It’s something she’s somewhat self-deprecating about, but shows that her intersectional, feminist, trauma-informed approach resonates beyond what she’s doing at the clinic in downtown Calgary.

“I’ve gotten comfortable being uncomfortable, and Being Human Club wouldn’t be the same without that,” she says.

Thank Yous
“My husband, Brendon Rathbone; my incredible colleagues, co-founders, and friends Megan Kontrimas and Carrie Le; Lis Saxton; Greg Halpin; Graham Mehain.”

 

Top 40 Under 40 2023

Susannah S. Alleyne

Dave Carlton & Andrew Renaux

May Choi

Devin Cooper

Matthew Corkum

Morgan Curley & Marc Husted

Lauren DeDieu

Julie Deleemans

Barry, Daniel & Lorin Doerksen

Nauzer Forbes

Aravind Ganesh

Stephanie Hutchinson

Hadis Karimipour

Dion Kelly & Eli Kinney-Lang

Ben Klepacki

Krista Lauridsen

Chantelle Little

Aaron Logan

Adam Martinson

Renee Matsalla

Jayme Minor

Husein Moloo

Daniel Monzon

Anna Murphy

Toyin Lafenwa Oladele

Maxim Olshevsky

David Oulton

Kathryn Pearce

Jacqueline Peterson

Steven Ross

Julie Rubin

Ishita Singla

Chaz Smith

Cassie Suche

Jared Darcy Tailfeathers

Brodie Thomas

Benjamin Tutolo

Andrea Urquhart

Ashley Wanamaker

Steven Yip

Learn more about the people and organizations moving Calgary forward with Avenue's Innovation Newsletter.

This article appears in the November 2023 issue of Avenue Calgary.

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