Therapy

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A political & liberated take on psychotherapy

One of my favorite things to hear when someone contacts me is:

“I’ve been on and off diets for so long, and I can’t do it anymore. I’m not sure what to do instead, but my intuition is telling me it’s time to try something new.”

Hi. Let’s talk about that, shall we?

I love this moment. Because what I hear is a courageous resistance to being controlled.

This resistance is worth paying close attention to. You are trying to become free of something.

And I believe in your freedom.

Most of us were raised in a society so steeped in diet culture, it’s like water to a fish—just the way things are.

Certain behaviors (and bodies) are acceptable, others are not, and these are the rules we’ve inherited.

The problem is that we’ve been taught from the very beginning to accept diet culture uncritically and without question—before we were old enough to understand the risks, consequences, or what we’d be required to do.

And before we were able to give permission.

Most of us were never encouraged to become fluent in the language of our bodies, or tune in to its natural rhythms.

Yeah. We have some collective unlearning to do…

And I’m so glad you’re here.

Testimonial

“Carmen is a raging bonfire.”

“Healing your relationship with your body requires you to protect yourself as if you were a small flame. Wind extinguishes a small flame easily. But, as the fierceness of your flame grows larger, any wind will facilitate its growth. Surround yourself with people who will help protect your small flame and then fan the flame into a bonfire. 

Carmen is one of these facilitators of courage. Carmen is a raging bonfire.”

Anita Kumar, MD

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I am reimagining therapy and advocacy rooted in the body. And when I say “the body,” I’m not just talking about weight stigma. I’m talking about liberation, agency and justice. I’m talking about the ways other forms of oppression intersect with the ways we think about our bodies, our care, and our freedom.

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Carmen Cool

My work is rooted in the Health At Every Size® model.

It’s a beautiful antidote to the restrictive, oppressive paradigm of diet culture.

This is a space where we can step away from the linear, binary world of extremes— either/or, this-or-that—and begin to imagine some alternatives.

As the conversation gets wider, things start to expand.

Breath. Ideas. Movements. Possibilities…

I work with teens and adults who feel like they don’t quite fit into the world around them, who wonder if having a therapist who works outside of a traditional framework would feel like a relief.

Many people come to me after having been harmed by other therapists who colluded with diet culture and tried to “fix” the “problem” of their bodies. Others find that they are recovering from recovery. Others are just tired to trying to fit into boxes we should never fit into in the first place.

As we work together, you’ll be invited to set aside the idea that your body is a problem to be solved, and consider the possibility that your body knows exactly what it needs.

I won’t try to talk you out of your worldview. I won’t give you tools to cope with oppression. I won’t prescribe things that are antithetical to your humanity, and I won’t ask you to restrict any aspect of yourself to meet a narrow definition of what’s acceptable.

I won’t talk at you; I won’t talk down to you. I’ll be riding alongside you every step of the way.

What that means is, you are safe as the human you are.

All therapy is done from an anti-oppression, anti-pathology, anti-racist, fat positive, LGBTQ affirming stance.

Diverse Friends

My style

Most of my clients tell me that I’m relatable and refreshing. I won’t turn questions back around on you. I work collaboratively and non-hierarchically in a radically different way that matters.

I speak the language of listening. Embodied listening. Generous listening. I listen for wisdom, for the things yet to be spoken, and for stories of resistance. I listen for what something needs to become.

In my office, there is a relaxing of formality and distant ‘professionalism.’ This is a space where you can breathe. Here you will be well cared for and lovingly accompanied.

Here there are no formulas, manuals, or prescriptions. There is permission. Collaboration. Conversations in service of you being your true self. Room for your preferred methods of healing.

I’m down-to-earth, laid-back, gentle, and loving—but I’m also fierce, honest, and unwavering in my commitment to locating the “problem” outside of your body.

This is a place free from shame, blame and stigma. Where you aren’t wrong for any way that you’ve taken care of yourself. Where your resistance is celebrated.

I trust you—with your body and your knowing about what you need.

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I offer a free 30-minute initial consultation to make sure we’re the right fit and to answer any questions you have.

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One more thing.

YOU WON’T HEAR THESE WORDS COMING FROM ME:

“Just love your body!”

Why?

Because the relationships we build with our bodies are not binary. They are not an either/or.

In a society that’s always telling us how to feel about ourselves, we don’t need any more mandates. We don’t need any more commands.

I like the idea of thinking of our bodies as our allies. I like the idea of honoring the fluidity of relationships—to our bodies, to our own lived experiences.

Giving up on weight loss as the path and refocusing your attention on your real life is very challenging. The path of pursuing weight loss is clearly marked and culturally supported. But the other path – the path of intuition, of trusting your own experience, of coming back home to yourself over and over again and learning to fully inhabit your body – that path holds healing.

We can say hello to ambivalence. Hello to fear. Hello to what served us. Hello to what is coming next. Let’s work towards a world where we all have access to the things we need to thrive.

And know that we can always, always insist on freedom.

I offer coaching for those who don’t have a weight-inclusive, HAES aligned therapist in your area. Get in touch for more info.

Visit my FAQs for more information on how I work, including pricing, insurance, and what to expect.

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Connection is everything.

Join me for conversations, updates, embodied practices and ways to take action. We need each other.