Meet Carmen

If you’ve ever felt like you can’t be trusted around food, please know:

1. You are not alone.
2. There’s a far better path than diets, restrictions, and shame.
3. It’s a journey we can take together.

I help people end the cycle of dieting and overeating, once and for all.  Along the way, they unravel their body stories and learn to trust their bodies and themselves.

My journey to becoming comfortable with myself has included many twists and turns, challenges and revelations. I have recovered from binge-eating disorder, bulimia, and years of disordered eating and weight cycling.  Now? I eat for both nourishment and pleasure. I exercise as a way to liberate my life-force, not to change my body.  And I’m a much healthier and happier person now than I was when I was focused on trying to lose weight. I’m most comfortable when I’m taking care of myself, physically and emotionally, at whatever size I happen to be.

I’ll bet you have a bit of a rebel in you.

I know — you might not think of yourself that way. But have you ever noticed a part of yourself that whispers, “You can’t tell me what to do” or, “I’m so tired of being ‘good’ all the time!” I’ve noticed this rebellious thread running through the core of many struggles with compulsive eating.  You have a courageous resistance to being controlled. This resistance is worth paying close attention to. You are trying to become free of something. I believe in your freedom.

It has taken me awhile to admit my own rebellious side. Yet many pivotal moments in my life have been marked by my rejecting the status quo and insisting on something bigger, better, wilder, and more loving.

Have you ever resolved to go on a diet, “blown it,” and thought,
“See, I knew I couldn’t be trusted around food?”

Many of my clients have battled their bodies for years, and have all but given up. I show them how they can stop struggling and finally make peace with food, their bodies, and themselves.

In my personal and professional journey, I’ve learned many things.
Among them:

  1. Dieting, rules, and restrictions simply do not work for people struggling with binge eating.
  2. Our struggles with body image and eating are both individual and cultural. We need both personal growth and skills to navigate the confusing cultural messages.
  3. The only way out of the diet/binge/cycle is mindfulness and a gentle shift from pursuing weight loss to pursuing joyful, healthy lives.

I’ve been honored to support many people as they transform their relationships with their bodies and usher self-loathing to the door.

My Experience, Expertise and Education

I’m an intuitive listener, a truth-telling guide, a skillful synthesizer, a passionate collaborator, and an unwavering visionary.

My life’s journey so far has followed one crucial lodestar: a deeper relationship with my own body’s wisdom.

As an undergrad in music performance, I felt the challenge of working with the ways anxiety showed up in my body. My professional path took a twist when I noticed how many women were suffering around their bodies, myself included.  I noticed how the collective, and individual, focus on what we weigh was impacting the other dreams we had for our lives.  I got deeply interested in learning how to listen to my body, and I studied bodywork at The Body Therapy Institute. There, I saw how all of our experiences show up in our bodies, which was utterly fascinating. Following that, I completed my training in Hakomi Body-Centered Psychotherapy and in Transpersonal Counseling Psychology, exploring how our body, mind, spirit, and heart, all work together.

I’m a softspoken-outspoken advocate for real freedom and health at every size.  Movement towards a world that values body diversity needs to happen on an individual and societal level.  I don’t want to just help people once they’re suffering, I want to try to prevent it, so I engage in advocacy whenever possible.   I have served on the healthy eating/active living task force at Boulder County Public Health, and consult with various health agencies across the state. I’ve been a board member for the Hakomi Institute and am on the advisory committee for the Nonprofit Cultivation Center. And I founded a nonprofit,  Boulder Youth Body Alliance, working with teens to become body positive ambassadors in their schools and communities.

Credentials:

  • Master’s Degree, Transpersonal Counseling Psychology from Naropa University
  • Certified Hakomi Therapist
  • Founder and Executive Director, Boulder Youth Body Alliance
  • Named “Most Inspiring Individual” in Boulder County, 2012
  • Recipient of the 2013 Excellence in Advocacy Award from the Eating Disorders Coalition
  • Presented at national conferences such as: National Eating Disorders Association, Eating Disorder Network of Maryland, Girls Coalition of Minnesota, Rocky Mountain College Health Association, Institute for the Psychology of Eating Symposium and the University of Wyoming
  • Former group therapist, La Luna Center
  • Former outpatient therapist, Eating Disorder Center of Denver
  • Member, Binge Eating Disorder Association and the Association for Size Diversity and Health
  • Former Boulder County Leadership Fellow

Bodies of Knowledge

I believe that your body knows what it needs far better than anyone else: my role is guiding you into learning how to listen to its wisdom.

My approach is grounded in the Health At Every Size® philosophy, an approach that helps people live peacefully in their bodies, incorporate nourishing food, joyful movement, and celebrates the diversity of human bodies. You can read more here.

I use the Hakomi Method, an experiential, mindfulness-based approach that uses the body as a doorway into the beliefs which shape our lives and self-images.  My work also follows the Intuitive Health Model developed by The Body Positive, which knows that we all inherently possess the wisdom necessary to make healthy choices and live in balance. These two models intertwine beautifully as an effective, compassionate way to heal food and weight concerns.

I am not a weight loss coach. When you work with me, your body may or may not change.  Our goal is a profound sense of well-being and a loving, trusting partnership with your own body.

The real magic happens after the battle with ourselves is over. Once we’re free from the burden of body hatred, we realize we can do anything we set our minds to. We reconnect with our wisdom. We express our deepest voice. We stop limiting parts of ourselves and create a new world of radiant possibilities. And that, I believe, changes the world.

I’d love to walk part of your path with you.  Ready for the first step?

Learn more about my private practice here.  

If you’re a professional, check out how I can support your work here.