Hi, I’m Rachel.

I tried to pick 9 pictures for this photo gallery that could capture a snapshot of who I am, who I love, and what I like. 9 photos are not a lot of photos to adequately capture the complexities of a human being and the depth of who I am but this is my best attempt, okay? (*if you’re reading this on your phone I don’t think the pictures show up which is strange).

I am a therapist, a wife, a nature lover, a teacher / speaker and at my core, a goofy-but- also-academic weirdo. Most recently, I became a mother. An over-the-moon, my-daughter-is-the-raddest, very sleep-deprived mother. And it might be my favorite job yet.

Something I’ve always been, according to my own mother, is an asker of questions and more specifically, an asker of the question: why? Followed by the question: who?

The why question, along with the question— who the heck am I— has plagued me for decades. And because of that, I’ve always been a curious little nerd with a lot of wonderings and thoughts. So I started to research and write.

As a girl, journaling was a way for me to sort out my wonderings along with all my great big existential thoughts and my big feelings. I was— I am— an observer of the world, of myself and others. I did— and I do— like to follow the trail of my curiosities until they lead me to answers (and then inevitably, even more curiosities). My passion for learning and then sharing what I’ve learned is what led me to my first career as an elementary school teacher and then to my second (and current) job as a mental health counselor and teacher of mental health topics.

It started on the -gram and now we’re here…

A few years ago I started to build a following on Instagram. And it was fun at first. My Instagram focused (and still does focus) primarily on topics related to eating disorder recovery, diet culture, trauma-informed care, and nervous system education. These are all things that I’m really passionate about (and to toot my own horn, I’m pretty good at explaining these things).

Lately, I’ve been becoming more and more disillusioned with Instagram. I don’t think it’s helping me become a better writer and the pressure to build a “following”, especially as a therapist, is just too much. I’ve tried for too long to fit my writing and my ideas into a condensed little caption but it just doesn’t allow for complexity and nuance and for me to unpack all of my thoughts on certain topics. I also don’t really care about “likes” and I’m tired of playing the beat-the-algorithm game, a game that is just plain dumb. And lastly, making graphics is not fun anymore and I feel like I’m wasting my time.

I’ve been spending a lot of time on my phone lately (on account of nursing a baby and at 3 AM sometimes it’s the only thing that keeps me awake). Ask most moms who breastfeed— many of us are booby-trapped a lot and scrolling mindlessly and killing whatever brain cells we have left at an alarming rate (no shade, though— we’re just out here surviving this whole keep-a-baby-alive thing).

A few months ago, I was talking to one of my coolest friends, Emma (she has a Substack, too), and she told me about this thing called Substack and how it might make me feel like I’m actually learning things and not just zoning out, scrolling, and making it harder for my brain to pay attention for any sustained period of time. Literally, Instagram has wrecked my brain. So I checked out Substack and I liked it!

more than my niche…

I’m ready to start writing about more than just eating disorders and trauma recovery. This is partly why I wanted to start this newsletter! I’m ready to spread my wings. But see, as a therapist, there’s sorta this assumption that you have to “stay in your lane”. Like, write about your specialty and also write about things that everyone who is super “woke” agrees with. But see, some of my ideas aren’t exactly “popular” or “mainstream”. Some of my beliefs actually challenge the super-hyper-liberalism that exists in my field. And for a long time I’ve been afraid to write about those things because of being “canceled”, misunderstood, and/or not-woke-enough. I know I’m not the only therapist who has thought this way, who is in this same boat.

But I’m done silencing and censoring myself. It feels yucky, and when something feels yucky it’s a signal for me to check myself and my values. I value authenticity. I value nuance and I value myself enough to stay true to my voice, even if it means people will disagree with me.

I’m not only more than my niche but I’m also more than my job and title as a therapist. And it’s really normalized in my field, especially with the rise of therapists on social media, to be workaholics who preach boundaries and wellness but have neither. We’ve internalized capitalism just like everyone else has. Becoming a mother and having these last 5 months “off” (lol, “off”) has made one thing very, very clear: my work had become my whole identity, I had really poor boundaries, and I wasn’t allowing space in my life for the other things that matter to me beyond my job: my family, my faith, nature, reading fiction books, and baking (to name a few things).

So this timing is perfect really for me to start something new and allow myself to write about things for fun and also topics that aren’t my niche. Will I still be writing about eating disorders, diet culture, trauma, and mental health on this platform? Heck yes! But I’m also giving myself permission to write about other things that I fancy, like motherhood, my political misfit-ness, marriage, Christianity, and other random things that I’m bound to write about because I like to just let things unfold that way.

A few other random things about me…

Things I like: the mountains and the sea, my couch, rest, Golden Retrievers, East Fork Pottery, Italy, bamboo pajamas, alpacas, for my physical space to be organized and neat, neuroscience, my husband’s photography, hiking, olives, sleep (how I miss thee), extra-dirty gin martinis, child development, cycling, wildflowers, Fred Rogers, and the pour overs my husband makes me every morning without fail.

Things I don’t like: cold weather, cats (I like people who have cats and like cats, I just don’t like cats themselves), being the one to organize my physical space, clutter, wearing a bra, living on the whole opposite coast as my best friend, watching football, the diet industry, Starbucks, bright lights / loud noises, my dog’s hair that is inevitably all over the floor no matter how much I vacuum, taxes, blue cheese (blue cheese lovers, ya’ll are freaks).

I’m an author! I wrote a workbook last year with my friend and colleague Mimi Cole. It’s called A Body Image Workbook for Every Body: A Guide for Deconstructing Diet Culture and Learning How to Respect, Nourish, and Care for Your Whole Self. You can purchase it here. Also, cool news, a second, revised edition is in the works…we’re just waiting for the right publisher to come along. So stay tuned! We also have a Substack for conversations re: body image! You can find us here.

I started a podcast a while back and then I got pregnant with Emmy bug and was really sick in my first trimester so the podcast kinda died. RIP. I might start it up again. I might not. I’m still deciding. But nonetheless, I love the episodes I did record. You can find those here.

I have no idea how this space will evolve and what it will become. If anything, it will just be a place for me to practice writing longer-format pieces and share them authentically. It will be a place where I can share what I’m learning and reading and listening to, a place where I can ask and answer some why questions.

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Honest and thoughtful wonderings on all things mental health, culture, faith, and motherhood.


Asking questions, learning stuff, and writing about what I think.