Today we’d like to introduce you to Dr. Marcy Cole.
Dr. Marcy, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
I was the baby and the harmonizer in my family, often ruminating over “why can’t everyone just love each other and get along”? Later the pattern played out with peers who regularly came to me for counsel. Subjects like math and science were cognitively challenging. But communication, intuition, empathy and what I call “Interpersonal IQ” seemed to flow through me with grace and ease. Relationship building was my superpower. It served me well in my social circles, and business.
In my twenties, I worked as an account executive for a prestigious television rep firm called Katz Communications. Those were the media hay days, and I was fortunate to represent affiliate television stations in the top ten markets in the US. I quickly learned that, assuming that the product or service you are selling (or sharing as I prefer to call it) is of quality, the result of your efforts is directly related to the richness of your relationships and integrity of your reputation.
As they were grooming me for management, I had a roommate in Chicago who said she was getting a Masters in Clinical Social Work. I had one of those AHA moments when I absolutely knew this was the road I was destined to travel. For I always carried an insatiable curiosity about why we are the way we are, and I knew from a young age that I wanted to make a positive contribution of lasting value. Fortunately, I had the most incredible manager who supported my pursuit of going to school on the side.
Once I finished my coursework, I was ready for internship. This meant it was time to resign. I went from close to a six-figure income to $17,000 a year. My family thought I had lost my mind! But when you follow a calling, that is as natural as the color of your eyes, you never look back.
In those early years, I received invaluable training working in-patient, out-patient, and ultimately five years at a community mental health clinic working with the population referred to as “the chronically mentally ill.” It became clear to me that there is a fine line between sanity and insanity, especially when you factor in severe neglect and trauma as an all too often root cause. These years gave me a deeper perspective and understanding about the continuum of mental health and the development of healthy life skills.
Eventually, I opened up a private practice and went back to school for my doctorate. I was thirsty for theoretic explanations of why and how my treatment approach with clients, which felt more innate than acquired, was working. To create balance and nurture my own expansion of learning and growth, I intentionally managed a part-time versus full practice. This allowed for other important facets of my life and career to manifest, including a women’s group I facilitated in Chicago, and subsequently in LA called First Tuesday LA. Its mission is to create a sense of community through social connectivity, professional networking, and social service. There is an online forum for female entrepreneurs. And for the last 15 + years I’ve produced live monthly co-ed life enrichment events. These events prove a rich and enjoyable experience for all, integrating networking along with featuring individuals with internationally recognized impactful platforms in the fields of personal development and human potential.
And then, sometimes life throws you an unexpected opportunity and gift you’ve been preparing for your whole life. This past year, a beautiful surprise, completely off my radar, landed in my lap. I was hired as part-time faculty at The John Thomas Dye independent K-6 School in Bel Air, California. They created a new position for me to serve as the Social and Emotional Program Facilitator… teaching in classrooms, offering faculty support and parent education. It’s been so rewarding to collaborate with educators interested in up-leveling the quality of education for our children. Integrating curriculum that provides tools and training in self-awareness, relationship and communication skills, stress management strategies, responsible decision making…all support student capacity for learning, as well as bolster our leaders of tomorrow.
Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Mahatma Ghandi once said, “My Life is My Message.” So many of our aborted plans, pave the way for something bigger and often better, that is seeking to emerge. The heartbreaks we endure can ultimately alchemize themselves into breakthroughs, healing ourselves at a deeper level and helping others.
Once it became time for me to write my dissertation to complete my doctorate, my first area of interest and inquiry was to conduct a qualitative study on the correlation between spirituality and mental health. Being in a rather traditional setting, the well-meaning faculty responded to this topic as totally alien. My plan B strategy was to make a choice that was more mainstream and relevant as well: “The Experience of Never-Married Women, between the ages of 29-39, who Desired Marriage and Children”. This mirrored my own experience as a recently divorced woman in her thirties who always assumed I would get married, stay happily married and have children. I realized that this prevalent generational experience of being single into our thirties was a women’s’ issue, a social issue, as well as a clinical one; as it all too often was the presenting “struggle” that motivated many of my female clients to seek therapy.
As I moved into my forties, I found myself on the other side of the fertility window, with intervention treatments having failed during my second marriage. I was grieving and shocked that what I assumed to be the trajectory of my life did not go as planned.
One of the ways we thrive through trying times is to feel the feeling, accept what is, and choose to transform it into a blessing. This very personal experience for me inspired the launch of a platform called “Childless Mothers Connect,” for those without children by choice or circumstance… celebrating the “mother” within every woman.
In 2011, I founded a non-profit organization called CMomA (Childless Mothers Adopt), promoting the connection between people without children and children in need. In the Spring of 2018, CMomA’s programming was adopted by Kidsave.org, securing its legacy. The pain point of knowing what if felt like to not have life go as planned became the “birthing” ground for so much more than I could ever have imagined.
We’d love to hear more about your Psychotherapy Practice…
I’ve been interested, as far back as I can remember, in the metaphysical realm… the unseen phenomena of life that exists beyond our five senses. Along with a few of my own hallmark inexplicable experiences, I’ve attracted many individuals into my orbit with extraordinary psychic and paranormal ability. It took me a very long time to realize that I had also been blessed with a highly attuned intuitive gift. Often what comes so natural to us, we do not even recognize.
It has astounded me how the more cerebral psychological theoretical models dismiss the body and spirit, which I believe to be integral pathways which can create a block or flow of vitality, peace, and fulfillment in one’s life. I received an email a few years ago asking me where I received my holistic psychotherapy training… to which I replied… “I didn’t… I made it up!” weaving together my own tried and a true methodology for healing and life optimization. While most of my colleagues’ orientations were Classical Psychoanalytic or Psychodynamic, mine became Holistic… acknowledging the important interplay between the four dimensions of our being: Physical, Mental, Emotional and Spiritual. I took energy healing classes, hypnotherapy classes, Reiki hands-on healing training, and began a meditation practice. This has made for a more robust intuitive tool kit when working with clients.
Part of the joy of becoming seasoned professionals is that we develop a sense of confident wisdom, born out of the bucket list of experience that has proven beneficial to ourselves and our others. I am so grateful for all of the traditional and alternative health and wellbeing education I have received. It has informed my own personal development and has garnered a more integrated, grounded and intuitive resource guide that I utilize when working with my clients.
Is there a characteristic or quality that you feel is essential to your success?
Walking The Talk:
I have chosen to transform previously perceived ‘mistakes’ into valuable personal and professional takeaways. This acquired wisdom in mid-life, has taught me to follow my vitality, trust my intuition, and author my own experience. From this more embodied connection to myself, I think that others feel my genuine heartfelt ability, interest and intention to support their highest good…by helping them tune into their truth, find their voice, overcome their fears, and follow their passion.
For a long time, I compartmentalized my professional pursuits. Then one day it occurred to me that it’s ALL related and is about CONNECTIVITY! When I’m working 1:1 with a client I’m assisting them in connecting with the true nature of who they really are. When I am working with a couple, I’m holding space for them to resume hopeful re-connection with one another, or redefine their relationship and/or co-parent amicably.
When working on the CMC/CMomA front, I was encouraging connection between the childless community and children in need of love and support. Now in the school system, I am focused on facilitating the connectivity and integration of social and emotional learning and mindfulness within the academic setting.
I feel enormously fortunate and love what I do, on all fronts. What I’ve learned is that our lives are a multi-faceted kaleidoscope of events, experiences, and wisdom that weaves its way… to paving the way for our best self, highest potential, legacy contribution, and most fulfilling life to emerge.
- Website: DrMarcyCole.com, FirstTuesday
LA.com, childlessmothersconnec t.com
- Phone: 310-266-5705
- Email: Marcy@DrMarcyCole.com
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/DrMarcyCole/