Lacey Raley, MMFTMasters of Marriage & Family Therapy
ME AS A PERSON
I’m Lacey! (she/her) I am deeply passionate about helping you work toward autonomy in your life, which is a fancy way of saying that you deserve to intuitively define what you want for yourself and your life. I believe we are complex humans who deserve complex and complete healing, but that looks different for everyone; I am also a complex human, and I bring my authentic self into all of my work. I have no desire to be some sort of therapist robot who seems disconnected and one-dimensional. Outside of the therapy room, you can find me spending time with my partner (when he isn’t on the road – hi music industry fam) along with our pup, Theo the Weimaraner. I also love baking autoimmune-friendly desserts (hi chronic illness fam), getting creative with art and projects, biking, finding new ways to move my body, and finding beauty in the small stuff. I am HAES aligned and IE informed, and I work from an intersectional, creative, and somatic healing perspective.
MY THERAPEUTIC APPROACH IS:
Okay, so what even is embodiment? Basically, culture has taught us that we are stronger when we function as hyper-intellectual, “mind over matter” types while disregarding our bodies and needs. Not only is this biologically incorrect, but it is actively harming us! We know from countless research that we are more connected to ourselves and others when we learn to allow our bodies to do what they are biologically wired to do: experience, process, and release emotions. Emotions are simply chemical messengers trying to provide insight into your world view. When we learn to tune in, we become MUCH more efficient – it takes A LOT of energy to constantly shove everything down and diminish. You deserve to use that energy on so many other things in life. Disconnections between our inner world, outer world, and physical body limit our ability to deeply connect – in simpler terms, disembodiment really gets in the way of our relationships!
It is my goal to help you identify your goals; this is your space to freely express your core self and needs. Of course, I want to help challenge you in areas you may feel stuck and find ways to bring understanding to what otherwise feels chaotic. I love to work dynamically and collaboratively, so our sessions may look different depending on the day and depending on your need in the moment. We might be talking, brainstorming, challenging ourselves to be still, moving our bodies, getting creative, or trying to communicate with your inner world. Although it can sometimes feel outside of our comfort zones, many times it is necessary to work toward actively engaging emotions, tolerating discomfort, and accepting intimacy/being known and seen.
In my work, I am passionate about the intersections of disordered eating, body image, chronic illness, attachment, religious and sexual trauma. I also work heavily in the creative and music industries, and I am a partner of an actively touring musician (super Nashville, right?). Creative industries can really get you questioning your identity as an artist. Finding a balance between self-expression, performance, the pressure to keep up – not to mention the burnout! Regardless of our specific experiences, it is crucial to consider our bodies in the mix of it all; our bodies have been through every joy and overwhelming pain, which is why it can feel so dang hard to be present. If you are in a spiritual transition and healing from religious trauma, please know that your body is good, you are good, and you also deserve this space to define your own values and beliefs.
The majority of my clinical experience includes working with acute eating disorders, and I know that food freedom is a crucial part of recovery. When practicing somatic, intersectional healing, I believe it is imperative to take a Health at Every Size (HAES) approach, as we work to actively advocate for diversity, inclusion, and justice for all bodies. As someone who experiences chronic illness, this also informs my position of disability justice. A common goal of food+body work is Intuitive Eating (IE), a research-based practice of honoring the signals of our bodies. This takes time, and for some, there are more immediate interventions that are necessary to disrupt disordered eating cycles. Learning how to make peace with your body is a multi-dimensional practice that is specific to you, your experience, and the goals you have for your unique life. This also includes working toward unconditional self-compassion by repairing the innate trust you once had in yourself, your body, and your ability to have meaningful relationships.
Unfortunately, in our current society, it is truly difficult *not* to engage in disordered eating, as it is so normalized, but this does not diminish the importance of pursuing liberation from these systems in order to experience true joy and contentment. I would love to work with you to assess what treatment and skills are appropriate for your needs. Healing your relationship with food and body can feel overwhelming, but full recovery is absolutely possible!
I am a Marriage and Family Therapy Clinician working under a temporary license and the supervision of Cadey Phipps, license #1348, as I pursue full licensure status. I received my BS in Psychology from LSU (I am originally from Louisiana), and Masters of Marriage and Family Therapy from Trevecca Nazarene University, where I also completed my practicum and internship years at the Trevecca Counseling Center working with young adults.
I am a certified Mindfulness Integrative Clinical Practitioner via training with Tara Brach, Clinical Tele-Mental Health Provider (CTMH), Clinical Anxiety Treatment Professional (CCATP), PREPARE/ENRICH Premarital Counseling Facilitator, and Dialectical Behavior Therapist (C-DBT). My modalities integrate the trauma-informed, evidence-based practices of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), and Internal Family Systems (IFS), Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), and Motivational Interviewing (MI). I very much value continuing to educate myself in up-to-date practices, research, and modalities!
American Association of Marriage and Family Therapists (AAMFT)
National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders EDCare community
Eating Recovery Center (ERC) Community