Founder and Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor
Alison Cross, a Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor in NC and a LPC in Georgia, is a working Mom who specializes in helping those with eating disorders and body image issues. Alison is also a Certified Eating Disorder Specialist and loves supervising new and trained clinicians.
While living in Georgia for 23 years Ali worked at all levels of mental healthcare with a focus on clients that have a troubled relationship with food and body. Through teaching clients positive recovery skills, she noticed similar negative body talk and constant dieting outside of work. Is it a common and appropriate lifestyle choice for people to deprive and hate their bodies? Dieting and a negative body image are gateway behaviors to developing obsessions that could lead to having an eating disorder. In the interest of prevention and awareness, the Body, Beauty, and Bravery Project was born. Today, many people have had the opportunity to listen to Alison speak in a workshop, seminar, retreat, or day camp to learn how to feel at home in their bodies. Alison, her husband and 4 daughters moved to Asheville, NC in 2018 where she started her outpatient practice in both Hendersonville and Asheville. Since then she’s become a Level 1 Internal Family Systems therapist, completed the Level 2 training in the Embodied Recovery Model for eating disorders, and is a Certified Safe and Sound Protocol provider. She loves meeting with adult clients and working with all the things that tend to go along with eating disorders, like trauma, addiction, depression, anxiety, and PTSD.
Supervising, consulting, and mentoring new clinicians is also a strong passion. Just before the pandemic Alison started a local non-profit chapter of the International Association of Eating Disorder Professionals, where education and networking opportunities are provided to local healthcare professionals. In her spare time she loves to hang out with her family, hike, play piano, speak French, and explore the art of wood working.
I am a graduate student studying clinical mental health counseling. I am an intern with the Body, Beauty, and Bravery Project. I currently facilitate counseling sessions under the supervision of Alison Cross and Lenoir-Rhyne University in Asheville, North Carolina.
My focus of practice is treating eating disorders, disordered eating, and negative body image. Often these challenges are intertwined with anxiety, depression, trauma, burnout, inner existential conflict, feeling out of control, and experiencing an imbalance of being and doing in daily life. Many of those who struggle with eating patterns are highly sensitive people in a world which asks them to hide this part of themselves. I help people move away from harmful and frustrating coping mechanisms towards a full and nurturing embodiment of themselves.
I collaboratively work with clients to foster the skills needed to live a life genuinely and profoundly in tune with personal values and desires. It is my goal to help clients reunite with their sensitive nature in a supportive way, creating a life of autonomy, pleasure, and peace. I am passionate and committed to working on the social justice issues intertwined within the roots of diet culture and have a body liberation focused approach.
I guide clients towards using the body as a key messenger to their needs through the path of recovery. As a registered yoga teacher, I share knowledge around yogic principles and practices as desired to foster mindfulness, develop somatic awareness, strengthen connection to the body, and teach various ways of regulating the nervous system.
I facilitate treatment from the principles of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) and Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT). Themes that are explored while working collaboratively towards greater well-being may include authenticity, unique intersections of privilege and oppression, and what gives life rich value and purpose. I view the therapeutic counseling space as sacred and life giving. It is an honor to work alongside clients as they journey closer to their inner home.
Interested in Supervision?
Alison offers supervision for professionals seeking licensure in both GA and NC. She is also an Approved Supervisor for anyone seeking their certification as an eating disorder specialist through iaedp. With supervision you can expect to learn more about Internal Family Systems and how to use this model with eating disorders. Alison also teaches the Embodied Recovery (trademark) model for eating disorders and integrates their take on Polyvagal Theory. Supervisees will also learn how Safe and Sound Protocol can be used to help everyone in their journey. Drawing on her background of top down models and showing how they connect with these bottom up approaches, supervisees will have a good foundation for working with all kinds of presenting issues that clients bring. Business development and support is also a part of the process.