Josie Paul, BVE, MA, LMFT-S
Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist-Supervisor
Director of Mental Health Services, Xavier Educational Academy, Houston, TX
Private Psychotherapy Practice, Houston, TX
Faculty, Houston Galveston Institute, TX
Trainer & Mentor, International Certificate In Collaborative Practices, Houston, TX
Taos Institute & Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Doctoral Candidate
Josephine (Josie) Paul is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist – Supervisor in private practice and also serves as Director of Mental Health & School Counseling at Xavier Academy, in Houston, TX. Beginning in 2013, Josie developed and expanded a school therapy program at Xavier that now includes four additional therapists and offers a wide range of services to students, staff, and their families. Josie increased the therapy program to include teacher training on mental health topics, parenting courses, and student groups.
Josie is currently a PhD student in Social Health Sciences at Vrije Universiteit, Brussels in partnership with Taos Institute. Her doctoral research, “Kitchen Conversations,” investigates how psychotherapy, in a culinary setting, co-creates a collaborative-dialogic space that enriches the identity stories of adolescents who struggle with anxiety. More specifically, her goal is to gain insight into the experience and meaning of collaborative dialogue in a culinary setting from an adolescent’s perspective while exploring shifts in identity and symptoms of anxiety. Culinary therapy is a newly emerging field that has been used to increase adolescent’s nutritional profiles and address medical health issues such as diabetes or obesity but has not been used solely for the purpose of mental health treatment. Josie is in a remarkable position to study culinary therapy as she is both a professional pastry chef and psychotherapist, giving her unique perspective and the opportunity to combine two of her passions.
Josie holds a master’s degree in Marriage and Family Therapy from St. Mary’s University and a bachelor’s degree in Vocational Education, with an emphasis on food and beverage preparation, from Sacramento State University, CA. Her background spans a diverse range of disciplines that include working as a European trained pastry chef and a culinary arts instructor in the San Francisco Bay Area for many years before becoming a licensed psychotherapist. In addition to serving as Director of Mental Health Services for Xavier, she is on faculty at the Houston Galveston Institute and a Taos Associate.
Josie has been recognized for excellence in both culinary arts and as a psychotherapist. She was selected for an International Certificate in Collaborative Practices, Train the Trainers in 2017-19, selected for ICCP Scholarship 2016-2017, the recipient of the International Summer Institute’s “Starfish Award” in 2017, was the Baptist Health Care Academic Scholarship Recipient in 2010 and was a Finalist in Domaine Carneros’ Search for The Ultimate Wedding Cake , at Christie’s East, NY, NY, in 1994.
Josie has benefited from a range of life experiences including joining a test run in an F1-11 fighter jet; spending a week at Mt. Washington Weather Observatory (known for the worst weather in the world) as a volunteer, preparing meals for the meteorologists, while experiencing drastic weather changes and learning about weather patterns and predictions; sculpting Mt. McKinley from hundreds of pounds of chocolate for “The Climb Against the Odds” cancer fundraiser held at the Ritz Carleton in San Francisco; preparing and serving Robert Mondavi’s 85th birthday cake for 2,400 guests; being honored as a Guest Pastry Chef alongside Cuisine Chef Jeremiah Tower, for the Napa Valley Wine Auction; being selected as one of three American Chefs to travel to Taipei, Taiwan to participate in a Master Chef program to instruct and oversee the Culinary Arts Students of Kai Ping Culinary School in a seven-course, white glove, dinner event; and serving as a presenter at workshops and conferences in the United States and Internationally.