In this episode of Waking Up Bipolar, Chris Cole speaks with Karolina Walsh—psychotherapist, coach, educator, and healer, practicing in beautiful Boulder, Colorado.
Karolina’s approach to therapy is to support and facilitate the growth and healing already present in the individual, couple, or family, working on three levels: the body, mind, and spirit. Karolina has received training in Virginia Satir's family systems model which promotes change on a relational level. Karolina also has training in Douglas Brady's Psychology of Symptoms model which sees the mind and body as united and utilizes this relationship to bring about healing from disease, body symptoms, and illness.
I first encountered Karolina’s brilliance by attending their presentation on trans inclusivity at my favorite academic institution in the world, and my own alma mater: Naropa University. As you’ll hear in our discussion, issues of trans and queerness have played a pivotal role in my life, in ways I am still deciphering today.
I have felt for a long time that my experience of masculinity, toxic masculinity, gender binaries, issues of sexuality and intimacy have all stifled the full emotional expression of my life. Gender parameters don’t only place limits and constraints on how and who I get to love; they also limit the full range of all expression, from creativity, to intimacy, to sexuality, to embodiment. Even the crucial recognition of my needs and the willingness to ask for help has been gendered in my experiences of mental health and paths toward wholeness.
Karolina has a knack for cutting right to the heart of the issue of sexuality and gender. Can we be real? Can we be vulnerable? Can we own our responsibility and defensiveness as we grow in our capacity to love each other and ourselves? These are critical questions that may lead us toward an ungendered experience of our own authenticity and the invitation to feel our world with unconditioned hearts and minds.
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Chris Cole hosts the Waking Up Bipolar podcast, focused on the intersection of bipolar disorder and spiritual awakening. He is the author of The Body of Chris: A Memoir of Obsession, Addiction, and Madness, inspired by his own journey of spiritual unfolding and mental health challenges. Chris Cole offers life coaching for any number of mental health conditions, specializing in bipolar disorder and spiritual emergence. Chris’s experience with addiction, disordered eating, body dysmorphia, psychosis, and spiritual emergency allows him to relate to a wide range of clients. He utilizes a holistic approach to mental health which views wellness in physical, mental, emotional, social, and spiritual domains. Learn more about Chris and his work at colecoaching.com.
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