How to Stay in Your Lane to Support Diversity and Inclusion

How to Stay in Your Lane to Support Diversity and Inclusion

An interview with Dr. Joy Cox, PhD, on tapping into the strength of community and genuine relationships to understand and address systemic oppression. Curt and Katie talk with Dr. Joy about intersectionality, the harmful stories we can tell ourselves about people who are different from us, and what we can do to best support diversity and inclusion in all the spaces we inhabit. We also address why it is important to do some of this work privately (rather than working it out publicly through statements on social media).

It’s time to reimagine therapy and what it means to be a therapist. To support you as a whole person and a therapist, your hosts, Curt Widhalm and Katie Vernoy talk about how to approach the role of therapist in the modern age.

Interview with Dr. Joy Cox, PhD

Dr. Joy Cox is a body justice advocate using her skill set in research and leadership to foster social change through the promotion of fat acceptance and diversity and inclusion. With 37 years living as a fat, Black cisgendered woman and 7+ years of professional experience under her belt, Dr. Cox draws on her own experiences and skill set to amplify the voices of those most marginalized in society, bringing attention to matters of intersectionality addressing race, body size, accessibility, and “health.”

Joy has been featured on several podcasts and media productions such as Food Pysch with Christy Harrison, Nalgona Positivity Pride with Gloria Lucas, Fat Women of Color with Ivy Felicia, and Huffington Post’s piece, “Everything You Know About Obesity is Wrong.” She also just authored her first book, Fat Girls in Black Bodies: Creating Communities of Our Own. She is the voice of an overcomer, looking to propel others into a place of freedom designed by their desires.

In this episode we talk about:

  • What Dr. Joy is putting out into the world
  • Intersectionality and bias, stigma
  • How to take an intersectional approach
  • The importance of genuine relationships in understanding others
  • Discussing the panel discussion in the conference when addressing learning about others
  • The harm of putting work on individuals with lived experience
  • Why and when you should pay for expert consultation
  • The challenge of googling to learn (when it works and when to seek expert guidance)
  • The importance of saying no when someone is asking you to become a spokesperson
  • The exponential impact of intersectionality of marginalized identities
  • How intersectional identities compound to create narratives
  • Anything that is heavily stigmatized in society – racism is not far behind it
  • Knowledge without learning to implement
  • Why you should find your lane and move accordingly
  • How to identify what you can and should do to support inclusion
  • The importance of identifying where to do the work, it doesn’t have to be public
  • Why individuals need to learn themselves, understand their heart, and identify who they are
  • Getting it right is better than getting it fast
  • Having the important conversations and checking in with the people who matter
  • The unreasonable expectation to have an opinion on everything
  • The benefits of community with each person staying in their lane
  • Creating community that includes all people and the strength that provides
  • Pushing back on the idea that everyone has to be able to do all of the roles
  • We need to change how we think and we need to change how we feel to uncover more space than we knew was available for all people

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*Please note that Therapy Reimagined is a paid affiliate of SimplePractice and will receive a little bit of money in our pockets if you sign up using the above link.

GreenOak Accounting

At GreenOak Accounting, they believe that every private practice should be profitable. They’ve worked with hundreds of practice owners across the country to help them gain financial peace of mind and assist them with making smart financial decisions.

GreenOak Accounting specializes in working with therapists in private practice, and they have helped hundreds of therapists across the country reach their financial goals.  They offer a number of monthly service options that can be catered to a practice’s needs – from basic bookkeeping to premium CFO services. Other specialized services include Profit First Support, compensation planning, and customized KPI Dashboards. They help therapists achieve their clinical goals by making sure they have a profitable practice, and offer unsurpassed support along the way. 

If you’re interested in scheduling a complimentary consultation, please visit their website at to learn more.

Resources mentioned:

We’ve pulled together resources mentioned in this episode and put together some handy-dandy links. Please note that some of the links below may be affiliate links, so if you purchase after clicking below, we may get a little bit of cash in our pockets. We thank you in advance!

Dr. Joy Cox’s Website

Jabbie App

Dr. Joy on Instagram: FreshOutTheCocoon

Dr. Joy on Twitter

Dr. Joy’s Book: Fat Girls in Black Bodies Creating a New Space of Belonging

The Care Bear Stare

Relevant Episodes:

Health At Every Size

Cultural Humility and White Fatigue

Therapy as a Political Act

Black Mental Health

Let’s Talk About Race

Connect with us!

Our Facebook Group – The Modern Therapists Group

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Who we are:

Curt Widhalm is in private practice in the Los Angeles area. He is the cofounder of the Therapy Reimagined conference, an Adjunct Professor at Pepperdine University and CSUN, a former Subject Matter Expert for the California Board of Behavioral Sciences, former CFO of the California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists, and a loving husband and father. He is 1/2 great person, 1/2 provocateur, and 1/2 geek, in that order. He dabbles in the dark art of making “dad jokes” and usually has a half-empty cup of coffee somewhere nearby. Learn more at:

Katie Vernoy is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, coach, and consultant supporting leaders, visionaries, executives, and helping professionals to create sustainable careers. Katie, with Curt, has developed workshops and a conference, Therapy Reimagined, to support therapists navigating through the modern challenges of this profession. Katie is also Past President of the California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists. In her spare time, Katie is secretly siphoning off Curt’s youthful energy, so that she can take over the world. Learn more at:

A Quick Note:

Our opinions are our own. We are only speaking for ourselves – except when we speak for each other, or over each other. We’re working on it.

Our guests are also only speaking for themselves and have their own opinions. We aren’t trying to take their voice, and no one speaks for us either. Mostly because they don’t want to, but hey.

Stay in Touch:

Our Facebook Group – The Modern Therapist’s Group


Voice Over by DW McCann

Music by Crystal Grooms Mangano

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