Spotlight: Psychotherapist and Rosebud Woman Ambassador Wendy Levine
Rosebud Woman Ambassador Wendy Levine is a double-board certified licensed psychotherapist, currently practicing in Nashville, Tennessee. She began her career in the New York/New Jersey metropolitan area, working in the non-for-profit world—which, she recalls, “is incredible, exhausting, amazing and challenging, all at the same time.”
Wendy loves working with women, and with the LGBTQIA+ community. Her practice in these areas encompasses issues and challenges with body image, eating behaviors, sexuality, and self-esteem—and that’s the short list. She works with many high-profile professionals, whose careers present a unique set of challenges. Wendy deeply values spending time with family and friends, loves being outdoors, and described herself as “a voracious reader and sushi aficionado.”
RW: What is your favorite part of what you do?
Wendy: Truly, the honor of being able to walk alongside each of my clients. It is a profound privilege to be a part of someone’s growth—but also be with them and support them as they grieve, or go through the vast array of stressors that life throws our way.
RW: What are some of the most pressing issues that you confront in your day-to-day work?
Wendy: I find that navigating the murky territory of what we, as women, are told we are “supposed to” do and be and feel, versus what is unique and right for us individually, is stressful and can be problematic. This can be in relation to our minds, our bodies, as sexual beings, etc.. Writing our own narratives as women—and really rewriting the narrative in therapy—is the most pressing issue I confront daily, during almost every session.
RW: What about with adolescents: both girls and boys?
Wendy: Working with adolescents presents specific challenges. Social pressure, the pressure of what one looks like physically and identifies as—or even the pressure to classify oneself or identify oneself either in terms of sexuality or gender identity—is a very real issue for the teens I see. I also see social media as a “Catch 22” for many of the teens I work with. Through our therapeutic work, we try to figure out together how to utilize social media as a tool rather than gospel.
RW: Tell us a bit about your clinical work with the LGBTQIA+ community.
Wendy: I began working with the LGBTQIA+ community about six years ago. I began by seeing individuals who identify somewhere along the LGBTQIA+ spectrum. I then incorporated family work for individuals who were in the highly tenuous process of transition. Areas of specific challenge include navigating family dynamics and reactions, school environment, and work environment/ daily life before, during, and after transition. This includes addressing issues when the body one was born with does not feeling like ‘home,’ learning about the body that is transitioning, and self-acceptance after transition.
I also do a lot of work with individuals who identify somewhere along the “LGB” spectrum. Some of the most important issues we address in those therapy sessions also include family acceptance, sexuality, sexual exploration, self-judgment, and internalized feelings.
RW: Do you face any specific challenges working in a primarily “red” state?
Wendy: Yes, I do. First of all, there is still a large stigma attached to seeing a therapist. Issues surrounding sexuality and one’s body are seldom discussed in the manner to which I was accustomed, growing up on the east coast and working as a therapist there for eight years. Being able to connect to my clients who are struggling in those areas, and have them feel safe and supported in my office, is definitely more challenging in the south. But once that connection is made, seeing my clients progress and prosper emotionally is beautiful.
RW: If you could give your 13-year-old self one piece of advice, what would it be?
Wendy: “They” don’t matter. Their opinions of you are meaningless. and will have exactly zero bearing on who you become.
RW: And to your 75-year-old self?
Wendy: I would hope that my 75-year-old self is still on the journey of self-discovery, deepening self-awareness, and understanding. The piece of advice would be, “Just because you’re older and possibly wiser does not mean you stop— there is no ‘pass’ on continual growth.” Also, I hope I am still doing yoga!
RW: What excites you about working with Rosebud Woman as an Ambassador ?
Wendy: I am so excited to be a part of a community that honors and supports women in the ways that Rosebud Woman does. Your message about women becoming empowered within themselves, their bodies, and their sexuality (whatever that may look like for them) is directly in line with my work.
RW: What is your favorite Rosebud Woman product, and why?
Wendy: My favorite would be the Honor everyday balm. I love this product because of how I feel when I use it. I am all about practicing what I preach, and this product in particular empowers me to feel connected, and to not only accept, but—as the name suggests—honor my body, and have gratitude.
RW: If you could change anything in the world for women, what would it be?
Wendy: Their conceptions of themselves. I’d want them to realize how worthy, powerful, and capable they are—in spite of circumstance, contrary opinion, and opposition. The women I work with are incredible, and they inspire me every day.
Want to work with Wendy? Get in touch with her here, at Nashville Psych.
Are you a woman's health, wellness, sensuality, sexuality, performance professional? Coaches, practitioners and educators are invited to become a Rosebud Woman ambassador!