Identity. I talked about that in Monday’s post. Cook or chef or baker (even though I like to bake!) — none of these are in my list of personal identifiers. I manage OK when I’m on my own. I mean, I didn’t STARVE TO DEATH when I was single and lonely in my one-bedroom condo. But I’m happily benefiting from a boyfriend who LOVES to cook — it’s his creative release from a long day at work. Cooking for me? ADDS stress.

Ironic… it’s totally A.D.D. stress too.

Completely changing topics (but we’ll pull this all together, I promise)… you know how sometimes you feel as though you were just MEANT to meet somebody — be it a friend, networking contact or romantic partner? This is how I feel about the person that I’m introducing in my guest post below. We met online, as many in this digital age are ought to do; and I just knew we had to work together. She’s breaking the traditional mold of old-school therapy by applying the guiding practices in a creative way. Who she is, is the exact type of therapist that I intend to be: an adventurer.

Although… maybe without all that cooking.

Introducing Allison of A Taste of Therapy

Who am I?
Hi! My name is Allison Carver, I’m in my 30s and I am Licensed Professional Counselor from Richmond, Virginia. I own a business called A Taste of Therapy that takes a creative and unique spin on plain, old, boring therapy. I use cooking therapy! This is my true passion in life and I love it! I combine cooking classes with therapy to help others grow! When I opened in 2010 there was an unfilled demand for a creative and new alternative to traditional outpatient therapy in Richmond. Therefore I created a new type of therapy! I am professionally trained in both mental health therapy and culinary arts.

What is Cooking Therapy?
I believe that the process of cooking is therapeutic. Just as an Art Therapist uses the process of painting as therapy, I use cooking as a way to manage life’s stresses.

How did I come up with this idea?
I’ve always loved to cook and used it as my own personal outlet for years! Time and time again, I would find myself taking my own problems to the kitchen and working it out through cooking. One day it occurred to me that others would benefit from this. I began to incorporate these cooking techniques into my therapy practice! I soon discovered that cooking helped my clients more than I ever expected. Right then and there I knew this was a good idea.

Why it works?
Cooking is a relaxing process that you helps you unwind when you are feeling troubled. I find that when client’s keep their hands busy cooking, they are more likely to open up and discover what’s really troubling them. When you begin to use cooking as therapy you will relax, have fun, and learn how to manage life’s challenges through cooking! My classes teach specific skills about how to deal with stress, anxiety, depression, and anger. My classes will teach you how chopping, slicing, and kneading dough will help you feel better.

How do my workshops work?
When you sign up for a workshop you will get three separate sessions (an appetizer, entrée, and dessert session) of therapy and cooking. Each week you will discuss the appropriate therapy topics and then cook food. Workshops topics include: anger management, parenting issues, poor communication, anxiety, grief and loss, depression, poor self esteem, and relationship issues. They are designed for groups or individuals. I travel to your kitchen, making it really convenient!

Help! I don’t live in Richmond, but I want some cooking therapy!
I’ve just launched a new product that will help you out! It’s called: ATOT Takeout. It’s a personalized cooking therapy recipe designed just for you! It offers a solution for any minor life challenge. Just email me ( let me know that you would like to participate in ATOT Takeout. I’ll email you a form asking you what you are dealing with. Email it back to me with your $25 payment and within 24 hours I will email you back a personalized recipe and therapeutic tips to help you deal! IT will provided step by step instructions on how to use cooking to help you cope with your issue. *Bonus! If you mention you saw this on 30-something Therapy, I’ll give you $5 off!

Looking for more information?
Be sure to check me out on the web! I have a complete YouTube Channel that offers videos, recipes, and cooking therapy tips! Like me on Facebook, and follow along with Twitter! I’m excited to get to know you more!

Stay tuned for a special Taste of Therapy recipe that might be JUST what you need to wind down from the Thanksgiving holiday.

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