A Note From Molly Carmel, LCSW, Founder & Director
At seven, I went to my first nutrition program. There they explained portion sizes and gave us worksheets with Mr. Peanut on them to color.
At that young age, I knew my issue had more to do with just food, portion sizes and the “right” foods to eat. I knew this program would not solve my problem.
My struggle continued and the weight continued to rise and rise and rise.
I was acutely aware that I was not being helped in the way I needed —
I was being “helped” with the wrong information and the wrong motivation. When I was thirteen years old, sitting at a weight loss camp, a little voice inside of me said, “You should help people. You should make a program that works.” And so my journey to creating The Beacon began.
In the following years, I went to nutritionists, weight loss camps, every diet program typical and atypical —you name it, I went to it – bright eyed and hopeful. Like so many of you, I would walk into each diet undertaking with every intention of it working. I drank the shakes, I tried mindfully eating raisins, I attempted to trust my body to tell me how much and what foods to eat (epic failure there). I
would sit at the front of the room and get to my appointments early.
I would empty my house of all the “bad” foods, buy a new notebook, purchase the multi-pack sessions (because, you know, I was going to be the best lifetime member they’ve ever seen!) and, as you know, I
ALWAYS ended up failing, more miserable and heavier than when I had begun.
Diets failed me. They focused only on the food and the end goal of weight loss, but failed to take me step-by-step, through each day, through each obstacle, to actualize my end goal. They told me what to eat and how much to eat, but failed to address the subtle thinking patterns and behaviors that interfered with my ability to “stick to the diet” for more than a week or two. They failed to appreciate some of the specific food issues that I struggled with that were holding me captive. They packaged their programs in bright shiny colors, but failed to provide the moment-by-moment, on-call support I needed during those hard moments when the initial hope and shiny new food packages and notebooks lost their luster. All those diets sounded
easy and doable on Monday morning, but failed me by Thursday. I knew these people were trying to help me, but that they didn’t truly see me or hear me, that they didn’t understand why this wasn’t working.
My personal path of recovery was very crooked. It was bumpy, muddy, and filled with plenty of tragedy and then finally some success. I was able to piecemeal together a recovery and find my way to create
the help I needed. Along my crooked path, that little voice that said, “You should help people. You should make a program that works.” It played on repeat in my brain. Little did I know then that with each
personal diet failure, my vision of what will help you find your path to recovery became bigger and brighter. I am known for saying that I make programs for my sickest self — and nothing could be more true. My
passion for helping you to find your solution comes from the deepest and most personal place: as someone who understands the plight of compulsive overeating and food addiction, and as someone who couldn’t
get help because the right kind of help didn’t exist.
My professional path was as crooked as my personal recovery. There wasn’t any place that helped in a way I knew would work, so I sought out places I thought would be helpful in creating my vision. I worked
at weight loss camps and drug treatment centers; I started a boarding school and camps for adolescent obesity and created outpatient programs with doctors that I respected. I read the research on
obesity, diabetes, food addiction, and on the ways that people most successfully change. I studied addiction, Buddhism, behavioral therapy, Dialectical Therapy — things outside of the traditional
framework of nutrition and weight loss that might help patients recover. I took on clients who were just like me — hopeless, ready to give up, and convinced they could not get better. Above all, I
listened to my clients, and I continue to listen to them today. With all my personal and professional training and experiences, I knew I had discovered a way to help people to successfully win their own Diet
Wars. And finally, that little voice that said, “You should help people, You should make a program that works” was satisfied.
I assembled a group of clinicians that feel as passionately as I do about helping you to make a real difference in your life. Like me, they have been training in relevant areas and have dreamed of doing
this work with you. They can provide obesity help, eating disorder help, food addiction help and everything in between. Your Beacon Team is ready to create a customized plan to get you where you want to be.
They are ready to be by your side through each step and each obstacle, long past Monday morning. My team and I are able to look you in the eye, honestly “get” you, and let you know that we can help. And we
No one person is the same, so we will work with you — one on one — to make this work. We will arm you with the tools. With skill and compassion we will fight this battle with you. We will BELIEVE in you
wholly, especially when you don’t believe in yourself.
I know you want this more than anything. I know that every single attempt you make to diet or stop binging is an honest one. Being trapped in the jaws of compulsive overeating and food addiction is
awful, shaming and hopeless. I named this program “The Beacon” to stand as a shining light in the dark and dingy Diet Wars you are fighting. Let the Beacon’s light guide you to freedom. Let us show
you what is possible when you are in recovery from disordered eating or food addiction. Let us hear your story and hear your fears. Let us show you the TRUE YOU under all that diet trauma. Let us teach you
how to STAY STOPPED.
Meet Our Team
Molly has made it her life’s mission to help people find a sustainable solution to the battle of obesity and related eating disorders. After battling an eating disorder for over 20 years and finding no solution in available treatment, she began her professional path towards creating The Beacon. Molly has a personal dedication to helping…
Jaimie is incredibly excited to be fulfilling what she believes to be her life’s purpose at Beacon. As someone who has been fortunate enough to experience the gift of recovery, Jaimie believes that it is her life’s mission to help others actualize their full life’s potential. Jaimie maintains that humor and irreverence make the journey…
Kirsten brings with her a combination of humor and lightheartedness AND the courage to challenge clients, not shying away from deeply transformational work in treatment. Kirsten is wholeheartedly committed to working with her clients to create, in the words of DBT, a “life worth living.” Kirsten has a Master’s Degree from Columbia, as well as…
Shaudi brings compassion and commitment to her work with her clients at Beacon. She feels honored to take this next step with you in addressing your issues with food and weight. Shaudi is especially passionate about her work at Beacon because of her own personal history with dysfunctional eating for multiple years. At Beacon, she…
Zulma is passionate about her work and prides herself on never asking something of a client that she wouldn’t do herself. After working in the addictions field for nearly two decades, Zulma has found her true niche at Beacon. Zulma is a CASAC, CASAC instructor, and a Clinical Social Worker, receiving her master’s degree from…
Alex believes wholeheartedly that people can change and improve their lives. He is committed to helping you find your sustainable solution at Beacon. He believes Beacon is an ideal place for people to learn how to live more fulfilled and satisfying lives. Alex believes deeply in the healing powers of therapy, mindfulness, and spirituality. He…
Kate is humbled to be your partner on the recovery journey. Kate “gets it” from a personal AND professional stance–she knows that making changes to your relationship with food and weight requires a lot of bravery. She passionately walks alongside clients with empathy, balance, and a smile as you take steps towards the life you…
Gabrielle believes deeply in people’s ability to change their behavior and loves working with clients to achieve their goals. Gabrielle holds an MS in Social Work from Columbia University School of Social Work, where she completed the DBT Training Program.
Rachel is passionate about helping you become your best self. She prides herself on being radically genuine and she uses open and honest communication and encourages her clients to do the same. Rachel uses creativity and a sense of humor to re-frame difficult situations into challenges you can handle. Rachel is all about the Beacon…
Need a problem solved? Look no further than Amorette. Her vibrant, warm, fun, sweet and “solutions only” energy is the first light you see when you call or come to Beacon. You can feel, upon interacting with Amorette, that she is completely committed to our mission, “Shine Bright.” Amorette is here to help you with…
Nikki Glantz, RD and LDN, has a passion for the treatment of food addiction and eating disorders. She has earned her stripes at Beacon as our “go-to” person for meal plans and overall dietary expertise. With more than 10 years of experience in the residential treatment of eating disorders and private practice, Nikki is dedicated…
With more than 25 years of academic and career experience in the medical industry, Davia is here to help you with all of your billing questions and needs. There is no problem too little, big, annoying or complicated that Davia won’t do her best to help you solve.