Director of Mental Health
Josie Paul is Xavier’s Director of Mental Health & School Counseling and joined our team in 2013. Thanks to Josie’s leadership, we now offer a full team of therapists providing a wide range of services to students, staff and families. Josie expanded our therapy program to include teacher training on mental health topics, parenting courses and student groups. She also created our school’s Crisis Preparedness and Response Plan.
She is currently a PhD student in Social Health Sciences at Vrije Universiteit, Brussels. Her doctoral research investigates how psychotherapy, in a culinary setting, co-creates a collaborative-dialogic space that enriches the identity stories of adolescents who struggle with anxiety. More specifically, her goal is to gain insight into the experience and meaning of participating in collaborative-dialogic practices in a culinary setting and to explore the identity stories of adolescents who have been formally diagnosed or who self-identify as anxious, from the adolescent’s perspective. She holds a master’s degree in Marriage and Family Therapy from St. Mary’s University (where she graduated with highest distinction) and a bachelor’s degree in Vocational Education, with an emphasis on food and beverage preparation, from Sacramento State University (where she graduated Summa Cum Laude). Josie’s background spans a diverse range of disciplines that include working as a European trained pastry chef and a culinary arts instructor in the San Francisco Bay Area for many years before becoming a licensed psychotherapist. In addition to serving as Director of Mental Health Services for Xavier, she is on faculty at the Houston Galveston Institute, one of our community partners.
Josie is also an award-winning therapist and chef. She was selected for an International Certificate in Collaborative Practices, Train the Trainers in 2017, 2018 and 2019, selected for ICCP Scholarship 2016-2017, the recipient of the International Summer Institute in Cancun, Mexico’s “Starfish Award” in 2017, was the Baptist Health Care Academic Scholarship Recipient in 2010 and was a Finalist in Domaine Carneros’ Search for The Ultimate Wedding Cake in 1994.
Josie has benefited from a range of life experiences including joining a test run in an F1-11 fighter jet; spending a week at Mt. Washington Weather Observatory (known for the worst weather in the world) as a volunteer, preparing meals for the meteorologists, while experiencing drastic weather changes and learning about weather patterns and predictions; sculpting Mt. McKinley out of hundreds of pounds of chocolate for "The Climb Against the Odds" cancer fundraiser held at the Ritz Carleton in San Francisco; preparing and serving Robert Mondavi's 85 birthday cake for 2400 guests; being honored as a Guest Pastry Chef alongside Cuisine Chef Jeremiah Tower for the Napa Valley Wine Auction; being selected as one of a team of three American Chefs to travel to Taipei, Taiwan to instruct and oversee the Culinary Arts Students of Kai Ping Culinary School in a seven-course, white glove, dinner event; and serving as a presenter at workshops and conferences in the United States and Internationally.
Contact Josie here.