Beyond the Image – Initiated Survivor with Nikki DuBose

Listen here on Apple Podcasts: (also available on Spotify podcasts and everywhere else!)

Being a survivor in the modeling industry involves a complete reassessment with your body, sexuality, and sense of self. Today we sat down with Nikki DuBose, an American former model and the founder of Live ED Free, an EDIT™Certified Eating Disorder Recovery Coaching Service, to discuss her experience as a survivor within the modeling and entertainment industry. She is a Psy.D. student in Clinical Psychology at Meridian University and holds a B.A. in psychology from California Southern University with honors. She received her training as an Eating Disorder Recovery Coach Specialist through the EDIT ™ Certified Program under Dr. Dorie McCubbrey, PhD, MSEd, LPC, LAC, CEDS.

DuBose takes us through the misinformation that lots of models face, the history of vulnerability that many face, and how she has learned to live with her PTSD through her rebellious acts of self-love.


The abundance of eating disorders, her history of anorexia and bulimia, and the abuse that many models face while on the job

The need for modeling agencies to have more mental health education to assist their clients

How every person has a story, regardless of what you may see on Instagram and in magazines

How what we look like does not inform who we are, what our vulnerabilities are, and whether or not we are susceptible to trauma

Retraumatization and how to cope with a career that asks you to go back to the place where you were victimized

Healing by asking for help, specifically with RAINN (Rape, Abuse, & Incest National Network)

Setting our own boundaries to center ourselves and our own needs

Overcoming shame as it pertains to trauma

Reclaiming authority and agency in life by taking back what was lost as an act of rebellious self-love

Her experience with PTSD and recovery

That we are all born with the right to love, shelter, and food and we should not be afraid to speak up for those needs, especially in the “after”

Finding pleasure and meaning in life again.

For more details on DuBose’s story, check out her memoir Washed Away: From Darkness to Light.


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If you or anyone you know is suffering through trauma contact the National Sexual Assault hotline at 1-800-656-4673 or online for 24/7 support. (This podcast is not a replacement for psychotherapy or mental health care. You can obtain a referral for mental health care provider from your primary care physician, or search on Psychology Today’s Find a Therapist directory)

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