Dr. Carla J. Cooke
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When one is destined for greatness and another level of freedom, attempting to stop or block them will never end up well. And that is the undeniable truth for the life and ongoing legacy of Dr. Carla J. Cooke.
As the youngest of 3 children, Dr. Carla was born in Staten Island, NY and raised in Teaneck, NJ. Undoubtedly, this Jersey girl had determination, compassion, and a sincere desire for change. This was made evident from the age of 13 years old when she penned a poem that proclaimed, “I’m growing up and growing up free. No one in this world will ever stop me.” Even as a child, she had a way with words and a determination to life fully without apology. However, her journey would not be a crystal staircase but one where she would need to overcome challenges and beat the odds.
Dr. Carla J. Cooke
Believing in the power of education and pursuing her higher call to heal, Dr. Carla is an ordained minister and well degreed in the realm of Psychology. She began with an Associate Degree in Psychology from Bergen Community College. From there, she obtained her BA in Psychology and her M.Ed. and Ed.D in Counseling Psychology from Rutgers University. As a Licensed Psychologist, Dr. Carla is certified in EMDR (evidence-based trauma informed therapy method) and Faith Formation (via Fordham University). With these credentials, she has served in an array of backgrounds and environments; each of which has allowed her to experience the beauty and complexities of human behavior, culture, and the systems that work for and against people from various backgrounds. But no matter where she goes and who she encounters, she stands on the foundation of presenting and representing emotional freedom.
Dr. Carla’s professional expertise has been sought after by many, including the State of NJ, where she served as Assistant Commissioner. This followed with her becoming the founder of a prominent counseling center called Sanctuary of Hope and Healing. During her 15-year tenure as the Director, she specialized in trauma-informed approaches and continues to hold a certification in EMDR which is an evidence-based strategy to address trauma. Dr. Carla has brought national and international attention to the need for trauma-informed psychological evaluations to address misdiagnosis and misaligned recommendations for children and adults in systems overrepresented by communities of color. She continues to operate as the CEO of Sound Psychological Assessment Center where she serves as an expert witness in legal cases of discrimination, sexual assault, and other personal injury matters.
Everything that she does focuses positive emotional health and wholeness. As a global psychologist, called out of the therapy office and onto the world stage, Dr. Carla is the visionary of the Healed People Heal People Movement. This mindset, this initiative for life, allows Dr. Carla Cooke to partner with women from community organizations, corporate environments, and faith-based communities to create healing spaces where emotional wellness and wholeness becomes a transformative process and priority that is continued to be practiced. Dr. Carla is especially passionate about helping Black women entrepreneurs avoid burn-out by nurturing emotional wellness and wholeness within.And whether domestic or international, all who know her understand the potency of her voice, her message, her passion, and her purpose. She is a trusted mentor for women who are serious about being whole, showing up in life powerfully and optimally, and representing living legacies that exemplify the power of how healed people, heal people.
As a proud mentee of, the NSA Hall of Fame awardee, Dr. Delatorro McNeal and a life-long learner in the classroom of the world, Dr. Carla Cooke travels the world promoting healing, wholeness, restoration, and transformation. Her energy takes each audience on an exciting journey into the mind of someone who was once a determined young lady that evolved into an unstoppable force of strength and freedom. She holds fast to Maya Angelou saying, “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” Attributing her inspiration to her mother, Dr. Carla J. Cooke allows adversity to fuel her, instead of deterring her, and remains transparent. She is a lover of family and values the significance of authentic relationships.