HEATHER NIRENBERG COUNSELING
"In the face of empathy and understanding, shame cannot survive."
The goal is for my clients to walk away with the same curiosity and unconditional positive regard for themselves that I cultivate with them in our sessions. Through the gentle untying of the knots of trauma along with reinforcement of strengths and resources, the internal compass can once again be recalibrated toward joy, with intention and self-compassion.
I am multiracial with both Asian and Jewish parents, which has helped me be sensitive to how different our experiences can be within the same macroculture. Sessions with me involve curiosity, education, and concrete practices that will help shift your perspective on your internal and external experiences, and give you the knowledge necessary to get you back in the driver's seat of your life. Information, empowerment, and a controlled flexibility toward the human experience can, and will, guide you along on your unique path of healing.
I use an eclectic, trauma-informed approach that involves elements from Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Somatic Experiencing, Relational Cultural Therapy, Feminist Theory, the HAES Model, Intuitive Eating, and Attachment Theory, among others. I am trained in EMDR and offer this service to all of my clients, along with exercises in mindfulness, grounding work, and meditation. Together, we will work on a renewed mind-body connection, a deeper understanding of your values and goals, and an establishment of healthy boundaries to help you in both your relationship with others and your relationship with yourself.
"The meaning of life is to give life meaning"
Viktor E. Frankl
Heather Nirenberg McKillip, MA, LPC-Associate, NCC
Supervised by Karen Finley Breeding, LPC-S
Born and raised in Austin, Texas, I earned my undergrad degree in Radio-Television-Film from the University of Texas, and spent the next 10 years traveling around the world and living in NYC. I returned to Austin in 2012 to be close to family and began the journey that led me to the field of counseling.
I have always been drawn to people, and very much enjoy the art of conversation. I am an ENFJ-A, aka The Protagonist, according to the Myers-Briggs personality types (read about me here or take your own assessment!). I am a caretaker at heart, endlessly curious about the meaning of life, forever analyzing my relationship with self and others. I look deeply at the mind-body connection, and am always learning to strengthen my own understanding of what it is to be human. I conceptualize my clients through the lens of the nervous system, using a trauma-informed, racial justice-oriented, and culturally curious mindset. I am also a new mom, learning to navigate the role of motherhood and shift in identity that the unconditional caring for another human being brings.
I completed my Master of Arts in Counseling at Saint Edwards University and my pre-graduation internship at the YWCA Greater Austin, providing mental health services to the community in need. I hold the National Certified Counselor accreditation and am EMDR-trained under Rick Levinson, LCSW. I am currently working towards my full licensure under the supervision of longtime Austin somatic therapist, Karen Finley Breeding, LPC-S.
Trauma and PTSD
Pregnancy, Prenatal, and Postpartum