Luminary Counseling, PLLC is owned and operated by our fearless leader, Clinical Director and Owner, Jennifer Williams Buffalo MA, LPC-S, LMFT, NCC. Beginning her education as a pre-law student at the University of Texas at Austin and majored in Psychology as her backup plan—Ultimately graduating with her Bachelor's Degree in Psychology with a minor in Sociology and going on to study for her Master's in the Art of Counseling from St. Edward's University in 2010. She holds dual licenses, a Licensed Practicing Counselor, and a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. When discussing her choice to become a therapist, Jenn shared that she had a very positive interaction with a therapist when she was a child and found that experience to be very supportive. However, while in college, she had a negative experience in the therapeutic process, being labeled and immediately referred for medication rather than being treated holistically. "I remember sitting in this Clinician's office since I had gone back after being hastily diagnosed on my first appointment as being depressed and looking at their degrees. First, a Bachelor's in an unrelated field at UT, and then a Master's for counseling." Jenn remembers, "and I thought to myself that I knew what was missing from my interaction with this therapist. I really believed if I had the training and my heart was in the right place, I could do it better."
This lit a fire in her to ensure that others didn't have to experience what she did with this negative therapeutic experience. She also wanted to be someone out in the world who could provide a safe therapeutic space for clients, specifically in the LQBTQIA+ community. She specializes in trauma, as so many individuals in the LGBTQIA+ community have trauma from simply being who they are in a world that consistently invalidates and oppresses their identities. "I work with individuals, couples, and families and have a passion for helping my clients live more authentic and flourishing lives." she shares from her home office in Austin, TX.
She saw herself going into nonprofit work after grad school. So she began to volunteer and got her first job out of graduate school as a medical case manager for AIDS Services of Austin. This experience really taught her that her passion was on the clinical side of things, so she began to work toward full licensure. As she kept her head down and worked on her hours, she had built a reasonable caseload and could support herself by the time she was ready to be fully licensed. Luminary Counseling, PLLC was born out of that hard work and determination.
As she went through her two licenses, there weren't many dual supervisors, so she had two different supervisors. This slowed down her process, having to work toward each license one at a time, and she ended up being under supervision for 6 years and 6 months. She learned through that process that having a supportive supervisor relationship is essential. She felt she would make a good supervisor. After finding mentors and completing training, Jenn became a supervisor for associate therapists, focused on helping them cultivate their skills. This has led to a thriving supervision practice that supports LPC Associates throughout Texas.
When asked why she loves what she does, Jennifer shared:
"Through therapy, I can support people and understand how they relate to everything in their lives from people, substances, work, and pets. I can support them in understanding and changing the ways they relate to all the parts of their lives, and in turn, they could develop lives that they are excited to live. That continues to be a primary tenet of the work that I do. The deep feelings of connection that I have with folx on my caseload and how much I genuinely care about the people I work with is my favorite part of my job."
Jennifer specializes in trauma and PTSD working with clients who are seemingly very high functioning and can't quite get it together internally or in their relationships. The populations I work with may be highly educated, hold high positions of power, and seem like they have it all together but struggle in their relationships and tasks that may have previously been easier for them—that breakdown of functioning is how trauma can show up. Jennifer assesses and chooses the best modalities and treatments for clients with that in mind. There is no "one size fits all ."Jennifer is trained in EMDR, which stands for Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing. It is a gentle modality that helps people reprocess and integrate complex or adversarial experiences in their lives that they weren't able to previously incorporate. It allows individuals to reprocess old memories and get them to put into their long-term memory stores where they belong. "One of my favorite things about trauma treatment is learning what is going on. How can I take care of myself when triggered and care for myself through these experiences? Ultimately trauma treatment can result in greater self-care practices for folx, and then more fulfilling lives."
Jennifer is a highly relational clinician, which means she doesn't approach the work as the expert in the room. While she has her specializations and training, clients are always wise beyond their own comprehension. "My philosophy is that the way we relate in this world is the single most important thing we can spend time looking at, addressing, and strengthening." She is passionate about tapping into each person's natural human ability to heal and what may be getting in the way of the healing process. Her work in her practice is always focused on how she can facilitate and support the realignment of things so that people can do what we are hardwired to do, which is self-heal.
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