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My name is Susanna Kaufman. I am a psychotherapist and owner of a private practice, Light and Heart Therapy PLLC, based in Austin, TX. I specialize in working with individual adults who are struggling with anxiety, overwhelm, relationship issues, grief and loss, spiritual issues, childhood abuse or neglect, and self-acceptance.

About Me Professionally

I earned a Master of Arts (MA) in Professional Counseling from Texas State University and have been practicing professionally since 2020. My therapy approach is a holistic one, rooted in the body's nervous system. I believe the body, mind, thoughts, and emotions all affect each other in one beautifully complicated system. I strive to work in an intentional, culturally responsive, and collaborative way with clients.


I was drawn to holistic, trauma-informed work first through a non-profit job with the EMDR International Association and then volunteer work with domestic violence survivors at SAFE in Austin. I used a trauma-informed knowledge base working with parents of kiddos who had been abused at the Williamson County Children's Advocacy Center in Georgetown, TX. At the Children's Advocacy Center, I completed Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT) training; a specific type of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) developed for treating PTSD. I completed EMDR training in 2020 with EMDRIA Approved Training Provider Intuitus Group Counseling Clinic, PLLC, and have used EMDR therapy with clients since then. Shortly after, I joined the Flatwater provider network to provide mental health therapy in the wake of cancer. Working with issues of grief and loss is close to my heart. Grief is both a highly subjective experience while also being a universal part of the human experience. In 2021, I joined the group practice Labyrinth Counseling, where I gained experience applying Internal Family Systems (IFS) therapy parts concepts into my work.


In 2022 I opened my private practice Light and Heart Therapy. I use a combination of these "top-down" and "bottom-up" therapy approaches alongside a somatic understanding of the nervous system and emotional states when facing issues that clients bring into therapy. I view the therapy relationship as an important part of the therapy process, kind of like a supportive container for growth. I am delighted when clients redefine their relationship with themselves (often by looking closer at old wounds) and begin to see positive "spillover" into their relationships and life outside therapy.

For those familiar with some therapy jargon, my approach is shaped by EMDR therapy's Adaptive Information Processing (AIP) model, the Relational Cultural Therapy approach, the Polyvagal Theory of the nervous system, Internal Family Systems (IFS), and Interpersonal Neurobiology (IPNB). These are the areas I get excited about as I continue to learn and grow in my work as a person and with clients.

About Me Personally

I had the opportunity to gain life and job experience outside the therapy world prior to pursuing a career in counseling in my thirties. I spent childhood years in Iowa and Illinois, completed high school in the prairie of Saskatchewan, Canada, and graduated from a Mennonite college with a Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology and Sociology in small-town Indiana. I have always been interested in people, cultures, and how we connect and build community. In my twenties, I was lucky enough to experience some different cultures and traditions, studying abroad in Indonesia, and backpacking around Greece where I worked on various archaeological digs, my favorite being a Minoan dig on the island of Crete. Back home I worked temp jobs and retail to pay off my loans moving down the I-35 corridor from Minneapolis to Austin. While I appreciate what my years in corporate retail management taught me about building a team, organizing, and business strategies, I ended up feeling burnt out in those settings that thrived on consumerism and capitalism. I struggled to figure out my life path. I experienced loss, trauma, grief, and pain. As I started listening to what I really wanted and needed, opportunities lined up, eventually leading me toward my current helping profession that feels fulfilling.

I've called Austin home for 20+ years after moving around the American and Canadian Midwest earlier in life. My partner and I are pet-parents to a rambunctious lab/collie mix named Benny and a spicy kitty rescue - Merley-girly. Although I can have a blast "extroverting," I am an introvert with high sensitivity and empathic attunement. I continue to learn how to balance adventure and excitement with space and calm in my life by listening to my nervous system. I like DIY projects at home and am not afraid of power tools. I do not enjoy cooking, but I am an excellent veggie chopper (which has earned me the nickname of 'Su-Chef'). I love road trips, playing classical piano, and feel compelled to add to my growing collection of house plants. I value practicality, compassion, and laughter. Cat memes make my day.


I offer a free 20-minute consultation phone call to see if we make a good fit for therapy. Let's connect.

Phone: 512-270-1598

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