Hi! I’m Nirmeen Valiani
My journey with mindfulness began in graduate school when I was struggling with severe anxiety about having to take an oral comprehensive exam.
In an attempt to try anything to manage my debilitating anxiety, I came across a Mindfulness self-help book, which changed my entire outlook on how I viewed anxiety: what if, instead of running away from life, I learned to actively engage in it by changing my relationship to anxiety? What if, instead of getting angry at myself, that as a counseling student I should not feel anxious, I admitted that I am a human being and that we all have these feelings?
This perspective blew me away because what caused me even more anxiety than the exam was that I kept trying to get rid of this feeling or to “fix it.” This realization was a turning point for me as I delved into finding out more about myself. I went to therapy, where I was able to gain personal insight and identify my unhealthy thinking patterns and behaviors, which helped me to grow as both a person and a counselor.
I also attended numerous mindfulness workshops, trainings and retreats. I began to practice Mindfulness Meditation which allowed me to put my new healthy habits into practice. I began to live with intention, cultivating self-compassion to balance out the critical self that had been in me for so long.
I intentionally made the time for self-care and began to see how mindfulness was pouring into all aspects of my life, providing many more moments of joy.
I now know how it feels to be on the other side and personally feel the many benefits of mindfulness and psychotherapy. I also know the courage it takes to be vulnerable enough to explore our inner self–a journey that, should we choose to begin, leads to a more joyful life.
As a professional counselor who has learned to overcome her own personal struggles, I look forward to supporting you as you start this process of personal change, sharing your story, and daring to be vulnerable. It would be an honor to be a part of your journey.
My professional journey and preparation for this work:
Mindfulness and Psychotherapy, MBSR, Trainer: Micki Fine
Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy, USCD Retreat, Trainer: Hickman and Zindel
Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, Trainer: Amy Murrell
Online Courses: Gifts of Imperfections, Brene Brown, Brilliant Mindful You, Mindfulness for Mothers, Sarah Rudell Beach
Member, American Counseling Association
Member, American Mindfulness Research Association
Licensed Professional Counselor by Texas State Board of Examiners of Licensed Professional Counselors (# 69556)
Master’s Degree in Psychology, Houston Baptist University (2011)
Graduate Research Assistant, MD Anderson Cancer Center (2010)
Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology (2006)
Both parts of my life, personal and professional, flow seamlessly into each other. I practice daily meditation, yoga, journaling and informal mindfulness techniques in order to maintain that healthy balance. It allows me time to devote to my family and spend it doing things I love – like photography, scrapbooking and reading mystery novels. I also regularly make time for the outdoors – biking, hiking, snorkeling and traveling with my family. These productive pursuits help me focus better on my work, and I currently run a moms parenting group within the community, while also creating presentations on Mindful Parenting. I also regularly present at corporate events and conferences on how to reduce stress using Mindfulness. Regularly attending workshops at the Jung Center and Mindful Living helps me support my professional and personal development.