Hi! I'm Zeynep Cifci

           My journey with counseling began in graduate school when I was struggling with severe anxiety about having to balance my demanding job, children and graduate school.

   

          In an attempt to try anything to manage my debilitating anxiety, I came across a Acceptance and Commitment philosophy, 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 me juggling up trying to balance things out in my life 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 reflect back to myself and identify my unhealthy thinking patterns and behaviors, which helped me to grow as both a mother, student, counselor and as a person.

           

          I also attended numerous workshops, training and retreats. I began to instill spirituality more into my life style which allowed me to put my new healthy habits into practice. I began to live with intention, integrating self-compassion to balance out the my old voice of critical self that had been in me for so long.

 

         I intentionally made the time for self-care and began to see how acceptance of yourself 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 acceptance, commitment 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 been learning to accept and live with 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

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  • Mindfulness Training, David Martin, M.A., LPC-S

  • Menninger's Clinic Personality Disorders, Trainer: Shweta Sharma, PsyD.

  • Texas Behavior Support Initiative Training

  • Positive Approach to Student Success Training, Dr. Hope Caperton-Brown

  • College Counseling Training, Rice University

  • Member, American Counseling Association

  • Member, Houston LPC Association

  • Member, Texas Counseling Association

  • Licensed Professional Counselor Intern by Texas State Board of Examiners of Licensed Professional Counselors (# 78448)

  • Texas K-12 School Counselor Certificate

  • Texas K-12 Special Education Educator Certificate

  • Master’s Degree in School Counseling & Clinical Mental Health

  •  Research Assistant, Rice University, Language Acquisition Lab

  • Graduate Research Assistant, University of Houston, Cognitive Development Lab

  • Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology, University of Houston, Main, Magna Cum Laude Honors

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