The privilege of a lifetime is to become who you truly are.
- Carl Jung
Teresa Gross, LPC
Licensed Professional Counselor
Teresa began her life’s work as a bereavement intern while earning a Master of Arts in Counseling from St. Edward's University. After graduating in 2015, she transitioned into a dual position where she counseled young adults with autism and directed outreach for an independent living transition program. Teresa joined the Austin Mindfulness Center in 2017.
Now a full-time counselor in her eighth year of practice, Teresa is deeply committed to supporting others on their paths to awakening, healing, and growth. Teresa got her start in marketing roles at Fortune 500 companies, but after 20 years made the bold decision to leave high-tech for the healing arts in response to her soul's clarion call for "something more". For the first several years during this career transition, she worked as a massage therapist and yoga teacher before settling into her most cherished role as a therapist. In her free time, Teresa enjoys yoga, meditation, and spirituality as well as studying the Enneagram, spending time with family and friends, and being a devoted student of life.
I'm glad you've decided to reach out. Therapy can help you feel better, gain new understanding, and navigate life's biggest challenges. It can also lead you to discover your true self and empower you to create more freedom, flow, and vitality in your life. Naturally, I would feel privileged to join you on this journey towards healing and growth.
As your therapist, I can offer a calm presence, listening, empathy, acceptance, and sensitivity coupled with gentle guidance that draws on five decades of my own life lessons and experiences. Working together, you can count on a safe space to pause, reflect, and engage your natural strengths, innate wisdom, and deep-rooted resilience in the pursuit of positive change, inner peace, and passionate living.
How I Work
In the beginning, we will build rapport and talk about what brought you in – your concerns, needs, and what you hope to get out of counseling. If you don’t know, that’s ok; we’ll uncover them together. I’m dedicated to helping you make sense of your thoughts, emotions, patterns of behavior, and life events by bringing a balance of comfort, curiosity, candor, compassion, and challenge to the therapeutic process.
As we go further into the work of therapy, you will be invited to slow down, turn inward, and dig deep. In doing so, we will contemplate your inner landscape, experiences, and relationships. We will invite wonder and the answers to some of life's most thought-provoking questions. Importantly, we will also consider practical tools and strategies for relieving symptoms as well as for coping with changes and uncertainties, alleviating anxiety and stress, and negotiating everyday demands.
Using an existential approach to therapy that primarily integrates mindfulness and cognitive-behavioral practices taken from Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), we will mindfully connect with the present, seek insights, cultivate acceptance, ponder empowering perspectives, explore new possibilities, clarify what's important to you, and do what matters. Over time, you can trust your relationship with yourself, others, and life will begin to shift in purposeful and meaningful ways.
Full contact with life – its suffering, its joy, its mystery – and your journey to greater fulfillment will ask for your willingness, courage, and vulnerability coupled with an unwavering commitment to the pursuit of your true potential at a pace that’s just right for you. Yet, this endeavor is not one you must endure alone. There is not only the enlivening sense of connection that comes from asking for support, but also the gradual emergence of an authentic, wholehearted way of being and a gratifying experience of life despite its inevitable challenges.
I treasure each and every opportunity to gently guide others to know, accept, and love themselves; live their lives full-on, full-out from the heart; and enjoy more peace, freedom, and vitality in their relationships and daily lives.
What made you decide to become a counselor?
I decided to become a counselor after a long-standing, heartfelt desire to turn my passion for personal growth, deep curiosity about personality, and fascination with human nature into a profession. While I started my transition from high tech corporate marketing to the healing arts with massage therapy and yoga instruction, I had known from the beginning that I wanted to be a therapist. Now after years of facing my fears, learning to trust life, and having finally settled into my life’s work as a fully licensed and credentialed professional counselor, I cannot imagine doing anything else that could bring me greater joy. I treasure each and every opportunity to gently guide others to know, accept, and love themselves; live their lives full-on, full-out from the heart; and enjoy more peace, freedom, and vitality in their relationships and daily lives.
If you could teach the world one skill or technique to improve their lives, what would it be?
Although it’s certainly not easy at times and likely takes a lifetime, this skill is self-acceptance.
What are the most common problems your clients bring to you?
Anxiety/panic, major life or career transitions, relationship challenges, and personal growth.
Have you personally been in counseling and if so, what did you learn about yourself?
Yes, a few times, off-and-on since my mid- 20s. More than anything else, what I have learned about myself is that I can trust and love. What I have learned about life is that I am being gently guided by a loving Lifeforce; and there is no greater privilege than to become who we truly are.
If you could recommend one book to all your clients, what would it be?
Way of Mastery by Shanti Christo Foundation
What inspires you to help others?
My own and others’ transformation towards greater love, fulfillment, and meaning in life that inevitably emerges from the challenging pursuit of positive change and growth, the choice for inner peace, and an unwavering commitment to purposeful and passionate living from one’s true self.
Who is your ideal client?
Individuals challenged by major transitions, struggling in their relationships, burdened by anxiety, derailed by depression, or grieving a loss and who are willing to fully engage in the therapy process, committed to exploring their “growth edges”, and open to mindfulness.
How do you personally practice self-care?
Yoga, meditation, mindfulness and spiritual practices, Enneagram studies, spending time with family and friends, squeezing in a good read or movie, settling in quiet solitude, and taking a time out every now-and-again for a wellness retreat.
How do you relate to mindfulness?
Mindfulness is a way of being, approach to living, access to full contact with life, an essential form of inner strength training, and an empowering practice. Hence, my primary approach to therapy is Acceptance & Commitment Therapy. ACT uniquely combines cognitive, behavioral, and mindfulness interventions that are not only intended to relieve symptoms and facilitate positive change and growth, but at once expand and deepen one’s experience of life. It is also why I make mindfulness a priority and a daily practice, even if only for a few minutes a day!
How do you incorporate Mindfulness into your sessions?
I often incorporate mindfulness into my sessions by describing mindfulness as a concept; introducing and exploring various mindfulness practices to discover what will work best for each person based on their preferences; and create experiences of present-moment mindfulness by way of breathwork, short meditations, or guided visualizations.
Your favorite quote?
"Seek the wisdom that will untie your knot. Seek the path that demands your whole being" -Rumi
If you are hosting a dinner party, who are the 3 people you would invite and why?
Mother Mary – My Spiritual Person
Jeshua – Wisdom Teacher and Loving Presence
Irvin Yalom – Master Therapist