Kirsten Brunner is a Licensed Professional Counselor and married mother of two boys in Austin, Texas. She has been actively providing therapy and life coaching for twenty years, first in a corporate setting and now in a private practice.
Kirsten operates the blog and workshop series, Baby Proofed Parents. Her goal is to "bring sane to baby brain" by providing sanity-saving and relationship-strengthening tools that new parents don't always get in their standard childbirth classes.
Kirsten is a regular contributor to Huffington Post, TODAY Show Parenting Team and Scary Mommy. Her work has also been featured in Real Simple Magazine, The Washington Post, The Atlantic, Woman’s Day and Mamalode. Her first book, co-authored with Brian the Birth Guy, The Birth Guy's Go-To Guide for New Dads is slated for launch on November 1st, 2018 from New Harbinger Publications.
Ok, so that's my formal, stuffy bio. Now let me share a little bit about the real me.
I didn’t set out originally to be a counselor. My first college degree was in Speech Communication. I liked giving speeches and communicating, but the classes I gravitated toward most were the interpersonal and relational communication courses. I dipped my toe into a Psych 101 class and was hooked. Growing up in a single parent home with its fair share of dysfunction helped me to develop a deep curiosity for how we quirky humans evolve and thrive.
I decided to pursue a Masters in Counseling which ultimately led to working in a children’s advocacy center, a university career counseling center and finally an employee assistance program. At the latter, I provided counseling, wellness coaching and critical incident/crisis intervention for over seven years.
When I had my first baby, I decided to transition to a work schedule that would allow for more flexibility and time at home. In 2005, I launched my private practice with two colleagues, Fresh Perspectives Counseling.
This is going to be a piece of cake, I thought. Working part time, parenting full time. Easy, cheesy, right?
Ha, ha. Raising a child was definitely the most challenging gig I had ever taken on. In fact, going into my office to counsel clients was the easy part! Those first few years with my two boys gave me a fresh understanding of postpartum depression and anxiety. I became more invested than ever in helping women and couples prepare for the transition to parenthood.
This passion led me to co-create the blog, Baby Proofed Parents, with my friend and colleague, Cheryl Tyler. That’s when the real fun began in my career. I rediscovered my love of writing and speaking. And I began connecting with other therapists, maternal mental health advocates and writers nationwide. My world and knowledge base expanded!
Throughout all of these life adventures, my husband of 20 years has remained by my side. Our relationship has given me a first-hand look at the hard-work and daily effort that goes into making a marriage thrive and survive. At home, I try to practice the tools that I teach to couples every day in my office… and for the most part, they really do work!
In summary, I've been there, I've done that and I'm still learning, growing and improving on the perfectly imperfect prototype that is me. I've figured out that life can be joyful and amazing when you surround yourself with enough humor, supportive people and helpful resources. It takes a village, right? I'm ready to be one of your villagers.
Let me know how I can help.