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Compassion for yourself.  Compassion from others, and for others.

Compassionate Selves Counseling, PLLC


About Me

Counseling is a third career for me and the one that I am most passionate about.  I was working in the world of marketing and advertising when I began volunteering for CASA as a Guardian Ad Litem for children in foster care.  That experience changed my heart, and I became aware of the tremendous need for help and healing for the children, teens and adults that have undergone suffering that no one should ever have to endure.  In November 2003 I decided to enroll in a Master’s program in psychology starting the following Fall.  But miraculously an opportunity to begin in January 2004 came available at St. Edwards University in Austin.  I completed the dual track for counseling and marriage and family therapy and found my purpose and greater meaning in my life.  

I have worked with a diverse client population over the years including children, teens, families, couples, and individuals. The longer I have been a counselor, the more my focus has moved towards treating trauma which I describe as “experiences from the past that still affect your present”.  Almost all of us have experienced this definition of trauma in some form or another. And rather these experiences have been small and infrequent or immense and repetitive, it affects our quality of life in some way. 

Part of my life’s journey had been healing from my own past experiences and finding contentment and balance in mind, body, and spirit.  My clients enrich my life as I endeavor to enrich theirs.  I find that I learn and grow from working with my clients.  As I help them overcome the difficulties in their lives they show me their amazing courage, resiliency, kindness, and loving hearts which I reflect back to them…as most often they don't know how worthwhile they are and how much of these amazing qualities that they possess. 

M'Linda McGuire, LPC

Specializing in PTSD, Trauma, Anxiety, Panic Attacks, Grief, Phobias and Couples Counseling:


Trauma isn’t just an event that we go through.  Trauma can affect brain function significantly and for decades after the event.  Trauma mainly affects the amygdala, our emotional and instinctual center, the hippocampus, which affects memory, and the prefrontal cortex which regulates parts of the body (heart, breathing, digestion), emotions and responses.  This is why despite your best efforts it may feel like you “can’t get over it”.  

Because trauma affects the brain in ways that we have little ability to change or control, in treating trauma, the most effective treatments are the few that heal and restore the abilities affected in the brain.  EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) is one modality that has an extensive amount of research showing its effectiveness in treating PTSD and trauma. I am a Certified EMDR Therapist.  I am also a Certified ImTT Therapist.  ImTT (Image Transformation Therapy) is a newer modality is in the early research stage. In my personal experience, in using this gentle form of trauma processing for the past 6 years, it is equal in its life changing effects to those modalities that have a body of research behind them.  

My goal in working with trauma isn’t to help you cope with the symptoms of trauma, but to help you heal from trauma and reduce or eliminate its symptoms.


Grief is a natural process when we lose a loved one or something that was very important to us, but it can feel incredibly difficult to go through. Grief is meant to be time limited. Stages of grief can include denial, anger, bargaining or irrational guilt, depression and ultimately acceptance. Sometimes, people can get stuck in grief and do not come to a place of healing and living a full live despite the loss. 

I use trauma processing, either EMDR or ImTT to help my client either get "unstuck" in their grief or to help them reach acceptance and renewed enjoyment in their lives more quickly. When the pain, anger, irrational guilt and other difficult emotions have diminished, what may remain are the feelings of love, hope, remembering memories with joy and renewed enjoyment in life. 


While some degree of anxiety is normal and even helpful in some situations.  Excessive anxiety can be debilitating and interfere with your functioning in life.  Anxiety can take many forms, but they all affect our emotional and physical wellbeing. Often, there is some form of trauma, difficult experiences or stress build up that underlies the anxiety. Counseling is the first line treatment for anxiety disorders. 
Your anxiety is an individual and unique experience and needs an individualized approach to most effectively help you overcome the anxiety that you are experiencing.  I tailor treatment of anxiety disorders to fit the underlying causes and specific ways that anxiety is affecting my clients’ lives.  

I generally use an integrative approach that may involve treating the underlying causes of anxiety, exploring how thinking patterns are affecting anxiety levels and how lifestyle changes can reduce anxiety and maintain normal levels of anxiety.  Types of therapy modalities that I frequently use in addressing anxiety disorders include EMDR or ImTT, CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy), Mindfulness and relaxation exercises, problem solving and healthy lifestyle choices.  


A phobia is an intense fear or anxiety about a specific situation or thing and where the fear or anxiety is out of proportion to the danger posed by the situation or thing. People who suffer from a phobia may feel intense fear or anxiety and may actively avoid the feared situation.  The phobia can cause significant impairment in social, occupational or other important areas of functioning.  Phobias can stem from past experiences or may seem to develop without a known cause. 

In either case, I use trauma processing to help alleviate the fear and anxiety related to the phobia.  I may also use progressive exposure within my client's tolerance zone and cognitive behavioral therapy to help with exaggerated thoughts and behaviors that are maintaining the phobia.  My goal is to help resolve the phobia so that my clients no longer fear the situation or thing and to restore functioning in impaired areas.

Panic Attacks

A panic attack is a sudden episode of intense fear that is accompanied by strong physical reactions that may include accelerated heart rate, difficulty breathing, sweating, shaking, chest pain, light headedness or feeling out of control. While panic attacks are not harmful in and of themselves, people often fear that they are dying or having a medical emergency. Essentially, a panic attack is when your body goes into the survival mode of “flight” when there is no real danger. Because panic attacks feel so physically and emotionally debilitating, people often start limiting activities, places they visit and socializing in an effort to avoid having panic attacks, but eventually this is counterproductive and may increase anxiety symptoms overall. 
In my experience panic attacks can be effectively reduced or eliminated with counseling, usually within six months when clients are willing to follow counseling recommendations. Often, there is an identifiable event when the first panic attack occurred, and the use of trauma processing related to this event can help to lower future panic attacks. We may use progressive exposure within my client's tolerance zone. I also teach my clients to how to lower their overall anxiety levels and increase their use of healthy coping skills to attain and maintain a more relaxed state of being.

Couples Therapy

Relationships take effort and common traits such as trust, respect, good communication, accountability and compassion for them to flourish. Even healthy relationships go through rough patches and may need extra support to regain or realize their full potential.

I take an integrative approach to couples counseling based on the unique needs of the partnership.  I frequently use elements of the Gottman Method, Emotionally Focused Therapy, solutions focused, problem solving and parenting coaching. My goal in working with relationships is to help the partners to improve their communication, work through conflict in ways that strengthens the relationship rather than damaging it and to find ways to support each other through difficult times to create greater relationship satisfaction.


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