Jinji Willingham, M.A., L.P.C. is a psychotherapist, caregiver educator, contemplative-based hospital chaplain, and meditation and mindfulness instructor.
Education & Training
Ms. Willingham studied at the University of California, Los Angeles, St. Edwards University, and Seton Medical Center in Austin, TX, and Upaya Zen Center in Sante Fe, NM. Her therapeutic orientation is rooted in relational attachment science, systems thinking, interpersonal neurobiology, buddhist psychology, mindfulness practice, and embodied somatic awareness. In excavating and piecing together remnants of the past, exploring past & present experience and ideas to develop narrative meaning and insight, Ms. Willingham has integrated her academic and post-graduate trainings in archaeology, philosophy, intellectual history, and literary narrative into a distinct integrative clinical model of care. She received a B.A. in history, an M.A. in English, a C.Phil in Intellectual History, an M.A. in Counseling Psychology, and is completing her M.Div in Buddhist Chaplaincy. She has received additional training in Internal Family Systems Therapy (IFS Level 1-trained), Mindsight, Deep Emotional Experiential Psychotherapy (DEEP), Brainspotting, the Social Resiliency Model, the Way of Council, Being With Dying, and the G.R.A.C.E. Model of Contemplative Care for resiliency in caregivers.
Clinical Practice and Specializations
In private practice she works with individuals (adolescents and adults), couples, families, and groups, specializing in relationships, complex family dynamics, past/present trauma, parenting, PTSD, anxiety, adolescents (13-22) and emerging adults (22-34), outlier/marginalized populations, social anxiety, and the highly sensitive. She has particular interest and long-term clinical experience in working with individuals facing with chronic, life-limiting and terminal illness (including auto-immune and undiagnosed diseases), their family members and family/professional caregivers, as well as grief, loss, and bereavement. She offers a variety focused support groups and ongoing therapy groups, presentations and workshops for clients, caregivers, and various communities, as well as caregiver trainings with CEU’s available.
Caregiver Education & Training
Ms. Willingham is an international speaker and presenter on the emergence of psychotherapy and chaplaincy (ENSO Psychotherapy), a secular psycho-spiritual clinical model for a broad range of counselors, chaplains, social workers, social activists, and medical caregivers working with populations struggling with trauma, PTSD, depression, anxiety, self-harming behaviors, suicide ideation, as well as the aging, ill, and dying. She offers trainings in the G.R.A.C.E. model of caregiver resiliency, clinical consultation groups, and the Way of Council for psychotherapists, social workers, chaplains, teachers, parents, social activists, small businesses, corporate and nonprofit leadership, in-home and family caregivers, and medical professionals
At St. David’s South Austin Medical Center, Ms. Willingham works closely with seriously ill and end-of-life patients, their families, and medical professionals, offering a broad spectrum of care from emotional and spiritual support, interfaith/secular ritual, clinical ethic consultation with patients and families facing difficult decisions during care transitions, and assistance with Advance Directive medical paperwork. She offers contemplative-based spiritual care and science-based meditative practices to medical students and professionals.
As Chaplain, Ms. Willingham offers Stage of Life ceremony and ritual for birth, passage into adulthood, marriage/union for all couples, retirement, passage into elderhood, honoring ancestry, life review, and end-of-life. All are available as interfaith, spiritual-but-not-religious, and secular experiences. She holds separate bi-annual Memorials for those who have lost loved ones to suicide, to drug overdose, and for parents who have lost children of all ages from during pregnancy and neonatal loss to old age. She also offers end-of-life chaplaincy services and ritual at home or vetinary office for people whose pets are passing.
Zen Meditation and Mindfulness Instructor
Following a major personal loss in 2001, Ms. Willingam found solace while sitting quietly in attuned self-awareness in the cemetery and began a sitting and walking meditation practice. She has participated in retreats and has sat at Deer Park and Blue Cliff Monasteries, Austin Zen Center, the Austin Shambhala Center, Appamada, and Upaya Zen Center. Since 2008 she has been a member of Plum Blossom Sangha in Austin, TX, a sangha in the Plum Village lineage of Thich Nhat Hanh from whom she received the Five Mindfulness Trainings in 2009. In 2017 she received Jukai from Roshi Joan Halifax at Upaya Zen Center as part of her Chaplaincy training. She is an aspirant for lay ordination, practices Zen Buddhism from a secular psychological and philosophical perspective, and supports nondenominational secular contemplative practice for those on the Path of Care.
In Spring of 2018 she began ENSO: Circle of Contemplative Caregivers, a secular zen group for professional caregivers that meets in her office weekly.