ABOUT THE MINDFUL PLANNER
I created The Mindful Planner when I decided to follow my dream of opening a private practice... and a wedding planning business! My passion and skills include couples, families, and especially the excitement and stress surrounding the beginning of a marriage and entering into parenthood. In going through my own wedding planning experience, and then my cousin's, I realized that planning a wedding is so much more than selecting the details and designing invitations. I realized that some couples may desire more emotional and psychological support both in the planning phase, and on the actual day of the wedding. Thus, The Mindful Planner was conceptualized and created!
Since opening The Mindful Planner, I continued to grow in my "day job," eventually becoming the Director of a team of Recovery Clinicians at a local residential mental health treatment community. Through this work, I discovered a passion for providing clinical supervision for newly licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselors. In 2019 I completed a 40-hour course and became licensed to provide supervision.
Lauren K. Kaufmann, MA, LCMHCS
Photo credit: Lisbeth Cooper
Lauren discussing ceremony plans with a harpist
Lauren K. Kaufmann, MA, LCMHCS
M.A. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling, Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor Supervisor
Owner, Coordinator, & Therapist, The Mindful Planner, PLLC
I obtained my Masters of Arts degree at Appalachian State University in 2011 with a concentration in Marriage & Family counseling. My career aspiration has always been to offer premarital counseling, and I obtained certification in PREPARE/ENRICH in 2010. I worked in community mental health in Asheville, NC for 3 years and counseled children and their families who were experiencing poverty, systemic racism, and trauma. I gained experience with children of divorce and fighting couples, which furthered my resolve to follow my passion for premarital counseling. In having my own children, I learned even more about the importance of quality perinatal mental health care, and in 2021 I pursued training through Postpartum Support International (PSI). I am currently working towards becoming Certified in Perinatal Mental Health through PSI.
It is important to me that marriage or long-term partnership and parenthood is accepted and celebrated for all people who choose long-term partnership or parenthood. regardless of their color, sexuality, or gender. A good marriage or partnership can provide a couple and any children a solid, safe, and loving base from which to explore the world. A happy and supportive marriage or partnership can be incredibly fulfilling, and my hope is that all people who want that can experience it that way.
Coordinating my first wedding
I had successfully planned my own wedding, but obviously could not coordinate it myself. On the day of my wedding, I was surprised to find myself quite sad that I could not be out in the tent directing people, helping set up, nor talk to all of our family beforehand. I also found that I was incredibly anxious about everything running smoothly and wished I had someone there guide me in relaxation. I experienced a deep desire to be on my Day Of Coordinator's side of the aisle, managing the operations and being hands on with set up.
My opportunity came when my cousin announced her engagement 6 months later! I was her confidante and Matron of Ceremonies, which is essentially the Day of Coordinator. I absolutely loved it from the rehearsal to the reception! The wedding day began disastrously: pouring rain, food poisoning almost ruined a groomsman's suit coat, venue staff disappeared, reception decorators did not show up, a last-minute bride fashion emergency delaying a ceremony that had already begun, and everyone's anxiety about the rain. However, with my leadership, counseling skills, and take-charge attitude, everything went off without a hitch! I even made the correct call about keeping the ceremony outdoors.
During this experience, I learned the importance of remaining calm, having distinct and clear plans for everything that could possibly happen, and having a lot of creativity. I received many compliments, some of which you will find on my website, and was told by many people that I should officially go into the business. So, I decided it was time I pursue my passions and I started The Mindful Planner!