Meet Our In-Home & Community Providers

Kathryn Jargo, MA, LPCC

Manager – Community-Based, CTSS, Therapist

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I am regularly in awe of the courage it takes to recognize that change is needed, and to make the call or walk through the doors looking for guidance on how to makes those changes. Whether asking for help feels like a “have to” or a “want to”, I’d like to assist you in finding ways to feel healthy, happy, and safe.

My early years were spent in homes working with children and families to build skills, relationships, access to community resources, and independence. As a social worker I worked with adults moving through traumatic experiences like civil commitment, chronic mental health concerns or drug court.

I have always resonated with folks who are experiencing transitions in their lives. Whether navigating challenges with family, legal, wellbeing or purpose, we can work together to bridge the transition, or simply acknowledge that it is happening.

At Ellie Family Services, we will employ a variety of therapeutic approaches to best support your story.Through genuine connection, humor and humility, I hope to provide you with a safe space to find out what works for you, what does not, and where there is room for movement.

When not working you may find me running amok in the woods with my dog or challenging someone to a game of cribbage.

Education:
University of Denver, Master of Arts, Forensic Psychology
Winona State University, Bachelor of Arts, Psychology

therapist MinnesotaSara Livingston, MA, LPCC

Manager – Community-Based, ARMHS, Therapist

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Sara is a mental health professional who has spent several years teaching clients skills-based work through the ARMHS program as well as helping her clients discover their best selves through a client-centered approach in a therapeutic setting. Sara views herself as a guest in her client’s personal journey that helps her clients identify where they are at in life currently and where they would like to go in the future. Sara coaches and encourages her clients through their emotional journeys, and helps her clients to identify what they are wanting out of life.

Sara specializes in working with individuals struggling with depression, anxiety, Trauma/PTSD, and children/adolescents. She works with clients to help them find a sense of safety, security, and belonging through their connections to others. Sara practices as an Adlerian therapist with CBT techniques. Sara also works with individuals in the ARMHS program by teaching coping skills, daily routines/activities, medication management, and healthy living activities. Sara also has experience working in domestic violence shelters.

Education Background:
Adler Graduate School-Masters of Arts, Clinical Counseling
Minnesota State University, Mankato, Bachelors of Science, History, Psychology, Anthropology

art therapist MinnesotaMamie Vetsch, MA, LMFT

Manager – Community-Based, Therapist

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Mamie is a charismatic therapist who is passionate about helping people to become the best version of themselves. She believes when dealing with life’s struggles, it is helpful to journey down the path towards healing with someone who can attentively listen, validate your experience and help contribute to your personal insight, all while understanding that you are the expert of your own life. As an art therapist, Mamie will implement these crucial aspects into therapy sessions with the use of creative processes. Art therapy allows clients to create tangible objects and provide language to situations where words may be lost. If art therapy is not something you are interested in, that is okay too!

Mamie offers traditional talk therapy and is trained in Adlerian therapy, which places strong emphasis on healing the whole self, encouragement and social interest, all while practicing the courage to risk imperfection. Mamie is grounded, compassionate and offers a calm presence. She places strong emphasis on forming an authentic connection with her clients in order to create a trusting and secure place for you to grow.

Mamie specializes in working with children and adolescents using art therapy. In addition to art therapy, Mamie enjoys incorporating play techniques and mindfulness skills in to each session. She is also interested in expanding her practice to include adults and whole families. Mamie has worked in diverse settings including schools, partial hospitalization programs and private practice. She is enthusiastic to contribute to and be part of the Ellie Family!

When Mamie is not working, she enjoys exploring the Twin Cities, playing board games with family and friends, and teaching her rescue dog new tricks.

Education
Adler Graduate School—Master of Arts Degree in Adlerian Psychotherapy and Counseling, 2016
Concordia College- Moorhead—Bachelor of Arts, French and Studio Art double major, Psychology Minor

Gina Young, MSW, LICSW

Manager – Community-Based, MSW Internship Program, Therapist

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Gina’s ideal therapy clients are children of all ages. She is truly happy to work alongside kids from ages 3 to young adults, parents, family units and adults that are interested in doing their own therapy. Gina has worked with kids and families experiencing trauma for the last 10 years.
When seeing Gina for therapy, clients can expect patience, warmth, compassion and an open mind. Gina believes it is vitally important to meet the client where they are at and that is her first goal when she starts
therapy services with a client. She believes that therapy should be an engaging, creative and collaborative process.
Gina’s therapy background has been focused on working with kids, teenagers, their parents and families who have experienced trauma or are struggling with mental health challenges. Gina is trained in Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing (EMDR) and have specific experience providing EMDR for children. She is also trained in D-C 0-5 and enjoys working with young children. She draws from play therapy techniques when working with young kids. Gina also has a certificate from the U of M in Autism Spectrum Disorder and has a long history of providing school-based, in-home and community-based care for kids, teens, parents and families that are living with someone on the Autism Spectrum. For the last 10 years Gina has been providing in-home and community-based therapy services and she is excited
to bring those same skills to the in-office experience.
Although Gina has training in formal therapy techniques such as Cognitive Behavioral therapy (CBT), EMDR, Solution Focused and Brief therapy treatment, Gina believes therapy is about using a variety of tools to meet the client’s individual needs. She understands that talk therapy is one modality that can be helpful for kids and adults and she also believes that play, games, books, art and movement being helpful during the therapy process as well.Education
Masters – Social Work
University of Minnesota – Twin Cities
Licenses and Certifications
Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker
Certificate – Autism Spectrum Disorders
Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing

Devin Schallert-Thomas

Community-Based Lead Trainer, Therapist

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Person-Centered I have a strong belief that we must always meet the client where they are at. Being able to put their thoughts and problems into a safe space with someone who is willing to listen allows the client to find their own understanding and solutions.

Solution-Focused Primarily I love to find creative ways to help clients find ways to manage their daily stressors and situations. If it comes to art making, to integrating mindfulness techniques, or figuring out ways to manage, it is one of my specialties that I enjoy doing.

Education:

Finishing my MA in Counseling and Psychological Services at Saint Mary’s University to ultimately pursue my LPCC licensure.

BA in Psychology and Minor with Sociology and Anthropology at Hamline University.

Experience:

Prairie Care I have experience working in working at a psychiatric hospital with adolescents and children. I have been fortune to see many young individuals find recovery in their journey.

MTHC (Minnesota Trans Health Coalition) I was a volunteer at at MTHC for a year.

Things About Me:

Bright, Humorous, Passionate

I am not only passionate, but often excited to work with individuals in every session that I walk into. I love to be creative and integrative with many different interventions with clients, often letting them take control of their recovery in fun ways. If that includes exploring your strengths, managing barriers, or developing coping skills.

Emily Adams

Community Mental Health Practitioner

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I received my Bachelors of Arts in Human Services from Metropolitan State University. I am working towards a Master’s degree in Counseling and Psychology at St Mary’s University of Minnesota, with an expected graduation of Spring 2020. Through my education and experience I have developed a trauma informed approach to working with clients of diverse backgrounds and diagnosis. It is with this experience I have developed strong skills in listening compassionately, building strong therapeutic relationships and client centered goal planning.

My approach to building relationships with people comes primarily through the use of Motivational Interviewing. I also take on a strength-based approach when working with clients. I believe that culture is the forefront of decision making and one’s world view. I embrace and encourage learning about cultures, and helping others identify their own cultural values and strengths. I work with the intention to empower change that aligns with my client’s goals, needs and values.

In my free time I like to spend time with my daughter, family and friends, watch live music, create and appreciate visual art, bargain shop, watch a good Netflix series, and practice yoga.

Zoey Alch, MSW

Community Mental Health Practitioner

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Zoey received her Bachelor of Arts in Child Psychology in 2017 from the University of Minnesota with a minor in family social science. Zoey is currently in her last of her Master of Social Worker program at the University of St. Thomas. Zoey has had experience working with individuals who have experienced great challenges with trauma. Zoey enjoys working with people of all ages and utilizes a strengths based approach to help people unlock and utilize the potential within themselves. Zoey is excited to continue her schooling and will graduate in the spring of 2020 and work towards her licensure to become an LICSW.
In Zoey’s free time she enjoys walks, hanging out with friends and spending time with family!
Education:
University of Minnesota BA in Child Psychology
Minor in Family Social Science
University of St. Thomas Master of Social Work

Cody Ashburn, MS

Community Mental Health Practitioner

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Cody received his Masters of Science degree in Rehabilitation and Addictions Counseling from Saint Cloud State University in 2018.  He enjoys working with children, adolescents, and adults.  Cody utilizes a Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy/Motivational Interviewing approach to encourage clients to engage in change talk, display empathy, and develop an understanding of how our thoughts influence our behaviors.  Cody also finds it necessary to meet the client where they are at and to work at a pace where the client feels comfortable.

His experience includes facilitating individual, family, and group services to perpetrators of sexual abuse.  Cody has a passion for developing healthy sexual behavior within youth and developing a healthy, safe, and non-judgemental environment to discuss sensitive topics.  He has presented at professional conferences regarding self-care and healthy sexual behavior.

In his free time, Cody loves his Minnesota sports and you could catch him studying statistics regularly.  He loves to spend time with his fiancé and their dog, Denny.

Taylor Baez

Community Mental Health Practitioner

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We are all born with the desire and ability to find meaning in our lives. A normal part of the human condition is to be distressed when we realize there is not instruction manual to life. Don’t worry though! You are the author of your instruction manual and Taylor can help you edit it along the way.

Our time together will be a team effort. We will use both of our knowledge and experience to inform what we work towards and how we get there. Taylor works with an existential, person-centered approach to empower you to write your authentic manual and become your best self. With her previous four years’ experience providing ARMHS, Taylor can also assist in improving your practical life skills so you can continue your growth outside of sessions.

Taylor is passionate about working with adults diagnosed with personality disorders, processing new moves to group homes and similar settings, trauma, and women who are considering or preparing to testify in court.

Education: Master of Arts in Counseling from Adler Graduate School expected in early 2020
Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Mount St Mary’s University

Analisa Ballinger

Community Mental Health Practitioner

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Analisa believes that each person has the potential to unlock and maximize their performance across any area of life. Analisa will meet each individual where they are at; and with empathy and positivity, she will guide them to where they want to go.

Fully bi-lingual, Analisa has therapeutic experience counseling individuals and families in both English and Spanish. She also has experience working with older adults, LGBTQ adults, individuals with different abilities, youth experiencing homelessness, immigrants and other diverse populations. Her professional background includes working in large and small organizations, in both counseling and program administration roles.

Education:

Drake University, Bachelor’s degree in Psychology/Sociology, Minor in Women’s Studies

Capella University, Master’s Degree in Marriage and Family Therapy, Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Marriage and Family Therapy

Personal:

Analisa and her partner enjoy traveling-from road trips to cruises, music, popular culture and playing board games.

Mackenzie Eckman

Community Mental Health Practitioner

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I am from the twin cities originally; I went to North Dakota State University for my Bachelor of Science in Women and Gender Studies and Human Development and Family Science. (Go Bison!) I recently was accepted into Augsburg University Master of Social Work program with a LADC. I have a lot of experience that I am incredibly proud of. While living in Fargo, I was actively making my campus a safer space against campus sexual assault and domestic violence. I have worked closely with at risk women and children at emergency shelters. I worked as a Psychiatric Technician at an inpatient psychiatric hospital with children primarily ages 5-17. Following my graduation, I started working as a behavioral specialist at an Intermediate EBD school in the Twin Cities. I hope to someday be a counselor for LGBTQIA+ youth as well as teens struggling with addiction. I have learned a lot throughout my different experiences, and I cannot wait to learn and grow with Ellie Family Services! I am from the twin cities originally; I went to North Dakota State University for my Bachelor of Science in Women and Gender Studies and Human Development and Family Science. (Go Bison!) I recently was accepted into Augsburg University Master of Social Work program with a LADC. I have a lot of experience that I am incredibly proud of. While living in Fargo, I was actively making my campus a safer space against campus sexual assault and domestic violence. I have worked closely with at risk women and children at emergency shelters. I worked as a Psychiatric Technician at an inpatient psychiatric hospital with children primarily ages 5-17. Following my graduation, I started working as a behavioral specialist at an Intermediate EBD school in the Twin Cities. I hope to someday be a counselor for LGBTQIA+ youth as well as teens struggling with addiction. I have learned a lot throughout my different experiences, and I cannot wait to learn and grow with Ellie Family Services!

Lara Erickson, MA, LAMFT

Community Mental Health Practitioner

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I am a family systems psychotherapist who enjoys teaching holistic care, strength based and solution focused self-care and interpersonal skills. While teaching these skills I have worked in a variety of settings, with a variety of age groups and ethnic backgrounds.

I enjoy working in supportive team settings that show a high level of consistency, integrity and self-discipline. I have supervised teams in Autism Day Treatment and managed payroll and postal logistics at a day program for individuals diagnosed with developmental delays. I have worked in the correctional system as a Correctional Officer in the Ramsey County jail, once run by the VOARCC. I have also worked in positions relating to Mental Health through CTSS, ARMHS and in-home Psychotherapy work.

I look forward to every client and family unit that I meet!

Kenya Evans

Community Mental Health Practitioner

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Kenya is Mental Health Practitioner willing to help clients with mental disabilities and to get them on the right path towards reaching their goals. What brightens Kenya’s day is to see her clients grow and a smile on their face. Kenya always had a passion for helping others. She knew she wanted to do psychology ever since she was a little girl. Prior to working in ARMHS, Kenya has worked with group home settings for a total of 6 years. She enjoys what she does. Kenya once worked in an internship program with kids suffering from PTSD. In Sauk Rapids, MN she interned at St. Lutherans Social Services. I hope to get out of this is learning from clients and advising them to grow in their personal goals and working with any obstacles they may be facing.

Undergraduate Bachelors of Psychology- Saint Cloud State University
Major in Psychology
Minor in Language Arts

Kenya Plans on attending an online Master’s Program at Walden University this summer.

In my free time, I love going on walks, watching TV shows on Hulu, baking, and spending time with family and friends.

Sarah Fanning, MA

Community Mental Health Practitioner

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Sarah uses a person-centered approach to create a safe and open environment for individuals to explore their life challenges and find acceptance and meaning in their lives. Sarah believes therapy is a tool to help guide people in personal-choice and autonomy, and that all change should be self-driven to reach personal goals.
Sarah implements a variety of therapy techniques, but primarily utilizes cognitive behavioral therapy.
Sarah graduated from Saint Mary’s University in Counseling and Psychological Services in 2017 and plans to obtain her LPCC license in 2020. Sarah has over 10 years of experience working in the mental health field, primarily working with individual adults and couples, including work with SPMI populations, traumatic brain injuries, chemical dependency, and co-occurring diagnoses.

Holly Figg

Community Mental Health Practitioner

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Holly believes that the process of making or creating art has healing capabilities. Art provides a safe, non-judgmental environment to express and observe feelings both conscious and subconscious. In our daily lives we experience life situations that are traumatic to our well being. We cannot stop life situations from occurring and have no control over them, however, we do have control of how we respond to them. We have a choice to respond positively or negatively to these life situations depending on the here and now of our ability to process the situation. Alternative forms of treatment such that as Art Therapy can give back a person control and be a positive way to express our feelings when they respond negatively to a given situation.

“Art therapy evolves to that of accretion brushed on the sand,
leaving a mark for all to see and take with them.
Art therapy also evolves to that of erosion releasing
or taking away the challenges that get in the way of moving on.” Holly Figg

Holly graduated from University of Minnesota-Mankato with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree. Holly is in the process of earning her Master’s degree as an art therapist and LPCC tract. She is currently at Adler Graduate School. Holly is also a current member of the Art Therapy Association.

Holly’s internship experience includes working with families and children that have experienced cancer, vulnerable adults that have mental and developmental challenges, individuals that have brain injuries such as epilepsy and autistic children and adolescents.

In Holly’s spare time, she enjoys multiple activities with my husband and children, pour painting in her studio, swimming, biking, rollerblading, watching birds and gardening.
“Your deepest emotional wound becomes your greatest superpower-once healed” Holly Figg

Margo Fritz

Community Mental Health Practitioner

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Margo’s practice is grounded in person-centered, strengths-based healing and intersectional social justice. She is passionate about offering holistic care that honors every facet of a patient’s identity, focusing on building self-compassion and empowerment through self-knowledge. Margo works to create a safe, supportive space where clients can explore their emotions, identify their values, and work toward goals that matter to them.

Margo has background in care work, restorative justice, and community organizing around economic equity.

She is currently completing her Master of Social Work degree in Multicultural Clinical Practice at Augsburg University.

She loves to swim, make erasure poetry, and do crossword puzzles.

Emily Haider

Community Mental Health Practitioner

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Emily believes in meeting each individual where they at in their journey. She uses creativity and humor to incorporate each individual’s unique strengths and passions to create fun and achievable goals. Emily uses a Cognitive Behavioral approach to target cognitive distortions and automatic thoughts and works to assist in removing the barriers they can create. She also uses an Existential approach for those looking to find meaning and purpose for the suffering in their lives because “he who has a why to live for can bear almost any how,” (Friedrich Nietzsche).

Emily is passionate about working with individuals who have experiences with trauma, anxiety, and depression. She is also an advocate, working on a legislation committee to push for change in creating an accessible healthcare system and equal rights for every individual regardless of race, ethnicity, nationality, age, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity/expression, religion, mental illness, immigration status, or political opinion.

In her free time, Emily enjoys hiking and kayaking and loves exploring all of the parks Minnesota has to offer. She loves checking out local art, music, and culture events and experiencing the diversity of the Twin Cities. Emily is currently enrolled in the Counseling and Psychological Services masters program at Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota.

Austin Jacobsen

Community Mental Health Practitioner, IT

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Austin believes that we are all searching for our own meaning in life, and that we make our own meaning. Stemming from a person-centered standpoint, Austin believes in meeting people where they are, holding space and walking with clients down their own paths as a guest in their personal journey. He uses a combination of cognitive behavioral, dialectical behavioral, and solution focused techniques to assist clients in making meaningful changes in their lives, tapping into the client’s inner strengths along the way.

Austin has experience working in mental health as an ARMHS practitioner, lead field supervisor, and treatment director. Austin specializes in working with clients who are experiencing depression, anxiety, and psychosis, and works collaboratively with clients to help them find meaning in their experiences and relationships, while also teaching valuable life skills to help build stability. Austin is a clinical trainee and is currently working with adults and adolescents for in-home therapy, as well as adults for ARMHS.

Education:
Adler Graduate School- Master of Arts, Clinical Mental Health Counseling (in progress, anticipated graduation date of Oct. 2020)
University of Wisconsin- Stevens Point- Bachelor of Science, Psychology with a Human Services Emphasis

Lynsey Jacobson, MA

Community Mental Health Practitioner

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Lynsey believes in utilizing each individual’s passions, abilities, and strengths to build intrinsic motivation and guide clients into thriving in their daily life. Lynsey values the power of the therapeutic experience (and what it can create) for an individual and is enthusiastic to be a part of the journey with her clients. Due to this approach, Lynsey is able to meet each client where they are currently at and focus within a person-centered approach.

Lynsey identifies as an Adlerian therapist and utilizes concepts such as holism, lifestyle, and social interest/embeddedness. She also approaches therapy by understanding the unique beliefs and strategies that each individual creates throughout their childhood and how these beliefs serve as the individual’s schema for attitudes, behavior, and one’s evaluation of self, others, and the external world. Lynsey believes that looking through such a biopsychosocial lens, individuals can thrive and begin to develop an established sense of belonging.

Lynsey has experience working with adults and adolescents living with severe persistent mental illness diagnoses and chemical dependency, in group and individual sessions. Lynsey has worked with individuals experiencing trauma, addiction, depression, anxiety, personality disorders, and mood disorders. She specializes working in this population as she has completed her graduate school internship and has experience working for Guild Incorporated within their IRTS and crisis residential programs. Lynsey also has extensive experience working with clients and families with medical and developmental complexities.

EDUCATION:

Adler Graduate School, Master of Arts, Clinical Mental Health Counseling

Minnesota State University, Mankato, Bachelor of Science, Psychology

Caroline Kading, MA

Community Mental Health Practitioner

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Caroline recently received her Master’s degree in Marriage and Family Therapy and is working towards full licensure. She has experience working with families, couples and individuals.
Caroline believes each person’s journey is unique and is greatly impacted by culture and emotional experiences. She looks forward to creating a safe space for clients and helping clients thrive and live their best life.
During her free time Caroline enjoys spending time with her family, spoiling her dog, reading, and being outdoors.

Education:
B.S. in Community Psychology from St. Cloud State University
M. A. in Marriage and Family Therapy from Northcentral University

Anna King, MSW

Community Mental Health Practitioner

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My name is Anna, I am a recent graduate from the University of Minnesota’s Masters of Social Work Program, and I received my Bachelors of social work from the Winona State University. As a clinical social worker, I enjoy meeting the individual where they are at and utilizing a strengths-based approach. I have diverse experience working across the lifespan in a social work role; I have provided support to adults attending a day center, I have advocated for survivors and victims of domestic violence, I have participated in macro-level advocacy for the LGBTQ communities in Minnesota, and I have worked collaboratively with a school district through family engagement. As a clinician, I utilize a client-centered approach and provide a welcoming space for clients to express their needs openly. I love learning from my clients and collaborating with them to develop their personal goals and work fiercely with clients to address barriers they may be facing.

In my free time, I love snuggling with my dog Wally, baking/cooking new foods, playing tourist throughout the Twin Cities, and spending time with family and friends.

Education:

Graduate Masters of Social Work- University of Minnesota

Undergraduate Bachelors of Social Work- Winona State University

Minor in Child Advocacy Studies

Minor in Gerontology

Laura Lammar-Binder

Community Mental Health Practitioner

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Laura values working closely with people to seek and discover what is really going on in their lives and what will best help them. She has been listening to people tell her their stories her whole life and feels that she is finally learning the skills and tools necessary to help them do something about it!

Laura is kind and bubbly, always willing to offer an empathetic ear and a warm smile to everyone she meets. She hopes to bring a little hope and light to those around her and strives to do her very best to help each individual accomplish their goals. Laura loves working with children, families, and couples and has a special interest in working with those in the LGBTQ+ community and in maternal mental health. She is always ready to learn everything she can to assist her in the mental health field and will jump at the chance to further her education.

Laura is in the process of earning her Master’s Degree in Marriage & Family Therapy through Liberty University. She is expected to graduate in Spring 2021 and begin working towards her licensure to become an LMFT. In the meantime, she tries to find time to read, paint, crochet, bake, sing (mostly lullabies and made-up songs to make her children laugh) and spend time with her family.

Mackenzie Lucas-Kennedy

Community Mental Health Practitioner

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Mackenzie’s passion has always been helping others. Since high school, she has known that she wanted to be a social worker. Mackenzie attended undergraduate school at the University of North Dakota where she received her Bachelor of Science in Social Work in December 2014. Mackenzie later went on to attend graduate school at the University of Southern California, where she graduated with a Master of Social Work degree in December 2018.

When working with clients, Mackenzie likes to have a collaborative working relationship with her clients utilizing the systems theory approach, client-centered approach, and strengths-based approach. She also places a high emphasis on empathy when working with her clients. Mackenzie wants to get to know you as a whole person and utilize the strengths you currently possess to get you to where you want to be. Mackenzie is passionate about bringing awareness and education about suicide prevention and breaking the stigma of mental health. She knows that everyone struggles sometimes, but you don’t have to struggle alone!

In her free time, Mackenzie enjoys spending time outdoors, reading books by Harlan Coben, playing games, traveling to scenic places, and spending time with her husband and family, and of course, her cat Martin and dog Marvin 

Mackenzie is looking forward to growing her career with Ellie and working with you!

Alexandria Mack

Community Mental Health Practitioner

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Allie highlights the importance of meeting each individual where they are at on their life’s journey. She believes that every person has a voice, and every voice’s importance and uniqueness deserves to be heard. Working closely with people of many different experiences and stories, Allie has developed an approach focused on healing, feeling and understanding from within.

Allie received a bachelor’s degree from Minnesota State University-Mankato in 2016 in Child Development and Family Studies with a focus on Communication Disorders. Thanks to a life-long friendship beginning in the first grade, Allie has been conversationally fluent in American Sign Language, and this has been important to her throughout her academic career and daily life. Allie will be graduating from University of St. Thomas in 2021 with a Master’s Degree in Counseling Psychology with aspirations to become a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist.

With much experience working with children on the Autism spectrum and their families, Allie strives to continue participating in the lives of children and adolescence, and continuing to help individuals and family systems operate by functional, successful means. Additionally, Allie has spent the past few years working with individuals of all ages who have experienced traumatic brain injuries. She has learned the importance of education and understanding, as well as advocacy and prevention in terms of domestic violence, traumatic injury and progressive recovery.

In her spare time, Allie enjoys spending time outdoors on hikes and at the lake, getting Pup-cup frappuccino with her best four legged friend, watching hockey games, and seeing all of the beautiful things this world has to offer in the accompaniment of her fiancé. Smiles, laughs and making memories are what makes Allie’s world go round, and meeting as many people as she can to share these with is Allie’s main goal.”

Kile Minnis

Community Mental Health Practitioner

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Kile believes that through compassionate honesty and the healing power of relationships, we all have the potential to be the best that we can be. Kile believes that a contextual understanding of the powers that shape our narratives are vital to understanding an individual’s journey from suffering to joy. Through the therapeutic relationship Kile strives to create a context that adds a new experience for the client to view the world from.

Kile comes from an MFT Background who is interested in working families, couples and individuals in their strive towards joy. Kile has had experience working with young children doing play therapy and working with families in their attempts to overcome life’s struggles.

EDUCATION
Currently in Masters Degree of Science in Marriage and Family Therapy From SCSU
Bachelors Degree in Psychology and Sociology from SCSU

Ashley Morris

Community Mental Health Practitioner

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Ashley Morris, Mental Health Practitioner, is originally from Chicago, IL but has spent a considerate part of her life in Fargo, North Dakota. She attended North Dakota State University, where she obtained a Bachelor of Science in Human Development and Family Science with an educational background in Social Work. Her past work experiences involve working for Adult Foster Care Homes, Senior Living Facilities, Jeremiah Program, HeadStart, and numerous Daycare Centers.

Her various work experiences with these different companies and facilities provided her with exposure to working with diverse populations including various cultural and ethnic groups, elders, individuals with developmental disabilities, and individuals who struggle with mental health.
In 2015, she decided to move to Minnesota to pursue her passion for mental health and social work. Her current work experience as a Mental Health Practitioner has allowed her to gain extensive knowledge about available resources to assist and explore activities that can serve as effective coping mechanisms for her clients in the metro area.
In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her family and traveling. She plans to give back to the community by further her education through pursuing a Master of Social Work and Business Administration.

Erin Olson

Community Mental Health Practitioner

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Erin has experience working with both adults and children who have experienced trauma. She is passionate about treating everyone she meets as the individual that they are, and walking with them through times of stress as their supporter and advocate.
In her free time she enjoys getting outside, playing with her wild dog, and doing anything artistic. She is currently enrolled at Adler Graduate School and on track to graduate in Spring 2020. Upon graduating, Erin will begin working towards becoming an LPCC and a registered art therapist.

Lauri Peterson

Community Mental Health Practitioner

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Lauri has shifted between medical and mental health for over 20 years.  She has worked in juvenile corrections, end-of-life foster care, radiology, medical higher education, group homes, supervised visits, private residence care, and as a volunteer practicum therapist.

When a client sees Lauri, they can expect an open mind and heart for holding clients pain to allow for support, healing, and growth. She says, “I listen.  Then I listen some more.  As I continue to listen, I will assist in exploring solutions using narrative, structural, cognitive, experiential and integrative approaches.”

Lauri has provided services to children and adults after sustaining TBI, youth with SPMI, adults with developmental delays comorbid with multiple health issues, families grieving from unexpected death, individuals and families experiencing homelessness, families impacted by domestic violence, young adults exploring gender identity, and individuals struggling with drug and alcohol addiction.

Her unique qualifications include a hypnotherapy certificate, neurofeedback certificate, and will be pursuing training in Gestalt therapy to alleviate trauma.

Outside of work, Lauri enjoys walking and hiking with her family and dog, Gaz. She appreciates a good book, and has her first fullilength YA novel out for literary agent review.  Besides writing, she enjoys playing 5-string banjo, sewing, textile crafts, gardening, cooking, and junk/antique store shopping. Her to-do list includes taking up Flamenco dancing and to start playing the trombone again to join a local marching band.

Education:
Bachelors – Psychology
Metropolitan State University

Master’s Human Services
Argosy University

Doctorate in Marriage and Family Therapy (in progress – expected graduation 2021)
Mount Mercy University

Christina Potter, MA

Community Mental Health Practitioner

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Christina is a therapist who is passionate in meeting clients where they are in their recovery while emphasizing on being a guest in the client’s journey. Christina gravitates to a strengths based approach while focusing on the present and what the possibilities are for the future. Christina takes on the coaching role while working with client’s finding their best way to cope with what life throws at us and decreasing emotional reactivity.

Christina offers client-centered therapy for adults, couples, and families. Christina has a history of providing in-home services with adolescents and their families and adults in ARMHS and in-home therapy. Christina also has a history of working with victims and survivors of sexual violence, homeless families and adults with SMPI. Christina has her Master’s degree in Marriage and Family Therapy from St. Mary’s University of Minnesota and is in the process of seeking licensure.

Education Background:

Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota, Master of Arts, Marriage and Family Therapy

St. Cloud State University, Bachelor of Arts, Major in Community Psychology, Minor Psychology

Gracelyn Price

Community Mental Health Practitioner

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Gracelyn attended UW-River Falls and studied for 4 years in their SOWK program, but completed her Bachelors at Metropolitan State University, receiving an Individualized Studies degree titled “Urban Family and Youth-Community Engagement”. Gracelyn has a goal of returning to school to obtain her Masters of Social Work, but has taken a step back from school to focus on her wonderful family.

Gracelyn has experience working with diverse populations in many different settings, and worked for SPPS for 8 years before moving into the Mental Health field. Gracelyn has many years of experience working with children of all ages in an inner city school setting, experience working with adults and children with physical and developmental disabilities, and enjoys working with both children and adults. She strives to help all people reach their fullest potential, and understands that that will never look the same for any two people. Meeting people where they are in life and working with what people have to offer each step of the way is something she is passionate about.

In her free time, Gracelyn enjoys spending time with her children, cleaning (think Marie Kondo), singing, and shamelessly watching trashy tv!

Emily Ramstad

Community Mental Health Practitioner

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Emily uses a laid back and narrative focused style when working with clients. She believes that we can all use someone in our lives that can help us get unstuck or will sit in the mud with us. Emily utilizes humor and an optimistic outlook to relieve stress and uncover possible outcomes.

Emily has experience working with youth who are at-risk and experiencing homelessness. Emily also enjoys working with kiddos of all ages and believes everyone can learn a little something from them. She has a passion for working with those in the LGBTQ+ community and is excited to continue to expand her knowledge by working with them.

In her free time, Emily enjoys exploring everything the Twin Cities has to offer and travels north to spend time with her family. She loves getting lost at a state park, hiking up waterfalls and sitting in front of a campfire with her loved ones.

Emily is currently enrolled in the Marriage and Family Therapy masters program at St. Mary’s University and is expected to graduate in fall 2020.

Beth Rennee, MA

Community Mental Health Practitioner

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Beth believes we are all just trying to find our way through — through whatever circumstances, relationships, pain, conflict, confusion, or growing we may find ourselves in — and she is confident we can all benefit from a little help as we figure it out. It’s important to Beth to empower persons, help them find peace and security, and discover ways to make sense of their worlds.

Described as having a very easy-going and calm temperament, she uses her energy to help support clients. Her approach emphasizes affirming partnerships with clients built on trust, a sense of optimistic and playful curiosity, and a focus on expression and experiences. Through creative exercises, body-based strategies, experiential and play activities, and facilitation of new skills, Beth hopes to present clients with new experiences or perspectives that inspire change.

She has experience providing therapy for persons age 6-60, in individual, couple, family, and group units, around issues of depression, anxiety, trauma, emotional development, relational conflict, parenting, identity. She especially enjoys working with kids, adolescents and their families, and has done so in office, school, and now with Ellie, in in-home settings.

She brings both her background in community and youth development, as well as her especially foundational education in grief, loss, and family through work in end-of-life care and hospice, to every interaction.

Beth received her Masters in Marriage and Family Therapy from Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota and is pursuing licensure. Her additional training includes special focuses on grief and loss, trauma-informed care, and mindfulness, and is also pursuing training in movement therapy, somatic experiencing, and family-focused strategies.

Beth loves to play — at home, with her family and her friends, you’ll find her doing puzzles, playing cribbage with oversized cards, maybe even competing with her husband to see who has to do the dishes.

Jordyn Robinson-Hedstrom

Community Mental Health Practitioner

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Jordyn received her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology in 2018 and will be graduating with her Masters of Science in Marriage and Family Therapy in the spring of 2020. She enjoys working with individuals, couples, families and takes special interest in children and adolescents.
Utilizing a solution focused therapy/strength-based approach she assists clients in reaching their goals for recovery; believing it is essential to provide a safe and non-judgmental environment for all of her clients to explore their thoughts and feelings, while meeting the client where they are at.

Her experience includes facilitating group therapy, healthy relationships/sexuality education, and treatment of sexual abuse victims and offenders.
Jordyn is systemic minded and takes clinical interest in trauma and attachment. She is energetic, person centered, and loves to use creative interventions with her clients. In her free time you can find her singing, dancing, eating or spending time with her fiancé and their fur babies.

Emily Schackmuth

Community Mental Health Practitioner

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I am a firm believer in that we must meet our clients where they are at and provide the space where individuals and families can be themselves. I am honest and provide a safe-laid back environment for clients to openly be who they truly are. I also incorporate humor into my sessions, in order to break down some of the difficult challenges & thoughts that my clients face. #ILoveJokes #HumorIsHelpful

Education:

Emily received her bachelor’s degree in 2016 from the University of Wisconsin-Stout in Human Development & Family Studies with a minor in Adolescent Counseling. Emily is currently working on her master’s degree at Saint Mary’s University in the Counseling & Psychological Services program and once graduated, she will begin licensure towards her LPCC.

Experience:

As for experience, I worked in a juvenile detention center in Aurora, Colorado with adolescents on probation. In the past I have also worked in multiple school districts surrounding the twin cities area working as a behavioral interventionist with children and adolescents that struggle with emotion regulation. I previously also have experience working in the day treatment system with individuals and families, conducting group therapy for adolescents, as well as working in Intensive Outpatients/Partial Hospitalization Programs/Crisis Counseling.

In my free time, I enjoy rollerblading, testing out new recipes, going anywhere where there is a mountain in sight, and spending time with family.

Katie Score, MA

Community Mental Health Practitioner

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Katie is an accepting and compassionate therapist that believes anyone is capable of change and growth. Her goal as a therapist is to walk with her clients on their personal journey of change, gently guiding them in the direction that leads to a place of peace, self-acceptance, with healthier relationships, and an overall higher quality of life. Katie is passionate about creating a safe and trusting therapeutic relationship with her clients and supports this through open communication, mutual respect, and by creating a plan for treatment that is focused on the clients personal goals and the changes they want to see.

Katie is trained in both psychotherapy and family systems, which allows her to focus on understanding client symptoms in the context of the relational interactions that influence behavior. Her therapeutic approach can vary depending on specific client needs, but often includes; solution focused, person-centered, and cognitive-behavioral therapy.

Katie holds a B.S. in Human Development and Family Studies from UW-Stout, and an M.A. in Marriage and Family Therapy from Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota. She has experience working with individuals, couples, families, and groups in both in-home and in-clinic settings.

Amanda Spangler

Community Mental Health Practitioner

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Amanda is passionate about working with individuals, couples, and families in a way which honors and respects their unique needs, identities, and values. She believes therapy is a collaborative process between clients and therapists and that a good therapeutic relationship is essential for productive therapy. Amanda values openness, acceptance, humor, and creativity, and does her best to bring these qualities into her work. Her therapeutic areas of interest and experience include anxiety, depression, ADHD, grief and loss, LGBTQ+, and SPMI.

In her free time, Amanda enjoys singing, playing video and board games, baking, and spending time with family and friends.

Education:
Bethel Seminary, Master of Arts in Marriage and Family Therapy, expected graduation in spring 2020.

Ripon College, Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Religion

Chelsy Swanson

Community Mental Health Practitioner

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My experience has been focused on helping others foster their own skills to accomplish goals and assist with personal growth. I have a very personable, nonjudgmental, open communication style that will provide a warm and welcoming atmosphere.
I have worked with adults of all ages who have different backgrounds, education levels, and religious beliefs. This is also safe space for those within the LGBTQ+ community. Finding help can be overwhelming especially when you have experienced discrimination and/or shame from just trying to be yourself. We can work through those feelings together while providing a safe space for healing.
I am here to help individuals see their own strengths, skills, self-worth, and place in this world. Life is truly meant to be enjoyed and sometimes there can be obstacles and barriers that prevent us from living as the best version of ourselves. We can work together to create a personalized plan that works best for you and your needs.

LJ Taugher

Community Mental Health Practitioner

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LJ came to counseling the long way around.  Before returning to school for his Masters Degree in Psychology, he had a wide-ranging career in the business world. His experience ranges from temp gigs and data entry, to running small business offices and managing multiple non-profit organizations.  LJ brings a unique combination of training in mental health and firsthand experience working in other fields.

LJ is a fan of hiking, cooking, video games, and mystery novels.

Education:
Masters – Counseling and Psychological Services (in process)
St Mary’s University
Bachelors – Psychology major, Women’s Studies minor
University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point

Heather Thurmes, MA

Community Mental Health Practitioner

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Heather strives to create a safe and non-judgmental atmosphere for clients. Heather comes from an MFT background and identifies as an Adlerian therapist that draws from a variety of additional techniques, including Motivational Interviewing, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Solution-Focused, and DBT skills for a person-centered approach.

Heather has worked in the chemical and mental health field since 2013. Heather has experience working with children, adolescents, families and individuals. Heather has experience in residential, outpatient, schools, correction facilities, and community settings. Heather specializes in working with those impacted or struggling with substance use concerns.

Education Background:

Master of Arts Degree in Adlerian Counseling and Psychotherapy with an emphasis in Co-Occurring Disorders and Addiction Counseling -LMFT Licensure, Anticipated Graduation December 2019

Bachelor of Arts in Psychology at Gustavus Adolphus College

Anna Trout, MA, LAMFT

Community Mental Health Practitioner

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Anna Trout recently graduated with her Master of Arts in Marriage and Family Therapy and is working on becoming a licensed therapist. She particularly likes to work with children, but likes working with adults and adolescents as well. She has experience working with children on the Autism Spectrum and with Intellectual Disabilities, and is interested in working more with children who have experienced trauma. In her spare time, Anna likes cuddling her cats, watching Marvel movies and TV shows, and reading books. Also, she just got glasses.

Ka Blia Vue

Community Mental Health Practitioner

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Ka Blia is a compassionate and empathic therapist who aims to collaborate with individuals and empower them to continue becoming their best selves. Ka Blia’s approach to therapy is to provide a safe and supportive environment to enable healing and practice utilizing skills that will effectively help them in their community.

Her philosophy with mental health is that each person is not the diagnosis or situation that they are going through. Ka Blia provides person-centered therapy for everyone who is seeking support and guidance. You can expect Ka Blia to collaborate with individuals where they are at and working together on identifying realistic goals to get where they would like to be.

When not in the office, Ka Blia enjoys spending time with friends and family, her dog, and traveling. Ka Blia enjoys learning and trying new things and believes that you can never stop learning as long as you are breathing.

Education:
St. Catherine University: Master of Social Work
St. Catherine University: Bachelor of Science in Social Work

Taylor West, MS

Community Mental Health Practitioner

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Taylor has experience working with a variety of individuals since entering the field in 2013. This includes at-risk youth who are placed out of their homes as well as children struggling in the school setting. Most recently she was working with individuals affected by various forms of interpersonal trauma, including but not limited to domestic violence, sexual assault and human trafficking. Taylor identifies as a mixture of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Solution Focused, as well as drawing from other techniques like Motivational Interviewing and DBT, and incorporating art and nature when appropriate. She believes the individual is the expert on themselves and how they will benefit best from therapy, allowing for a bit of a person centered approach.

Taylor’s specialties:
Populations: children, teens and adults. Children placed outside of the home. Those affected by trauma. Children in schools. Adults in residential treatment.
Treatment Modalities: CBT, Solution-Focused, also drawing from MI, DBT and incorporating art at times.

In her free time, Taylor loves to be active. This comes in the way of running, staying active in the gym, but also getting outside to enjoy the beauty with the added benefit of activity. She frequents the park with her rescue dog, Otis who also joins Taylor in occasional couch-naps and movie marathons. She also loves to create – crocheting, painting and writing.

Education:
Masters – Clinical Mental Health Counseling
Minnesota State University Moorhead

Bachelors – Psychology major, Criminal Justice minor
North Dakota State University

Medication Management

Colleen Zimmer, MSN, PMHCNS-BC

Psychiatric Medication Prescriber

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Colleen’s career in psychiatry started by working as a registered nurse in a community mental health center. She supported individuals with a wide range of mental health needs. That experience provided the foundation for advancing her career and she obtained her advanced practice license. Due to the significant shortage of mental health providers with prescribing privileges, Colleen knew this was a vital piece needed to assist individuals towards mental wellness.

In a variety of settings throughout her career, Colleen has worked with populations who experience a range of mental health issues, people with chemical dependency issues and those with diverse backgrounds. She believes everyone has the right to access appropriate resources as they work towards mental wellness.

Colleen has an open, friendly approach to mental wellness. She understands each person has a life story to tell and actively listens, working together with the individual on their journey to wellness. Colleen takes a holistic approach taking into account psychological, physical and social aspects of each individual’s life. She believes every person is unique and therefore, deserves a unique treatment plan that works for their life.

Education:

University of Minnesota, Master of Science, Psychiatric Clinical Nurse Specialist

The College of St. Scholastica, Bachelor of Science in Nursing

American Nurses Credentialing Center – Board Certified Psychiatric Clinical Nurse Specialist