Meet Our St. Paul Team
Ryan Meyer, MA LPCC, Therapist
Ryan is understanding, thoughtful, and will challenge you to think “outside the box” to discover and uncover deeper meaning and satisfaction with your life. He understands what “feeling stuck” is like and will work with you to find creative solutions that truly work and inspire long term change.
He enjoys working with individuals, couples, and families and has been in the helping profession for more than 15 years. He is very dedicated to new learning and seeks to find the right blend of personalized tailoring with the right advanced treatment techniques that have been proven to work.
Ryan graduated from the University of Minnesota with a focus on race relations, equality studies, and social work and continued his education at the Adler Graduate School where he focused on clinical counseling and marriage and family therapy’s.His work on OCD was published online in 2013 and proposes new and exciting clinical treatments that had not been discussed previously.
If you would like an opportunity to work with an empathic, creative, and thought inducing therapist who will help you reduce the impact of your daily struggles and learn ways to improve your relationship with yourself and others, please reach out and he will be there to help.
Adler Graduate School, Master of Arts, Clinical Counseling and Psychotherapy
University of Minnesota, Bachelor of Science, Sociology with emphasis in Race, Class, and Gender
Sara Livingston, MA LPCC, ARMHS Program Manager & Therapist
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.
Adler Graduate School-Masters of Arts, Clinical Counseling
Minnesota State University, Mankato, Bachelors of Science, History, Psychology, Anthropology
Kathryn Jargo, MA LPCC, CTSS Program Manager & Therapist
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.
University of Denver, Master of Arts, Forensic Psychology
Winona State University, Bachelor of Arts, Psychology
Nikki Braaten, MA LPCC, Therapist
Nikki is a true believer in embracing the authentic self, as well as the power of vulnerability. She takes a holistic and systemic approach to helping others, but also understands that healing comes in many forms and is specific to an individual’s needs.
Nikki has provided mental health services in a variety of settings/needs, including community mental health centers, school-based therapy, adult and child group therapy, and serving kids, families and caregivers in crisis following trauma at a child advocacy center. She has worked with kids ages 5 and up, as well as adults of all ages, but has done the most significant work with kids, teens, and parents/caregivers with experiences of trauma. Nikki also has experience with individuals struggling with anxiety, depression, somatic and medical symptoms, experiences of grief and loss, and family conflict.
She is both inspired and honored to be part of the healing journey for clients she serves and looks forward to accompanying the client as their own expert in the movement towards healing and connection. Nikki looks forward to creating and holding a safe space for clients to share, cry, just ‘be’, and work towards healing; she knows how sacred finding a good fit with the right therapist can be.
Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota, Master of Arts, Counseling & Psychological Services
University of Minnesota, Bachelor of Science, Family Social Science
Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavior Therapy (TF-CBT), Narrative Exposure Therapy (NET), Motivational Interviewing, Grief/Loss, and Trauma-informed care.
Mamie Vetsch, LMFT, Art Therapist//Embedded Program Manager//Internal Creative Coordinator
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.
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
Xoel Gonzalez, MA, Bilingual Spanish-English, Therapist
Xoel has lived in Minnesota for over twenty years, but is a native of Puerto Rico who speaks Spanish fluently. Formerly a tattoo artist as well as local tattoo shop owner, he realized over time that what he liked best about his job was the rapport he built with the people he met. He decided to merge his interest in art with his love of people: he returned to school to become a counselor.
While an intern at People Incorporated, he created an art therapy group. In his current and former jobs as a counselor, he uses a person-centered approach combining art and humor to help his clients conquer their “mistaken beliefs. ” His degree in counseling from Adler shaped his approach to therapy as one in which client and practitioner work collaboratively.
His experience includes providing services to clients as an in-home therapist as well as providing outpatient services. He has worked with clients of all ages and especially enjoys doing group therapy with families. A father himself, he gets great satisfaction seeing families heal. He takes joy in helping his clients make progress in their emotional growth, and is proud to be a counselor.
Annie Baker, MA LMFT Therapist
Annie enjoys working with children, adolescents, young adults and families from a variety of backgrounds. Annie has a caring, compassionate and approachable demeanor which helps her work with connecting with children and adolescents especially. Annie has worked with clients struggling with a variety of mental health issues including depression, anxiety, and relational problems (sibling issues, divorced/blended families, peers, teachers etc.). Annie work experience includes working as a middle school guidance counselor for 4 years, co-facilitator of Men’s Domestic Abuse groups, Clinical Coordinator at a residential home for adolescents, and working as a school-based therapist for the past 4 years.
Annie considers herself a strength-based therapist who focuses first on the therapeutic relationship and alliance with a Client. Annie then utilizes an eclectic approach in her therapy though primarily uses Dialectic Behavioral Therapy (DBT) and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). Annie has a lot of experiencing working with children, specifically in the school/day treatment/residential settings. She utilizes a family systems approach to help any Client excel in all areas of their life.
Annie’s ideal client would be anywhere between the ages of 13 to 45 and are willing to learn about their feelings and themselves to work towards creating more happiness in their life. She enjoys clients who are willing to talk in session as well as try techniques including new coping skills, relaxation exercises, and play. She helps clients think about and have insight into their thoughts, feelings and action; and actively works to foster change both in session and out. Annie highly supports working with parents to help kids work on their goals at home.
St. Mary’s University- Twin Cities, Marriage and Family Therapy Certificate, 2012
University of Minnesota- Twin Cities, Master of Arts, Educational Psychology- Counseling and Student Personnel Psychology, 2007
St. Cloud State University, Bachelor of Arts, Elementary Education, 2003
Jessica Van Berkum, MA Therapist
Jessica is a compassionate therapist who believes people are the experts in their own lives. Jessica uses a systemic approach in her work with all clients and draws from Experiential, Narrative, and Structural therapy frameworks. She enjoys working with a variety of clients including individuals, couples, and families, as well as clients from all backgrounds, cultures, ethnicities, races, sexual identities, and ages. Jessica is particularly passionate about working with clients and their families dealing with medical issues.
Jessica’s versatile background includes individual, couples, and family therapy, parent assessments, co-parenting, community-based work, and school based therapy. Jessica is knowledgeable in many mental health issues and diagnoses including: ADHD, anxiety, depression, severe and persistent mental illness (SPMI), and personality disorders.
Argosy University, Masters in Marriage and Family Therapy
Minnesota State University Moorhead, Bachelor of Science in Mass Communications
Diagnostic Classification of Mental Health and Developmental Disorders of Infancy and Early Childhood (DC 0-5 for early childhood)
Rose Joiner, MS LMFT Therapist
Rose considers therapy to be a vital and intrinsic part of our journey in life. In a world that is continually changing, finding ways to adapt to life’s stressors can at times become overwhelming.
Therapy can be a place to reflect, grow and challenge old ways of thinking or being, and create a new way of viewing life, loved ones and ourselves. She believes that all people are valuable, irreplaceable and worthy of growth, change and positivity. She loves working with children, teenagers and adults. She also is an advocate for fostering healthy relationships, within families or couples.
She has experience, but is not limited to people struggling with ADHD, anger issues, trauma, anxiety, depression, grief, relationship issues, gender issues and more.
Heather Baumann MPS, LADC Therapist
Heather is a client centered, empathetic therapist who believes every person’s story matters. Through providing a safe and non-judgmental space, she works collaboratively with clients to explore their inner strengths and guide them on their journey towards healing.
As a Licensed Alcohol and Drug Counselor, Heather has worked in a variety of settings including inpatient, outpatient, and medication-assisted treatment. Heather believes that addressing both chemical health and mental health concerns is optimal for long-term recovery.
Heather specializes in working with teens and adults. She offers traditional talk therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, and incorporation of mindfulness techniques.
Outside of work Heather enjoys spending time with her dog, exploring nature, reading, and taking dance classes.
University of Minnesota, Master of Professional Studies, IntegratedBehavioral Health
Hamline University, Bachelor of Arts, Psychology
Alfred is passionate about helping a diverse population of individuals, couples, and families improve their lives through a solution-oriented and strength-based approach. He believes that people are experts in their lives. He graduated from Argosy University, Twin-Cities, with a master’s degree in Marriage and Family Therapy. He utilizes therapy approaches like strategic, structural, and narrative to help individuals, couples and families achieved their desired outcomes during the therapeutic process. He implements a client-centered and motivational interviewing approach to help people develop a better awareness of their strengths. He utilizes psychoeducation to help clients learn how to apply their strengths consistently.
Alfred has a history providing individual, play, group, and family therapy to a diverse clientele in an intensive inpatient, school, community and outpatient setting. He also has experience working with trauma, depression, anxiety, and substance use disorders. He values a one day at a time approach, by helping clients learn how to focus on the “here and now.”
When not working, he enjoys exercising, playing basketball and spending time with family. He also engages in self-care activities like going for walks, reading, and listening to music. He values the importance of developing and maintaining healthy social-cultural, communication, intrapersonal, and interpersonal relationships.
Argosy University-Twin Cities
Master of Arts, Marriage and Family therapy
St. Olaf College
Bachelor of Social Work (BSW)
Sophia Pimsler, MA, LMFT, Therapist
Sophia entered the field of therapy to guide individuals through life’s challenges. Her goal is to provide awareness and validation that our environments have a significant impact on each of us as individuals. Her compassion, care, and, at times, humor help those she works with to find emotional balance and well-being.
Sophia offers therapy for adults, couples, adolescents, and families. As a systemic therapist, she has a particular interest in working with couples to help resolve issues such as conflicting ideologies, cultural identities, spiritual practices, and other concerns. She works to guide couples to find resolution and acceptance despite their differences.
Her other areas of interest and expertise include helping college graduates, athletes, artists, military/veterans, blended families, individuals coping with anxiety, depression or trauma, and members of the LGBTQ community. She has also worked with survivors of conversion therapy.
Sophia’s work as a professional choreographer and performer significantly influences her therapeutic practice. Her belief is that emotional experiences often cause the mind and body to become disconnected. In addition to traditional talk therapy, she integrates a variety of artistic modalities to provide a more holistic approach to the therapeutic process. She also incorporates person-centered therapy, narrative therapy, and feminist therapy.
Prior to her work in private practice, she was a counselor at a Minneapolis chemical dependency treatment center and at an Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA) center for children diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder.
Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota, Masters in Marriage & Family Therapy
Minnesota State University, Mankato, Bachelor of Science, Dance, Minor in Alcohol & Drug Studies
Bryn is a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor with over 10 years of experience and is passionate about helping individuals to develop skills and foster strengths to thrive emotionally, relationally, professionally, and within their communities. She excels at building positive, therapeutic rapport with clients through her warm personality and sense of humor. She is highly skilled in developing creative, solution-focused interventions and goals relevant to each individual’s unique needs. She has experience with a variety of evidenced based techniques including CBT, DBT, strength-based counseling, LGBTQ counseling, solution-focused counseling, and trauma-based interventions.
Bryn has primarily treated adults and adolescents and strongly encourages the development of self-efficacy, self-esteem, and self-advocacy skills. Bryn’s experience providing individual therapy and treatment in an Intensive Outpatient Setting has led her to develop a variety of skills to utilize when working with persons with varying diagnoses including Anxiety, Depression, Bipolar disorders, PTSD, ADHD, Personality Disorders, Reactive Attachment Disorder, Oppositional Defiant Disorder, and Autism Spectrum Disorders.
Bryn has experience in treating persons who have experienced past and/or current trauma, abuse, neglect and have grown up in highly dysfunctional families. She has a passion for helping people to develop self-worth and to attempt to alter many negative messages that they may hold about themselves. It is Bryn’s belief that all persons have worth and they can learn to value themselves. Bryn feels that it is important to explore our inner selves and work towards successful functioning by utilizing our personal strengths to achieve wellness and our life goals.
Master of Arts degree from Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota in Counseling and Psychological Services
Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology from the University of Wisconsin – River Falls
Emma enters each therapeutic relationship with empathy and curiosity. She provides a safe, calm and non-judgmental space that empowers clients to identify their strengths and challenges. She utilizes a strengths-based and trauma-informed approach that recognizes the importance of meeting the client where they are at and understanding where they would like to be in their future. Emma views the client as the pilot of the therapeutic process and takes on the role of a navigator to assist individuals on their journey towards peace and healing.
Emma’s practice is rooted in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy which emphasizes the importance of the relationship between thoughts, feelings and behaviors. Emma addresses and works through barriers alongside clients through challenging negative core beliefs and identifying and modifying unhelpful thinking patterns and behaviors. Emma is also trained in Exposure and Response Prevention which is an evidence-based treatment that that has been shown to be very effective in the treatment Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.
Emma incorporates the use of Dialectical Behavioral Therapy skills to increase ability to identify, embrace and manage difficult emotions, improve interpersonal skills and encourage the use of mindfulness as a helpful tool to use in daily life.
Emma has worked with adolescents and adults facing a variety of obstacles and transitions. She has experience working in diverse settings including the criminal justice system, hospitals, day programs and crisis management services.
Loyola University Chicago, Master of Social Work
University of Iowa, Bachelor of Arts, Gender, Women and Sexuality Studies