Meet Our In-Home & Community Providers

therapist MinnesotaSara Livingston, MA, LPCC

Community-Based Services Territory Director (ARMHS), Therapist

Read Bio

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

Kathryn Jargo, MA, LPCC

Community-Based Services Director (CTSS), Therapist

Read Bio

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

art therapist MinnesotaMamie Vetsch, MA, LMFT

Community-Based Services Director, Therapist

Read Bio

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

Community-Based Services Director, MSW Internship Program, Therapist

Read Bio

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

Austin Jacobsen, BS

Community-Based Services Coordinator, Community Mental Health Practitioner

Read Bio

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, EMDR, 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 early 2021)
University of Wisconsin- Stevens Point- Bachelor of Science, Psychology with a Human Services Emphasis
Trained in EMDR

Analisa Ballinger

Community Mental Health Practitioner

Read Bio

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.

Octavia Brown, BA

Community Mental Health Practitioner (Winona)

Read Bio

Clients can expect me to show up for them each and every time they come to see me. They can expect that I will show up authentically (always with a smile) and meet them where they are.

I am interested in trauma work with all clients. I am also interested in person-centered therapy and CBT. I am deepy invested in working with clients of color, especially clients who identify as Black/African-American/African and members of the LGBTQIA+ community.

As someone who is relatively new to the mental health world, I have worked with at- risk youth, mainly between the ages of 13-16 who have struggled with PTSD, gender dysphoria, depression, anxiety, conduct disorder, ADHD, oppositional defiant disorder, and disruptive mood dysregulation disorder. I have worked with youth of color and youth who identify as members of the LGBTQIA+ community. I also have non-clinical experience working with college students.

My approach to counseling is simple: I will show up for you authentically and meet you where you are. Therapy should not be a daunting experience and I strive to make it worth your while. With change comes work, but why can’t we have fun along the way? I offer a safe, supportive and open environment for clients to be themselves. I use person-centered techniques, motivational interviewing strategies, and CBT approaches. I am passionate about helping people become the best versions of themselves.

Education
Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota-BA
Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota- MA (Spring 2021-Anticipated)

Amelia Chapman, BS

Community Mental Health Practitioner

Read Bio

Amelia is one to ask questions that bring about new perspectives and strives to ensure those she works with feel seen, heard, and understood. Allowing those I work with to transform on their journey with patience, compassion, and respect. Her goal is to help those she works with to achieve more self-compassion, reciprocal relationships and connections, and the resilience to healthily reestablish a sense safety during periods of overwhelm.

Amelia is a holistic-minded therapist who seeks to normalize and humanize the challenges we encounter in our human experience. Informing the clients, about all aspects of what can impact our mental health and start making small steps to achieve more good days using a wide variety or therapeutic and healing modalities.

Amelia has experience in the behavioral/mental health community building relationships, promoting conflict management, community involvement, and independent living skills with both children and adults. She has worked in holistic health as a neuro therapist and office manager. Providing essential therapies and coordinating participant care – encouraging and ensuring individuals had the tools for their most significant health, happiness, and success.

Amelia’s therapeutic approach is person/family-centered and influenced by her interest in the mind/body connection. Techniques she uses include EFT, CBT, narrative, solution-focused, mindfulness, breathwork, and somatic & neurology informed techniques.

Education

St. Scholastica – BS

Licenses and Certifications
Certified Breathing Coach
Certified Water Calming®️ Practitioner
Certified Neurotherapist

Georgia DeMun, BA

Community Mental Health Practitioner

Lara Erickson, MA

Community Mental Health Practitioner

Read Bio

I am a family systems life coach 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, and 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 through a day program for individuals diagnosed with developmental delays.  I have worked in the correctional system as a correctional officer for the Ramsey County jail, once run by the VOARCC.  I have also worked doing in home mental health care over the past 10 years.

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

Sarah Fanning, MA, LPCC

Community Mental Health Practitioner

Read Bio

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 obtained her LPCC (Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor) license in 2021. 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

Read Bio

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

Read Bio

Hi! My name is Margo (she/her/hers) and I am absolutely delighted that you’re considering therapy. My hope is to come alongside you and be your partner in exploring your emotions and patterns, identifying your hopes and values, and working toward goals that matter to you. If you’re an “overthinker,” a “people pleaser,” or a “deep feeler,” I think we’ll get along beautifully!

As a therapist, I ground myself in a trauma-informed, person-centered, anti-oppressive framework. My practice draws from psychodynamic theories, narrative therapy, and motivational interviewing. I aim to collaboratively build a safe, brave space where you can laugh, cry, grow, and develop a deeper understanding of who you are and what self-compassion looks like for you.

I’m particularly passionate about working with LGBTQIA+/queer/gender-expansive folks, and people who identify with symptoms of Borderline Personality Disorder, with or without a formal diagnosis. I’m body-positive, sex-positive, and prepared to hold space for every facet of your identity.

My past experience includes school-based social work, restorative justice circles, community organizing around racial justice and economic equity, and supporting survivors of sexual assault. I’m currently completing my Master of Social Work degree in Multicultural Clinical Practice through Augsburg University. When I’m not working I love to swim, make erasure poetry, and do crossword puzzles!

Noah Gerber, BA

Community Mental Health Practitioner

Read Bio

Clients working with Noah can expect a friendly and non-judgemental person who will always treat you politely and with dignity.

Noah’s specialty is working with kids, He feels he is someone kids can look up to and trust to make them feel valued and unique

Noah has worked for years with kids, mostly elementary to middle-school aged.

Noah’s approach is very calm and patient, as someone who is here to help you and to make you feel as comfortable as possible

Noah is fluent in Spanish and French

Education
Bachelors
University of Minnesota

Devon Gruber, MSW, LGSW

Community Mental Health Practitioner

Read Bio

When working with Devon, collaboration and building your therapeutic relationship is the priority, as the client knows themselves best. Devon is biracial, bisexual, and a first-generation student of an immigrant mother. She understands the complexities and importance of culturally-competent intersectionality both in individuals and society.

Devon’s main therapeutic areas of interest are the behavioral therapies, namely DBT and CBT. She has a passion working for people with trauma and related mental health symptoms.

Devon has the most experience working with children, specifically in the school settings of grades K-8 as a paraprofessional for students identified as having developmental cognitive disabilities, an emotional behavioral disorder, or autism spectrum disorder. The majority of these students have been non-white, working class, or otherwise disadvantaged. Devon greatly connects with this type of population as she was raised in a Black family that took in dozens of foster girls, many of which remind me of the clients she has worked with. Besides adolescents, Devon has worked with adults that have serious and persistent mental illnesses. As an ARMHS worker, she provided these clients in-home and in-community services.

Devon describes her approaches as strengths-based, trauma-informed, collaborative therapeutic partnership with the client, culturally competent, conversational, direct, welcoming, authentic

Education
Bachelors – Psychology, minor in Social Welfare
University of St. Thomas

Masters – Social Work
University of St. Thomas

Licenses and Certifications

Licensed Graduate Social Worker (LGSW)

Trained by the National Safety Council in First Aid, CPR & AED

Emily Haider

Community Mental Health Practitioner

Read Bio

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.

Daniel Hanson, MA

Community MSW Intern

Read Bio

My clients can expect me to always come to our sessions with a lot of energy and a willingness to help. I’m a laid-back, go-with-the-flow type of person and my passion for helping others shows in the work that I do. I like to use humor with my clients when possible and enjoy watching my clients grow throughout the therapeutic process.

My areas of specialization include suicide prevention, intervention, and postvention, substance use disorders, military culture, and PTSD.

I’ve been in the human services field for over ten years and worked with all walks of life. Given my military background, I’m passionate about working with active-duty military and veterans. I also enjoy working with first responders, including law enforcement, fire fighters, and EMS.

I’m in the home stretch of my Master of Social Work degree so I’m still figuring out the therapeutic approaches that fit my style best. I’ve used a variety of approaches up to this point, but solution-focused and CBT are my favorites. I like to take a direct approach with my clients and empower them to have a better understanding of themselves and meet their goals

Education
Master of Social Work (In progress)
University of Denver

Master of Arts, Human Services     
University of Northwestern – Saint Paul

Licenses and Certifications
safeTALK Facilitator, Living Works Education Inc.
Suicide Loss Survivors Facilitator, National Alliance on Mental Illness (Nami)
Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training Master Trainer, Living Works Education Inc.

Caroline Kading, MA

Community Mental Health Practitioner

Read Bio

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

Amy Kalbrener, BS

Community Mental Health Practitioner

Read Bio

When seeing me a client can expect to be met with patience, empathy, and compassion. I believe that every person has the ability to be their best selves and my role is to help facilitate their journey by providing a safe and creative environment.

I feel my specialty is working with my clients to find creative and individualized solutions to meet their needs by meeting them where they are at in their journey.

I have worked with families, children, young adults, and adults who have learning disorders, medical conditions, anxiety, trauma, grief, and loss.

I utilize art therapy techniques while holding space and providing validation and understanding. From an Adlerian and Person-Centered approach I believe in helping clients find their strengths with encouragement and support while working together with the client to identify and work towards their goals.  When using art therapy, the art becomes part of the conversation creating metaphor, expressing feelings, exploring strengths, and finding meaning. You do not need to be an artist, in order to benefit from art therapy, the process of creating is frequently more rewarding than the finished product.

Education
Bachelors

University of Minnesota

Masters – Art Therapy (current student)
Adler Graduate School

Kevin Kim, MA

Community Mental Health Practitioner

Read Bio

“Life doesn’t make any sense without interdependence. We need each other, and the sooner we learn that, the better for us all.” –Erik Erikson

When a client comes to visit me, I will make sure that I’m showing patience, support, and respect at all times. Also, I will make sure to help all my clients to create self-awareness of their strengths and weaknesses as well as helping them to think “outside the box.”

My specialties includes working with clients struggling with depression, anxiety, trauma, and low self-esteem.

In the past, I have worked at a chemical mental health treatment center for 5 1/2 years. So during this time, I had a chance to work with a variety of diverse populations.

Client-centered and strengths-based as I believe as a professional therapist, it is important for us to help the clients explore, find different strengths and weaknesses, and develop different coping skills that can be used in everyday lives.

Languages
Korean

Education
University of Minnesota (Twin Cities) – Child Psychology
Adler Graduate School – Clinical Mental Health Counseling

Megan Lagios, BA

Community Mental Health Practitioner

Read Bio

Clients seeing Megan can expect an empathetic, and authentic approach. They will be greeted with a warm, welcoming smile. She believes in the importance of meeting each individual where they are at and adapting to their needs.

Megan has worked with a variety of ages from infants to young adults but specializes in working with children. She has experience working with a diverse group of children from different backgrounds with a variety of physical and developmental abilities. Megan has always enjoyed working with people and is open to working with all ages. This experience has encouraged Megan to pursue her passion of helping others and working in the mental health field.

Megan likes to work collaboratively with her clients using a client centered approach and believes in letting clients take the lead within each session. Her goal is to help clients reach their full potential and to support them through that journey. She enjoys adding creative aspects to therapy in order to meet each individual’s unique needs. Megan is also interested in incorporating play and art therapy into her approach.

Education
Megan received her bachelor’s degree from the University of St. Thomas in 2018 with a double major in Psychology and Family Studies. She will be graduating from the University of St. Thomas Professional School of Psychology in 2022 with a Master’s Degree in Counseling Psychology, she hopes to become a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist

Laura Lammar-Binder, MA

Community Mental Health Practitioner

Read Bio

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 ready to use 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 of all ages, families, and couples and has a special interest in working with those in the LBGTQ+ community, in maternal/paternal mental health, and grief therapy. 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 earned her Master’s Degree in Marriage & Family Therapy through Liberty University and is 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

Read Bio

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!

Nicole Mason, BA

Community Mental Health Practitioner

Read Bio

Nicole is a great listener, empathetic, and enjoys helping others grow and expand. She really likes working with children and looks forward to working with adults as well.

Nicole have experience working mainly with children and completed her internship through Minnesota Adult and Teen Challenge working with individuals struggling with addictions.

Nicole describes her approach as extremely flexible as she loves adapting herself to change. She is extremely driven and strives for perfection. Her clear communication skills allow her to bring out the best in any person.

Education

Currently enrolled in St. Mary’s University for Masters in Social Work

Kile Minnis

Community Mental Health Practitioner

Read Bio

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

Read Bio

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.


Jazzmyn Nielsen, BS

Community Mental Health Practitioner

Read Bio

Jazzmyn is a happy, bubbly person who tries to make people laugh but am also very in tuned to other’s emotions as well as my own! Jazzymn’s areas of interest include working with children with attachment and trauma issues. I would eventually like to use dogs in therapy to help my clients feel more comfortable!

Jazzmyn has a history worked with children with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Jazzmyn would describe my approach as very empathetic and making sure my client’s thoughts and emotions are heard and validated. I believe that emotions are very important to work through and understand.

Education

Iowa State University-BS in Psychology

Iowa State University-BS in Animal Science

Linn Polyak, MA

Community Mental Health Practitioner (Winona)

Read Bio

I approach working with clients through a person-centered approach. Clients can expect to be accepted where they are in their mental health journey and met with a non-judgmental and genuine provider. Sessions will be the client’s space to feel safe and explore what they choose to bring in to the room.

I enjoy working with kiddos and adolescents! I have worked with school aged children as well as middle school aged children and their families.  I use many play therapy techniques when working with younger clients.

I use person-centered values which include empathy, unconditional positive regard, and acceptance. I strive to create a safe environment where there is no judgement, and people are accepted where they are. I also use validation often with clients to fully accept client’s experiences as their own.

Education
MA Clinical Psychology
Bridgewater State University

BA Psychology, Minor in At-Risk Youth Studies
University of Wisconsin-La Crosse

Gracelyn Price-Murphy

Community Mental Health Practitioner

Read Bio

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 Schackmuth, MA

Community Mental Health Practitioner

Read Bio

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 completed her master’s degree at Saint Mary’s University in the Counseling & Psychological Services program and is working toward licensure as an 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.

Devin Schallert-Thomas, BA

Training Coordinator, Community Mental Health Practitioner

Read Bio

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.

Katie Score, MA, LAMFT

Community Mental Health Practitioner

Read Bio

A client can expect to get an authentic and direct therapist that will uplift and gently challenge them and help them to see their worth. Clients can expect to feel heard and be seen while finding some direction as we walk together through their journey of healing and growth.

My specialties of interest are working with adults who are in stages of their life where they are experiencing major life transitions and/or adjustment disorders, adults with ADHD, clients who have experienced trauma and are ready to start the process of EMDR.

I have worked with adults, children, couples, individuals with physical and developmental disabilities, clients struggling with addiction, symptoms of PTSD, anxiety, depression, life transitions, ADHD, and more.

I approach each client as an individual case and assess their personal needs and desires for change in therapy. Then together we create a specific plan that will support their therapeutic goals and be our framework for monitoring progress throughout our time together.

Education

M.A. Marriage and Family Therapy

License and Certificates

LAMFT

EMDR trained

Prepare and Enrich certified.


Pari Semsarilar

Community Mental Health Practitioner

Read Bio

What can clients expect when seeing you?
They can expect someone with a smile on her face with an accent ! Someone who sometime has difficulty finding the exact words she means to use. Someone who cares a lot abut people and their struggles in their life.

What are your specialties and areas of interest?
I am interested in acceptance and commitment therapy and also solution focused therapy.

What populations have you worked with?
I have worked with adults struggling with depression, anxiety, PTSD, bipolar and borderline personality disorders. I have also worked with teens with autism diagnosis.

How would you describe your techniques/approach?
I really like CBT and DBT skills and have found them helpful if we keep practicing them in daily basis.

Languages
Farsi (Persian)

Education
Master’s degree in psychology from Tabriz University (Iran)

I am also expecting to graduate from MA program in Counseling from Saint Mary’s university of Minnesota in Spring 2021.

Amanda Spangler

Community Mental Health Practitioner

Read Bio

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

Read Bio

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, MA

Community Mental Health Practitioner

Read Bio

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
St Mary’s University


Jordyn Thompson

Community Mental Health Practitioner

Read Bio

Jordyn brings a person-centered approach to her practice, recognizing the need to build connection and collaboration with clients while letting their wants and needs guide their work. Utilizing a solution focused/strength-based approach she assists clients in reaching their goals for recovery through humor and curiosity; believing it is essential to provide a safe and non-judgmental environment for all of her clients to explore their thoughts and feelings.

Jordyn holds a Masters of Science in Marriage and Family Therapy and takes clinical interest in trauma, attachment, child development, family systems, relationship issues and is a certified PREPARE/ENRICH facilitator.

In her free time you can find Jordyn spending time outside with family and friends, exploring with her dog, tending to her indoor plants, making puzzles, or singing and dancing.

Anna Trout, MA, LAMFT

Community Mental Health Practitioner

Read Bio

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.

Alexandria Tully

Community Mental Health Practitioner

Read Bio

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.”

Ka Blia Vue

Community Mental Health Practitioner

Read Bio

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

Sarah Weisman, MA

Community Mental Health Practitioner

Read Bio

I understand that therapy can feel intimidating, and so my primary goal is to help my clients feel safe and to support them through the discomfort that is natural part of the therapeutic process. Throughout our time together, clients can expect therapy to be something that is both challenging and fun. Whether its through talking, writing, music, or art, I encourage my clients to experiment with different modes of expression to figure what works best for them.

I specialize in relational healing that is centered on self-love and compassion. I am passionate about helping people heal, grow and expand in the context of their closest relationships.

I have worked with children as young as 5 to adults in their 60s. I have experience working with individuals, couples and families from a wide variety of religious and cultural backgrounds.

My approach to therapy is influenced by family systems theory and attachment theory. I view my clients through a strengths-based lens, focusing on what’s already working in conjunction with identifying the thought and behavioral patterns they wish to change. I utilize techniques such as breathwork and mindfulness to help my clients stay grounded in the present while they gain insight into their past.

Education

Adler University – MA

Licenses and Certifications
Positive Discipline Parent Educator

Taylor West, MS

Community Mental Health Practitioner

Read Bio

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

Read Bio

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