About Ellie Brainerd Lakes Area (BLA)

Ellie Family Services Brainerd Lakes clinic is conveniently located right off of 210 in Baxter, just west of 371 and north of Perch Lake. The Ellie Brainerd Lakes clinic is in beautiful single level office space with lots of convenient parking spots available.

As an agency, Ellie Family Services is new to the area, but our staff here are not- all of our therapists are from, and live in, Brainerd Lakes area. Community is something we value (A LOT!), and we believe that our care is much more effective when our providers are most invested in the wellness of their own families, neighborhoods and cities. At Ellie, we value family and treat our employees and community-partners like we’re all one big one.

At Ellie Family Services, we encourage our staff to be unconventional and authentic. We believe that therapy and mental health should be normal, and so our clinic feels like home, and not like a medical clinic. Mental health isn’t something that anyone should feel ashamed about (because seriously, we’ve all got issues)! We do our best to use humor and creativity in the work that we do and relate to people as people, not know-it-alls. We believe that good mental health care is based on solid, trusting relationships and so we try and show up as authentically as possible.

At Ellie Family Service Brainerd Lakes, our therapists have a wide range of support to offer. We do therapy for individuals, couples and families, and see children, teens and adults. Some of the most common things we work with at Ellie BLA include:

  • Family communication (We help kids communicate with parents, and parents with kids and parents with each other at any stage of the relationship)
  • Other relationship stuff ( from premarital counseling to family conflict and divorce, and everything in between)
  • Child and teen support
  • Difficulties with life events and transitions (new jobs, job conflicts, moves, struggles with faith, relationship stressors, pandemic stress, and so on)
  • General stress about pretty much anything (life throws a lot of curve balls, we know).
  • Anxiety & depression
  • Post traumatic stress disorder
  • Adjustment stress
  • OCD
  • and more!
  • We also have several staff who have significant experience working with Schizophrenia, Bipolar and other major mental health diagnoses.

Beyond the work that we do in-clinic, Ellie Family Services Brainerd Lakes also offers Community-Based services of ARMHS and In-Home Therapy. ARMHS is a skills-based service aimed at helping adults with mental health conditions to live more independently in the community, and our providers actually go in-home or meet clients out in the community. ARMHS is available to adults who struggle to live independently who need help with navigating mental health obstacles to maintaining stability. Our In-Home therapy programming is available to both adults and children, and is provided in the home. Both ARMHS and In-Home therapy services are available for folks who have Medical Assistance or a Pre-Paid Medical Assistance Plan (PMAP).

We take nearly all insurance types for our in-clinic services, and also have sliding-fee scale available as well. You can submit a referral down below our “Meet Our Team” section, or on our “Get Started” tab.

When we’re not working, we love to spend time in the area, particularly at the race track or on the pontoon. If you’re not familiar with the BLA area, we recommend checking out the link below for things to do in the BLA!

Meet Our Brainerd Lakes Team

Jenny Owens, MS, LMFT

Clinic Director – Brainerd Lakes, Therapist

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Whether you are feeling overwhelmed, discouraged, or simply not meeting your life goals, therapy can help. So often, clients come to me feeling as though no one else has listened to them or taken them seriously. It is my goal to make you feel heard and understood, while providing guidance to assist you to take steps to improve your well-being. I focus on building a strong therapeutic relationship, and helping you feel comfortable as we move forward step by step toward your goals.

I provide individual, group, couples, marital and family therapy to children over 6, adolescents and adults. I am experienced in treating a wide variety of mental health issues including trauma, sexual issues, depression, anxiety, assisting those in law enforcement, and Veterans. I am trained to work with families going through divorce. I also offer Therapeutic Parenting Education Groups.

Master of Science, Marriage and Family Therapy
St. Cloud State University

Courses towards Master of Science
Pepperdine University, California

Bachelor of Arts, Psychology and Child and Family Studies
Concordia College, Moorhead

AAMFT MFT Supervisor Training: In progress

Ashley Roberts, MSW, LICSW


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I strongly believe, as we walk through life there will be obstacles that impede our ability to continue moving forward. The difference between navigating around the obstacles and getting stuck in them is often the support we receive along the way. My goal is to empower each individual to navigate the obstacles that are impeding their happiness and success.

I recognize that it is never easy to ask for or receive help, therefore I realize the importance of working respectfully with each individual and in such a way that maintains all parties’ dignity. I employ a person-centered approach that capitalizes on individuals’ strengths to overcome deficits. I have a particular passion for working with adolescents and adults struggling with life transitions and changes such as blending families and divorce.

I graduated in 2013 from the College of St. Scholastica with a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work (BSW). In 2016, I earned my Master in Social Work Degree from the College of St. Scholastica (MSW). I am currently licensed as a Licensed Independent Clinical Social Work (LICSW).

Kayla Gruber, MS, LPCC


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Clients seeing Kayla for therapy can expect a very open and non-judgmental atmosphere.  She prides herself on building relationship first and working as a team with the client and family to find an approach that works for them and their lifestyle.  She meets the client and family where they are and work with them to figure out what their goals are.
Kayla enjoys working with a range of ages and people but especially loves working with younger children and their families!
Kayla’s specialties include early childhood and family work.   She’s previously worked with a lot of young children with trauma.  She is trained in completing early childhood diagnostic evaluations.
Kayla uses a variety of therapeutic techniques, since she works with a lot of children, her focus is usually on play therapy, family systems, and trauma informed care.
University of Wisconsin Superior-MS
Licenses and Certifications
Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor- LPCC
Circle of Security Parenting facilitator
Diagnostic Classification of Mental Health in Early Infancy and Early Childhood

Nicole Rubbelke


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I believe the foundation of successful therapy is creating a safe place for clients as they build a relationship with their therapist. My definition of safe place is a place for the client to have the freedom to be themselves without judgement and creating a safe for clients to feel comfortable to make themselves vulnerable enough to access and process their trauma. I firmly believe that genuine healing does not occur without the client feeling safe. Whether someone is seeking services because it is mandated or they are seeking services on their own, each client has the right to be treated with dignity and respect.

I believe in collaborating with clients to create a therapeutic relationship that will empower and support clients as they work through area’s they are struggling, identifying strengths that can empower them to make change in their lives. I utilize person centered practices and believe in collaborating with the client’s entire team of professionals working for client to support common goals. I believe it is important to support the client in addressing their needs holistically mind, body, spiritual (if it applies to client).

As a social worker I am bound by the NASW code of ethics so one of the things I am passionate about is ensuring that the clients I serve are provided integrated healthcare services. This ensures that I follow the guidelines that I must practice within as a social worker while collaborating with other providers to ensure the clients needs are met whether its physical health, medication management, chemical dependency, or mental health.

I am currently a graduate student enrolled in the Master of Social Work Program through University of Denver. My anticipated graduation is June 2020. The curriculum is focused on mental health and trauma. I have a bachelor’s degree in social work from the College of St. Scholastica I graduated in 2015. My experience so far has been in child protection, children’s mental health case management, adult mental health case management, chemical dependency, and adult protection.

I have a specific interest in working with individuals and families that have experienced trauma. My interest is in working with both adults and children over the age of 6.

Pennie Rubbelke, MSW, LGSW


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I am passionate about using a person-centered, strengths-based approach to support individuals in creating what they define as their life worth living. I believe in building a safe, supportive, and authentic therapeutic relationship with the individuals that I support. I also believe that incorporating a holistic approach is important, including physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being.
I love the imagery of the ripple effect; Ripples can grow to immense proportions, but someone must initiate them. My passion is to support individuals in making the changes and then supporting them as the ripples of those changes grow and flourish.
I have worked in various community settings, including Peer Recovery Support, Mobile Crisis Outreach, Crisis Stabilization Services, and Adult Mental Health Case Management.

When not at work, I enjoy spending time with my family, friends, and my fur-child, Riley Maxwell. I also enjoy listening to music, collecting stones, being outside in nature, and using essential oils to promote my own well-being.

Master of Social Work
University of Denver
Licenses and Certifications
Licensed Graduate Social Worker


Ellie Family Services
13782 Bluestem Court #100 Baxter, MN 56425
Brainerd Lakes, MN
Phone: 218.833.9107
Fax: 651.925.0610