Ellie Family Services
13782 Bluestem Court #100 Baxter, MN 56425
Brainerd Lakes, MN
Meet Our Brainerd Lakes Team
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
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.
I am currently working on completing my Master’s degree with the University of Denver – Graduate School of Social Work with a focus on Trauma and Mental Health. 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 playing around with essential oils.
Master of Social Work – University of Denver – Graduate School of Social Work (Anticipated Graduation June 2020)
Bachelor of Social Work – The College of St. Scholastica (2017)
We all communicate in our own special way. This is how we feel connected and supported throughout our unique journey. It is Sami’s passion to support individuals in effective communication strategies to deepen connections and strengthen relationships. Teaching children to express their emotional needs is essential to their growth and development. With kindness and encouragement, Sami strives to create an environment that fosters this growth and supports families in understanding their own family system.
Sami works with children and families to support positive behaviors in every environment. She has run summer groups, taught family skills, and worked in the schools to support students individually. Sami has experience in navigating aggression, opposition, and trauma. She has also worked with students who have lived with chronic worry and she has worked in crisis response in the schools, hospitals, and out in the community.
Sami is currently supporting clients in increasing self-esteem, coping with stressors, increasing effective communication, direction following, and active listening.
University of North Dakota MSW: Master of Social Work- Currently enrolled.
University of North Dakota: Bachelor of Science in Psychology, emphasis in child development and learning.
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).