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. Ellie Family Services may be new to the area, but our staff here are not- all of our staff 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.
We believe that therapy and mental health should be normal, and not 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. We believe that good mental health care is based on solid, trusting and authentic relationships.
At Ellie Family Service Brainerd Lakes Area, we offer therapy for individuals, couples and families, 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
- 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).
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
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
Anastasia Atchley, MAE
Community-Based Mental Health Practitioner
I am not a typical therapist, as I am very hands on. I will adapt to the Client’s preferences and what they would like out of their therapy appointments, but I will also try and incorporate activities and things that I believe might be beneficial to help the Client get a deeper understanding of what we’re working on. I believe that everyone needs a safe space to have and I want to make sure that they have that and are taken care of when they are with me.
My specialties are teenagers/adolescents and children, individuals with Autism (ASD, Asperger’s, PDD-NOS) and those that have been through trauma (PTSD diagnosis as well). I also have Levels 1 & 2 training of Gottman Couple’s therapy and have experience working with couples, families, and groups.
I have worked with a variety of populations. While the main populations I work with are children and adolescents from a variety of backgrounds (foster care, trauma, abuse, etc.), I have also worked with individuals with disabilities, couples, families, and refugees and immigrants (Individuals from Burma and with all ages).
I work with Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) quite a bit by assigning homework or doing worksheets. I also will incorporate a lot of Play Therapy and Art Therapy as it allows the Client to express themselves in a way where they have creative freedom and don’t have to talk about it directly. I do use solution-focused therapy as needed. For example, when a Client comes in and has an issue they need to talk about that is currently happening. I use Family Systems Therapy for family sessions to connect patterns and behaviors within the family to help the family understand their family dynamics. With my teens, I use Reality therapy to work on self-awareness of their behaviors and responses to others behaviors.
M.A.E. in Marriage, Couple, and Family Counseling
Western Kentucky University
Licenses and Certifications
Licensed Professional Clinical Associate (LPCA) – State of Kentucky
Kayla Gruber, MS, LPCC
Naomi Nelson, MS
Therapy is stretching, silly, and scary at times. I want to serve clients who may be resistant to therapy. I want to join clients who are open to connecting their mind, body and soul and moving towards healthy change
Whether in the office or out at the ranch, I want clients to experience acceptance, laughter and to feel safe in the therapeutic journey. Grab some coffee, and lets hike, paint a horse, or sit by the fire. I believe healing and growth is possible when we have the courage to see our true self, and are brave enough to take steps towards holistic wellness.
Specialties: Individuals experiencing suicidal ideation, anxiety, depression, sexual trauma, victimization through human trafficking and/or other mental health concerns. Children 6+, adolescents and young adults.
Often I use a combination of Play Therapy, Art Therapy, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Dialectical Behavioral Therapy and Equine Assisted Therapy.
Grand Canyon University -MS
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
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.