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About Ellie Mendota

Ellie Family Services’ Mendota Heights clinic is conveniently located right off Pilot Knob, on Mendota Heights Road, and is easily accessible by Highways 494, 13, 55 and maybe a 2- minute drive from 35E (1 minute if you drive like I do). Our Mendota Heights clinic is the flagship office, our HQ as it were, which is a massive 20,000 square foot building that contains a 13 office clinic, our administrative offices, training space and a convention center that’s perfect for community education, disco parties (or EDM if you’re a youngster) and your next wedding ceremony.

Ellie Mendota is a place where magic happens- decisions are made here about where we’re headed next, and how we can better serve the communities that we have locations in. Community is extremely important to us, and we’re always in conversation here about how we can help to strengthen the fabric of our neighborhoods and ultimately society, through creative mental health and wellness initiatives. (And we drive through the halls on scooters, so we can get to meetings quicker).

At our Mendota Heights clinic, we have some amazing staff who do amazing things- from therapy for little ones, to big ones, to family conflict resolution and divorce facilitation. We do trauma work, and see people struggling with depression, anxiety, difficult life experiences, transitions and losses. We also provide medication management for adults and children at our Mendota Heights office.

Beyond the clinic, we have our administrative workspace, where referrals are received and assigned to practitioners, therapists and prescribers. Our admin team is constantly working to build better infrastructure and to improve the customer/client experience from the first phone call to getting assigned a provider.

For the greater community, we offer regular trainings on all things mental health (and beyond). Our training space is huge, and regularly hosts some incredible professionals and leaders in the field of mental health and wellness. Our trainings are approved by the Minnesota behavioral health regulatory boards (MFT, SW, Psychology, and Counseling) and conveniently offer valuable Continuing Education credits to the Minnesota mental health clinician community.

Lastly, Ellie Mendota is home to our clothing and products lines, including the “Stigmalater collection” (aimed at reducing stigma around mental health issues and normalizing mental health and the ways in which it’s treated), and the “Live Authentic” brand, which represents a movement towards self-acceptance/compassion/exploration. We value authenticity above almost all else- we believe that each of us has a unique voice, and that life’s mission is to find that voice and to really own who we are as individuals. Fifty percent of all profits from the “Live Authentic” line go to charitable organizations (some to the World Wildlife Foundation, and some to the Human Rights Campaign, depending on which kind of clothes you buy).

When we’re not working to change the field of mental health at our Mendota Heights clinic, we love to explore the local scene. If you haven’t checked out Mendota (actually a different small town, just down the hill), we recommend getting something to eat at Lucky 13’s or Axel’s, and right nearby there’s public access to some great hiking trails and scenery. If you’d like to learn more about the Mendota/Mendota Heights area, check out this link below!

Meet Our Mendota Heights Team

Erin Opoku, MA, LMFT

Clinic Director, Therapist

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Erin obtained her Master’s degree in Adlerian Psychotherapy with an emphasis in Marriage and Family Therapy from the Adler Graduate School. Erin completed her practicum at Genesis II for Families; in Minneapolis, MN, working with families in their homes that were involved within the child protection system. During this time Erin was also employed at an agency in the Twin Cities performing Adult Rehabilitative Mental Health Services, where she worked with clients to find their personal recovery goal to better manage their mental health diagnoses.

After completion of her Master’s degree Erin worked as a mental health practitioner and therapist in the Twin Cities area, providing individual, family, couples, adolescent and child therapy services.

Erin has experience working with a wide range of clients with various mental health and behavioral issues. Erin works with late adolescents and adults struggling with anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, chemical dependency concerns, personality disorders, bipolar disorder, and life changes/transitions such as grief and loss, divorce, adjustment disorders, communication difficulties and relationship concerns.

Outside of work Erin enjoys spending time with her family, playing and watching all sports, hiking and listening to music.

Heather Reidinger, MA, LMFT

Clinic Manager, Therapist

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Heather is a supportive, empowering and respectful mental health professional with 14 years of experience in the field. In that time, she has worked with individuals, couples, groups and families to help build better communication, explore more opportunities for personal growth and purposeful solutions to a patient’s everyday needs. Her diverse work experience in both clinical and hospital/crisis-based mental health has shaped her appreciation and compassion for her clients, in having the courage to seek support.
Heather has always been intrigued by the enriching relationships we hold, as well as how these relationships affect our individual growth. Primary therapeutic approaches that Heather utilizes include: systemic, existential, Cognitive Behavior Therapy, narrative, play therapy, walk/talk therapy, and systemic therapy. She is honored to walk along with individuals (children ages 5 to 70 years old), families, and couples on their therapeutic journey. She especially enjoys working with adolescents and young adults, as this is a time of vulnerability, growth and such resilience. Special areas of interest include: Anxiety, Depression, ADHD, self-harm/suicidal ideation, LGBTQ inclusive, post-partum, fertility issues, trauma, OCD, and family therapy.
“Vulnerability is the birthplace of love, belonging, joy, courage, empathy, and creativity. It is the source of hope, empathy, accountability, and authenticity. If we want greater clarity in our purpose or deeper and more meaningful spiritual lives, vulnerability is the path.” – Brené Brown
EDUCATION:
University of St. Thomas, Master of Arts Degree in Counseling Psychology – Marriage and Family Therapy
St. Catherine University, Bachelor of Arts Degrees in Psychology and Philosophy

Desiree Abhriam

Sr Client Access Specialist – Community

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My interest in mental health is strong with the desire to help people find solutions for life challenges they may have. As we continue to grow stronger in ourselves we can continue to strengthen our families and communities. I’m honored to be able to play (even a small) part in assisting clients in the best way I can.

I am excited to be part of a dynamic group of professionals working together to help communities and individuals grow stronger in their mental and emotional lives.

Liz Banovetz, MA, LMFT

Therapist

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Liz has several years of experience working with children, young adults, and families—especially those who have experienced trauma, have navigated difficult circumstances and decisions in their lives, or have been in times of transition. She is passionate about working with clients of all ages. She particularly enjoys connecting with clients who are self-motivated and interested in therapeutic practices that can support them in emotional well-being, self advocacy, and healthy communication.

When working with clients, Liz draws on her ability to listen, build strong therapeutic rapport through compassionate understanding, and provide a safe space for clients to express themselves and be heard.

As a practitioner, Liz’s clinical work is anchored in a client-centered, strengths-based approach; with Liz clients will work on personal goals with achievable milestones, together, to help gain insight, build client self-confidence, and learn new coping skills.

It’s important, Liz believes, that hope and healing are a part of the therapeutic experience.

Liz’s areas of interest include anxiety, OCD, depression, self-harm, suicidal ideation, trauma, parenting/co-parenting and life transitions, LGBTQ+ identity development and growth, stressors related to COVID-19 and other events that can be traumatic.

Liz applies a well-rounded, tailored approach to meet clients’ needs. The range of her therapeutic techniques include utilizing cognitive behavioral therapy, narrative therapy, mindfulness, sand tray, and solution-focused therapy. When working with families, she helps improve communication, nurture resiliency, and strengthen personal connections toward healthy client outcomes.

Education
Masters –  Marriage and Family Therapy
St. Mary’s University

Bachelors –  Early Childhood and Early Childhood Special Education
University of Minnesota Duluth

Terri Bly, PsyD, LP

Licensed Psychologist

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Terri is a Licensed Clinical Psychologist on a mission to help her clients pursue an intentional, values-driven life, while gaining the insight and tools they need to navigate around the obstacles that inevitably arise along the way. A big fan of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, Terri also incorporates mindfulness, solution-focused therapy, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Motivational Interviewing into her practice, while maintaining a strengths-based perspective. Terri is also a firm believer in the mind-body connection to health, and will work with her clients and their families to identify lifestyle changes that will help them feel and function better (translation: she is going to ask you about your sleep and technology habits – probably more than once).

Terri works with adolescents and adults, and has experience with a wide range of issues, including depression, anxiety, ADHD, managing life stressors, grief and loss, coping with physical health problems, parenting, marital/relationship difficulties, religious trauma, Reunification Therapy, divorce, and co-parenting after divorce.

Outside the office, Terri does her best to exercise her creative muscles as much as possible, and enjoys acting, singing, dancing, writing and photography. Most of her free time, however, is spent parenting her two lovely teenage daughters and their 80-pound goldendoodle, Norman.

Education

Post-Doctoral Training

  • MN State Court Certified Rule 114 training, Family Mediation, Erickson Mediation Institute
  • The Collaborative Experience, Collaborative Law Institute of MN
  • Discernment Counseling, DRI Alliance for Marriage and Divorce Professionals
  • Bio-Psycho-Social Treatment, University of Massachusetts Medical School
  • Natural Solutions for Mental Health, Partners in Resilience (Minneapolis)
  • High Conflict Coparenting: Interventions for Children’s Alignment and Resistance, William James College

Professional Affiliations

  • Minnesota Psychological Association
  • Association of Family and Conciliation Courts

Sarah Borger, MA, LPCC

Therapist

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I believe that people don’t come to therapy with their problems, but with their solutions. Sometimes the solutions we’ve created to survive, push through, protect, avoid, or heal aren’t working for us any longer. Each person is the expert of their own experience; my goal is to walk alongside people to provide insight, empathy, and strategies that support people on their journeys to expand what next steps are possible.

I provide therapy for a wide range of issues, specializing in working through trauma, sexual abuse/assault, relationship violence, anxiety, depression, LGBTQ+ identity development, self-esteem, and life transitions. I am trained in Accelerated Resolution Therapy (ART) and also utilize mindfulness, narrative, cognitive-behavioral, and solution-focused strategies in my practice. My approach is trauma-informed and social justice-centered. Compassion, collaboration, and a sense of humor are integral pieces of my therapeutic practice.

I am passionate about providing strengths-based therapy and support groups for adolescents and adults from all walks of life, and have worked in clinical, educational, and community-based settings. When not in the office, I can be found on a yoga mat, playing piano, or enjoying time with my two zany rescue dogs.

EDUCATION:

Masters in Counseling and Psychological Services, Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota

BA in Theatre Arts, Augsburg University

Bella Brakefield

Sr. Client Access Specialist

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Bella was born and raised in the Twin Cities area and has been inspired to become a mental health advocate after seeing how it improved the lives of her friends at a young age. Her favorite thing about Ellie Family Services is that they have a friendly and non-formal approach to healthcare which helps destigmatize getting help. She believes that everybody can improve their lives by attending therapy.

When she is not at work, Bella enjoys cooking and baking, thrift shopping, and spending time with her husband and their dog, Kylo.

Natalie Carstenbrock, APRN, CNP

Director – Integrative Healthcare, Psychiatric Medication Prescriber

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Natalie has a varied career in healthcare, which all started as a childhood dream of helping others. Following her graduation from nursing school, she worked as a registered nurse in a hospital before transitioning into family clinic practice. While working as an anti-coagulation nurse, her passion to bring changes to primary care led her back to school to pursue a life-long dream of becoming a certified nurse practitioner.

After gaining experience working across multiple medical settings, Natalie realized the need for a more holistic approach to medical care. Over the last few years, this understanding has regenerated her passion to fill the gaps in healthcare, and has informed her approach of treating the whole patient, with an emphasis on integrated emotional and mental health, rather than a condition. Natalie has provided comprehensive health care for patients of all ages, at all stages in life.

Natalie understands how difficult it can be to stay on top of it all, especially our health. She believes it is possible to combine therapy and medicine in order to create the best of both worlds. She has experience developing acute care programs within major medical systems and is thrilled to establish a supportive integrated medication management program alongside the world-class therapists and staff at Ellie Family Services!

Education:

The College of St. Scholastica, Master of Science, Family Nurse Practitioner

The College of St. Catherine, Bachelor of Science in Nursing

American Nurses Credentialing Center Board Certified Family Nurse Practitioner

Hallie Corbett, MS

Chief Operations Officer

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I am excited to work at an organization whose core values align so closely with my own, and that breaks down barriers to provide access to the wellness services our community needs. I am passionate about finding creative and innovative ways to work towards operational excellence to improve the experience of both patients and clinicians.

I have a Master’s degree in College Counseling and Student Development, and have worked for both a small outpatient clinic, as well as a free-standing inpatient psychiatric hospital with mental health clinics across the metro. In my most recent role as a Practice Manager, I managed the professional services provided by 125 outpatient clinicians, as well as oversaw the centralized call center and front-desk reception teams.

I love spending time with my husband and two boys having nerf battles and playing laser tag in our basement. On the weekends you will catch me at the hockey rink watching my oldest son play while my husband coaches. I recently purchased a spin bike, and am addicted! I also love trying new restaurants with my family and friends.

Alicia Exsted, MA, LPCC

Therapist

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Alicia is a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor who has been working in the field since 2010. She is experienced in addressing issues of depression (including bipolar disorder), anxiety, psychotic symptoms, trauma, grief/loss, stress management, emotional and behavioral dysregulation, life transitions, and sexual health and identity. Her practice includes working with adolescents and adults for individual therapy (and couples or family therapy as needed by established clients). She brings a cognitive behavioral, existential and personal approach to therapy in order to meet clients where they are at in their emotional health.

Alicia obtained her Master’s degree in Counseling and Psychological Services from Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota.  During her graduate program, she completed her practicum at Neighborhood Involvement Program (NIP), a non-profit clinic focused on the health needs of the underserved in our community. Alicia began her post-graduate professional career as an Adult Rehabilitative Mental Health Services practitioner and in-home therapist before moving to a clinical setting.  She has facilitated and co-facilitated adolescent psychoeducational groups within an alternative high school setting and adult Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) groups.

She utilizes her skills from this diverse background in her therapy services in order to better serve the needs of her current clients. Alicia encourages insight through exploration of early and current experiences, as well as skills based learning (CBT, DBT, mindfulness) to promote change. She focuses her therapy on balancing each area of one’s life (emotional, physical, spiritual, occupational, environmental, intellectual, social) in order to obtain overall wellness.

When Alicia is not working, she enjoys spending time with her family, sewing, cooking, crocheting, baking, and Zumba.

Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

Education:

Master of Arts- Counseling and Psychological Services
Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota

Licensure:

  • Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor (LPCC) in Minnesota
  • Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) in Wisconsin

Kayla Felten, MSW, LICSW

Therapist

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As a clinical social worker, Kayla provides trauma-informed care for adolescents and adults seeking support as they navigate their own unique path to inner peace and relational harmony. Her areas of professional interest include religious trauma, spiritual abuse, sexual violence, LGBTQ+ identity development and growth, and adolescent issues of self-esteem, anxiety, and trauma. I value sex positivity and use harm reduction and minority stress-informed perspectives to guide my practice.

With seven years of experience working with middle school students and over one year experience facilitating support groups and retreats for folks who have experienced religious trauma and/or spiritual abuse, Kayla’s approach to the therapeutic relationship is to focus on how individuals can reclaim their identity, pleasure, and autonomy following trauma. She draws from multiple therapeutic modalities including mindfulness/body based, Trauma-Informed, Strengths Based, Cognitive Behavior Therapy, Narrative Therapy, and Motivational Interviewing.

Outside the office, Kayla loves to dance, write, peruse thrift stores, explore tarot, and travel to Central America whenever possible.

Amy Felix

Billing Specialist

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Amy is interested in mental health and likes the idea of helping people achieve their best selves.

Benjamin Fisher, BA

Coordinator – Human Resources

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Benjamin is interested in how critical it is to have a support system around you to help remain or become mentally strong. As well as the cause-and-effect of every action and decision you make could have a direct impact on one’s mental health for the long term. I am passionate about helping others and the mission at Ellie.
Education
BA Human Resources Management and Business Administration
Winona State University

Faye Foote, MA, LPCC

Chief Clinical Officer, Therapist

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Faye is passionate about helping people better themselves with the basic understanding that “We are experts on ourselves.” She believes that each individual knows their unique view of the world due to the individual experience we have with it. Because of this power, she believes that people are their own best resource for improving their world through self-understanding, self-awareness, and the ability to be vulnerable with themselves. She believes finding those inner resources and learning how to utilize them helps improve our relationship with the world.

Faye offers person-centered therapy for children, adolescents, and adults. Her belief is this: A strong therapeutic relationship develops within a warm, empathetic, and accepting environment. This environment allows clients to experience meaningful personal growth and change.

Faye has a history working with kids and adolescents in a school environment as well as adults, and couples in private practice. “Having the courage to tell your story is the first step in making this meaningful change.”

EDUCATION:
Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota, Master of Arts, Counseling and Psychological Services
St. Cloud State University, Bachelor of Science, Communications and Journalism

Breanna Freeborn, MA, LPCC

Therapist

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I consider myself a compassionate and proactive therapist with many special interests and techniques which I bring to therapy. I provide counseling for all ages, but I am most passionate about working one-on-one with elementary-aged children and adults. I work with a wide range of difficulties and populations, including childhood disorders and attachment issues, behavioral problems, trauma, mood and anxiety disorders, self-esteem and shame, grief and loss, LGBTQ+, adjustment/life transitions, relational issues, and people who are searching for ways to improve their wellbeing but feel lost or need support.

My clients can expect me to draw upon these psychological philosophies: Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (how our thoughts and feelings affect our behavior), Existential Therapy (concerns about meaning and purpose), and Psychodynamic Therapy (how our past influences us now). These are the backbones to my therapeutic style. Less commonly but if applicable to clients, I am also fascinated by dream analysis as is common in Jungian therapy, and by Ecotherapy, which emphasizes our connection with nature.

As I work with clients, I see problems through a holistic lens, and consider all aspects of clients’ lives. When working with children, I primarily rely upon play therapy techniques, and I give support and guidance to struggling parents along the way. I like to provide psychoeducation to empower clients, and I use humor and lightheartedness when the time is right.

I believe that for therapy to be effective, my clients and I need to be a team. We clarify goals and what approach(es) may be most effective, engage in open dialogue (or symbolic play when working with children), and both of us contribute to every session with trust, understanding, and respect for one another.

My underlying philosophy about humanity is that everyone is doing the best they can considering what they have been taught and what they have experienced, but sometimes we get stuck or confused. No matter where clients are in life, I guide them to find answers and resilience within themselves. Clients can learn to balance making changes, with tolerating and embracing what is happening now. In doing so, they can interact with themselves and the world in a healthy way and lead more satisfying lives.

Outside of therapy, I enjoy time with my family, especially watching my son learn and grow. Being playful with him and with our pets reminds me to be mindful and enjoy the present. I also love being outdoors and hiking. In the other down time I have (even if it is not much!), I listen to a wide range of music, attend concerts, meditate, or read.

William Fry

Medical Scribe

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Serving the mental health needs of our community is a truly rewarding occupation. I am particularly interested in automaticity and the chasm of the unconscious. I had a brain aneurysm when I was ten years old, which rendered the left side of my body inert. Consciousness has always been a riddle of consequence to me.

Education
Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design-BFA


Marilyn Galloway

Director – Outreach

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What about mental health interests you?
The human condition! We can do so many things to take good care of ourselves but illness may still occur. I feel many undiagnosed mental illnesses go untreated because of the stigma associated with getting care.  I want to connect potential patients and families to the ELLIE FAMILY!
Previously, Marilyn worked in Community Relations and Marketing for PrairieCare, prior to that I worked in mental health in the HealthEast Care System.
I’m excited to work for Ellie because I can authentically be myself! I feel the energy at Ellie and it’s a definite feeling of being connected to something magical!
Outside of work, Marilyn enjoys so many things but her favorite by far is cooking! She also has 2 big gardens with loads of veggies and flowers (together because why not?) She is an avid reader of memoirs and historical fiction. She loves yoga, running, racquet sports and weight training. She believes  physical fitness and home cooked meals do wonders for mental health so she subscribes to those principles herself!

Selina Garcia

Medical Biller Manager

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Prior to joining Ellie, Selina has experience doing Medical Billing for over 20 years. “And just when you think you know it all, you learn something new all the time. It’s exciting, as nerdy as that sounds. It’s the closest to investigative work that I’ll get without being a detective.”
Selina says, “I am very excited to get to work with such a wonderful group of clinicians and handle all of the companies billing needs. I am super passionate about Mental Health billing and making sure clients get the best coverage they can for the services they need.”
Outside of work Selina enjoys hanging out with her family and friends. She has a dog that loves to go for long walks all the time! She’s been known to be a Netflix/Hulu junkie! Binge watching a good show is right up her alley.

Marie Gaughan, CMA

Medication Management Assistant

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The overall dynamics of mental health is interesting to me. We cannot go through life without thinking, acting, or feeling. All three of these motions are affected by our mental wellbeing. The importance of mental health has on allowing those to live a healthy and balanced lifestyle is significant. I am excited to see the growth that each patient makes throughout their journey to a balanced lifestyle.

My career background has been focused on supporting patients throughout every stage of life: birth-geriatrics. I am excited to continue providing support to all ages at Ellie as mental health plays an important role throughout every stage of life.

Education
Associates Degree – Medical Assistant
Dakota County Technical College

Certifications
Certified Medical Assistant
Basic Life Support Certified
First Aid Certified

Justin Gerstner, MD

Medical Director

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My goal as a psychiatrist is to help provide a firm foundation for someone to be who they want to be, and to achieve what they want out of life. To me, this is the very basis of Mental Health.

Every meeting is centered on developing a plan on how you can feel better. This includes identifying your current symptoms and diagnosis, walking through treatment options, and making decisions together.

I specialize in Psychiatry throughout the lifespan. My particular clinical interests are in mood disorders, anxiety disorders, and ADHD.

Education
University of Wisconsin – Madison – MD

Licenses and Certifications
Medical Doctor (MD)
Board Certified in Psychiatry
Board Certified in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry

Brittney Green

Client Access Specialist

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Brittney is known for a positive outlook on life while wearing a smile to greet you! Whenever she talks to clients she tries to relate to their story and strike up a conversation if they want but she can also tell who is having a hard day and try to brighten their spirits!

Brittney enjoys being a part of administrative support where she can meet and surpass expectations. She can show the customer how important he or she is in a friendly, helpful and positive way. She is very detailed oriented and able to carry out every task that is assigned to her carefully. She is genuinely interested in her work and tries to understand each aspect of the job that she has been entrusted with.

Outside of work, Brittney enjoys spending time with her husband and kids creating memories. They are usually busy with traveling sports and chasing their 2 year old around! She hunts deer every year with her husband and they just recently signed up to be foster parents for dogs in need of rescue. She is an animal lover but hasn’t foster failed YET!

Emily Giannobile

Client Access Specialist/Complex Family Systems Assistant

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Our mental health affects all areas of our lives and is a deeply personal experience for each individual. Everyone should have access to the support that they need to live a full life and improve their wellbeing.

Ellie offers a wide range of services that give people the resources they need to face life’s complexities. It can be difficult to seek help from others, especially when we are not at our best. I appreciate being a part of a team that makes taking that step easier and doing so in a caring and empathetic way.

Candi Havok

Client Access Specialist

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Prior to joining Ellie, Candi has experience in customer service ranging from bartending, retail, call centers, and family planning clinics.
Candi is excited to be a part of a group of people whose goal is helping people. Candi is interested in family mental health and teenager mental health.
Outside of work Candi enjoys adventuring with her daughter, eating and snacking, binging a good series (Animal Crossing is her new obsession).


Emily Jacobsen

Client Access Specialist

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Managing and being aware of our mental health is unbelievably important in this unpredictable and challenging day and age. I know how challenging this can be, but knowing you have people filled with understanding and compassion to support you and join you on your path is incredibly important to me. I believe everyone is on their own journey with their mental health and having the opportunity to be a small part of that journey has always been of great interest to me.

I am excited to be a part of Ellie as the organization’s values so closely align with what is important in my own personal life. Everyone seems so passionate and enthusiastic about what they do at Ellie and I look forward to working with like minded individuals!

Education
BA in English -Creative Writing
Minor – Business Administration
University of Wisconsin: Green Bay

Certifications
Project Management

Matt Johnson, MA, LPCC

Sr. Director – Clinics (North), Director – Brand Standards, Therapist

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Therapy is a relationship that can create lasting positive change in peoples’ lives. Often times, choosing to engage in therapy is one of the biggest steps in initiating the healing process. My mission is to meet you where you are in your current life condition, and to join with you on your journey toward self-improvement. Together we will work to create therapy goals that are inspired by your needs and aspirations.

For over a decade I have provided therapy services to adolescents, families, couples, and adults from diverse cultures and backgrounds with a wide array of mental health concerns. My therapeutic approaches include components of CBT, ACT, and humanistic therapy. My desire is to create a therapeutic relationship that is supportive, down to earth, and empowering you towards a better understanding of yourself. I believe people are at their best when they feel encouraged to grow and change in ways that benefit and improve their well being.

Kyle Johnston

Therapist

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Authenticity fosters the growth of yourself and others around you. I believe a trusting respectful relationship with someone who is true to themselves can help an individual grow and develop in ways that they never thought possible. These relationships allow people to challenge themselves in ways that can be difficult. By being my authentic self, I seek to bring this same philosophy to my therapy practice by providing warmth, respect, guidance, wit, humor, and brutal honesty to my clients.

I am mental health practitioner who spent the last 6 years teaching clients’ skills-based work through the ARMHS and CTSS programs before working as an in-home mental health therapist. My approach is person centered, seeking to provide warmth and respect along with gentle challenges to help clients identify their personal struggles and develop ways that they can change and grow. In this process I utilize an eclectic variety of techniques, ranging from traditional CBT to early memory recall to help each client discover their own unique solution to their struggles.

I enjoy working with individual, couples, teenagers, children, and families. I have experience in working with individuals who have experienced anxiety, depression, grief, relationship obstacles, trauma, anger, serious and persistent mental illness (SPMI), ADHD, and OCD. I am driven to help clients develop healthy relationships that can allow them to overcome any obstacle that they might experience.

Education:
Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota, Masters of Arts, Counseling & Psychological Services. University Of Minnesota, Bachelors of Science, Psychology.

Sofia Kaut

Client Access Specialist

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Managing our mental health is part of the human experience and I understand how hard it is for us to ask for help when we need it. Being met with compassion when we take that step and reach out is vital.

I’m excited to be part of a team that is so grounded in their values and dedicated to breaking down barriers so that everyone can access the support they need.

Education
St. Olaf College – BA, Gender Studies and Music

Jennie Karnish, MS, LPCC, LMHC

Complex Family Systems Program Manager, Therapist

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I have experience working with children, youth, adults, and families. I especially love working with youth and adults.

 

I am authentic, direct, and compassionate. I have a passion for empowering clients and work, in collaboration, to develop goals specific to their needs. I am down to earth with a good sense of humor. Building trust and learning self-advocacy skills are very important during the therapy process. I am committed to creating and sustaining a safe space where clients don’t walk alone.

I bring a lot of experience working with court involved children, adults, and families. I am certified in TF-CBT and am a certified Juvenile Sexual Offending counselor (JSOCP). I have significant experience in working with sexual abuse, complex trauma, anxiety, depression, relationship issues, transitional issues, anger management, grief/loss, ADHD, gender dysphoria, personality disorders, adoption, attachment, and sensory processing disorders. I

 

I use Motivational Interviewing, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Solution Focused Therapy, Interpersonal Psychotherapy, and Person Centered Therapy.

 

Education

Bellevue University—MS in Clinical Counseling

 

Licenses and Certifications

Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor (MN)

Licensed Mental Health Counselor (IA).

Certified in Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

Certified Juvenile Sexual Offending counselor.

Alissa Keller

Mental Health Compliance Manager/Internal Auditor

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I’ve always been fascinated by peoples’ journeys and how it’s gotten them to where they are today. Everyone struggles with something at some point in their life, and going through the struggle is what makes you YOU.

I’m excited to be part of an amazing team of people who are passionate about helping others (even if it’s indirectly). I’m looking forward to helping make Ellie the best it can be for both clients & employees.

Education

University of MN Duluth – BS Psychology

Kyle Keller, MSW, LICSW

Co-Founder, Therapist

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Kyle aims to facilitate growth and resiliency by witnessing, encouraging, and participating in the self-discovery, healing and transformation of others. As clinic Co-Owner, Mental Health Program Director, Clinical Supervisor and therapist at Ellie, he incorporates a variety of techniques, concepts, and practices from various psychological and philosophical orientations, scientific models, art forms, and spiritual traditions in order to develop personalized approaches to therapy.

Kyle’s therapeutic orientation relies heavily on the practices of: Trauma-Focused, Acceptance and Commitment (ACT), psychodynamic, mindfulness-based, narrative, transpersonal and Jungian therapy. Above all, Kyle believes that a good relationship and sense of personal connection is most important to success in therapy.

Kyle is experienced in spiritual/religious/philosophical struggles or spiritual trauma and conflict, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Depression, Bipolar, anxiety, suicidal ideation, grief/loss, relational problems/attachment, existential crises, LGBT issues and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD). He has work experience in educational settings, crisis counseling, county social work, jail/prisons, in-home, various volunteer outpatient services, inpatient mental health as well as case management experience.

Kyle believes that every human being is capable of thriving- each possessing a deep well of inner resourcefulness, which must be tapped using creative techniques, strategies and collaboration. Kyle is eager and excited to share his perspective on the importance of integrating mental health care as a facet of general wellness and loves to teach and supervise up-and-coming therapeutic professionals.

Kyle has a background in music, writing and history, and enjoys learning about cultural traditions, religions and practices.

EDUCATION:
University of Minnesota, Master of Social Work
University of Minnesota- Duluth, Bachelor of Arts, Psychology

Certification:

Certified Clinical Trauma Professional (CCTP)

Trained in:

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Grief and Loss, LGBT Mental Health, Trauma focused Treatments, Clinical Supervision, LGSW/LICSW Supervision, Integration, Hypnosis


Emmalee Kulas

Client Access Specialist

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With how constant things are shifting in day to day life, putting mental health and removing the stigma for anything that people struggle with is important. Mental health struggles are slowly becoming destigmatized and people receiving the care they need and having a support system behind them to help come to terms with their own personal struggles is important to me.

I am very excited to be joining Ellie, as an organization their values match up with my own and how I live my day to day life. I look forward to joining a team of passionate individuals who care so much about mental health.

Education

Lakeshore Technical College- Associates: Administrative Professional

Scott Kronebusch, MA, LPCC

Sr. Director – People & Partnerships, Therapist

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I have a cognitive behavioral focus by theory and there tends to be a humanistic feel to my approach. I have experience working with a wide range of diagnosis that include Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Depression, Bipolar, Anxiety, Relationships, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Autism Spectrum Disorder, LGBT, and gender; as well as many different client populations (age, gender, cultural history, professionals, …).

Experience has been multi-dimensional, with clinical work history across a number of psychology disciplines (clinical psychology, sport and exercise psychology, behavioral analysis, home based emotional health care, research and data analysis, trauma informed care, center based/day treatment therapy, outpatient therapy, community education, public safety, embedded emotional health, and clinical director domains). I have experience working in home, school, community, alternative living, outpatient, day treatment, and specialty care settings.

I am passionate about my work and strive to maintain a therapy environment that not only champions emotional health but also explores creative ways to make the therapeutic experience personal to each individual. I have always placed high value upon assisting clients to recognize their goals, identify their strengths, and pairing these with education and skills to move forward with confidence across settings and relationships.
I maintain attentive to the mind-body connection and seek to provide education as to how the human emotional experience is influenced by physical health, environmental health, occupational, relationship, chemical, social health choice, and alike.

Placing tremendous value upon the relationship between client and therapist, I believe in a quality mental health experience where client and provider work together as a team. A whole-body approach where client and therapist collaborate to discover and maintain a quality daily living experience.

Areas of Specialty:

Therapeutic services for children, adolescents, adults, and families
Anxiety and Mood
Autism; Behavior Modification
Embedded mental health programing

Licensures/Certifications/Titles:

Director of Embedded Mental Health Services
Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor (LPCC)
Minnesota Board of Behavioral Health and Therapy certified LPCC Clinical Supervisor
ACE Interface Presenter (Adverse Child Experiences)
Managing Adaptive Practices trained

Education:

Master of Arts, Counseling Psychology (MA) – University of St. Thomas
Bachelor of Arts, Psychology (BA) – St. Mary’s University

Louisa Lienke, MA, LMFT

Sr. Director – Compliance/HR, Therapist

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Louisa is a passionate, empathetic therapist who enjoys helping people successfully navigate their own path and follow their journey through out life. She believes in helping people to discover their own knowledge and explore their own strengths in order to feel confident, focused, and happy. Louisa enjoys working with older teens, adults, couples and families to face struggles and create a balanced and positive life. She is warm, compassionate, and accepting of all points of view and enjoys learning from her clients through out their journey. Louisa works to help her clients find and use their own wisdom to create inner peace.
Louisa’s background in mental and chemical health has allowed her to work with a wide range of clients. She has worked with youth and families in a nonprofit setting and has expanded her focus to include adults and couples over the past five years.

“Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakes.” -Carl Jung

Certifications
MN Board of Marriage and Family Therapy Approved Supervisor
AAMFT Approved Supervisor

Education
University of Minnesota- Addiction Studies Certificate
Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota- Master of Arts, Marriage and Family Therapy
University of Wisconsin- Bachelor of Science Liberal Arts, Sociology and Criminal Justice
Century College- Women’s Studies Certificate

Asta MacBaine

Director – Business Operations

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Asta Knoll is a graduate of the University of Minnesota School of Mortuary Science. She spent 10 years working in funeral service. It was during this time she became very interested in the mental well-being of people.

Asta believes that every person can benefit from focusing on their mental health; having a compassionate listener allows everyone to work toward being their best self. One thing she specifically likes about Ellie is the art therapy program, creating something is such a healing experience!

When she is not at work Asta loves to focus on creative outlets, indulges in nerd stuff (D&D and Star Trek, ya know?)-and tries to keep it kinda spooky year round. She’s also really into her orange cat, he’s very loud and friendly.

Emma Martin LaPlant, MA, CSM

Sr. Director – Operations

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Emma is passionate about creating opportunities for everyone, regardless of background or identity, to access mental health and wellness services. Having a dedicated space to explore emotions, experiences, and behavior with a compassionate and competent therapist can foster incredible healing and growth. Emma especially resonates with the healing power of relationships, and value understanding how various systems influence a client and their family. In her position, she hopes to create the processes and spaces needed for Ellie therapists and service providers to meet the needs of their families through compassion, dedication, and authenticity.
Emma is thrilled to have the opportunity to apply her project management and change management skills at a company that shares her values and passions: to increase accessibility of mental health and wellness services by leveraging innovation, creativity, and technology. Emma’s goal is to bridge complex, multidimensional systems to create sustainable, equitable change that honors the inherent value of those involved. Ellie’s commitment to authenticity, creativity, and compassion lays a strong foundation for serving the needs of the community, adaptability to an ever-changing landscape, and supporting staff so that they are able to meet their clients with energy and compassion.
Education
Masters – Marriage and Family Therapy
Saint Mary’s University
Licenses and Certifications
CSM (Certified Scrum Master)

Sean McMoore, MA

Director – Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

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The most thing that interests me about mental health is that our mental health is one of the main drivers to success, no matter who you are. The more we are aware of our own mental health and mindsets, the better off we will be in life! Taking care of your mental health is just as important as physically taking care of your body.

I am excited to work at Ellie because mental health has a big stigma over itself when it comes to BIPOC (and other) communities, and I am excited to get started and raising mental health awareness in these communities. I am also excited to help build an organization that embraces differences and change. Lastly, I look forward to supporting all of our leaders/staff/communities in our journeys of becoming more inclusive and equitable.

Education

BA in Psychology, minor in Coaching- University of Northern Iowa

M.A. in Educational Leadership- Concordia University, St. Paul

Rebecca Mitchell, MA, LADC, LMFT

Therapist

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Rebecca’s goal in every session is to make you feel comfortable to work through any current challenges and to help you achieve the changes needed to move forward. Her approach to therapy is to have honest and open conversation, grounded in collaboration in a fun and inviting environment. When interacting with children Rebecca likes to use games, crafts, etc. to interact with the child while working on treatment plan goals.

Rebecca started in the chemical dependency field in 2012 as a Licensed Alcohol and Drug Counselor (LADC) wanting to help individuals struggling with addiction. It was during this time that she decided to expand her knowledge in the mental health field to include family systems. Rebecca has worked in diverse settings as an LADC which include: residential, outpatient, group therapy, and medication management.

Once Rebecca accomplished her educational goals she started working as a community based worker focusing on children and families. It was during this time she realized her passion for helping those struggling with trauma. Since moving to an outpatient setting Rebecca has extensive experience in working with individuals and families that are affected by trauma, addiction, anxiety, impulse control, anger, and depression. Rebecca’s techniques are grounded in marriage and family therapy, bringing a systemic based lens, allowing her to consider the client’s environment, relationships, and other influences impact their experience.

Education:
Masters – Marriage and Family Therapy
Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota

Bachelors – Community Psychology and Chemical Dependency
Saint Cloud State University of Minnesota

Training:
Nationally Certified in Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavior Therapy (TF-CBT)

Summer Mueller, BA

HR Manager

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Summer has worked in mental health for the past 5 years in various roles. She has a passion for helping others and is proud to be a part of an organization who’s continued mission is to serve and support the community. Summer is thrilled to have the opportunity to apply her experience and education here at Ellie. Outside of work Summer enjoys time spent with her family and friends. She enjoys traveling and skiing in the winter with her husband and kids. She is a proud baseball mom and enjoys watching her two boys play ball in the Summer!

Education:
BA- Business Management
University of Wisconsin River Falls


Nick Milligan

IT Generalist

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I believe that a mindful-based approach towards mental health and wellness is fundamental to living a life that is meaningful and full of happiness. Realizing that we could all use a little help at some point in our life and knowing that it is OK to seek out resources should always be a positive experience.

I am looking forward to leveraging my technical background and experiences in the mental health services field and bringing that to Ellie.

Education
Bachelors
University of St. Thomas

Michael Moody

Creative Projects Manager

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Having gone through my own struggles with mental health, I wanted to find a way to support others going through similar hardships. My goal is to always bring a smile to someone’s face and make the day a little brighter! Working in mental health felt like a natural way to feel like I am supporting someone as they navigate through life.

I am excited to work at Ellie and be part of an organization that is breaking down stigma and barriers to people getting the care they are seeking. Afterall, we are human. Each of us with our own story, and I think Ellie is approaching their care that way.

Education
Dakota County Technical College – A.A.S.

Lindsay Narayan, MA, LMFT, BCBA

Director- Clinic Operations, Therapist

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Lindsay enjoys having a variety of clientele, but she has always enjoyed working with couples. She also likes working with people on the ASD spectrum as well as with teens.

Clients seeing Lindsay for therapy can expect her bring warmth and compassion to the therapeutic process and promote a collaborative journey. She is a therapist who enjoys working with people who are feeling stuck in their lives or in their relationships and are looking for support in order to heal and foster hope for the future.

Lindsay specializes in crisis management, autism, behavioral therapy, and relational therapies.

She does not adhere to just one theory but mostly utilizes CBT, ABA, EFT, Play Therapy, Narrative and Psychodynamic therapies.

Education
Masters – Marriage and Family Therapy
Syracuse University

Licenses and Certifications

  • Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist
  • Board Certified Behavior Analyst
  • MAMFT Board Approved Supervisor
  • BACB Board Approved Supervisor
  • BBHT Board Approved Supervisor
  • Competed Minnesota Psychoanalytic Society and Institute’s 2-year Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy Training Program

Lola Oluwa-Okougbo, MS, PMHNP-BC

Psychiatric Medication Prescriber

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Growing up I wanted to be a special education teacher and work side by side with families struggling with the stress and burden that comes with it. I also grew-up in a culture that does not fully understand mental illness and the stigmatism of it kept mental health illness unspoken of. As I got older, I was drawn towards nursing to be able use my skills and knowledge to create mental health awareness. After becoming a Registered Nurse, I had many opportunities to experience other branches of nursing. My background and experience have further swayed me towards psychiatric nursing and becoming a Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner. I specialized in seeing all ages and my goal for becoming a Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner is to provide holistic approach towards other’s wellbeing.

I believe that using my skills and knowledge to treat unique individuals with mental health issues will help improve their quality of life.

As a provider, I am a good listener and I make others feel comfortable in my presence. I show empathy and I respect patients’ value, beliefs, and opinions. I acknowledge patients’ presence and their courage for seeking for help. I develop a partnership with the patient to achieve their ultimate goal towards their wellness.

Languages
Yoruba (one of the most common spoken language in Nigeria)

Education
Master of Science, PMHNP
Walden University

Licenses and Certifications
American Nurses Credentialing Center
Board Certified Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner

Chris Pash

Business Development & Leadership Consultant

Erin Pash, MA, LMFT

Chief Executive Officer, Founder, Therapist

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Erin is an energetic, active, mindfulness based therapist who puts an emphasis on being “real”, honest, and doing our best to laugh through the good and the bad life throws at us. Erin is the co-owner of Ellie Family Services and her vision helps support the idea that we should always be customizing services to not only meet the needs of people but to BETTER THE LIVES of everyday families!

Erin has a background in the helping profession that ranges from county level social work, to inpatient chemical health, to outpatient therapy, to group facilitator and supervisor! She has worked with people as young as 5 all the way through their 70’s and particularly likes working with TEENAGERS, PARENTS, ADULTS and families impacted by high conflict, divorce, and parenting issues.

In addition to traditional therapy services Erin offers mediation, therapeutic mediation, social early neutral evaluations (SENE), parent consultation, parent coaching, and serves as a child specialist in family court cases. Additionally, she leads workshops, classes, and various groups around co-parenting, teenage issues, and managing divorce. Having a good understanding of the future of the therapeutic industry, she is also on the road to becoming a licensed alcohol and drug counselor to ensure her and the Ellie team can customize services to any client who walks through our doors.

EDUCATION:

Winona State University, Graduate Certificate, Alcohol and Drug Counseling – Expected Completion 2017

Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota, Master of Arts, Marriage and Family Therapy

University of Minnesota, Bachelor of Science, Child Psychology

Hamline Law School, Family Mediation & Parent Consulting, Qualified Rule 114 Neutral

6th Judicial District, Social Early Neutral Evaluation Training, 2016

Guadalupe Alternative Programs, Clinical Supervisor Training, 2014

AAMFT, MFT Supervisor Training, 2017

PROFESSIONAL ENGAGEMENT:

Erin presents at conferences, mental health agencies, and other businesses on several topics including: Court Involved Therapy, Divorce and Co-Parenting, Family Communication, Mindfulness, Teenage Issues, The Intersection of Therapy and Family Court and many other topics related to therapy, adolescents, and family court.

Minnesota Association of Marriage and Family Therapy, Executive Board Member, Legislative Chair since 6/2016

Minnesota Association of Marriage and Family Therapy, American Association of Marriage and Family Therapy, Clinical Fellow since 06/2015

Minnesota Association of Marriage and Family Therapy, American Association of Marriage and Family Therapy, Pre-Clinical Fellow since 09/2009

Association for Family and Conciliation Courts, Training Committee Member since 10/2016

Association for Family and Conciliation Courts, Member since 06/2016

Family Law League, Member since 1/2016

Aimee Petra

Credentialing Specialist

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I enjoy working in mental health because it is part of all of our lives. Everyone one of us has our own path, our own story. Having quality mental health care and quality support helps us all live better. I like being able to make a difference in the lives of others. The majority of my career has been in the mental health industry and it has always been a privilege to help providers as they help others.

I have known Erin Pash and Ellie Family Services since 2016. I am excited to bring my skills in credentialing and practice management to the Ellie Family. Their mission aligns with mine and will be great to be part of a dynamic team!

Education

Bachelor of Arts (BA)

Kyle Ross, MA, LPCC

Sr. Director – Community-Based Services, Therapist

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Kyle believes there is no need to face issues alone. With a collaborative approach, he can help people better understand the life events that have shaped their view of the world. Every individual experiences events that can discourage us. His goal is to help highlight the unique strengths that lie within all of us. Kyle strives to help children/adolescents, families, and adults to recognize the meaning they attach to life experiences. When we understand the meaning we attach to events, we better understand our choices.

Kyle specializes in working with individual struggling with Borderline Personality Disorder, Trauma/PTSD, and Children/Adolescents. Collaboratively he works with clients to help them find a sense of safety, security, and belonging through their connections to others. I practice as an Adlerian therapist with blended CBT/DBT techniques.

Kyle has had the wonderful fortune to work with many individuals who have shaped his practice through work in residential, outpatient, and school settings. He is excited about working with other great clinicians to help fill gaps within the wellness community!

Education:
Adler Graduate School- Masters of Arts, Clinical Counseling
Mankato State University- Bachelors of Arts, History & Philosophy

Christian Russell

Client Access Specialist

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The many avenues that mental health offers to begin the process of healing interests me greatly. Knowing that healing shares both the emotional sides of pain and joy, reminds me that we are all in a constant state of growth.

I am excited to be apart of a community, team and environment that truly focuses their energy and love in taking care of the clients that walk through our doors each day. Also super excited to be working closely with folks that care about mental health and make it part of their everyday lives.

I am proficient in conversation Portuguese (Brazilian).

Education
Hamline University, Saint Paul, MN – BA

Maddie Sandeen, MA, LPCC

Therapist

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Maddie is a welcoming and compassionate therapist who has a passion for working with children, teens, and their families. Maddie works to provide clients and their families a space where they are supported, nurtured, and free to express themselves. She incorporates Experiential Therapy, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Play Therapy, Sand Tray Therapy, and Strengths Based Therapy in sessions. Maddie works with issues related to trauma, anxiety, grief and loss, depression, life transitions, self-esteem, anger, and parenting concerns. She has worked extensively with children who have experienced trauma, incorporating both non-directive and directive play therapy, as well as trauma specific treatment modalities to best meet the client’s therapeutic needs. Maddie has experience working in school-based therapy and adolescent residential treatment.

Education:
Master of Arts in Counseling and Psychological Services
Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota

Licenses and Certifications
Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor (LPCC)

Devin Schallert-Thomas, BA

Training Coordinator, Therapist

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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.

Christina Schreiner

Lead – Client Access Team

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In today’s world with all of the social media platforms, we can easily be influenced by the amount of “likes” someone receives on a photo of themselves. I want people to know that generating a certain amount of likes, or lack there of, does not make you any better or worse of a person. I want people to realize and understand their self worth. That feeling fear, doubt, and uncertainty are not diminishing to experience and it should not be “taboo” to speak about.

I am excited to work at Ellie because I consider myself to be an overly empathetic person. I am very passionate about raising mental health awareness and I take pride in being a very good listener to my friends and family and strangers alike. I think Ellie will help me grow personally as well as professionally.

Education
St. Cloud State University

Melinda Sengsavang, MA

Therapist

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Clients seeing Melinda for therapy can expect a calm presence that is supportive, gentle and encouraging by providing a safe space to just “be” during our time together.  She works intuitively and is responsive to flowing in the moment with you as we join together and find the courage to take the next step.  You are not alone and it is a profound aspect to healing and growth to feel secure and connected and that is her primary goal as you move toward accomplishing your identified goals.

Melinda’s ideal clients are adults 18+, specializing in women’s concerns including anxiety and depression, CPTSD, trauma, chronic pain, recovery/sobriety, grief/loss, faith and spirituality, challenging relationships, caregiver stress, stress management and career/work stress and life transitions.

Melinda’s specialties are interpersonal boundaries work, developmental trauma and shame, grief/loss.

Melinda’s therapeutic techniques are somatic and neuroscience (polyvagal theory) approaches for trauma care and understanding relationship to self and others as well as applied Adlerian theory that encourages creativity and community as central aspects of emotional and mental well-being. She often utilizes temperament theory as an avenue to cultivate self-awareness in the therapeutic process.

Education
Adler Graduate School, MA

Licenses and Certifications
Prepare/Enrich Certification
MBTI Certified Practitioner

 

Shannon Smith

Director – Client Access Team

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Shannon loves walking side by side with people in their journeys with mental health. She feels like the more we discover things about ourselves and find tools to help with difficult situations, the more we are able to normalize the false beliefs people can have about mental health.
Shannon says, “I think Ellie has an amazing family atmosphere, and the humor that plays a huge role in growth and wellness is perfect!”
Education
Bachelor of Fine Arts – Minneapolis College of Art and Design

Tamara Statz, MA, LMFT, FT

Director – Learning and Development

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Tamara is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and Fellow in Thanatology. This means she is passionate about relationships and has expertise in death, dying, and bereavement. Prior to joining Ellie, Tamara spent several years in non-profit operations and human resources; clinical intervention research; private practice; public health; and hospice. She is thrilled to join her passion for mental health with her love for professional development and mentoring.

Outside of work Tamara enjoys spending time with her cat and dog, friends and family, riding her bright turquoise bike, can usually be found in the middle of reading at least 3 books at any given time, and has been cross-stitching up a storm.

Education
MA – Marriage and Family Therapy
Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota
BA – Psychology
Hamline University

Beth Topliff

Training and Development Manager – Client Access Team

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Beth received her Bachelor of Arts Degree in Psychology, with a minor in Religion, from Hamline University in St. Paul, MN.  Beth is a Certified Resiliency Trainer through the Global Resilience and Inner Transformation Institute. Beth has a passion for helping people to rise to their highest potential, helping employees and teams function at their highest level of ability, the destigmatization of mental health, and integrative and holistic approaches to healthcare. What Beth loves most about Ellie is their innovative approach to health and wellness which enables them to help people easily gain access to the services they need most.  Beth also appreciates Ellie’s dedication to a workplace that helps employees thrive and comfortably come to work as their authentic selves each and every day.

When Beth is not at work, she enjoys hiking, travel, photography, writing, listening to music, time spent with family and friends and hanging out with her two awesome dogs, Kirby and Lady.

Noah Topliff

Client Access Specialist

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As a person who has lived with ongoing mental health in the form of Depression with symptoms of Bi-Polar and Anxiety. working with those who have had and and currently living in similar situations is something I am very passionate about. It’s what drove me to my last job and it’s what drove me to working here now. My personal experiences with mental health have allowed me to have lead me to have a strong empathy, understanding, and relationship to those with similar experiences.

I am thrilled to be a part of an organization that promotes, allows, and makes space for all of its employees to be their true authentic selves. This promotion and inclusive attitude carry over well into their patient care and I’m honored to be a part of that.

Education
I am currently working towards a BFA in Creative Writing with a Minor in English from Hamline University and will be graduating Spring of 2021.

Lauren Vieaux, MA, LPCC

Therapist

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Lauren is an empathic, directive therapist who is passionate about joining people on their journey toward a more authentic and balanced life. Lauren’s approach to therapy provides a safe and supportive environment to enable healing. Lauren is passionate about working with children, adolescents, and young adults. Some of Lauren’s interests include trauma work, anxiety, depression, self-esteem, self-harm, body image issues, and issues within the LGBTQ community. Lauren believes in the power of the mind-body connection to encourage client’s to listen to and regulate their own emotions and reactions. Lauren utilizes concepts from art, music, and play therapy, cognitive-behavioral therapy, somatic experiencing, and dialectical behavioral therapy to meet clients where they are at and find the best approach to healing. She enjoys including the family unit in therapeutic interventions in order to translate the client’s gains to all areas of their life.

Education:
University of Minnesota Duluth: Master of Arts in Clinical-Counseling Psychology
University of Wisconsin-Green Bay: Bachelor of Science in Psychology, Minors in Human Development
and Women & Gender Studies

Kelly Wallner

Medication Management Assistant

Greta Wenzel

Client Access Specialist

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Through teaching trauma-sensitive yoga and meditation for a number of years, I have peripherally been involved with accessibility to services across a broad spectrum of the community including people experiencing homelessness and those impacted by the criminal justice system. I’m thrilled to be helping clients connect with the range of services available through Ellie.

I am excited to be part of a group of creative and collaborative problem solvers. When the behind-the-scenes of a service provider is this fantastic, you know that will be reflected in a positive client experience.

College of St. Benedict – BA Psychology

Kalee Williams, MA, LMFT

Therapist

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Kalee is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist who is passionate about working with children, adolescents, young adults and families from a variety of backgrounds. Kalee believes in the power of healing through authentic connection, validation, and empathy. She believes that clients are the experts of their own lives, and empowers her clients to find their true authentic self. Her overall goal is to provide a safe space and trusting relationship with others in order to cultivate change and healing.

Kalee works utilizing a systems approach integrated with techniques and methodologies specific to each client’s needs. Kalee is Nationally Certified in Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT) to address trauma with children and teens and trained in EMDR to address trauma in adults. Additionally, Kalee has experience with, but not limited to, those who struggle with Depression, Anxiety, PTSD, Physical/Sexual/Emotional Abuse, Suicidal ideation, Self-Injurious Behavior, Anger and Stress Management, Addiction Issues, Relationship Issues, Teen Issues of Self-Esteem, Sexual Identity, Peer Pressure, Attachment Issues and Parent/Child Relationships.

Outside of therapy, Kalee enjoys spending time with her family and friends, playing with her two dogs, and visiting Texas. She is passionate about and loves a wide variety of music and attends many concerts. In her free time, she loves snuggling up on the couch, drinking hot tea, and cross-stitching.

Education:

-St. Mary’s University- Minnesota- Masters of Arts, Marriage and Family Therapy

-Texas Tech University, Bachelor of Science, Human Development and Family Studies, Minor in Addictive Disorders and Recovery Studies.

Anna Zigmund

Billing Specialist

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Anna has multiple years of experience working at mental health clinics in the Twin Cities metro area and has always felt a lot of pride being part of a committed team with the common goal of serving others and improving their quality of living.

She is excited to be a part of an innovative team at Ellie because it’s a community-based organization with a unique approach to wellness that utilizes creativity and humor which she finds to be a breath of fresh air and much needed. She enjoys being a helpful part of the team.

WANT TO Get started with an ELLIE MENDOTA HEIGHTS PROVIDER?

Ellie Family Services
1370 Mendota Heights Rd
Mendota Heights, MN 55120
Phone: 651.313.8080
Fax: 651.925.0610