Sam Swafford, MS, LPCC

Hello, hello! My name is Sam (they/them), and I am a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor and certified Adaptive Internal Relational (AIR) Network provider. I am passionate about working with adolescents (13+) and young adults, along with helping those who have dissociative abilities, have experienced/are experiencing trauma, are a part of the LGBTQIA+ community, experience suicidal ideations, and/or engage in disordered eating behaviors, self-harm, and self-judgments/ineffective thinking patterns. I have a background working at an intensive outpatient DBT clinic, so I am able to hold space for those presenting with more intense symptoms and experiences. A few of my core values include personal growth and safety, so I will do what I can to ensure that those values are shining through.

How I Work

As a therapist, I will meet you where you’re at, validate you, and show you compassion, while at the same time, challenge you so that you can discover and unlock the strengths you possess to help reach your life’s worth living goals. I am trauma-informed and utilize a variety of therapeutic approaches and interventions to help you identify what led up to current struggles, and how to go about making effective changes to your life. I typically do not go into sessions with a plan, but rather, I will pick up on the vibes of the day and roll with what you are coming in with. Sometimes it is difficult to talk about yourself, so I like to use stuffed animals, art, music, storytelling, metaphors, etc., to help externalize it a bit. I believe that the therapeutic relationship and creating a sense of comfortability is of the utmost importance when it comes to therapy, so I allow my personality to show by incorporating humor and sarcasm into sessions.

What Sets Me Apart As a Therapist?

In most, if not all my sessions, you will find me rocking my fuzzy slippers with a weighted pink dinosaur in my lap to help stay grounded and create a sense of comfortability. Whether it’s a day when we sit on the floor or in chairs, I will be right alongside you doing what helps you feel the most at ease. Therapy is hard, so I like to incorporate humor, sarcasm, and the occasional dark humor joke to help make some of those difficult conversations a bit easier to have. Feel free to use any of the fidgets, Play-Doh, stuffed animals, Legos, art supplies, or other objects in my room, because odds are, I’ll be using some of them too! Some of my adolescent clients have told me I have a green aura, give off ‘similar vibes’ as an Art, English, and/or History teacher, and am an ‘informal professional’.

Issues I Treat:

  • Anxiety
  • Borderline Personality Disorder
  • Depression
  • Disordered Eating Behaviors/Eating Disorders
  • Dissociative Abilities
  • Family Conflict
  • Grief and Loss
  • Identity Development (including gender identity and sexual orientation exploration)
  • Life Transitions
  • PTSD/C-PTSD (i.e., mental, emotional, verbal, physical, and sexual abuse, sexual assaults, childhood abuse and neglect, bullying, traumatic invalidation, etc.)
  • Relationship Difficulties
  • Self-harm and Suicidal Ideations
  • Shame

Populations I Serve:

  • Adolescents (13+)
  • Young Adults/College Students
  • Adults
  • LGBTQIA+ Community
  • Those with dissociative abilities

Professional background:


  • Master of Science in Clinical Mental Health Counseling – St. Cloud State University
  • Bachelor of Science in Psychology and a Minor in Child and Family Development – University of Central Missouri


  • Adaptive Internal Relational (AIR) Network Model
  • Radically Open Dialectical Behavior Therapy (RO-DBT): Breakthrough Treatment Techniques for Overcontrolled Personality Disorders, Eating Disorders, and Chronic Depression and Anxiety
  • Dialectical Behavior Therapy Prolonged Exposure (DBT-PE)
  • Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT)

Previous Employment

  • DBT-PTSD Specialists


  • Minnesota, LPCC: 3540