Denise Wing, MA, LMFTdenise@affinitypsych.com

Denise Wing, MA, LMFT

denise@affinitypsych.com

Hello! My name is Denise. Thank you for the opportunity to introduce myself. I am a licensed marriage and family therapist with an extensive practice history in both acute short-term settings and as a long-term out-patient therapist. I earned my graduate degree in psychotherapy and counseling at the Alfred Adler Graduate School in MN. It has been my privilege and passion to utilize my years of experience to now focus on work with adults of all ages. Our work together would likely center on guiding and deepening understanding about root problems affecting you, as well as identifying your strengths and building appreciation of yourself while making sense of your story. We will collaborate to support and further develop your hopes for the future.




How I Work

I work from a belief that to understand oneself is to love oneself. Much emotional pain and suffering can be centered and sustained by factors developed at times in our lives when we had little say or help in making meaning of what is happening around us. This can lead not only to mental health symptoms but also deep feelings of inadequacy, guilt, doubt, and confusion about ourselves, our interactions with others and life in general. My job is to build trust and understanding in the therapeutic relationship so that it can be uniquely used for your healing and empowerment. Along the way, we will consider parts of your story that have gone unprivileged when problems are too strong. These are your real, but perhaps underdeveloped plots, subplots, and counter plots of your life story. Once considered and thickened, thy can create a sense of being transported (not unlike a moving novel or movie.) I believe good therapy is both artful and scientific in its approach and theory.


What Sets Me Apart As a Therapist?

I continually work hard to understand the needs of those that choose to consult with me and recognize the great honor of being allowed to do this work. I know that some people need help feeling contained, some need a reflective surface in which to see parts of themselves so they can feel whole. Others need a relationship in order to process and make sense of their lives while experiencing the unconditional regard they deserve. While many clients have noted a sense of fulfillment around getting to the root of what they consider problems in their lives, I will always honor your timing, emotional safety, and control in the therapy process.



Issues I Treat:

  • Depression
  • Self-esteem/self-worth issues
  • Trauma and abuse issues
  • Developmental trauma including exposure to violence/disaster, neglect, bullying and other emotional abuses, assault and chronic distress in childhood
  • PTSD
  • Family of origin issues and dynamics
  • Anxiety, worry, panic episodes and chronic stress
  • Parenting challenges
  • Anger/aggression
  • Chronic interpersonal conflict
  • Grief
  • Shame or excessive guilt

Populations I Serve:

  • Adults of all ages
  • Creatives
  • People interested in understanding themselves on a deeper level
  • Parents

Professional background:



Education

  • The Minneapolis College of Art and Design, Minneapolis, MN

  • Alfred Adler Graduate School, Richfield, MN


Trainings

  • Two year Psychoanalytic Training Course, Minneapolis Psychoanalytic Society and Institute (“MPSI”)

  • Eight years of specialized analytic supervision with MPSI Analysts

  • Narrative Therapy Certification Training

  • Several years of Advanced Narrative Therapy study/learning group


Previous Employment

  • PrairieCare Medical Group – Edina Partial Hospitalization Program, Woodbury Outpatient Clinic

  • Family Innovation, Anoka, Eden Prairie

  • Perspectives Supportive Housing Program, St. Louis Park


Licensure

  • MN Marriage and Family Therapist, License #1812

Matthew “Matt” Thompson, MA, LPCC matt@affinitypsych.com

Matthew “Matt” Thompson, MA, LPCC

matt@affinitypsych.com

Hi! I’m a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor and hold a Master of Arts in Counseling from Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota. I work with adults and older adolescents who are looking to figure out how to have a happier, more rewarding, or less lonely time on planet Earth.

I became a therapist because I don’t want anyone to have to go it alone. The world can be unfair, frightening, stubborn, and lonely. I know the power of one person taking the time to listen and care. I hope I can be that person for you.




How I Work

There are as many ways to do therapy as there are therapists in the world, so everyone’s got their own set of beliefs and expectations about what it means to be in therapy. Here’s what it means to me: therapy is a conversation and a journey of exploration. Sometimes we look at big questions. What do you want out of your life? What’s getting in the way? What do you wish was different? Sometimes the questions are a little smaller. Are you having trouble saying something to someone? How do you feel about your job? What are you having trouble with right now?

Either way, I strive to create a space where your story is heard and taken seriously. It’s easy to talk ourselves out of prioritizing our feelings, needs, and boundaries only to end up feeling stuck, unhappy, and alone. My job is to help you become your best resource in order to make positive change. I will listen with an open mind to help you explore how your past experiences have shaped both your present and your expectations of the future. I will also provide honest feedback and challenge you to take ownership of the power you have in your life. Together, we’ll chart a course that allows you to move forward and make the changes you want.


What Sets Me Apart As a Therapist?

I believe who we are and what we value is reflected in our hobbies, views on current events, and everything else we spend time and attention thinking about. I want to hear about what’s important to you, not just what’s weighing you down.

As a therapist, I embrace my own humanity, meaning my individual experiences, quirks, and limitations play a role in our work together. I don’t promote a rigid single model of what it means to be mentally healthy and I don’t presume to be an authority on every person’s life experience. Therapy works not because I have all the answers that apply to everyone, but because we can team up and share our unique perspectives to figure out the answers that are right and helpful to you.

Also, I use a lot of hastily-improvised nautical and automotive metaphors that inevitably fall apart halfway through and go off the rails. Train metaphors, too, apparently.



Issues I Treat:

  • Life Transitions
  • Adjustment issues
  • Romantic/Family Relationships
  • Peer/Colleague/Friend Relationships
  • Identity Exploration
  • Men’s Issues
  • Toxic Masculinity
  • Grief & Loss
  • Anger
  • Anxiety & Stress
  • Depression
  • Self-esteem
  • School/Work/Life Balance

Populations I Serve:

  • Adults
  • Motivated Adolescents
  • Undergraduate/Graduate Students
  • LGBTQIA+
  • Nerds, punks, misfits, and others who never felt they had a place to belong

Professional background:



Education

  • MA in Counseling & Psychological Services – Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota – Minneapolis, MN

  • BA in Theatre Arts & Japanese – University of Wisconsin – Eau Claire, WI

Previous Employment

  • Headway Emotional Health
  • Radias Health (formerly South Metro Human Services)
  • Walk-In Counseling Center
  • Prior work in fields of Information Technology & International Education

Licensure

  • MN: LPCC #2226

Melissa Stricklin, MA, LPCC melissa@affinitypsych.com

Melissa Stricklin, MA, LPCC

melissa@affinitypsych.com

Hello! My name is Melissa (she/her/hers or they/them/theirs), I am a Queer, neurodivergent, “ExVangelical” with lived experience having an invisible disability/chronic illness. I am a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor who enjoys helping adults find practical techniques to improve their mental health symptoms. All are welcome in my office.




How I Work

I offer Cognitive Processing Therapy (not to be confused with Cognitive Behavioral Therapy!) for PTSD.

Are you bothered by things that happened a long time ago? Do you put a lot of effort in avoiding things that remind you of past events? Have you tried everything to improve your depression and anxiety symptoms but nothing seems to help? If you have symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, I understand that the idea of starting trauma therapy can be overwhelming. Many who have PTSD are concerned that it will take years of weekly therapy sessions to start feeling relief. Others worry about having to share details about trauma that they hoped they would never have to talk about. Fortunately, I offer Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT) which is a type of trauma therapy that is scientifically shown to reduce symptoms of PTSD as little as 12 sessions (AND it doesn’t require clients to share their trauma story if they don’t want to).

I understand that beginning trauma therapy can feel vulnerable, so my goal is to provide you with a safe space where you can begin your healing process. I want you to be able to make informed decisions about your health, so if you have any questions feel free to contact me via email (melissa@affinitypsych.com) or schedule a free 15 minute phone consultation by using our online scheduling portal.


What Sets Me Apart As a Therapist?

I am committed to providing evidence based treatment, doing my own work, and continuing to educate myself about intersectionality. My style has been influenced by Feminist Theory which emphasizes intersectionality and the ways that systemic oppression affects mental health. I practice from a sex positive perspective, and I believe in health at every size. I promise to avoid the “Minnesota nice” approach and instead show up in a way that is honest, straightforward, and kind. Let’s work together to help you start thriving instead of just surviving.



Issues I Treat:

  • Codependency
  • Peer relationships
  • Low self-esteem
  • Work-life balance difficulties
  • Relationship conflict and conflict avoidance
  • Procrastination
  • Identity exploration
  • Body image issues
  • Behavioral issues
  • Bipolar Disorder
  • Borderline Personality Disorder
  • Depression
  • Anxiety/stress
  • Letter-writing for gender affirming surgery or hormones (after only 1 session)

Populations I Serve:

  • Adults
  • Undergraduate and graduate students
  • BIPOC individuals
  • LGBTQIA+ individuals
  • People with disabilities
  • People with chronic illness and/or chronic pain
  • Open, poly, and non-monogamous relationships
  • Sex workers
  • Perfectionists
  • Transplants to MN
  • Teletherapy

Professional background:



Education

  • MA in Counseling – Oral Roberts University, Tulsa, Oklahoma

Trainings

  • Cognitive Processing Therapy: An Evidence-Based Approach to Treat PTSD and Related Conditions
  • Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT)

  • Clinical Trauma Professional Level 1

  • Treatment Approaches for Co-Occurring Chronic Pain and Mental Health Concerns

  • Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT)

  • Multiple Trainings focused on how to better serve BIPOC and LGBTQIA+ communities

  • Telehealth for Mental Health Therapists

Previous Employment

  • Mental Health Systems (MHS)

Licensure

  • Minnesota, LPCC, cc02560

Abby Wulfing, MA, LMFT abby.wulfing@affinitypsych.com

Abby Wulfing, MA, LMFT

abby.wulfing@affinitypsych.com

Welcome! My name is Abby Wulfing, and I am a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT) in the state of Minnesota. In the past, I have worked in crisis settings and a day treatment program, but most of my professional career has been spent in an outpatient clinic, which has been a great fit for me. I love that this setting allows me to focus on building a trusting and connected relationship with my clients, where we can collaboratively venture into meaningful territory that will facilitate healing.

I am passionate about working with older adolescents, young adults, couples, and family dyads. Many of the people I work with have a history of trauma, are in a life transition, have difficulty in relationships, struggle with eating-related issues, and have experienced loss, anxiety, and depression. I utilize an integration of approaches including relational and attachment-based modalities, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), Emotionally-Focused Couples Therapy (EFCT), and Internal Family Systems (IFS).




How I Work

I am a human first, therapist second. I strive to help my clients feel safe, connected, and understood. Together, you and I will identify your hopes and goals for therapy and work towards what progress looks like for you. I tailor my approach to each person, and you will notice that I often check in with you about what’s working and what isn’t.

Clients often tell me that they are overwhelmed by undesirable thoughts and unsure of themselves. They are fearful of being judged and frustrated because they know what they want to do, but just can’t seem to do it. They wonder what is wrong with them and may believe they are “lazy.” I challenge these interpretations because I believe that there are always understandable reasons for what people do. Challenging circumstances and traumatic experiences can activate our minds and bodies to deploy protection to keep us safe. Over time, that prolonged protection can lead to distress including avoidance, feeling disconnected, repeating unhealthy patterns, and buying into unhelpful and discouraging thoughts and beliefs about ourselves.

Our environment, including micro- and macro-level systems, greatly impacts mental health and needs to be recognized and considered in the therapeutic process. I believe people often know or want to discover the resources they already hold within, and therapy can help you identify, uncover, and use those resources to help accomplish your goals. I will meet you where you are at in order to offer you guidance in meeting your goals. This can help you do things like connect to your values, become more skilled at managing your emotions, be more able to take meaningful action, engage in healthy relationships, feel more in control of your thoughts, and decrease your suffering.


What Sets Me Apart As a Therapist?

I truly enjoy hearing about people’s stories and consider it a privilege to be a therapist. My clients have shared with me that I am down-to-earth, thoughtful, honest, non-judgemental, and present. I will join with you using humor, your interests, and creativity, and I will be there with you through life’s difficulties and joys. I am proud that you made this courageous step and look forward to meeting with you!



Issues I Treat:

  • Trauma
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Eating Disorders
  • Body Image Concerns
  • Low Self-Esteem
  • Parent-Child Struggles
  • Effects of Mental or Physical Abuse
  • Sexuality and Gender Issues
  • Grief

Populations I Serve:

  • Teens 15 and up
  • Adults
  • Couples
  • Families
  • Mixed-Race and Multiethnicity Relationships
  • LGBTQI+
  • Those in poly/open/non-monogamous relationships

Professional background:



Education

  • BA in Psychology – University of Minnesota, Twin Cities

  • Master’s in Counseling Psychology – University of St. Thomas, Minneapolis, MN

Previous Employment

  • The Lorenz Clinic

  • The Bridge for Youth

Licensure

  • Minnesota: LMFT #3475

Jeffrey 5x7

Jeffrey Brunsgaard, MA, LPCC jeffrey@affinitypsych.com

Jeffrey 5x7

Jeffrey Brunsgaard, MA, LPCC

jeffrey@affinitypsych.com

Hi! I’m Jeff Brunsgaard, a licensed professional clinical counselor licensed in Minnesota. I have lived in Minnesota for my entire life, from as far south as Rochester to as far north as Andover. I provide therapy to adolescents, adults, individuals, and couples. I hold a bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Winona State University and a master’s degree in Clinical Counseling from the University of St. Thomas’ Graduate School of Professional Psychology.

Professionally I am at my best when I can see a wide range of clients – younger and older, individuals and couples, neurotypical and neurodiverse – all with a wide range of personalities and challenges bringing them to therapy. My training and expertise make me well-suited to work with this breadth of clients, as I pull from a variety of therapeutic approaches in order to meet the needs of each individual person. I have particular interest in working with adolescents, those with neurodevelopmental diagnoses, and individuals who have experienced trauma.




How I Work

I believe in constantly learning, growing, and improving my skills. So I could tell you that I have training in everything from narrative therapy, to solution-focused therapy, to EMDR. But that might not mean much to you, and it probably shouldn’t. Ultimately, all those theories and techniques are simply tools in a toolbox. Our task is to figure out which tools are going to be helpful for you in your unique circumstance.

For us to effectively figure that out, my foremost priority is developing a safe and collaborative relationship with you. With that in place, we will work together to try out the tools, discarding the ones that don’t work and honing your ability to use the ones that do.

As you build confidence in these new skills, you’ll see the discomfort and distress that brought you to therapy begin to transform. You will again find yourself pursuing your aspirations. It is powerful to rediscover those feelings of agency and purpose in your life!


What Sets Me Apart As a Therapist?

One – I love, seriously love, to listen to people’s stories. When you dive deep into the heart of your personal story in therapy, allowing us to really examine and understand your place in that story, then I know we’re on our way to making big things happen for you. I know you’re going to be able to write and re-write the story of your life in a conscious, authentic way.

Two – I am a highly non-judgmental therapist. Your story, your goals, your dreams, your challenges are what make you unique. And your uniqueness is what makes our work together so interesting to me. I believe that there is always room to improve our lives, and I want to follow your direction in terms of setting goals and striving for the improvements you want to achieve. You bring your expertise about yourself and your life, and I bring my clinical expertise. Together, that collaboration allows us to address immediate problems on the way to pursuing your larger aspirations.



Schedule an Appointment!

Issues I Treat:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Anger
  • Trauma
  • Adjustment difficulties and stress
  • Life transitions (phases of life, major life changes)
  • Parenting challenges
  • Relationship issues
  • Identity issues

Populations I Serve:

  • Adults
  • Transitional/Young adults and adolescents
  • Families
  • Parents and caregivers
  • Military, Law Enforcement, and First Responders
  • Survivors
  • Students
  • Professionals

Professional background:



Education

  • MA in Clinical Counseling – University of St. Thomas
  • BA in Psychology – Winona State University

Trainings

  • Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) through EMDRIA
  • Rising Strong (Brené Brown, Ph.D, LICSW)
  • Telehealth for Mental Health Professionals

Previous employment:

  • Conscious Healing Counseling
  • Fraser
  • Minnesota Autism Center
  • Volunteers of America
  • Practicum at Domestic Abuse Project

Licensure:

  • Minnesota: LPCC #cc01755

Christin Seirup, MA, LPCC christin@affinitypsych.com

Christin Seirup, MA, LPCC

christin@affinitypsych.com

Hello! I’m so glad that you decided to look into therapy today and found me here. A little about me – I have always wanted to help people. My friends and family used to tell me that counseling came naturally to me, and I took that to heart. I obtained my Masters degree from St. Mary’s University of Minnesota in Counseling and Psychological services, and as a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor, I have been able to make helping people my career of choice. For over 10 years I have walked alongside clients as they have worked hard to change their lives. I gotta tell ya – nothing is more rewarding than working together with someone as they make that change happen.




How I Work

I want your experience of therapy with me to feel safe, cooperative, and empowering. In order for this to occur my goal is to listen to you through non-judgmental ears, to help you really see and hear what it is that’s happening for you and where you’re getting stuck. When I ask the tough questions, you can begin the process of unlocking the doors that you choose to open. My motto is, “the client holds the keys.” You might not know it now, but you already have within you what it takes to unlock the doors. My job is to help you find those keys and trust yourself to use them. Together we will prepare for, and build hope for, what’s on the other side of the door. And I will celebrate with you as you walk confidently through the doorway into new circumstances, new habits, new meaning and purpose in your life.


What Sets Me Apart As a Therapist?

It seems I’ve always had a natural ability to counsel and guide others. My father, a clinical psychologist himself, said that I have “natural chops” for this work, and I think he was right. For as long as I can remember, I’ve been fascinated by the human experience. My undergraduate work focused on developmental psychology – how we are shaped by our experiences from childhood on, and how those experiences continue to manifest in our lives as adults. It’s not always easy to see that we are sometimes viewing the world through the eyes of that child inside of us. That we grow and develop strategies for dealing with our feelings based on those experiences, and that we develop beliefs about who we are as a person as a result. In graduate school I learned how to merge those interests and passions with new skills, new knowledge, and my own natural ability. With that combination of passion and skill, I can help you see, understand, and have compassion for your own developmental journey. Then together we will uncover and practice the empowered stance of making your own choices in the here and now. You, living life on your own terms. Can you picture it? I’m ready to get started if you are.



Schedule an Appointment!

Issues I Treat:

  • Trauma (acute,chronic, and complex) PTSD
  • Family of origin issues
  • Relationship Conflict/Communication
  • Codependency
  • Self-worth/esteem
  • Shame
  • Anxiety and Stress Management
  • Depression Management
  • Identity Exploration
  • Grief and Loss (including pet loss)
  • Borderline Personality Disorder
  • Substance misuse/abuse/addiction
  • Behavioral addictions
  • Women’s issues

Populations I Serve:

  • Individual Adults 18+
  • Survivors of Trauma
  • LGBTQ+Community
  • Helping Professionals
  • Creative Types
  • Military and Law Enforcement
  • Underrepresented peoples
  • Teletherapy

Professional background:



Education

  • Masters of Arts in Counseling and Psychological Services- St. Mary’s University of Minnesota
  • Bachelor of Arts in Developmental Psychology – University of Minnesota

Trainings

  • DBT – Dialectical Behavioral Therapy
  • EMDR – Levels 1 and 2
  • Bessel Van Der Kolk: The Body Keeps The Score
  • Emotional Freedom Techniques
  • Tapping In: Activating Healing Resources

Previous employment:

  • Progress Valley Inc.
  • Supportive Living Services
  • Canvas Health

Licensure:

  • Minnesota: LPCC #cc00135

Stephanie Ess, MA, LMFT stephanie@affinitypsych.com

Stephanie Ess, MA, LMFT

stephanie@affinitypsych.com

Hi. I’m Stephanie, a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and a Minnesota Board of Marriage and Family Therapy Approved Supervisor. I earned my Masters and Post-Graduate Certificate in Marriage and Family Therapy from St. Mary’s University of Minnesota and a certificate in Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health from the University of Minnesota. Now I am pursuing a PhD in Developmental Psychology as well.

Ever the learner, I enjoy constantly updating my skills so that I can more effectively help my clients understand the ways their life experiences impact their connection to themselves as others. Whether you are 3 years old or 103 years old, an individual, a couple, or a family, I am passionate about working with you to acknowledge and nurture your inherent wholeness.




How I Work

I am most interested in meeting you where you are and understanding how your personal, family, work, and community relationships intersect to shape who you are today. We are relational beings and as such, our relationships are vital to our wellbeing. Just as important, however, is the relationship we have with ourselves. In our work together we will travel the path of discovering your inherent worth and value that most often is clouded by experiences of depression, anxiety, illness, relational stress, and substance abuse.


What Sets Me Apart As a Therapist?

I am a firm believer that a diagnosis is not who you are, nor does it define your lived experience. As a therapist, I am entrusted with the privilege of bearing witness to your life. I honor this trust by understanding that you are your own unique individual, and the path that brings you to therapy and that guides you following therapy is similarly unique and valuable. Together we will create a space in which you can feel safe, curious, seen, heard, and valued as a vehicle for discovering your authentic self.



Schedule an Appointment!

Issues I Treat:

  • Anxiety and stress
  • Depression
  • Trauma and PTSD
  • Addiction
  • Disordered eating
  • Relationship stress
  • LGBTQ+ identified and allies
  • Identity exploration
  • Prenatal and Postpartum Mood and Anxiety Disorders
  • Parenting conflicts/stress

Populations I Serve:

  • Children (3 and older)
  • Adolescents and young adults
  • Adults
  • Couples in conflict
  • Overwhelmed parents
  • LGBTQ+ communities
  • Foster care families
  • Underrepresented Peoples

Professional background:



EDUCATION

  • PhD, Developmental Psychology – Walden University (In progress)
  • Infant & Early Childhood Mental Health Certificate – University of Minnesota
  • Marriage and Family Therapy Post-Graduate Certificate – St. Mary’s University of Minnesota
  • MA, Counseling Psychology – St. Mary’s University of Minnesota
  • BS, Psychology – University of Mary

TRAININGS

  • The Effect of Trauma on the Next Generation – Dr. Rachel Yehuda
  • The Body Keeps the Score: Trauma and Healing – Bessel van der Kolk, MD
  • Mindsight in Childhood & Adolescence: Strategies to Help Kids Thrive – Daniel Siegel, MD
  • Attachment Training/Strange Situation – Alan Sroufe, PhD and Elizabeth Carlson, PhD
  • Circle of Security Parent Trainer
  • DC 0-5 (Diagnostic Classification of Mental Health and Developmental Disorders of Infancy and Early Childhood)
  • An Adlerian Model of Supervision, using Family Constellations and Early Recollections – Marina Bluvshtein, PhD

PREVIOUS EMPLOYMENT

  • Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe
  • University of Minnesota
  • St. David’s Center for Child & Family Development

LICENSURE

  • Minnesota: LMFT #2577

Bre Kwatera, MA, LPCC, LADC bre@affinitypsych.com

Bre Kwatera, MA, LPCC, LADC

bre@affinitypsych.com

Welcome! I’m Bre (she/her/hers) and I’m a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor and Licensed Alcohol and Drug Counselor, which in human-speak just means that I have the education and training to treat symptoms of both mental health and substance use. I hold an undergraduate degree in Family Social Science from the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities and a Master’s in Addiction Studies from Hazelden Betty Ford School for Addiction Studies. Perhaps more interesting is that I am a bibliophile, love the sound of a typing keyboard, and am learning to own the creative within me.




How I Work

Therapy can feel overwhelming and uncertain for even the most skilled person. There are plenty of ideas of what therapy is and is not and websites are loaded with clinical “speak.” I will not be that. I want my office to be a place where curiosity about oneself can be ignited, perspective-taking expanded, critical awareness increased and where hope and agency can be recognized and restored. My goal in each therapeutic relationship is to bring one closer to understanding oneself in order to identify goals and strategies to reach them. I utilize the research and language of Brené Brown™ in my daily practice, as well as education, observational feedback, and accountability.


What Sets Me Apart As a Therapist?

My path to becoming a mental health therapist was driven by my desire to understand the experiences and perspectives of each unique life story, including my own, as well as what blocks us from recognizing, identifying and striving towards our goals. I rigorously “practice what I teach” and subscribe to the belief that we are both humans trying to figure out challenges together (I just happen to have some training that may assist in the messiness that life can bring). I am a therapist who believes that change happens outside of the certainty of comfort zones and will provide a safe, authentic, and humorous relationship to do that in.

My former clients have shared that I have a knack for “making sense” of hard experiences and a unique ability to see some of the most burdensome challenges feel like a strength. I have a natural tendency to connect the dots in one’s life and to normalize even the things that don’t feel “normal.” If you are desiring a safe relationship to learn more about yourself, then we may be a great fit to work together.



Schedule an Appointment!

Issues I Treat:

  • Connection & authenticity challenges
  • Vulnerability issues
  • Self-worth & confidence
  • Identity exploration and formation
  • Existential questioning
  • Relationship conflict
  • Grief/loss (ambiguous, concrete, complex)
  • Transitional life experiences
  • Women’s issues
  • Shame
  • Trauma (acute and chronic)
  • Substance misuse/abuse
  • Depression management
  • Anxiety & stress management

Populations I Serve:

  • Individual Adults and Couples
  • Young Adults and Teens
  • Survivors
  • Therapists and Mental Health Professionals
  • Creative, Gifted, and Talented Individuals
  • Those Who Identify with Substance Use Challenges
  • Historically Excluded Populations
  • Individuals With Legal Involvement

Professional background:



Education

  • Master of Addiction Studies – Hazelden Betty Ford School for Addiction Studies
  • BA in Family Social Science – University of Minnesota, Twin Cities

Trainings

  • Brene Brown Informed
  • Trauma Informed Care
  • Relational Cultural Therapy
  • Telehealth for Mental Health Professionals

Previous Employment

  • Wayside Recovery Center

Licensure

  • Minnesota: LPCC #cc01502
  • Minnesota: LADC #303495

Jessica McBride, MPS, LPCC, LADC jessica@affinitypsych.com

Jessica McBride, MPS, LPCC, LADC

jessica@affinitypsych.com

Hi! Welcome to my little blurb! I hope that you feel like you get to know me just a bit. I am a licensed professional clinical counselor and a licensed alcohol and drug counselor. I have a Masters in Professional Studies, a graduate certification in Addiction Studies, and a BA in Psychology, all from the University of Minnesota. I have worked in a gender-specific treatment program for women as a counselor and in leadership roles. I also worked for two years as an addiction therapist in Hong Kong, with the expatriate population. I have seen that, across the world, people are yearning for the same thing: connection. We humans are a funny bunch; what we are yearning for is what we also push away, out of fear of rejection and vulnerability, shame, and low self-worth. I practice what I preach in my own life and I am genuinely excited about helping you do the same!




How I Work

Feminist theory and relational-cultural theory (RCT) are the anchors in the framework of my counseling theory and direct my professional and personal life. Through these theories, connection and empowerment are able to thrive and start the motion of change. When I work with someone, I don’t ask, “why the issue?” I ask, “where is the pain?” I believe in validating each persons individual experience because each person I work with, matters. My belief is that we are ultimately seeking connections, and those connections help us to nurture and cultivate change. To be self-actualized does not mean to be in complete harmony with the path one is on or to not have questions or difficulties. When a human is self-actualized, they are connected to others in empathic, supportive, empowering relationships that foster empathy and support. Together, we will work on accessing all of the strengths that you may not know you have. I am a stickler for language because the words we use about ourselves matter, and together we will build a new and empowering framework for your inner monologue, which sets the foundation for how you ultimately treat yourself.


What Sets Me Apart As a Therapist?

I am highly empathic and in-tune with other people’s emotions and with the energy that is in the session. I really believe in giving you space to feel what you are feeling and empowering you to name it. The space that I create and nurture is safe, respectful, culturally responsive, and empowering. Clients have repeatedly told me that they feel at ease very quickly in my presence. I work with people on seeing and experiencing their own vulnerability as signs of strength and courage; bravery is not about stoicism, it is about authentic connection and allowing yourself the gift of really being “seen.” My clients tell me often that they feel “seen” and heard by me, which is ultimately how trust is built. I value getting to know my clients’ stories and helping them understand how they want to change the narrative, in order to live the most satisfying and fulfilled life possible. Humans are hard-wired for connection and I believe that the connections we have in our lives set the foundation for everything else. I love being a therapist and, dare I say, I do believe that therapy can be a fun and enlightening process! I look forward to working with you.



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Issues I Treat:

  • Addiction (substance and process)
  • Anxiety
  • Behavioral issues
  • Body image issues
  • Co-occurring disorders
  • Depression
  • Eating disorders
  • Family conflict
  • Grief/complicated grief and loss
  • Intimacy issues (physical and emotional)
  • Life transitions
  • Loneliness/isolation
  • Mental health and family issues related to addiction
  • Relationship issues
  • Self-esteem issues
  • Trauma and abuse

Populations I Serve:

  • Adults
  • Young Adults/college age
  • Expatriate population
  • Tele-therapy
  • LGBTQ+ Community
  • Healthcare/licensed professionals
  • HPSP involvement
  • Adults involved in legal system (CP/Probation)

Professional background:



Education

  • Master of Professional Studies in Integrated Behavioral Health – University of Minnesota, Twin Cities
  • Graduate Certification in Alcohol and Drug Counseling
  • BA in Psychology – University of Minnesota, Twin Cities

Trainings

  • Level 1 Certification in Narrative Therapy (in progress)
  • Gottman Method Couples Therapy – Level 2
  • DBT
  • Trauma-informed care
  • Relational Cultural Therapy
  • Co-occuring Disorders
  • Telehealth for Mental Health Professionals

Previous Employment

  • Wayside Recovery Center
  • HCMC Addiction Medicine
  • St. John’s Counseling Center

Licensure

  • Minnesota: LPCC #cc01586
  • Minnesota: LADC #303010