Angela Ackerman, MA, LPCCangela@affinitypsych.com

Angela Ackerman, MA, LPCC

angela@affinitypsych.com

Hello there, I am so glad you are seeking out support through therapy! It can be a big step to commit to addressing life’s difficulties and I’m here to help you in finding and walking your healing path. My name is Angela (although my youngest clients have called me “Ms. Angie”) and I am a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor. I went back to graduate school to understand the significant mood struggles my own child was having from a young age. I graduated from Argosy University – Twin Cities with a Master’s degree in Clinical Psychology. My passion is for helping children and their caregivers navigate challenges with regulation, relationships, and development.

As a clinical counselor, I can provide services for any age through individual, couples, or family therapy for a broad range of life experiences and problems. I have a special affinity for very young children and their caregivers, especially those who have experienced trauma such as experiencing family violence, separation from a caregiver, medical trauma and accidents, or natural disaster.

Personally, I have experience living with multiple family members with bipolar disorder. I truly get how tough it can be to navigate a caring role as a spouse, parent, and sibling. I worked so hard to learn positive ways to support those caught in the ups and downs of mental illness. It’s time now for me to share hope for surviving and thriving when someone you love has a serious mental illness.




How I Work

I’m here to offer a new perspective and support you in creating a new story! I love to work collaboratively with clients toward their goals, discover their strengths, and to celebrate the small successes along the way. Finding meaningful metaphors to understand the problem and ways to tackle it head on are my jam.

In therapy, we can reflect on the difficulties you are having, and explore where they may be coming from. Together, we’ll set some goals toward healthier functioning and create a plan for healing. Sometimes we may “do the work” through talking and writing, sand tray, or play therapy. Other times we may practice regulation skills, make a family values game, create a personalized chart, or find other community resources to complement your growth.

One of the best parts about this job is that I am learning as much from you as I hope you are from me. We are all working to become better humans and I am so honored to be part of clients’ personal development.


What Sets Me Apart As a Therapist?

I have lived and worked in rural settings for many years and I have served marginalized populations with limited access to resources. Because of this, I am often creative in addressing a wide range of mental health issues and take a holistic approach to healing.

I love to make things (I’m an avid home improvement DIYer!) and incorporating hands-on activities during the session can really be helpful for both kids and adults. One of my favorites is a Calm Down Bottle to bring home for self-regulation. Especially when we are addressing painful issues, having something to keep your hands busy can make a huge difference in allowing emotions to flow and be processed.

I am comfortable holding space for intense emotions and exploring the darker sides of life as well; accepting all parts of ourselves is a lifelong journey and I will hold up a light for you to find your way through. In the end, my hope is that you will find your own light again and eventually shine that back for someone else who is having a hard time!



Issues I Treat:

  • Social-Emotional-Behavior challenges in young children (B-5)
  • Parenting special needs children
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Bipolar disorder (especially loved ones of those with BP)
  • Relationship problems
  • Parent-child issues
  • Trauma
  • ADHD
  • Attachment/children in foster care
  • Divorce

Populations I Serve:

  • Birth-5 and their caregivers
  • Children
  • Adolescents
  • Adults
  • Couples
  • Families
  • LGBTQ+
  • Low income families

Professional background:



Education

  • Master of Arts in Clinical Psychology from Argosy University-Twin Cities, Minnesota

  • BS in Applied Psychology from Bemidji State University


Previous Employment

  • Greater Minnesota Family Services, Willmar, MN

  • Bi-County Community Action Program Head Start, Backus, MN


Licensure

  • MN LPCC: cc01666

  • Registered provider for CPP, an evidence-based practice using dyadic, reflective interventions to treat trauma in young children

Michael Jacob, MS michael@affinitypsych.com

Michael Jacob, MS

michael@affinitypsych.com

Hello! My name is Michael (he/him). Thank you for stopping by and congrats on taking the first step to improve yourself! I have a Master of Science in Mental Health Counseling degree from the University of Wisconsin – Stout, with an emphasis in eating and personality disorders. I am currently working on becoming a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor in Minnesota.

My role as a therapist is to help you become the most authentic version of yourself and I am honored to be part of that journey with you. I work with individuals and couples who are experiencing a wide range of difficulties in life. Mental health is never as simple as one problem or one solution, so I have a tool kit full of clinical knowledge, techniques, understanding, empathy, and practicality to help you better yourself.


Michael is able to accept all of our contracted insurance plans except the following. Feel free to ask about out-of-network or sliding scale availability.
  • Medicare
  • Multiplan
  • Tricare



How I Work

I have two jobs as a therapist: My first job is to learn about you; When things aren’t going well, it can be hard to be heard or feel seen by others, so my job is to offer you a space to have those feelings validated. My second job is to educate and guide you on this new path towards being a better you! As a therapist, I view you as the pilot and myself as the navigator. You know the destination but maybe not how to get there, so I can offer you some guidance and direction. Along the way, we may make some side trips or find a new path to take, but in the end we’ll work together to reach the goals you’ve set for yourself. 


What Sets Me Apart As a Therapist?

As a gay man, I bring my own experiences and knowledge of what it is like to live in a world that is not always the most supportive of being your true self. I am aware of and sensitive to the struggles that LGBTQIA+ individuals have, but I also know that my experiences are unique and not the same as yours. I am always learning and being educated on different issues to provide better services for clients and to be a better member of the community.

I also enjoy bringing some fun and laughter to sessions. It is as important to celebrate the positives and successes in life as it is to explore the struggles. I like to make references to TV shows, especially my favorites like The Golden Girls, and other pop culture staples that bring me joy (and hopefully, you too)! 

Clients have shared that they feel comfortable with me, that they can trust me, that they feel heard and respected, and that I have helped them make sense of the experiences they have had. Clients also have shared that they love my Olaf tattoo!



Issues I Treat:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Sexual Orientation 
  • Gender Identity
  • Sex/Intimacy issues
  • Grief
  • ADHD
  • Body image
  • Self-esteem
  • Anger issues
  • Eating Disorders
  • Life changes/adjustments
  • Relationship/Interpersonal challenges
  • Trauma
  • LGBTQIA+ issues

Populations I Serve:

  • Adolescents (13+)
  • Young adults
  • Adults
  • Couples (monogamous, non-monogamous, poly)
  • LGBTQIA+
  • Students

Professional background:



Education

  • Masters of Science in Clinical Mental Health Counseling, University of Wisconsin – Stout

  • Bachelors of Psychology, University of Wisconsin – River Falls

Trainings

  • Diagnosing and Treating Eating Disorders
  • Treating Personality Disorders
  • Cognitive Processing Therapy for Trauma

Ami-Lyn Sussman, MSW, LGSW ami-lyn@affinitypsych.com

Ami-Lyn Sussman, MSW, LGSW

ami-lyn@affinitypsych.com

Hi there! I am so glad you made it here. This is the first step on the journey toward healing. That’s a big deal. Exploring options and making decisions that align with your true self can be a wonderful experience. You have a lot to be proud of! Not everyone is brave enough to take this first step. In light of making this decision, let me tell you a little bit about myself. My name is Ami-Lyn. I am a social worker in New York and Minnesota and am currently working on becoming licensed in Minnesota. My Master’s degree is from Silberman School of Social Work at Hunter College in NYC, and my Bachelor’s degree is from Queens College. My journey to becoming a licensed therapist was in fact my own journey toward healing.

Learning about the brain, the mind-body connection, social systems, and therapeutic tools all helped me personally, and that allows me to help others in their own process. Now I work with individuals, families, and couples across the lifespan, working with them to integrate their full selves in the healing process.


Ami-Lyn is able to accept all of our contracted insurance plans except the following. Feel free to ask about out-of-network or sliding scale availability.
  • Medicare
  • Multiplan
  • Tricare



How I Work

My job is to help you create a filing cabinet for yourself. A safe place you can contain your memories, ideas, and reflections. We will sort and revisit them together, at your own pace, in good time, and without judgement. I use a lot of mindfulness practices and exercises that we will do together in session so that you can access them on your own outside of therapy. These exercises will help build the muscles needed for healing. There may be some trial and error in the process, but that’s part of the work. Each step you take is one step closer to becoming the person you want to be and achieving the goals you want to achieve.

I believe in creating a place to explore who we truly are, how we see ourselves, what was expected of us, what we want, and all the other questions that are important to ask and answer about ourselves. That’s what therapy is all about. It’s not an overnight process, but it’s worth the time and effort you put into it.


What Sets Me Apart As a Therapist?

When I work with clients, I’m always trying to see the big picture while also trying to understand the way the pieces fit together and how each piece affects all the others in your life. I’m thinking about your mind, your physical self, your emotional world, as well as all the relationships, groups and systems you’re a part of and that wrap around you.

No one is an island. When we locate you in that web, it’s a bit like locating you on a map in relation to other places. From there we can more fully understand where you are, where you’re trying to go, and what will need to happen in order for you to reach your destination.



Schedule an Appointment!

Issues I Treat:

  • Stress
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Self-Esteem
  • Adoption Issues
  • Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD)
  • ADHD
  • Anger Management
  • Anxiety
  • Behavioral Issues
  • Coping Skills
  • Eating Disorders
  • Family Conflict
  • Oppositional Defiance
  • Parenting Challenges
  • Peer Relationships
  • Relationship Issues
  • Body Image Challenges

Populations I Serve:

  • Children (5+) and Adolescents
  • Adults
  • Families
  • Adoptees
  • Families Created Through Adoption
  • Trauma Survivors
  • Creative Folks
  • LGBTQ+
  • People Questioning/Changing Careers

Professional background:



Education

  • Master’s in Social Work – Silberman School of Social Work at Hunter College-CUNY, NYC
  • BA in Psychology – Queens College, NY

Previous Employment

  • TheraCare
  • Maspeth High School, Queens
  • P.R.O.V.E (Project for Return and Opportunity in Veterans Education)

Licensure

  • MN LGSW 29643 (working towards independent licensure)

Tessa Wolden, MA, ATR-BC, LPCC tessa@affinitypsych.com

Tessa Wolden, MA, ATR-BC, LPCC

tessa@affinitypsych.com

Hi! I’m happy you’re here and hope that you find a therapist that fits you best. I strive to help people who long to uncover their best selves, but are buried under stressors that get in the way. My approach as a Board Certified Art Therapist and Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor is client-centered, so my art directives focus on your specific goals, and I follow your lead.

I know from making my own artwork to process experiences in the natural world that living my best and authentic life is found through regular grounding practice and genuine connection with others. This passion for incorporating nature into my practice comes from working as a therapist in Grand Marais and many years guiding trips in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area. Sharing the gift of bringing nature into everyday life and the empowerment that is felt when overcoming adversity in the outdoors is one of the best parts of my work.




How I Work

Many people don’t know what art therapy is and often I explain it as simply using art as another way of communicating than talking alone. Using art often accelerates getting to the heart of an issue while also distancing you from the situation rather than talking directly about yourself.

I work primarily as an art therapist. Our work together will start with an intake, where I learn more about you, your goals and your life experiences. Here we can talk about whether using art is something you’re excited for, curious to learn more, or nervous about but interested in trying. Art is a main focus of my orientation, but is in no way the only tool I use and not something that needs to be done every session. Generally, in the second session we would introduce art materials and I would provide you with a prompt that can further help us determine our goals and plan for treatment. Starting in the third session, we begin the real work diving into the meat of what you are wanting to change or explore and we go from there. This is just a general timeline as I work to maintain a pace that feels best for you.


What Sets Me Apart As a Therapist?

My focus on using art and nature in therapy is unique compared to traditional talk therapy. My job is to give you the tools and perspectives that help you ride the waves of being human and foster positive relationships with others.

Clients often tell me how easy it is to connect with me and they feel comfortable talking about difficult things. My colleagues talk about how I stick with clients, particularly during tough times. Sitting with you through the muck is my goal and my strength. To be with you and not judge, and to offer you other perspectives when you are feeling stuck.

I believe living authentically changes the world around you. Click on the link below to schedule a session together!



Schedule an Appointment!

Issues I Treat:

  • Anxiety
  • Stress
  • Depression
  • Life transitions
  • Self-confidence, self-esteem & assertiveness
  • Burnout & compassion fatigue
  • Trauma & PTSD

Populations I Serve:

  • Adults
  • Children & Adolescents
  • Queer Folks
  • Artists and other creatives
  • Perfectionists
  • Helping Professionals
  • Those in need of teletherapy
  • Transplants to MN

Professional background:



Education

  • MA – Art Therapy: George Washington University
  • BSBA – Marketing: University of Denver

Trainings

  • Trauma Informed Care
  • Child Parent Psychotherapy
  • Sand Tray Training
  • Telehealth for Mental Health Professionals
  • Reflective Supervision

Previous employment:

  • St. David’s Center
  • Accend Services

Licensure:

  • Minnesota LPCC: #cc1907
  • Art Therapy Registration – Board Certified: 18-302