Samatalis Haille, MA, LPCCsamatalis@affinitypsych.com

Samatalis Haille, MA, LPCC

samatalis@affinitypsych.com

Hello!  I am Samatalis Haille ( I go by Sammy). I am a Professional Clinical Counselor licensed in Minnesota. I offer individual, couples, and family therapy. I hold undergraduate degrees in Philosophy and Psychology from the University of Minnesota and a master’s degree in Counseling and Psychological Services from St Mary’s University of Minnesota. In addition to outpatient therapy, I have held clinical positions in Rescare, currently SpringPath Mental Health Services in Twin Cities.  I work with you to gain insight to what is driving your presenting challenges. We will then build plans on that insight to develop habits that offer lasting solutions to the challenges.

I work with adults in individual, couples, or family settings, who are working through anxiety, depression, and trauma.  I have dealt with some degree of anxiety, trauma, depression and what appears to be a mild degree of ADHD myself. I grew up in wartime Somalia, lived as an immigrant in the US for more than two decades engaging with challenges in this new home and the problems of the original homeland, concurrently. I see all your challenges, and mine too,  as opportunities to learn and grow.




How I Work

When you talk to me, I will always listen. I pay attention to what you THINK about, what you talk about, and how you FEEL about it. Strong emotions signal to you that there is something that needs attention. Thoughts provide important clues as to the cause of these strong emotions. Together, we will discuss these issues, come up with constructive solutions, and build on those thoughts to find ways for you to overcome whatever it is you are facing at that time. In simple terms, you and I will harness your own thoughts, emotions, physical sensations, behaviors, and motivations to get you to where you want to go.


What Sets Me Apart As a Therapist?

I believe what sets me apart from many therapists is that I follow you to wherever you go. As you talk, I try to extend on your ideas and challenge your thoughts. I will roll with you, as they say, aiming to see things from your perspective and build on concepts that are consistent with your thinking. If you think at some point your perspective needs to change in regards to a specific matter, to cope effectively with whatever you are confronted with, I am also here to challenge you and ask the hard questions that will aid in healthy self-reflection.



Issues I Treat:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Trauma
  • ADHD
  • Personality disorders
  • Difficult relationships
  • Dissociative disorders
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Psychosis
  • Impulse control challenges
  • Substance use and addictions

Populations I Serve:

  • Individual Adults 18+
  • Couples
  • Families with relationship challenges.
  • NT, SP and NF MBTI personality types.

Professional background:



Education

  • Bachelor’s in Philosophy, Political Science and minor in Psychology from University of Minnesota, twin cities campus.
  • Masters in Counseling & Psychological services from St Mary’s University of Minnesota, twin cities campus.

Trainings

  • I have completed Gottman level 3, couples therapy training; also, completed a 12 hours course on an evidence based practice on how to deal with dual disorders, Enhanced Illness Management and Recovery, E-IMR) From University of MN: Center for Practice Transformation, DBT skills from Nystrom & Associates Training center in Arden Hills; Completed introduction and level 1 training of Floor time model, completed graduate courses on ACT, psychodynamics; also completed my 700 hours internship on Motivational Interviewing. Completed my masters thesis on the causes and novel treatment of schizophrenia, and countless continuing education courses to sharpen my counseling skills. Also completed basic Floor time model training, and now enrolled in a 14 weeks, level 1 certificate course, to serve people with developmental disorders, and also the rest of the population who may have similar challenges.

Previous Employment

  • Intensive Residential Treatment Services, IRTS
  • Rescare now, SpringPath

Licensure

  • MN, Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor, LPCC, #3240

Chelse Bolin, MSW, LICSWchelse@affinitypsych.com

Chelse Bolin, MSW, LICSW

chelse@affinitypsych.com

Welcome. My name is Chelse, I use she/they pronouns and I am a Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker in Minnesota.

I’m glad you are here. Making the choice to start therapy can feel vulnerable and you may feel like you don’t know where to start. I am here to meet you where you are at; whether you have been to therapy in the past or this is your first time reaching out for support. I believe you have innate power to create change, so that your life is one you enjoy and want to live, even when it gets tough.




How I Work

I will believe what you tell me. I have a way of communicating that is direct and gentle. I offer an approach to therapy rooted in mindful self-compassion; using cbt, trauma informed, fat positive, anti-oppressive and holistic approaches. I will provide you the space to be open with yourself, so that you can attend to what comes up from a place of kindness.


How We Will Work

When you want to vent; I will listen. When you want to process experiences; I will bring a curious and non-judgemental presence. When you express feelings; I will stay grounded. When you are seeking information/validation to help normalize what you are going through, I can provide psychoeducation or direct you to helpful sources. Therapy has improved benefits when there is engagement in learning and/or reflection outside of sessions, so (*with consent) you can expect me to offer resources for review, books to read, podcasts, positive social media for inspiration and journal activities.


What Sets Me Apart As a Therapist?

With the intersecting identities I hold a white, able bodied, queer, non-binary, first time parent, survivor; I bring the knowledge and empathy of my lived experience to the therapeutic relationship. Whether it’s related to sexuality and gender, challenging relationships, trauma, codependency, or a major life transition; my intention is to help you find the compassion, bravery and motivation to show up for yourself, in the ways you feel are best.

I look forward to working with you.



Areas of experience:

  • Codependency
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Sexuality, gender and sex exploration
  • Establishing boundaries
  • Healing from trauma
  • Healing from sexual abuse
  • Life transitions
  • Substance use
  • Grief and loss
  • Impacts of diet culture, fat phobia and negative body image
  • Relationship transitions
  • Self compassion

Populations I Serve:

  • Survivors
  • LGBTQQIP2SAA folx
  • Non-binary folx
  • Poly/Open/Non monogamous folx
  • Kinky folx
  • BIPOC
  • Students
  • Mental Health Professionals
  • Perfectionist folx
  • Neurodivergent folx

Professional background:



Education

  • Bachelor’s degree in Social Work from St Cloud State University
  • Masters degree in Clinical Social Work from St. Catherine’s University

Previous Employment

  • Abbott Northwestern Hospital
  • Unity Hospital

Licensure

  • Minnesota: LICSW #23169

Melissa Larson

Melissa Larson, MSW, LICSW melissa.larson@affinitypsych.com

Melissa Larson

Melissa Larson, MSW, LICSW

melissa.larson@affinitypsych.com

Hello, I am so glad you are here! My name is Melissa (she/her/hers) and I am a Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker. I work with individual adults and couples who are interested in dedicating some well deserved time to explore themselves and their relationships with those around them. I love spending time outdoors and at the lake, listening to music, eating Italian food, and connecting with family and friends.




How I Work

Experiencing issues like depression, abuse, addiction, grief, infertility, or relationship problems often make us feel like we are invisible and alone. In addition to a multitude of other issues you may be facing, sometimes in combination, it can feel like day-to-day tasks are impossible. Maybe you are feeling scared, hurt, stuck, misunderstood, unfulfilled, or numb.

These things do not make you weak or crazy, and they do not make you a failure. Maybe what you need is someone to tell you that you do not have to carry those feelings alone. Regardless of what you’re feeling, YOU MATTER. You are important and you have value. I want to hear your story and help you figure out what you want, and more importantly, what you need.


What Sets Me Apart As a Therapist?

I am very down to earth. I believe in being real with my clients. I have a great sense of humor and enjoy opportunities to bring humor into the work. I will do everything I can to make sure you feel supported and validated, while also challenging you to grow.

I have done extensive research in the presence of postpartum mood disorders in new fathers/non birthing parents.



Issues I Treat:

  • Depression
  • Life Transitions
  • Grief
  • Pregnancy/Perinatal/Postpartum
  • Adoption
  • Anxiety
  • Bipolar Disorder
  • Codependency
  • Coping Skills
  • Depression
  • Divorce
  • Domestic Abuse
  • Family Conflict
  • Infertility
  • Infidelity
  • Marital and Premarital
  • Men’s Issues
  • Parenting
  • Peer Relationships
  • Relationship Issues
  • Self Esteem
  • Stress
  • Transgender
  • Trauma and PTSD
  • Women’s Issues

Populations I Serve:

  • Adults
  • Young Adults
  • Couples
  • Parents

Professional background:



Education

  • MSW from University of St. Thomas/St. Catherine University, St. Paul, MN

Trainings

  • Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy Training Program – Minnesota
  • Psychoanalytic Society and Institute

Previous Employment

  • PrairieCare
  • Associates in Psychiatry & Psychology

Licensure

  • Minnesota: LICSW #26844

Vlad Gordeyev, MS, LMFT vlad@affinitypsych.com

Vlad Gordeyev, MS, LMFT

vlad@affinitypsych.com

Greetings! My name is Vlad. I am a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist currently working towards becoming fully licensed in Minnesota. I have six years of experience providing services in the Des Moines, IA area in home, school, and office settings. My goal is to be more than just a listening ear. I am here to offer you constructive, unbiased support for anything from difficult life changes, to trauma, or complex communication patterns in your personal relationships. I aim to give you the space to explore and express your thoughts and desires while helping you build resilience along the way.




How I Work

If you are the type of person who has paved their own way without asking for much help, I get it. However beneath that exterior strength you may feel lost and isolated, yearning for a chance to finally let someone in. You are not alone! By tapping into the insight and strengths you already possess, we will work towards becoming less dismissive of these feelings and help you begin to understand yourself better than before. I know this can be challenging and anxiety-provoking. Because, let’s be real, change is never easy. But let me tell you, it’s worth it.

I use a client-centered, strengths-based and collaborative approach to help you navigate life at your speed. Here you will be safe, listened to, valued, respected, and understood. We will explore different solutions to best meet your needs at all levels – individual, couple, family, professional, community. I am passionate about helping you find motivation and confidence in yourself. Let’s break those unhealthy behaviors and thought patterns so we can identify your goals to live a more meaningful and value-driven life!


What Sets Me Apart As a Therapist?

Deep down, I am all about having a good time and I love having exciting things to look forward to! I enjoy bringing that same energy into therapy. Part of that includes humor, which almost always happens in my sessions! I have been described as relatable, open-minded, and easy to talk to. I believe that I bring an atmosphere that is always going to be attentive to your needs. I have been told that I make couples and families feel safe and understood without taking sides.

In my office, you will find board games, cards, and fidgets to mess around with. When adults see this, they typically think they are just for the kids, however, life is filled with many responsibilities and it never hurts to lighten things up through a game while we chat.

My personal interests are playing and watching hockey (GO WILD!), watching football (SKOL!), playing video games, exercising, spending time with my two dogs, and watching movies (particularly thrillers and suspense). I also have a major sweet tooth and love my Reese’s and DQ blizzards! I am always open to talk about your interests as well without losing sight of your goals and areas of importance. I’m humbled by the opportunity to learn more about you.



Issues I Treat:

  • Trauma
  • Life Stressors
  • Low Self-Esteem
  • ADHD
  • Life Changes/Adjustment
  • Relationship Issues
  • Anxiety
  • Depression

Populations I Serve:

  • Adults
  • Teens and Young Adults
  • Children (7+)
  • Couples and Families

Professional background:



Education

  • Masters in Marriage and Family Therapy – St. Cloud State University
  • Bachelors in Community Psychology – St. Cloud State University

Trainings

  • Psychological Trauma and Juvenile Justice: Impact on Mind, Body, Behavior and Community
  • New Approaches to Managing Trauma
  • Interventions with Grieving Children and Adolescents
  • Family Interventions for Therapists
  • Using Sand Tray Play Therapy to Treat Anxiety and Trauma
  • Bowen Family Systems Conference
  • Technology and Ethics
  • Safety Training for Therapists

Previous Employment

  • ELEOS Psychology Center, St. Louis Park, Minnesota
  • Lifeworks, Inc., Ankeny, Iowa
  • The Village Family Service Center, St. Cloud, Minnesota

Licensure

  • Iowa: LMFT # 082182

Heather Brinkman, MS, LPCC heather@affinitypsych.com

Heather Brinkman, MS, LPCC

heather@affinitypsych.com

My name is Heather and I am a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor (LPCC), and a MN LPC and LPCC Board-approved Clinical Supervisor.

First, I want to congratulate you on your courage. Taking the first steps towards therapy can be a very scary feeling and it takes strength to know when to ask for help. So congratulations – you are taking those all-important first steps! I know your struggles are real and can feel overwhelming at times. I also know that there is not a one-size-fits-all approach to therapy. Together we can explore the most effective strategies to help you navigate through your current struggles and become a more positive, focused, and confident you.




How I Work

My philosophy about therapy comes from a strong belief that each person has the power to make positive life changes, and my approach is to provide focused guidance when it is too difficult to move forward alone.  If you feel isolated, stuck, or lost, I believe that working together we can help you overcome those not-so-good feelings.

Different people work best with different approaches, and you and I will find the best approach to help you feel comfortable, positive, and motivated.  To do this, we might explore past hurts and challenges, family dynamics, current and past relationships, stressors, accomplishments, achievements, and the list goes on.  I will be there with you to support you and encourage you through the hard parts, and to celebrate your successes. My job is to help you heal and to help you feel empowered, and I always feel honored to be part of that journey.


What Sets Me Apart As a Therapist?

As a multiracial female being raised in an adoptive family, my experiences have helped me understand the importance of understanding diversity and the difficulties that can present. First and foremost, I believe that establishing a rapport is essential to any good relationship, so I make sure that I am always authentic, honest, direct, compassionate, empathetic, and reliable. That also includes laughing a lot, quoting “The Office,” occasional dad jokes, and finding playful ways to work together.  However, the end goal is always a commitment to your success. To quote the great Ted Lasso, “If you care about someone, and you got a little love in your heart, there ain’t nothing you can’t get through together.”


Issues I Treat:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Attachment
  • Trauma (including but not limited to racial trauma, sexual assault, bullying, domestic violence,
  • childhood abuse or neglect)
  • Significant stressors
  • Adoption
  • Abandonment
  • Behavioral issues
  • Racial identity
  • Gender and sexuality
  • Relationship difficulties – specifically interracial relationships
  • Parent-child-family issues
  • Shame and guilt
  • Life transitions
  • Grief and loss
  • Women’s issues

Populations I Serve:

  • Children 7 and older
  • Adolescents
  • Young adults
  • College Students
  • Adults
  • Parents
  • Families
  • Marginalized Populations
  • BIPOC individuals
  • LGBTQIA+

Professional background:



Education

  • Master’s in Mental Health Counseling – Minnesota State University Mankato
  • Bachelor’s in Psychology – Minnesota State University Mankato 

Trainings

  • MN LPC and LPCC Board Approved Supervisor
  • Permanency and Adoption Competency
  • Attachment Theory and Play Therapy
  • Clinical Supervision Training
  • EMDR Therapy Training
  • North Central Association for Counselor Education and Supervision
  • Playing in a Post-Modern World: Narrative, Solution Focused, and Resiliency Based Play Therapy
  • Psychological First Aid
  • Suicide Prevention Summit
  • Ten Core Competencies of Trauma, PTSD, Grief, and Loss
  • Trauma Competent Caregiver Training
  • Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT)
  • Trust Based Relational Interventions (TBRI)

Previous Employment

  • Christian Family Solutions
  • Adult, Child and Family Services, LLC

Licensure

  • Minnesota: LPCC # cc02251

Sierra Barger, MA, LMFT sierra@affinitypsych.com

Sierra Barger, MA, LMFT

sierra@affinitypsych.com

Hello there! I’m Sierra and I’m a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. I work with teens, adults, parents/guardians, and families who are committed to bringing greater fulfillment and meaning to their lives. I am so glad you are here and working to find the right therapist for yourself or a loved one! Regardless of your specific struggle, I know you’re wondering what you can do to change the way you’re feeling and how you can maintain your well-being throughout life’s ups and downs. You want to believe – and feel! – as though you have control of your life. I can help you explore strategies that will help you manage the difficult experiences impacting your life, so that you can feel confident in the decisions you make day-in and day-out.




How I Work

Relationships, education, and health are the factors I most strongly value and focus on when we’re talking about helping you improve your emotional well-being. I am always dedicated to partnering with you to identify the things that motivate you and help you be your best self. When your mental health is compromised you can experience difficulties with managing responsibilities and taking care of yourself.

Depending on your specific strengths and challenges, we will pull from a wide range of strategies and interventions to figure out how best to get you back on track! I’m not a therapist that thinks a particular approach is best for everyone. Instead, I’m committing to exploring and learning with you what works, why it works, and how you can do more of what works. When all is said and done…YOU call the shots! I thoroughly love teaching and providing information that can improve your overall well-being, but I know the importance of listening to and learning from your unique experiences.


What Sets Me Apart As a Therapist?

Listen, I know I don’t have all the answers to all life’s problems, and I don’t pretend to. But I will never stop trying to find them! I’ll be open-minded, validating, humorous, and direct in our work together, as I encourage you to keep looking for those answers as well. Growing up and identifying as a multiracial woman, I’ve had the privilege of learning at an early age how to acknowledge, accept, and celebrate differences. Diverse experiences are something I particularly love holding space for in my work with clients.



Issues I Treat:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Relationship issues
  • Foster Care
  • Adoption
  • Domestic violence or abuse
  • Eating Disorders
  • Life transitions
  • Parenting
  • Pregnancy, prenatal, postpartum
  • Racial identity
  • School issues
  • Self esteem
  • Sexual abuse
  • Trauma

Populations I Serve:

  • Children (6+)
  • Adolescents
  • Adults
  • Parents
  • Families
  • Marginalized Populations

Professional background:



Education

  • Masters in Marriage and Family Therapy- University of St. Thomas
  • Bachelors in Clinical Psychology- Augsburg University 

Trainings

  • Circle of Security Parenting (COS)
  • Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TFCBT)
  • Diagnostic Classification of Mental Health and Developmental Disorders of Infancy and Early Childhood (DC:0-5)

Previous Employment

  • St. David’s Center for Child and Family Development
  • People Incorporated
  • Nystrom & Associates Ltd.

Licensure

  • Minnesota, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, 3437

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

Charlotte Szabo, DNP, PMHFNP-BC, APRN charlotte@affinitypsych.com

Charlotte Szabo, DNP, PMHFNP-BC, APRN

charlotte@affinitypsych.com

Hello! I’m Charlotte, a board-certified psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner. When medication is a part of your overall plan to manage and improve your mental health, I’m your person.

Throughout my life I have lived in different countries, and these unique people-experiences have allowed me to incorporate a more comprehensive, accepting, empathetic, and holistic approach to my practice. I speak 4 languages (Hungarian, Italian, Spanish, and English) fluently and enjoy so much connecting on a linguistic level – other than English – when possible.

I enjoy working with a wide variety of patients, from those who have trouble dealing with stress to the most serious and challenging combinations of psychiatric disorders. My extensive work experience ranges from the hospital setting to the Psychiatry Lead at the University of Minnesota’s Community Health Care Center (CUHCC), to varying outpatient clinical practices with a wide scope of patients from different age, ethnic, sexual, and socio-economic backgrounds. As a registered health care practitioner in the Minnesota Medical Cannabis Registry, I also register patients who might benefit from medical marijuana after having had unsuccessful trials with traditional psychotropic medications.




How I Work

“The glue that holds all relationships together….is trust, and trust is based on integrity.” This maxim by Brian Tracy is at my core, and because of that I work best with patients who genuinely want to get better. I invest a lot of effort, thought, and knowledge into each one of my patients and get the best results when there is an investment from you as well. A comment that I get often from my patients is that they feel that I sincerely care about them. And they’re right – because I treat each person, who comes to me looking for help in feeling better about their lives, as if they were one of my family members. (Just fyi, I’m from a Hungarian family and I’m the oldest of 9 – so being treated like family is kind of BIG!). A comment I get from my colleagues is that I will bend over backwards for my patients and go out of my way for them. Yes! I do! Because if you’re willing to make the courageous step to reach out for mental health help, then I will be there on the other end reaching for you to help break the cycle of mental illness.


What Sets Me Apart As a Psychiatric Provider?

How many times have you felt a divide between them (the medical professionals) and you (the patient)? I don’t have a problem with the cold temps in Minnesota, but the frigid gap I do have a problem with. When we work together you will find yourself in an environment in which things are warm, authentic, and open. If you’re looking for a formal, superficial “white coat doctor” approach to manage your medications – that’s not me. I believe that knowledge, expertise, and excellence in how one treats their patients is not based in a sense of superiority. I will answer the most “I feel embarrassed to ask this” questions to the most intricate questions related to your medication plan. I don’t stop at figuring out the best medication regimen for you – I dig DEEP to figure out what solution(s) might be best for you. My passion lies in system level changes to better my patients’ lives, therefore I will always offer you my $0.02. And, I will always add, it is up to you which way you choose to proceed. Because ultimately it is your life, your body, your decision.



Call, Text, or Email to schedule

Issues I Treat:

  • ADHD
  • Alcohol Use
  • Anger Management
  • Anxiety
  • Asperger’s Syndrome
  • Autism
  • Behavioral Issues
  • Bipolar Disorder
  • Borderline Personality Disorder
  • Chronic Impulsivity
  • Codependency
  • Coping Skills
  • Depression
  • Developmental Disorders
  • Domestic Violence
  • Drug Abuse
  • Eating Disorders
  • Emotional Disturbance
  • Family Conflict
  • Gambling
  • Grief
  • Infidelity
  • Intellectual Disability
  • Learning Disabilities
  • Life Transitions
  • Obesity
  • Obsessive-Compulsive (OCD)
  • Oppositional Defiance
  • Parenting
  • Peer Relationships
  • Pregnancy, Prenatal, Postpartum
  • Relationship Issues
  • School Issues
  • Self Esteem
  • Self-Harming
  • Sleep or Insomnia
  • Stress
  • Suicidal Ideation
  • Trauma and PTSD
  • Weight Loss
  • Women’s Issues

Populations I Serve:

  • Adults
  • Adolescents / Teenagers
  • Children (5+)
  • LGBTQIA+
  • Helping Professionals
  • Marginalized Populations

Professional background:



Education

  • University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, MN
    Doctorate of Nursing Practice, graduated with honors

  • University of California, San Francisco, CA
    Psychiatric Mental Health Family Nurse Practitioner
    Master of Science in Nursing, graduated with honors

  • Samuel Merritt University, Oakland, CA
    RN and Bachelor of Science in Nursing, magna cum laude
  • Holy Names University, Oakland, CA
    Summa cum laude

Licensure

  •  Minnesota / CNP 1890

Certification

  • ANCC – Board Certification / 2012011414

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

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