Karen Johnson, MA, LMFT, CCTPkaren@affinitypsych.com

Karen Johnson, MA, LMFT, CCTP

karen@affinitypsych.com

Hello and welcome. I’m so happy you have made the tough decision to seek assistance with your mental health needs – we can all benefit from talking to someone from time to time! I earned my Master’s degree in Educational Psychology and Counseling from the University of South Dakota in Vermillion, SD. I attended North Dakota State University in Fargo, ND for my license in Marriage and Family Therapy.

When I began therapy years ago, I worked mostly out of schools with at-risk youth and their families in the state of MN. When I moved to the Fargo area, and as I progressed in my career, I shifted to working primarily with adults, couples, and older adults; However, I still enjoy working with teens and their parents and have also worked with several trauma survivors.




How I Work

I utilize a variety of therapeutic strategies, such as: how our thoughts affect our behavior and feelings, mindfulness, holistic perspectives, and trauma informed clinical strategies.

In addition to that, I believe the goal of all mental health services should be to help someone live their most satisfying and fulfilling life. That can mean everything from improving symptoms, to finding and completing a lifelong dream, to building a healthy and satisfying relationship. I would be honored to accompany you on this journey and help you find what you seek.


What Sets Me Apart As a Therapist?

Others have described me as a very insightful, intuitive, and thoughtful person. I bring empathy, compassion, a love of learning about others, an open heart, and an open mind to my work. I also value humor – I think sometimes that is what keeps us going in life! We may also have to talk about hard things, and have to journey back to dark places, but I will gently guide you to where you would like to be. Whatever we are discussing in session, I will strive to make you feel safe, understood, valued, and respected.



Issues I Treat:

  • Trauma, including Posttraumatic Stress Disorder
  • Low self-esteem
  • Depression
  • All types of Anxiety, including Obsessive/Compulsive Disorder
  • Chronic/Persistent mental illness
  • Adjustment Disorders
  • Relationship Issues

Populations I Serve:

  • Couples
  • Adults of any age
  • LGBTQI+ folks
  • Parents and adolescents struggling to connect
  • Survivors of physical, emotional, and sexual abuse

Professional background:



Education

  • BA in Psychology at USD in Vermillion, SD
  • MA in Educational Psychology and Counseling at USD in Vermillion, SD
  • Family and Marriage Courses at NDSU in Fargo, ND

Trainings

  • TF-CBT (Trauma Focused-Cognitive Behavior Therapy)
  • CBT (Cognitive Behavior Therapy
  • EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing)
  • CCTP (Certified Clinical Trauma Professional)
  • The Flash Technique

Previous Employment

  • Community Health Services
  • Solutions Behavioral Health Professionals
  • Big Stone County Family Services (where the therapists were housed in the schools in the county)

Licensure

  • Minnesota, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist – #2174
  • North Dakota, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist – 2009-015

Barb Baker, MA, LPCCbarb@affinitypsych.com

Barb Baker, MA, LPCC

barb@affinitypsych.com

Welcome! Thank you for taking the steps to start your journey to reconnect with yourself. I have a Master’s degree in Forensic Psychology from the University of Denver. I have a graduate certificate in Addictions Studies and Marriage, Family, and Child Counseling from Portland State University.

I enjoy spending time with my 2 year old daughter and seeing the world through her eyes. She definitely reminds me to be in the present moment, as well as to dance when music is on and the urge hits you (no matter where you are)!




How I Work

I believe you know yourself better than anyone else. You know what works for you and what doesn’t work for you. My goal is to allow you to share your story while I provide a supportive, non-judgemental, and safe space for you. We will work together to explore how the stories you have developed throughout your life impact how you see and engage with the world around you. We will challenge any false beliefs you may hold so you may find your voice and own your truth. Together, we will slowly chisel away at difficult memories to help you find ways to process and rebuild. I will provide you with a space where you feel heard and seen, somewhere I hope you learn to experience and appreciate your feelings as your own.


What Sets Me Apart As a Therapist?

I believe in the power of laughing, practicing gratitude, and spending time each day doing something you truly enjoy (even if only for a few minutes). I am down to earth, authentic, and love to learn. I have an innate ability to provide a welcoming and calming environment when working alongside clients. Brene Brown is my guru, and I routinely bring her work into my practice.



Issues I Treat:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Coping skills
  • Self esteem
  • Attachment/relationship challenges
  • Trauma
  • Grief and loss
  • Substance use
  • ADHD
  • Bipolar Disorder
  • Life changes/adjustments
  • Codependency/boundary issues
  • Stress
  • Women’s issues

Populations I Serve:

  • Individual Adults
  • Young Adults/College Students (18+)
  • Adults struggling with addiction and/or struggling with another person’s addiction
  • Creative types
  • Those struggling with codependency and boundary setting
  • Those who do not feel seen or heard
  • Those needing telehealth therapy

Professional background:



Education

  • MA Forensic Psychology, University of Denver
  • Graduate Certificates in Addiction Studies, and Marriage, Family, and Child Counseling, Portland State University

Trainings

  • Acceptance and Commitment Therapy
  • How the Body Keeps the Score, Trauma Healing course with Dr. Bessel Van Der Kolk
  • Dialectal Behavior Therapy

Previous Employment

  • Hilltop Health Center, Clackamas County, Oregon
  • Volunteers of America, Drug Court, Oregon
  • Morrison Child and Family Therapy, Oregon
  • Zumbro Valley Mental Health Center

Licensure

  • Minnesota: LPCC, #cc03442

Brianna M. Pezon, MSW, LICSWbrianna.pezon@affinitypsych.com

Brianna M. Pezon, MSW, LICSW

brianna.pezon@affinitypsych.com

Did you have your coffee yet today? I hope so because this ball of sunshine is very excited to meet you! Congratulations on making the first step towards healing and taking a peek at my high spirited, empathetic, and compassionate page. I am a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LICSW) who works primarily with adult populations. I have a plethora of experience working with those who struggle, have struggled, or have a family member struggling with substance abuse. I also specialize in Co-occurring disorders, and have personal experience in this field as well! I know what it is like to sit in the client’s chair of a therapy room, and I hope that you feel the same compassion and kindness that has been given to me in that seat throughout the years! I look forward to meeting you and taking this healing journey together!




How I Work

I will always meet you where you are at that exact moment. If you feel the need to come to a session in your pajamas? Do it! I am going to treat you with kindness, respect, empathy, and compassion regardless of how you come to sessions. I will let you set the scene, pace, and topics of conversation within sessions as I am here to merely be a guide to this healing journey you are on. Imagine we are both in a car, you are in the driver’s seat taking us on the journey- and I am in the passenger seat with some directional suggestions along the way! Do not worry if an exit gets missed, we will find a new path to our destination!


What Sets Me Apart As a Therapist?

Are you a fan of a therapist who is able to sing and dance freely without a care of anyone’s judgment? Or a fan of a therapist with a “hip” hairstyle and multiple tattoos? If so, I am the therapist for you! I enjoy bringing my authentic self into each and every session. I will be your biggest cheerleader, someone who will call you out in the kindest way possible, and the person who will sit with you in your pain without any fear of judgment. We can use my “Rainbow Cards of Affirmation” or the poetry books in my office to break the ice, or settle into our comfy chairs and begin the work right away. I enjoy matching the physical, mental, and spiritual energy that is brought into my office and I let that guide where our session goes. My level of empathy is only matched by the therapist character from The Sopranos – and we all know what that entails. I am a therapist who attempts to practice what I preach, and if we need to shake it out, stim it out, or dance about during our session, I am game for all of it! Outside of work, I enjoy playing sports in the Minnesota winters, creating diamond art paintings, and fostering kittens and cats who need forever homes! I look forward to meeting you exactly as and where you are, so that we can work together to get you where you want and need to be in order to move life forward!



Issues I Treat:

  • Substance Use
  • Co-occurring Disorders
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Traumatic experiences including abuse, neglect, and violence
  • Personality Disorders
  • Identity Crises
  • Pet Loss
  • Self Esteem
  • Controlling negative thinking pattern

Populations I Serve:

  • LGBTQIA+ Communities, including those in the current coming out process
  • Young Adults
  • Middle Adults
  • Identity researchers
  • Family concerns or “black sheep” identities
  • Victims of Traumatic experiences
  • Victims of Abuse
  • Victims of Violence
  • Self Esteem builders
  • People with creative or writing blocks

Professional background:



Education

  • University of Wisconsin River Falls, Bachelors degree in Social Work
  • University of Minnesota-Twin Cities, St Paul, MN
  • Masters of Social Work

Trainings

  • TF-CBT

Previous Employment

  • ResCare Inc., Community Options Fridley IRTS
  • The Heights Treatment Center for Women, Mental Health Practitioner
  • Associated Clinic of Psychology, In home mental health therapist and ARMHS worker

Licensure

  • Minnesota, MSW, LICSW, 25879

Sheri Solheim, MA, LPCC

Sheri Solheim, MA, LPCCsheri.solheim@affinitypsych.com

Sheri Solheim, MA, LPCC

Sheri Solheim, MA, LPCC

sheri.solheim@affinitypsych.com

Sheri is a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor who works with older adolescents and adults. She comes with over 20 years of experience that allows her to provide knowledgeable and effective care. Sheri will provide you with practical coping strategies to improve daily functioning along with methods of healing unresolved issues and past traumatic experiences. She is kind and solution-minded with a warm, calming presence and a good sense of humor. She especially enjoys working with people who have experienced trauma and young adults who are transitioning into life or college after high school.




How I Work

I like to spend some initial time hearing what you want out of therapy and helping to prioritize and develop our “to do” list. I feel it is important for you to understand why you feel the way you do and that you do not have to be miserable for the rest of your life. I will help you to let go of the past, increase motivation to get things done, problem-solve issues, resolve conflicts, reduce unhealthy habits, and develop happy, healthy relationships. I love to utilize EMDR and basic CBT strategies but tend to use a blend of a full variety of approaches that are catered to your individual needs.


What Sets Me Apart As a Therapist?

I’ve been around a long time :). I have extensive experience working with a wide range of symptoms and diagnosis and have treated persons ranging in age from six to ninety-eight. At this point in my career, I feel confident in my ability to help you with nearly any mental health or life challenge that comes your way. I am a genuinely kind and caring person who is able to see the strengths in people and build on those to help you achieve a better life. I am fascinated and truly amazed at the way that people can heal and move beyond even the worst experiences to a more positive and hopeful future.



Issues I Treat:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Trauma/Complex PTSD
  • Bipolar Disorder
  • Relationship issues
  • Life Stressors
  • Behavioral Issues
  • Addictions/Maladaptive Coping
  • Self-Harm
  • Relationship Issues
  • Self-esteem
  • Chronic Pain
  • Life Changes/Adjustments
  • Grief

Populations I Serve:

  • Individual Adults
  • Adolescents 15 and up
  • All are welcome

Professional background:



Education

  • B.A. in Psychology – University of Southern Colorado, Pueblo, CO
  • M.A. in Counseling Psychology – University of North Dakota, Grand Forks, ND

Trainings

  • Reality Therapy Seminar (2 Days, Instructor: William Glassar M.D.)
  • 40-Hour Family and Divorce Mediation Training-Conflict Resolution Center
  • Counseling & Development in Child and Adolescence
  • Certified Dialectical Behavior Therapy Professional (C-DBT) Training: An Advanced Online Skills Training for Adapting Dialectical Behavior Therapy for Everyday Clinical Needs
  • Empirically Supported Treatment for Mood Disorders
  • Personality Disorders
  • Body Image & Weight Issues
  • Solution-Focused Brief Therapy
  • Counseling Issues related to Gay-Lesbian-Bisexual-Transgendered populations
  • Treatment Resistant Anxiety, Worry & Panic: 60 Effective Strategies
  • Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) – 2017, Maiberger Institute
  • Working with Parts with Dissociative Disorders: A Practical Guide for Trauma Therapists
  • When There Are No Words – EMDR
  • Looking Through the Eyes – EMDR
  • Recent Event Protocol – EMDR
  • Cravings and Consequence Protocol – EMDR
  • Pain Protocol – EMDR
  • E. is for Embodiment: Resolving Somatic Dissociation to Enable an Embodied Self

Previous Employment

  • Alluma, Inc. Lutheran Social Services of MN

Licensure

  • Minnesota LPCC #00090

David Frovarp, APRN-CNPdavid@affinitypsych.com

David Frovarp, APRN-CNP

david@affinitypsych.com

Hi there! My name is David, and I’m a board-certified nurse practitioner. I enjoy working with patients who are considering adding medication to manage and improve their overall mental health.

Originally from Minnesota, I have also experienced living in different parts of the country including California, New Jersey, and Georgia previously. This has allowed me the opportunity to work with people from many different walks of life, and for this I am extremely grateful.

In clinical practice I have worked in a variety of settings that include: direct patient care as a provider, administrative roles overseeing day-to-day operations, and working with colleagues to improve policies and delivery of patient care. While I have greatly enjoyed leadership roles and being a part of positive change from an administrative level, I have to admit that connecting with patients individually and working with them towards the development and achievement of their goals is undoubtedly one of the most rewarding experiences that I have been fortunate to be a part of.




How I Work

I aim to be an active listener and provide validation and feedback that is relative to the individual I’m speaking with at the moment. I’m a firm believer that a good relationship at any level starts with good communication. I frequently receive positive feedback regarding my style of communication and ease in which others are able to have meaningful conversations with me. I take considerable pride in this, and can say with honesty that I have a genuine goal to improve the existence of those whose paths I come across.


What Sets Me Apart As a Therapist?

The willingness and internal push to ensure that the individuals I see have an opportunity to express their concerns while conveying compassion and a true sense of care. Many people go through the healthcare system expecting the “take a ticket and wait” mentality, feeling like they are treated like a number instead of a person.

My approach is genuine, open, and non-judgemental. Each individual in this life walks a different path and goes through their ups and downs, and it’s important for my clients to know that the care and management of their concerns will be approached with this in mind. In our conversations clients will receive open and honest feedback with the end goal of being an active participant in helping them with the decisions that will help give them the opportunity to improve their happiness and quality of life.



Issues I Treat:

  • ADHD
  • Alcohol Use
  • Anger Management
  • Anxiety
  • Bipolar II Disorder
  • Codependency
  • Coping Skills
  • Depression
  • Developmental Disorders
  • Domestic Violence
  • Drug Abuse
  • Emotional Disturbance
  • Family Conflict
  • Grief
  • Infidelity
  • Life Transitions
  • Obesity
  • Obsessive-Compulsive (OCD)
  • Parenting
  • Peer Relationships
  • Postpartum
  • Relationship Issues
  • Self Esteem
  • Sleep or Insomnia
  • Stress
  • Suicidal Ideation
  • Trauma and PTSD
  • Weight Loss

Populations I Serve:

  • Adults
  • LGBTQIA+
  • Helping Professionals
  • Marginalized Populations

Professional background:



Education

  • Chamberlain University – Addison, IL
    • Family Nurse Practitioner Program
    • Master of Science in Nursing
    • Bachelor of Science in Nursing
  • Columbia Southern University – Orange Beach, AL
    • Master of Business Administration
    • Focus of studies in Healthcare Management
  • Gordon State College – Barnesville, GA

Licensure

  • Minnesota Nurse Practitioner / 4937
  • Board Certified through the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners / F1116535

Natalie J. Taber, MA, MSW, LICSWnatalie@affinitypsych.com

Natalie J. Taber, MA, MSW, LICSW

natalie@affinitypsych.com

Hello and welcome! I am Natalie Taber. I have always been interested in how people make sense and meaning of their lives, interested in why and how people act and feel how they do. My practice serves a wide variety of issues and people. I often work with clients who have identities that are de-centered in the dominant culture, and I have special interest and expertise in the areas of gender and sexuality (especially transgender experiences-I am a WPATH provider), identity, complex childhood trauma, navigating higher levels of academia, and bi-cultural/mixed-race experiences.

I hold undergraduate degrees in Philosophy and Religion from Hendrix College, a Masters Degree in Philosophy from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, and a Masters of Social Work from the University of Minnesota. I am a licensed clinical social worker, practicing as a therapist in the Twin Cities for the last 5 years. In addition to private practice, I have worked at Hamm Memorial Clinic and Relate Counseling Center. I did my psychotherapy training at Kente Circle and the MPSI Psychotherapy Center. I also teach Clinical Practice to MSW students as Community Faculty at the University of Minnesota School of Social Work.




How I Work

I believe that we exist and persist in patterns of relating, behaving, thinking and feeling. I believe that people need to be really listened to by someone who can help guide them to understand and transform the patterns they struggle to change on their own. I have developed my practice from the frameworks of attachment theory, developmental theory, and psychoanalytic theory. I come to the work through these frameworks because I know that our selves, our emotional and psychological being, developed in the context of relationship and that we heal in the context of relationship as well.

Sometimes sitting with another person can be a little scary. Especially when we want to connect, we want to be known and seen. And sometimes it’s just what you’re looking for and it feels really relieving to know that you have somebody to sit with you, talk with you, be with you.

I will work with you to connect to your own strength to make your life one you want to live in, no matter what has come before. We will create a place together where you are seen, understood, believed, and supported-a place where you don’t have to pretend. I will provide a calming and supportive presence to build and grow from. I work to help people find relief in the short term while continuing on a path of long-term healing and well-being that will continue long after our work has finished.

I have an outstanding record of helping clients find success in therapy, break the patterns in which they’ve been stuck and feel the freedom of what they can achieve and experience when not beholden to limiting systems.


What Sets Me Apart As a Therapist?

I will deeply listen to you. I will remember the things you’ve told me. In so much un-seeing existence I partner with you to feel safe and be seen.

I am direct and promise to be truthful and transparent, yet gentle and supportive with you. I recognize that many systems that are supposedly set up to be helpful can do a lot of harm. I work from a place of promise for no-surprises, of believing you in your experience, and not from a place of moral superiority. I have lived experience in poverty, long-term homelessness (and all that goes with it), academia, queer community and more. I have worked in collective and community for environmental, gender, and racial and social justice for more than two decades. So you might experience my perspective as different from some others.

I truly believe that people can heal, that solace can be found, that it does not always have to be a fight. Once we have settled into a good rhythm together you’ll find that, in addition to my ever-present cup of coffee, I love to bring play, light and humor to the work. I see my work as active critical engagement with systems of power, resistance in persistence, and healing through relationships. I’m excited to meet you!



Issues I Treat:

  • Complex Childhood Trauma (C-PTSD)
  • Gender Dysphoria/Gender Identity
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • PTSD
  • Life Changes/Adjustments
  • Relationship Challenges
  • Family of Origin Complexity
  • Abuse History
  • Gender Affirming Letter Writing

Populations I Serve:

  • Mixed Race and/or Bi-Cultural
  • Transplants to Minnesota
  • Masters and PhD Students
  • Early Career Professors
  • Trans Adults
  • Queer and Poly Relationships
  • Complex Childhood Trauma Survivors
  • Young Adults
  • Activists
  • People transitioning from student to career
  • Adults 50+
  • Artists & Creatives
  • LGBTQ2SIA+
  • BIPOC

Professional background:



Education

  • MSW in Clinical Mental Health, University of Minnesota-Twin Cities
  • MA in Philosophy, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
  • BA in Philosophy, Hendrix College-Conway, Arkansas
  • BA in Religion, Hendrix College-Conway, Arkansas

Trainings

  • Minnesota Psychoanalytic Society and Institute Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy PostGraduate Training Program
  • WPATH-GEI Foundations Course
  • Narrative Exposure Therapy Training Certificate (Trauma Treatment)

Previous Employment

  • University of Minnesota-Twin Cities School of Social Work, MSW Program
  • Hamm Memorial Psychiatric Clinic
  • Relate Counseling Center
  • MPSI Psychotherapy Center
  • Kente Circle
  • Urban Research Outreach Engagement Center (UROC), University of Minnesota Researcher for Projects: Mapping the Demand for Sex with Trafficked Individuals in Minnesota and Workers’ Experiences in Strip Clubs
  • Karen Organization of Minnesota & GoodWill Easter Seals Hmong and Karen Being Well Program

Licensure

  • Minnesota, Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker, License #26318