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

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

Sherry Fridlund, MA, LPsherry@affinitypsych.com

Sherry Fridlund, MA, LP

sherry@affinitypsych.com

Hello! I am Sherry Fridlund. I am a Licensed Psychologist with 26 years’ experience working with children through seniors. I am a Minnesota native, and I enjoy everything from boating to snowmobiling. I received my Master’s degree from Saint Mary’s University in Minneapolis, and I have worked in the metro area ever since. I have worked with a wide variety of clients across my career, and I can help clients with many challenges including depression, anxiety, trauma, sexuality exploration, and family problems. I also have a special interest in working with those who have autism or think they have autism, and the families and partners who are navigating life while supporting their autistic loved ones.




How I Work

I love helping you problem-solve and learn the skills you need to take the next steps in your life! I offer clients my complete time, attention, and accumulated wisdom in our sessions together, so that you know you have a true partner in your journey. I practice from a strengths-based approach, which means that I am laser-focused on helping you find, know, and celebrate what you’re great at! Then we can use that as the foundation to build additional skills and abilities to help you further your goals. Along the way, I will provide clear and direct instructions for a variety of skills and will work with you to practice these skills in our sessions. Together we will non-judgmentally process your emotions, help you to understand yourself better, and implement the strategies that will move you towards the goals you seek.


What Sets Me Apart As a Therapist?

I have a long, successful history helping individuals with a wide variety of symptoms and diagnoses. At this point in my career, I can confidently support you in nearly any mental health challenge or life transition you are facing. As you face whatever difficult situation you are in, I want to utilize my accumulated clinical wisdom and expertise to help you and/or your families better understand yourself and your unique strengths. And if you are a person with autism, or someone who loves a person with autism, it may be helpful to know that I have lived experience with family members who have struggled to understand autism in themselves and that have been misdiagnosed by others, which is particularly true for women and adult adults.



Issues I Treat:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Trauma
  • Autism Spectrum
  • Personality Disorders
  • Bipolar Disorder
  • Schizophrenia
  • LGBTQ Issues
  • Relationship issues
  • Life Stressors
  • Behavioral Issues

Populations I Serve:

  • Individual Adults
  • Adolescents 15 and up
  • Families
  • Individuals on the Autism Spectrum
  • LGBTQ Individuals

Professional background:



Education

  • Master’s in counseling, Saint Mary’s University

  • Bachelor’s in psychology, North Central University


Trainings

  • Numerous trainings related to the topics of anxiety, depression, personality disorders and   schizophrenia

  • Specific training related to autism spectrum disorder.

  • Certificate in Telehealth Therapy.


Previous Employment

  • Res Care

  • Health Star Home Health  ( current )


Licensure

  • MN Psychologist, License LP 3367

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

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

Ashley Lange, MA, LPCC ashley@affinitypsych.com

Ashley Lange, MA, LPCC

ashley@affinitypsych.com

I’m so grateful that you’ve taken the time to look into therapy and find the right person for you, your family, or your loved one. I’m Ashley, a licenced professional clinical counselor (LPCC) with experience doing individual and family work with adolescents, teens, and adults. Whether in schools, hospitals, clinics, or at home, I have been honored to be present during crises, low points, struggles, and intense challenges. I have also been privileged enough to see people overcome, grow, change, persevere, and live their truest and most authentic lives.

Most importantly, what my experience has taught me is that mental health is never as simple as a diagnosis, a list of symptoms, what pill to take next, or what new therapy fad to use. It’s understanding the big picture, whether that involves family history, social and environmental factors, or injustice and oppression as a result of race, body size, gender, sexuality, or any other area of human bias. Mental health is often the result of trying to live in a world that makes living our best lives difficult, and I do my best to help all of my clients navigate their personal experiences with empathy and humility.

I bring practical knowledge, comprehensive clinical understanding, warmth, and a sense of humor to my work. I am so excited to get to know more about you, and help you accomplish your mental health goals.




How I Work

I attempt to bring the best of many worlds into my sessions. I value learning, education, research, knowledge, and cutting edge clinical information. I also believe strongly that every individual is their own best expert, and my primary job is to help you to access the tools within yourself to lead the life you want to live. I utilize a variety of therapeutic strategies such as CBT, DBT, MAP, mindfulness, holistic perspectives, systems therapy, and trauma informed clinical strategies.

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


What Sets Me Apart As a Therapist?

I’ve frequently been described as a specialist in “nerdy” topics, so I am always excited to talk about the latest video games, board games, or other niche hobbies with my clients. I also love to make use of fun and excitement in my therapy sessions. When I work with adolescents I will use games and activities to improve the process. But I’m not afraid to bust out games with clients of all ages! Life can and should be fun, and therapy is no different.

People describe me as a very insightful, intuitive, and thoughtful person. I bring deep empathy, compassion, a love to learn about others, and an open heart and mind to my work. I also value humor, and my sessions are often filled with laughter. That’s not to say we won’t also experience the hard things, and travel to dark places, together. Whatever we’re discussing in session, I strive to make my clients feel safe, understood, valued, and respected.



Schedule an Appointment!

Issues I Treat:

  • Trauma (particularly with adolescents)
  • ADHD
  • Body image concerns
  • Low self-esteem
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Chronic/Persistent mental illness

Populations I Serve:

  • Children and Adolescents
  • Families and couples
  • Adults of any age
  • LGBTQI+ folks
  • Parents and adolescents struggling to connect
  • Families trying to repair their relationships with one another
  • Survivors of physical and sexual abuse

Professional background:



Education

  • Master of Arts in Counseling Psychology – University of St. Thomas, St. Paul, MN
  • BA in Strategic Communications – Arizona State University, Phoenix, AZ

Previous Employment

  • Sioux Trails Mental Health Center
  • Fernbrook Family Center
  • People Incorporated
  • Sexual Violence Center

Licensure:

  • Minnesota: LPCC #cc2903

Dani Norgren, MSW, LICSW dani@affinitypsych.com

Dani Norgren, MSW, LICSW

dani@affinitypsych.com

Hi! I’m Dani (she/her/hers) and I’m a Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker in Minnesota. I received my Master’s in Social Work from St. Catherine University/The University of St. Thomas. I work with children, adolescents, adults, couples, and families using attachment- and strength-based models. Those models derive from my specialty training in EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) and the Developmental Repair Model. While my training provides me with certain tools and skill sets, I mostly enjoy just being in space with people and letting those tools flow in naturally.

However, I am sure all of the fancy lingo isn’t as important for you to know about me as the fact that I am obsessed with Schitt’s Creek or that I feel great joy anytime a new cooking/traveling show comes out. I am a proud mama to two little girls and 3 fur babies. I de-stress by cooking new recipes and dancing to loud music (especially if no one is watching).




How I Work

We all have stories and experiences that have created the complex people we are today. I aim to provide a non-judgmental and open space where you feel comfortable telling your stories, and that starts with building a trusting and safe relationship.

I will work with you through your anxiety, depression, trauma, fear, shame, and unhelpful patterns to uncover your strengths and resiliency. In order to move forward, I deeply believe that we need to look underneath our mishaps and struggles to uncover the why that drives us. I will compassionately hold you accountable to your goals and to the progress you want and need to make in order to achieve them.


What Sets Me Apart As a Therapist?

In session, and in life, my style is informal, warm, playful and compassionate. I try to show up and be my authentic self using humor, honesty and warmth. I am not a wizard with the answers to life, but I am here to journey with people to find their answers. My personal experience in the world has led me to understand the importance of being present for people and allowing them to be their full self.



Schedule an Appointment!

Issues I Treat:

  • Trauma

  • Anxiety and stress management

  • Depression

  • Identity exploration

  • Shame

  • Parenting Challenges

  • Behavioral Issues

  • Aggression

  • Grief and Loss

Populations I Serve:

  • Children (5+)

  • Adolescents

  • Adults

  • Families

  • LGBTQ+ Community

  • Trauma Survivors

  • BIPOC individuals

Professional background:



Education

  • Masters of Clinical Social Work – St. Thomas University/College of St. Catherine
  • BA in Psychology – University of Minnesota-Duluth

Previous Employment

  • Washburn Center for Children – Elementary Day Treatment
  • Greater Minnesota Family Service

Trainings:

  • EMDR Therapy Training
  • Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT)
  • Developmental Repair
  • Brief Dynamic Psychotherapy

Licensure:

  • Minnesota: LICSW #27462

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 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. Now I work with individuals 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 where 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?

My professional background is predominantly in behavioral therapy. 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
  • 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
  • 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)

Meridee Rilen, PsyD, LP, Foundermeridee@affinitypsych.com

Meridee Rilen, PsyD, LP, Founder

meridee@affinitypsych.com

Hello! I’m Dr. Meridee Rilen, founder of Affinity Psychological Services. I’m a psychologist, licensed in both Minnesota and California, where I offer individual therapy and couples therapy. I am also a coach and consultant for entrepreneurs and executives who want to strengthen and grow their businesses through deepening insights into themselves and others in their organization.

I hold an undergraduate degree in Psychology from Yale University and a doctorate in Clinical Psychology from The California School of Professional Psychology. In addition to private practice, I’ve held clinical positions at Stanford University and Kaiser Permanente Medical Center.




How I Work

I’ll admit it – I am obsessed with information-gathering in the self-improvement space. My personal libraries are chock full of books, podcasts, videos, webinars, journals, etc. And this non-fiction work represents over 95% of my information-intake in the world.

I am super intentional in surrounding myself with a range of perspectives and theories on a wide variety of topics including emotional well-being, leadership, communication, culture, relationships, change management, parenting, and on and on. There is so much incredibly useful information out there! It’s important to be aware, though:

There is no right way, and there are only a few definitively wrong ways. Seriously.

Every human, relationship, family, or organization is too unique to believe that there’s one thing that will work for everyone. Therefore, you’ll find that I have an approach more in line with: “If it works, use it. If it doesn’t work, let it go.”

That’s what I’m here for – to help you figure out what, specifically, will be useful to you in this exact situation in this exact moment of your life. You are a capable, successful human who is used to figuring things out on your own. I understand that it’s new and stressful and uncomfortable to recognize that you need different strategies right now.

My job is to work with you to: first, figure out what needs to be different; second, understand why it needs to be different; and third, learn how to make it different. With the right tools and information, I believe you are capable of reaching your goals, and we will make sure you believe that as well!


What Sets Me Apart As a Therapist?

I am chatty, a quick thinker, and I’m endlessly optimistic. I think both systemically (big picture) and systematically (details), which means I will quickly help you to put the pieces together so that you can see both the forest and the trees.

If you want to feel challenged and pushed towards your goals, I provide a lot of authentic, informed feedback to help you get there. I will see the good in you and be compassionate about your struggles, while holding you fully accountable to the changes you need to make in order to get where you want to be.

I believe that we can always do better, individually and collectively. I am highly invested in my own personal process, and I get the privilege of living out those values collectively in ensuring that Affinity as a whole is also constantly improving.

If these are the kinds of characteristics and experiences that resonate with you, then there’s a good chance you and I will work well together!



Schedule an Appointment!

Issues I Treat:

  • anxiety and stress
  • self-confidence, self-esteem, and assertiveness
  • sexuality and gender exploration
  • dating challenges and issues arising from actively seeking a relationship
  • parenting conflicts
  • gender transition, including letter-writing for hormones or surgery
  • break-ups
  • career development and navigating the work-life ratio
  • depression

Populations I Serve:

  • individuals adults and couples
  • managers, executives, entrepreneurs, and business owners
  • “type A” personalities
  • LGBTQI communities
  • couples with a partner who is transitioning
  • new parents
  • couples in conflict
  • therapists and mental health professionals
  • open, poly, and non-monogamous relationships
  • undergraduate and graduate students
  • gifted and talented individuals
  • commuters and others needing teletherapy services

Professional background:



Education

  • Doctorate in Clinical Psychology – California School of Professional Psychology at Alliant International University, San Francisco
  • BA in Psychology – Yale University

Trainings

  • Gottman Method Couples Therapy – Level 3
  • Externship in Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy (EFT)
  • Relational Life Therapy (Terry Real) – Level 1
  • Discernment Counseling
  • Telehealth for Mental Health Professionals

Previous Employment

  • Stanford University Counseling and Psychological Services
  • Post-Doctoral Residency at Kaiser Permanente Medical Center
  • Pre-Doctoral Internship at University of the Pacific

Licensure

  • Minnesota: LP #5842
  • California: PSY #23007