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

Melissa Stricklin, MA, LPCC melissa@affinitypsych.com

Melissa Stricklin, MA, LPCC

melissa@affinitypsych.com

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




How I Work

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

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

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


What Sets Me Apart As a Therapist?

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



Issues I Treat:

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

Populations I Serve:

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

Professional background:



Education

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

Trainings

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

  • Clinical Trauma Professional Level 1

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

  • Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT)

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

  • Telehealth for Mental Health Therapists

Previous Employment

  • Mental Health Systems (MHS)

Licensure

  • Minnesota, LPCC, cc02560

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

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

Abby Heisserer, MA, LPCC abby.heisserer@affinitypsych.com

Abby Heisserer, MA, LPCC

abby.heisserer@affinitypsych.com

Hi, hello, and welcome! My name is Abby (she/her) and I’m a licensed professional clinical counselor in Minnesota as well as a certified clinical trauma professional. I have a Bachelor’s degree in psychology from Viterbo University in La Crosse, Wisconsin, and a Master’s in counseling and psychological services from Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota.

Those degrees are what make me a professional, but what makes me awesome is that I have a goal to visit all 30 major league baseball stadiums, I am the mother to two guinea pigs who only tolerate my love because I feed them, I won a hay bale tossing contest three consecutive years in high school, and I have a very real passion for helping people manage their mental health to create a life of meaning, fulfillment, purpose, and a sense of control over their own destiny.




How I Work

Going to therapy can be intimidating, so my first priority in our work together will be helping you to feel safe in our therapeutic space. I want you to feel like you’re talking to a real person, and not a “therapy robot” using psychological terms and jargon that’s impossible to understand, let alone apply to your life!

I take an extremely collaborative approach because you and I are experts on different things. You are the expert on yourself (even if it doesn’t always feel like it!). And I am an expert on a lot of stuff that we will help you implement in order to reach your goals. I want to help you identify and expand on the strengths that you already have, so they can be adapted to multiple aspects of your life. Along with my strengths-based approach, I also utilize aspects of cognitive behavior therapy, narrative therapy, acceptance and commitment therapy, and implement all of these with a foundation of trauma-informed, person-centered care.


What Sets Me Apart As a Therapist?

I decided a long time ago, back during my hay bale tossing days, that if I was going to spend 40 hours of my week working, I wanted to do something that was meaningful and helped people. I found the perfect combination of this in therapy.

Many of my previous clients have said to me that they appreciate the way I can balance the heavy and the light, using humor and empathy to discuss mental health and trauma using a non-judgmental approach. (I will, however, judge you harshly for being a Yankees fan. Consider yourself warned.) I want all of my clients to feel that while they are talking to a professional capable of providing real help to manage their mental health and life challenges, they are also talking to a person with whom they can be vulnerable and authentic.



Issues I Treat:

  • Trauma
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Women’s Issues
  • Personality Disorders
  • Severe and Persistent Mental Illness

Populations I Serve:

  • Adults and Adolescents
  • Individuals
  • Couples
  • Victim/Survivors
  • LGBTQ+

Professional background:



Education

  • BS in Psychology- Viterbo University, La Crosse, WI

  • MA in Counseling and Psychological Services, Minneapolis, MN

Trainings

  • Certified Clinical Trauma Professional (CCTP) Intensive Training

  • Sexual Assault Advocacy Training

  • ACT for PTSD, Anxiety, Depression & Personality Disorders

  • LGBTQ Clients in Today’s World: Treatment Strategies for Gender & Sexual Identity Issues

Previous Employment

  • Touchstone Mental Health

Licensure

  • Minnesota: LPCC #2308

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)

Magan Callaway, MSW, LICSW magan@affinitypsych.com

Magan Callaway, MSW, LICSW

magan@affinitypsych.com

Welcome! I’m Magan (she/her/hers) and I’m a Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker (LICSW). I received my Bachelors in Social Work from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire and my Masters in Social Work from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. As you might have guessed, I’m a former Wisconsinite! Now I’m glad to have called Minnesota my home for the last 10 years. I love to spend any free time that I have exploring local trails/parks or sitting outside with a cup of coffee and a good book (usually an audiobook).




How I Work

I’m an empathetic problem-solver. Just what does that mean, exactly? Good question! It means I am all about two things – connecting with you and helping you get where you want to go. In fact, it’s the connection we create that informs how we figure out your next steps, together.

For me, this means creating a warm, affirming, and judgement-free space where you can feel safe to be your authentic self. I have been told I’m wholeheartedly present in sessions, and my clients feel I’m centered in the moment with them. I want you to feel safe, heard, seen, and empowered. Only then can we uncover and cultivate your true resiliency.

And I do believe you are resilient! I am a strength-based therapist to my very core. Even when various systems around you get in the way of living the life you were meant to, which definitely happens sometimes, I still 100% believe you are capable and that we can find a way forward. Sometimes my job is to help you uncover that awareness and/or learn to believe in it for yourself.


What Sets Me Apart As a Therapist?

I’m a lesbian cisgender queer woman and understand the courage and daily work it takes to live fully as our authentic selves. I don’t claim to have all the answers. What I can offer is to put in the work, stay informed, seek out information and not to shy away from thinking outside the box to find something that resonates for you. I truly believe we’re all doing the best we can. If you’re ready to take the next step or have questions, I’m here and eager to connect with you.



Schedule an Appointment!

Issues I Treat:

  • Mood disorders
  • Anxiety
  • Ongoing, persistent mental health struggles
  • Trauma
  • Shame
  • Grief and loss
  • Substance use disorders
  • Personality disorders
  • Sexaulity and gender exploration
  • Self-worth
  • Life transitions
  • Family/relationship struggles

Populations I Serve:

  • LGBTQIA+ communities
  • Adolescents and young adults
  • Adults
  • Marginalized communities
  • Survivors
  • Helping professionals
  • Caregivers

Professional background:



Education

  • Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) – University of Wisconsin – Eau Claire
  • Master of Social Social Work (MSW) – University of Wisconsin – Madison

Trainings

  • Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
  • Dialectical Behavioral Therapy
  • Attachment Focused Therapy
  • Personality Disorders
  • DC-05: Diagnostic Classification of Mental Health and Developmental Disorders of Infancy and Early Childhood
  • Telehealth for Mental Health Professionals

Previous employment:

  • HealthStar Home Health (current)
  • Out for Equity of the St. Paul Public Schools

Licensure:

  • #22605

Jeffrey 5x7

Jeffrey Brunsgaard, MA, LPCC jeffrey@affinitypsych.com

Jeffrey 5x7

Jeffrey Brunsgaard, MA, LPCC

jeffrey@affinitypsych.com

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

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




How I Work

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

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

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


What Sets Me Apart As a Therapist?

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

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



Schedule an Appointment!

Issues I Treat:

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

Populations I Serve:

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

Professional background:



Education

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

Trainings

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

Previous employment:

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

Licensure:

  • Minnesota: LPCC #cc01755

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

Tessa Wolden, MA, ATR-BC, LPCC

tessa@affinitypsych.com

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

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




How I Work

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

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


What Sets Me Apart As a Therapist?

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

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

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



Schedule an Appointment!

Issues I Treat:

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

Populations I Serve:

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

Professional background:



Education

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

Trainings

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

Previous employment:

  • St. David’s Center
  • Accend Services

Licensure:

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