Chelse Bolin, MSW, LICSWchelse@affinitypsych.com

Chelse Bolin, MSW, LICSW

chelse@affinitypsych.com

Hello & welcome! My name is Chelse and I am a Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker in Minnesota.

I’m glad you are here, and I want to give you a high five! Making the choice to start therapy can feel scary and vulnerable. You may feel like you don’t know where to start. I am here to guide you through this experience.

Everyone can make positive changes in their lives, and therapy is one of the most useful experiences we have at our disposal to make such changes. Therapy is an opportunity to be seen, heard, and understood. It is a place where you will receive significant support, gather new tools, and develop new skills to support you in life.




How I Work

These are the 3 most important things I want you to know before we start to work together-
1. I believe you are the expert on yourself and your life (even if you don’t believe this is true yet).
2. I value our relationship.
3. To feel comfortable talking about yourself in therapy, you need to feel safe. This is my number one goal – to create a safe space for you and the work we do together. After we achieve that, the rest will follow, and you will set the pace.


How We Will Work

You can expect me to bring compassion, respect, and direct communication to our work. You can trust that I know there is equal room in therapy for processing pain and fear as there is for celebration. I expect you to bring your honesty. I genuinely care about your well-being and I’m here to walk through this chapter of your life with you so that you feel supported and hopeful for the future.

I will recommend books for you to read, positive social media to consider for inspiration (if you wish), and reflection activities and/or journaling to do in between sessions.


What Sets Me Apart As a Therapist?

As an out and open Queer woman, I bring the knowledge and empathy of a queer experience to the therapeutic relationship. I find it a privilege to work with people who are on their journey of self exploration and healing. Whether its related to sexuality and gender, interpersonal relationships or a major life transition, my intention is to help you find balance, bravery, compassion and motivation to work towards your goals.

My clinical approaches are client-centered and relational. By exploring relationships from the past and in the present you can answer questions about yourself and others that you are unsure of. You can reflect and improve self awareness. I want to provide you the space to be open with yourself and attend to what comes up through this process.

I look forward to working with you.



Issues I Treat:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Sexuality and gender exploration
  • Mood disorders
  • Trauma (excluding sexual abuse)
  • Life transitions
  • Codependency
  • Substance use
  • Grief and loss
  • LGBT+ experiences
  • Impacts of Diet Culture, Fat phobia and Negative Body Image
  • Relationship transitions
  • Self esteem
  • Self compassion

Populations I Serve:

  • Teens age 14 and up
  • Young adults
  • Adults
  • LGBT+ folks
  • Poly/Open/Non monogamous folks

Professional background:



Education

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

Previous Employment

  • Abbott Northwestern Hospital
  • Unity Hospital

Licensure

  • Minnesota: LICSW #23169

Melissa Larson

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

Melissa Larson

Melissa Larson, MSW, LICSW

melissa.larson@affinitypsych.com

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




How I Work

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

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


What Sets Me Apart As a Therapist?

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

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



Issues I Treat:

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

Populations I Serve:

  • Adults
  • Young Adults
  • Couples
  • Parents

Professional background:



Education

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

Trainings

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

Previous Employment

  • PrairieCare
  • Associates in Psychiatry & Psychology

Licensure

  • Minnesota: LICSW #26844

Vlad Gordeyev, MS, LMFT vlad@affinitypsych.com

Vlad Gordeyev, MS, LMFT

vlad@affinitypsych.com

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




How I Work

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

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


What Sets Me Apart As a Therapist?

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

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

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



Issues I Treat:

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

Populations I Serve:

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

Professional background:



Education

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

Trainings

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

Previous Employment

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

Licensure

  • Iowa: LMFT # 082182

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

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

Kelly Cook, MSW, LICSW kelly.cook@affinitypsych.com

Kelly Cook, MSW, LICSW

kelly.cook@affinitypsych.com

Hi! I’m Kelly Cook. I am a Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker. I am a transplant from Topeka, Kansas where I received my Bachelor of Social Work Degree from Washburn University. I received my Master of Social Work Degree from The University of Missouri at Kansas City. I provide individual therapy to women and men, from young adults to those young at heart!




How I Work

My office is a judgment free zone! I see myself as that GPS system in your car. You’re in the driver’s seat, and you decide where you want to go. I will give you some direction, track you, guide you, recalculate with you, and help you reach your goals. You always have the choice to change routes or choose a different destination. If something doesn’t work for you, or you feel uncertain about it, or you don’t understand it, we’ll talk about it and try something different. You are your own best expert, and I will work to be the guide you need on your journey.


What Sets Me Apart As a Therapist?

My clients have told me they feel respected and listened to. I give clients all the credit for the work we do in my office. As an experienced therapist, I see the value in learning where clients are at in their life journey. I will celebrate the good things in your life and be there to help you process those disappointing things in life. I like to create a warm inviting environment where people feel relaxed. Grab a cup of coffee or my personal favorite, Diet Dr. Pepper, and let’s chat!

I like to laugh and see the good things in everything. I may even regale you with mindless classic rock/Monkees and Peanuts trivia! (I promise not to go overboard!)



Issues I Treat:

  • Adoption
  • Anxiety
  • Bipolar Disorder
  • Complex Trauma
  • Depression
  • Grief/Loss
  • LGBT issues

Populations I Serve:

  • Women
  • Men
  • Young Adults
  • LGBT folks

Professional background:



Education

  • Master of Social Work – University of Missouri at Kansas City
  • Bachelor of Social Work – Washburn University, Topeka, Kansas

Trainings

  • EMDR training
  • DBT training

Previous Employment

  • Cook Counseling Service
  • Psychotherapeutic Resources
  • Central Minnesota Mental Health
  • Compass Mental Health in Phoenix, Arizona
  • Jayhawk Area Agency on Aging in Lawrence, Kansas

License

  • Minnesota: LICSW 17541

Kelsey Miller, MA, LPCC kelsey@affinitypsych.com

Kelsey Miller, MA, LPCC

kelsey@affinitypsych.com

Welcome! Look at you reading a therapist’s bio and taking a big step towards improving your mental health! I’m Kelsey and I’m a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor and MN Board Approved Supervisor. I work with children, adolescents, young adults, adults, and parents. I have a background in working with adoption as well as children in foster care. I specialize in helping those that struggle with anxiety, depression, transitions, life stressors, relationships, and parenting difficulties. I have a Masters in Counseling from the University of North Dakota. I look forward to helping you explore, challenge, and re-frame the factors that are preventing you from living the life you want.




How I Work

The three hardest things to say: 1. I was wrong. 2. I need help. 3. Worcestershire Sauce. As a therapist I am humorous, genuine, direct, passionate, validating, and creative. I take the context of your life experiences and help you understand how they link to your current challenges. This could be reflecting on how you were parented and the challenges you currently have with your children or how the way you handle certain life stressors impact how you handle stressors in other areas of your life.

Also, you will learn that I bring LOTS of interventions to our sessions! I use different tools and techniques depending on the exact needs of my clients. This could be crafts and books to support children and adolescents who are working through difficult experiences. Or visual aids (which I LOVE) to explain why “we do what we do” when we feel different emotions or have reminders of past painful experiences. And as you can tell, I enjoy bringing humor and motivational quotes to sessions as a way to lighten the mood and allow you to leave the office feeling ready and able to take on big changes!


What Sets Me Apart As a Therapist?

I show up to sessions ready to create a space with you where you feel comfortable being vulnerable. When you are going through some of the most challenging parts of your life, you need someone who will be right there with you. I think of us as partners on this journey, and I truly value that you allow me to be a part of your process. There is no better professional gratification than seeing you take what you’ve learned in session and begin to use it in your own life!



Issues I Treat:

  • LGBTQIA+ issues
  • Trauma
  • Anxiety
  • Life Stressors
  • Adoption
  • Foster Care
  • Parenting Challenges
  • Behavioral Issues
  • Depression
  • Self-esteem
  • Relationship Issues
  • Parent-Child
  • Relationship Difficulties

Populations I Serve:

  • Individual Adults
  • Adolescents and Young Adults
  • Children 7 and older with anxiety difficulties
  • Blended-Families
  • Parents with young children

Professional background:



Education

  • Masters in Counseling – University of North Dakota
  • Bachelors in Rehabilitation and Human Services- University of North Dakota

Trainings

  • MN LPCC Board-Approved Supervisor
  • Certified Circle of Security Parent Facilitator
  • Certification in Permanency and Adoption Competency
  • Certification in Trauma Focused- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

Previous Employment

  • St. David’s Center for Child and Family Development
  • Clinical Team Lead of the Treatment Foster Care Program
  • Clinical Supervisor in the Intensive Family Mental Health Program providing individual/family psychotherapy and clinical supervision.

License

  • Minnesota: LPCC #cc01511

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

Matthew “Matt” Thompson, MA, LPCC matt@affinitypsych.com

Matthew “Matt” Thompson, MA, LPCC

matt@affinitypsych.com

Hi! I’m a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor and hold a Master of Arts in Counseling from Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota. I work with adults and older adolescents who are looking to figure out how to have a happier, more rewarding, or less lonely time on planet Earth.

I became a therapist because I don’t want anyone to have to go it alone. The world can be unfair, frightening, stubborn, and lonely. I know the power of one person taking the time to listen and care. I hope I can be that person for you.




How I Work

There are as many ways to do therapy as there are therapists in the world, so everyone’s got their own set of beliefs and expectations about what it means to be in therapy. Here’s what it means to me: therapy is a conversation and a journey of exploration. Sometimes we look at big questions. What do you want out of your life? What’s getting in the way? What do you wish was different? Sometimes the questions are a little smaller. Are you having trouble saying something to someone? How do you feel about your job? What are you having trouble with right now?

Either way, I strive to create a space where your story is heard and taken seriously. It’s easy to talk ourselves out of prioritizing our feelings, needs, and boundaries only to end up feeling stuck, unhappy, and alone. My job is to help you become your best resource in order to make positive change. I will listen with an open mind to help you explore how your past experiences have shaped both your present and your expectations of the future. I will also provide honest feedback and challenge you to take ownership of the power you have in your life. Together, we’ll chart a course that allows you to move forward and make the changes you want.


What Sets Me Apart As a Therapist?

I believe who we are and what we value is reflected in our hobbies, views on current events, and everything else we spend time and attention thinking about. I want to hear about what’s important to you, not just what’s weighing you down.

As a therapist, I embrace my own humanity, meaning my individual experiences, quirks, and limitations play a role in our work together. I don’t promote a rigid single model of what it means to be mentally healthy and I don’t presume to be an authority on every person’s life experience. Therapy works not because I have all the answers that apply to everyone, but because we can team up and share our unique perspectives to figure out the answers that are right and helpful to you.

Also, I use a lot of hastily-improvised nautical and automotive metaphors that inevitably fall apart halfway through and go off the rails. Train metaphors, too, apparently.



Issues I Treat:

  • Life Transitions
  • Adjustment issues
  • Romantic/Family Relationships
  • Peer/Colleague/Friend Relationships
  • Identity Exploration
  • Men’s Issues
  • Toxic Masculinity
  • Grief & Loss
  • Anger
  • Anxiety & Stress
  • Depression
  • Self-esteem
  • School/Work/Life Balance

Populations I Serve:

  • Adults
  • Motivated Adolescents
  • Undergraduate/Graduate Students
  • LGBTQIA+
  • Nerds, punks, misfits, and others who never felt they had a place to belong

Professional background:



Education

  • MA in Counseling & Psychological Services – Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota – Minneapolis, MN

  • BA in Theatre Arts & Japanese – University of Wisconsin – Eau Claire, WI

Previous Employment

  • Headway Emotional Health
  • Radias Health (formerly South Metro Human Services)
  • Walk-In Counseling Center
  • Prior work in fields of Information Technology & International Education

Licensure

  • MN: LPCC #2226

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