Julie Christianson, MSW LICSW Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker
Julie holds a master’s degree in clinical social work from the School of Social Work at the University of St. Thomas and the College of St. Catherine. She has over 10 years experience providing clinical and developmental services, and is also a Circle of Security Registered Parent Educator. A majority of her professional experience has been providing therapy and consultative services to young children and their families dealing with difficulties such as anxiety, attachment, depression, trauma, selective mutism, ADHD, sensory integration issues, and self regulation, both emotional and behavioral. Julie has worked in a variety of settings, including a non-profit outpatient office, school systems, a shelter, and a day treatment center, providing both direct clinical services as well as consultation to other professionals. Throughout her work, she has found importance in building trusting relationships, and creating an atmosphere where clients feel engaged and comfortable. She believes developing an understanding of a client’s unique needs and circumstances is essential, and collaborating to find solutions often brings the most positive and longest lasting results. Therapeutic frameworks which influence her work include attachment, developmental, and psychodynamic theories. She believes in the dignity of the human person, and strives to help others create balance and feel at peace in their lives.
Jennifer Gish, MA LICSW Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker
Jennifer holds a master's degree from the University of Northern Colorado in counseling psychology and an undergraduate degree in elementary education from the University of Minnesota. She has over 20 years of experience and enjoys working with clients with the following issues: adoption, asperger's children and coaching their parents, anxiety, depression, grief and loss, chronic illness and chronic illness management to help live a more qualitative lifestyle, pre and post counseling for bariatric surgery, life transistions, divorce, aspects of aging, trauma, job-related problems and enhancing each client's self-esteem. She works with adults of all ages as well as children and teenagers. Her philosophy is to help all clients feel safe in the therapeutic environment and help them heal through what is holding them back from from feeling and being "the best they can be." Jennifer works in a holistic manner, utilizing theories and skills from both the Eastern and Western world. By treating the mind, body and spirit as one entity, she empowers clients to handle any of life's stressors in a healthy manner. She utilizes humor as part of the healing process, and considers herself to be part therapist, part educator and part coach.
Sheila Lynn Kosek MSW LICSW LADC LSSW Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker Licensed Alcohol and Drug Counselor Licensed School Social Worker Board Approved Clinical Social Work Supervisor
Sheila holds a masters degree in clinical social work from the University of St. Thomas/College of St. Catherine, a bachelor of arts degree in psychology from Metropolitan State University, and an associate of arts degree in chemical dependency counseling from Minneapolis Community College. She has over 40 years of experience providing mental health and addiction related counseling to all age groups in outpatient mental health and treatment settings, hospitals, rehabilitation programs, and K-12 special education programs. Sheila is extensively trained in Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing (EMDR) therapy, an integrative psychotherapy approach that has been researched and proven effective for the treatment of trauma. She is also trained in Sensorimotor Psychotherapy, a mind/body/sensory approach to healing, and has advanced training in Mind/Body Medicine theory, techniques, group facilitation, and has completed Phase 1 training in the technique of Brainspotting. Sheila believes it is a courageous decision to pursue personal growth. She provides a safe, confidential and caring environment where clients are respected and supported without judgment. She enjoys working collaboratively with clients from a strength-based approach to address their life challenges and goals. She encourages clients to discover their unique inner guidance. Sheila works from a client-centered, holistic/integrative framework, utilizing mind/body techniques, brain science research, developmental/attachment approaches and mindfulness skills. These may include integrating breath techniques, guided imagery, movement, emotional self-regulation skills, family of origin exploration, and focused awareness/relaxation/stress reduction skills. These approaches to the healing process offer understanding and compassion for oneself as a prelude to lasting change. Sheila believes clients are experts in their lives and strives to honor each clients evolving needs, goals, and timing throughout the therapy process. Sheila welcomes the opportunity to work with pre-teens/teens, adults, families, and elder/seniors. Clinical specialties include: depression, anxiety (including panic), trauma and post traumatic stress disorder, relationship and family of origin issues, addiction and co-dependency recovery issues, life transitions, workplace challenges, and stress management. She has a special interest in working with dual diagnosis (mental health/addictions/co-dependency) and with clients choosing to enhance recovery lifestyles or struggling with recovery. She specializes in working with clients pursuing a meditative/yoga/spiritual path who are experiencing emotional challenges. She is a Minnesota Board approved clinical social work supervisor and provides clinical supervision to graduate and post graduate social workers. She endeavors to assist clients to realize their inner wisdom and to live it fully. Sheila has practiced meditation,yoga, and mindfulness for 30 years and believes nature is a great healer. “There is something inside you that will always tell you the truth” ~Swami Rama
Katie Schober-Ordoñez, MS LPC Licensed Professional Counselor Amanda (Holmberg) Sasek, MS LMFT, Supervisor
Katie holds a master's of science degree in community counseling from Saint Cloud State University. She holds a bachelor of arts degree in English from Simpson College in Indianola, Iowa. Katie’s approach is based on collaboratively examining and deconstructing the impact of power dynamics and social expectations in order to help individuals overcome barriers to achieving life satisfaction. Katie’s areas of interest include working with individuals who have experienced sexual assault, bereaved individuals, or those experiencing the effects of social oppression on the basis of race, ability, gender, sexual orientation, religion, socioeconomic status, or immigration status. Katie is happy to help any interested individual or couple to explore the experience and impact of sexuality and/or gender identity. Katie is very passionate about providing a non-judgmental atmosphere for individuals to navigate difficult life situations and fully realize his/her potential.
Amanda (Holmberg) Sasek, MS LMFT Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist Sex Therapist Director of Training Co-founder of the Sexual Wellness Institute
Amanda holds a master's degree in marriage & family therapy from the University of Wisconsin-Stout. She holds a bachelor's degree in family social science, sexuality, and sociology from the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities. Amanda is also a Minnesota Board Approved Supervisor and supervises masters level interns and post graduate mental health professionals. Amanda is trained in Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) and utilizes it to help clients reprocess disturbing or traumatic life experiences. Amanda believes in empowering clients to access their own strengths and resources in order to get through the many challenges that life throws us. She is a systems therapist that believes in incorporating major relationships into the therapeutic conversation. She is a collaborative therapist that utilizes the therapeutic relationship as a part of the healing process. She is passionate about working with those experiencing the following: teens, relational/couple concerns, sexuality concerns, history of abuse, trauma/PTSD, and depression/anxiety. She works well with teens, adults, and couples of all ages and sexual orientations. She has extensive training and experience in working with those who have experienced an unwanted or traumatic sexual experience. She uses sex therapy as part of treatment when appropriate, and works to help clients feel empowered by their sexuality in a safe and validating environment.
Leah Faiad Masters Intern Amanda (Holmberg) Sasek, MS LMFT, Supervisor
Leah is currently a graduate student at the University of Wisconsin – Stout, training to become a licensed marriage and family therapist. She holds a bachelors degree in child, youth & family studies from the University of Wisconsin – Stevens Point. She has a background in child development and enjoys the challenges that young children and teens provide, especially through the lens of Family Systems Theory. With her bachelors degree she has worked in a variety of settings which include an elementary school, youth residential program, as well as work in academia where she currently holds a graduate assistantship completing research on families and aging. She is also passionate about serving underprivileged populations which has led her to numerous volunteer experiences overseas.
Erin Gates, MA LMFT Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist
Erin holds a master's degree in marriage and family therapy from the Minnesota School of Professional Psychology at Argosy University. She is a certified Prepare/Enrich Counselor. Erin enjoys working with families who are dealing with co-parenting after a divorce, blended family concerns, parenting skills, and individuals learning to heal from unhealthy or abusive relationships. Erin has experience working with adolescents who struggle with emotional and behavioral issues at home and at school. In addition, she has an interest in working with youth who are victims of bullying, GLBconcerns, are involved in unhealthy dating relationships, and who need support while adjusting in blended family situations. Erin also has experience working with individuals experiencing depression, anxiety, low self esteem and difficulty with stage of life transitions. Erin provides therapy through the use of solution focused, strengths based and experiential models. Erin believes it is important to develop collaborative relationship with clients in order to achieve success in therapy."
Amanda Hohag, MS LPCC LMFT Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist
Amanda holds a master's degree in community counseling and a certificate in marriage & family therapy from Saint Cloud State University. She holds a bachelor's degree in psychology from Winona State University. Amanda enjoys working with adults & adolescents, as individuals or within a family or couple relationship. Some areas of special interest include depression, anxiety, disruptive behaviors, self esteem, communication skills, adjustment issues, parent/child conflicts, life transitions, and relationship/marital difficulties. Her approach to therapy is strength based and collaborative, with an emphasis on building a positive therapeutic relationship. Amanda also has a certificate in Animal-Assisted Therapy from Oakland University and includes her therapy dog, Willow, in some of her work. Amanda strives to create a comfortable & safe environment for clients to explore and process the patterns they have created and may wish to change. "I strongly believe in the power of change and that every person has the ability to find health and balance in his or her life."
Willow Hohag Therapy Dog with Amanda Hohag, MS LPCC LMFT
Willow is a therapy dog, completing the formal training for certification, who works with her owner Amanda Hohag. She is a 4 year-old Lab/Poodle mix who loves to meet new clients! Willow and Amanda work together to provide Animal-Assisted Therapy (AAT) which utilizes the benefits of the human-animal bond. Willow helps to bring a sense of comfort and safety to the therapeutic process, while also providing humor and a soft coat to pet. Willow is hypoallergenic - which means she does not shed and usually does not bother those with minor pet allergies. Willow is included in therapy on designated days at the office.
Cindy LaChance-Lindberg, MA LMFT RPT Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist Registered Play Therapist
Cindy holds a master's degree in marriage and family therapy from St. Mary’s University. She holds bachelor's degrees in education and human ecology from the University of Minnesota. For over 20 years, Cindy has enjoyed being both a parent and having a career as a licensed parent educator working with children, teens, couples and families. She draws on a combination of this rich experience and her training as a therapist when supporting individuals and families as they move through difficult life transitions. Cindy particularly enjoys working with people through marital changes, managing children’s intense emotions and behaviors, and navigating the complexity of family dynamics. Cindy has an admiration for those who have the courage to seek assistance when the inevitable challenges that life brings are difficult to manage. She works to help her clients create a safe space for the personal exploration that she believes is necessary for reflection and change.
Sherry O'Malley MA LP Licensed Psychologist
Sherry holds a master's degree in counseling and psychological Services from St. Mary's University and a bachelor's degree in social work from St. Cloud State University. She has over 23 years of experience in the counseling field, working with individuals, couples and families on a wide variety of issues. Her areas of interest and expertise include working with people who experience anxiety, depression, shame issues, family of origin issues, physical and sexual abuse, domestic abuse, parenting issues, PTSD, work issues, communication difficulties, grief and loss, and adoption issues. She also works with people who are dealing with autism spectrum issues and chemical dependency issues. Sherry seeks to develop a trusting, caring relationship with her clients, to facilitate their sense of well being and reach their goals in therapy. She draws from many theoretical frameworks to help clients address areas of concern, including Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Family Systems Therapy, EMDR, and Psychodynamic Theory. She tailors the therapy experience to meet each client's unique needs.
Sophia Pimsler, MA Therapist Amanda (Holmberg) Sasek, MS LMFT, Supervisor
Sophia holds a master's degree in marriage & family therapy from Saint Mary's University of Minnesota and a bachelor's degree in dance with a minor in alcohol & drug studies from Minnesota State University, Mankato. She has a special interest in working with couples and is LGBTQ & Alternative Lifestyle friendly. She enjoys working with college students and/or recent college graduates as well as those who have experienced social oppression related to gender, sexual orientation, race, or immigration status. Sophia also provides therapeutic services for performing artists and/or athletes who struggle with Sports Performance Anxiety. Sophia has experience in providing services for blended family concerns, Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), military/veterans concerns, anxiety, and depression. Sophia provides clients an opportunity to connect the mind and body in sustaining a healthier life. Sophia's extensive training and practice as a therapist is integrated with her work as a professional dancer and choreographer to facilitate a holistic healing approach. She uses a variety of theories and techniques to best suit the specific needs of each client including narrative, feminist, experiential, collaborative, and expressive arts therapy. Sophia frequently incorporates meditation, music, visual arts, and movement into her practice to assist clients in articulating their experiences. Prior to her affiliation with Rum River Counseling, Sophia worked as a Applied Behavioral Analyst (ABA) at center-based practice for children diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder and at an outpatient chemical dependency center as a therapist and group counselor. Sophia is hopeful that through her integration of holistic techniques, humor and compassion, her clients will find inner peace.
Pauline Svare, MA LMFT Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist
Pauline holds a master’s degree in marriage and family therapy from Argosy University. She holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology and human services from Upper Iowa University. She has over ten years working in the social services field. Her experience includes providing therapy to teenagers in a school-based setting and skill-based therapeutic services to adults. She has experience working with families, individuals, and co-facilitating therapy groups. Pauline’s areas of interest include working with people who struggle with anxiety, depression, family of origin issues, traumatic experiences, new life transitions, and families. Her goal is to walk along with clients to their own solutions by developing a warm, trusting, and caring relationship with clients. Pauline uses a variety of theories and techniques; with an emphasis on a client-centered approach.
Diane Sparish Masters Intern Amanda (Holmberg) Sasek, MS LMFT, Supervisor
Diane is pursuing a master’s degree in marriage and family therapy from Bethel Seminary. She strives to create a trusting, judgment-free, empowering environment and is passionate about helping individuals, couples, and families feel their best, improve relationships, and meet their goals. With more than twenty years of experience in leadership and professional development, Diane has a special interest in helping those with busy and successful work lives apply their many skills to their relationships and family life. Diane is a certified Prepare/Enrich Counselor. She is a member of the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts (AFCC), Association of American Marriage and Family Therapists (AAMFT), and Minnesota Association of Marriage and Family Therapist (MAMFT).
Rum River Counseling Phone (763) 482-9598 Fax (612) 235-6447