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 master's 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 The Comprehensive Resource Model, a wholistic approach to addressing and integrating trauma. Additionally, Sheila is 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
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.
Liz Lanari Masters Intern Amanda Sasek, MS LMFT, Supervisor
Liz is completing her master's degree in marriage and family therapy at the University of St. Mary's. She holds a bachelor's degree in music performance from the University of St. Thomas. Liz has experience in crisis work and is a Certified Crisis Worker through the American Association of Suicidology and is certified in Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training and Psychological First Aid. She is also a certified PREPARE/ENRICH facilitator for premarital couples. She enjoys working with individuals, couples, and families across the lifespan, with specific interest in working with those dealing with depression, anxiety, family communication difficulties, self-esteem, couple conflict, family conflict, and health & wellness. Her style of therapy is warm, relational and insight oriented, with elements of narrative, attachment, and emotion-focused therapy. Liz believes that the most important part of therapy is the relationship between therapist and client, and aims to create a non-judgemental, validating environment in order to help clients move toward their goals
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.
Amanda Sasek, MS LMFT Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist Board Approved LMFT & LPCC Supervisor Sex Therapist
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 LMFT Board & AAMFT 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.
Hannah Madsen Masters Intern Amanda Sasek, MS LMFT, Supervisor
Hannah is completing her master’s degree in marriage and family therapy at the University of Wisconsin- Stout and holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of Minnesota-Duluth. Her work experience expands across all ages, from in-home therapy with children and families, to providing care for elderly residents in assisted living. Hannah is interested in mental health care across the lifespan and applies family systems models to understand an individual’s experience. Her areas of interest include blended families, family conflict, anxiety, depression, sexuality, life transitions, child development and parenting stress. She strives to provide a welcoming and warm environment where collaboration with an individual and family around their journey is highly valued.
Rum River Counseling Phone (763) 482-9598 Fax (612) 235-6447