Meet Our Staff

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This page is dedicated to highlighting our team and giving you a better sense of who we are. The information below will help you put faces to names and give a small snapshot of what each of us does at SCS. We look forward to working with you. 

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Lead Administrative Team

Jeff Walter, Ph.D., L.P.
Jeff Walter

Pronouns: he/him/his
Interim Director

Emily O’Hara, MSS, LICSW

Headshot of Emily O’Hara

Pronouns: she/her/hers
Assistant Director for Clinical Services

Chia-Chen Tu, Ph.D., L.P.

Chia-Chen Tu

Pronouns: she/her/hers
Assistant Director/ Training Director

Ahmed Elhadidi

Headshot of Ahmed

Pronouns: he/him/his
Office Supervisor

 

Counseling Staff

Sarra Beckham-Chasnoff, Ph.D., L.P., L.M.F.T.

Sarra Beckham-Chasnoff

Pronouns: She/Her/Hers
Senior Supervising Psychologist.
Education: Ph.D. Counseling Psychology, Indiana State University.

About Me: I’ve worked in college counseling for the largest part of my career because this is a time in a person’s life where they are open to understanding themselves as adults, often for the first time. I weave a developmental approach into my work with students as they learn more about who they are and how to navigate the relationships that are important to them. I focus on emotional understanding, believing that our culture often encourages us to negate important feelings we have, leaving us to navigate our lives without fully knowing ourselves. I also look at the world with a feminist lens, believing that the gender roles and other stereotypes we are taught when we are young, and are expected to follow into adulthood, can create barriers to leading a fulfilling life. Lastly, I recognize that the people I work with are students who may be struggling with academic challenges and expectations that complicate their lives.

When I’m not at work you can likely find me running by the river, reading a library book, or cheering on my favorite football team..

Professional Interests: Prior to working at Student Counseling Services, I worked in a LGBT+ Counseling Center and I continue to find fulfillment working with students from my queer community. I also have been privileged to facilitate a grief group for students who have lost parents or siblings, and I work with grieving students individually as well.

 

Nina Hernandez Beithon, M.S.W., LICSW
Nina Hernandez Beithon

Pronouns: She/Her/Hers
Diversity Liaison Counselor
Education: M.S.W. Social Work, University of Minnesota.

About Me: My work is deeply rooted in relationships, as I believe that healing happens in relationship with others and ourselves. I approach therapy with a social justice and anti-oppressive lens which includes a profound understanding of the systems at play that impact students from oppressed communities. My personal and professional work also includes macro-level work to change systems at a larger institutional level in addition to individual and group counseling. As a mixed (Mexican/White) person I am committed to serving students from a variety of backgrounds and enjoy co-creating and exploring together in therapy what healing looks like for you. I take a holistic approach to healing as I believe that our mental wellbeing is strongly connected and in balance with other life components including academics, spirituality, politics, relationships, finances and physical health. I provide therapy in English and Spanish. In my free time, I enjoy practicing and performing with our Indigenous Mexica Danza group, reading, and spending time in nature.

Professional Interests: My professional interests include:  race-based traumatic stress, student activism, police violence, political-based oppression, Latinx populations and issues, oppression fatigue, indigenous and students of color populations and issues, traditional indigenous healing practices, interpersonal trauma, inter-generational and/or historical trauma, gender based violence (domestic and sexual violence), self-esteem, body positivity, identity exploration, LGBTQ populations and issues,  harm reduction, and cultural adjustment for 1st generation college students.

 

Amy Brandt, MSW
Headshot of Amy

Pronouns: She/Her/Hers
Embedded Counselor for College of Veterinary Medicine
Education:  M.S.W, Social Work, University of St. Thomas/University of St. Catherine

About Me: I work as the Embedded Wellness Counselor in the College of Veterinary Medicine and offer individual counseling for students in this program.  I’ve had the honor of working with many students over the years and find it very meaningful to support students on their journey of self-exploration and growth.  Life can be very stressful, especially when we are trying to balance many competing demands on our time and energy, such as academics, work, personal relationships and needs in our communities.  It’s important to me to normalize “not feeling okay” and reaching out for support when we need it.   My counseling style is compassionate, non-judgmental and strengths based.  I hope to create a space where we can gently and honestly explore where you are and identify what interventions and resources will support you the best.  

In my free time, I enjoy being in nature, spending time with my family and friends, and trying new restaurants.    

Professional Interests: I support students with different presenting concerns, such as anxiety, depression, trauma, grief and loss, academic demands and the intersection of race, culture, gender, sexuality, and spirituality.  My counseling approach draws from different strategies, such as self-compassion, relaxation training, mindfulness, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) techniques, and Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) skills.

 

Raquel Bacchin Casali, MA

Pronouns: She/Her/Hers
Intake Counselor
Education: Counseling Psychology Doctorate, University of St. Thomas (anticipated graduation: May 2026)

About Me: I strongly believe that clients know themselves better than anyone, and that it is my duty as a counselor to be a support to their individual journeys, and to provide resources that will enable them to overcome issues and make changes in their own way. I believe that therapy can address serious issues and at the same time be lighthearted, and so I strive to provide a safe, welcoming, and relaxed environment to my clients. 

Professional interests: Depression, anxiety, and self-doubt. I like to approach counseling from a person-centered perspective, integrating CBT and ACT techniques. 

 

Ian Evans, Psy.D., L.P.
Ian Evans

Pronouns: He/Him/His

Training Lead, Staff Psychologist
Education: Psy.D. Counseling Psychology, Radford University
 

About Me:  As a psychologist, I view the process of counseling as one that allows for life's difficulties to be explored and addressed within a supportive environment and trusting relationship. My general approach to therapy is from an interpersonal, emotion-focused, and positive psychotherapeutic lens, which emphasizes the meaning and emotional impact of relationships in the clients' life along with fostering personal strengths to promote holistic well-being and resiliency. Within this approach I view a warm and empathic therapeutic relationship as a primary agent of change; a relationship that actively incorporates the holistic identities and experiences that helps embody the client's full story.

Outside of the office, I enjoy spending time flipping through vinyl records at a local shop, sitting in the stands at a Twins or Wild game, and taking my dog Pickle for walks.

Professional Interests: I have strong interest in working with first-generation college students, international students, LGBTQIA+ identities, masculinity & emotion, racial/ethnic identities, and rural mental health.   My clinical interests include presenting concerns such as adjustment difficulties, anxiety and depressive disorders, emotional processing, group therapy, multicultural identity exploration, relational distress/couples counseling, suicide prevention, and trauma. Working with students and organizations outside of the therapeutic context is deeply meaningful to me. I have enjoyed providing outreach programming related to character strengths, gratitude, grief/loss, identity development, life transitions, mentoring, relationships, self-care, suicide prevention, violence prevention, and work-life balance.

 

Alexa Fetzer, Ph.D., L.P.
Alexa Fetzer

Pronouns: She/Her/Hers
Groups Coordinator, Staff Psychologist.
Education:  Ph.D. Counseling Psychology, University at Albany, SUNY.

About Me:  In my counseling work, I like to help students gain a better understanding of their current struggles, and help them identify new ways of being or relating to others that feel more genuine and meet their goals more effectively.  I believe that in coming to know ourselves and forming relationships with others, we often rely on what we’ve learned from previous experiences, or what has seemed to work in the past.  When we enter periods of transition that bring new roles, new relationships, and new experiences, our previous learned ways of being or forming relationships may not be as effective, which can lead to feelings of anxiety, depression, or relationship and identity concerns.  I enjoy working with students to gain insight into the possible “whys” of what isn’t working, and “hows” for moving forward in a way that is more genuine to who they are and to what their values and goals may be.  This inherently includes a multicultural approach, as I believe we receive many messages and “shoulds” about how to be and how to form relationships from our diverse experiences—from our family systems, our cultural values and beliefs, and surrounding sociopolitical messages and experiences.

When I’m not at work, I like to nurture my northern MN roots by camping, canoeing, and working on my loon call in the wilderness.  I also enjoy yoga, eating delicious food (emphasis on the eating—not so much on the cooking), and keeping up with an ever-growing Netflix queue

Professional Interests: My professional interests include clinical supervision and training, group counseling, diversity awareness and social justice issues, identity development, interpersonal relationship concerns, emotion regulation, mindfulness, anxiety, and depression.

 

Jake Loeffler, Psy.D, L.P.
Jake

Pronouns: He/Him/His
Outreach Coordinator, Staff Psychologist
Education: Psy.D. Clinical Psychology, Rosemead School of Psychology.

About Me:  Sometimes life happens faster than we can adapt to it and often it can be helpful to have someone navigate life during these times. I view caring for one's’ mental health as an ongoing process which requires more work during difficult chapters in life. As a counselor, I help students build resiliency through supporting their strengths and equipping them with skills to make changes to their lives. Each of us are weathering a unique season in our lives and I aim to provide assistance for today’s battles as well as confidence in one’s abilities to effectively build a life for the future. Some of my own personal values include watching and playing sports. I am a MN sports fan. I enjoy woodworking and collaborating with different creatives and makers. I cherish sunny days on the lake paddle boarding and hiking in nature. I am a foodie and enjoy frequenting the great eateries and gathering spaces around the Twin Cities. 

Professional Interests: Trained as a generalist, I work with a wide range of concerns including depression, anxiety/stress, mood disorders, trauma, academic skills development, grief, identity development, family and relationship issues, and spirituality. I work from an integrated holistic framework that incorporates person-centered, interpersonal, cognitive-behavioral and insight-oriented theories that values individual differences and diversity with the goal of identifying and developing personal strengths that will foster empowerment.

 

Meredith Martyr, Ph.D., L.P.
Meredith M

Pronouns: She/Her/Hers
Embedded Wellness Psychologist
Education: Ph.D. Counseling and Student Personnel Psychology, University of Minnesota.

I believe that counseling is a collaborative process where we both ‘lean in’ together and I support your inherent wisdom & strengths. I am typically described as warm, empathic, and honest while incorporating an appropriate sense of humor. I consistently incorporate my values of equity, authenticity, and transparency throughout the counseling process. As a psychologist, it is important to pull back the curtains around mental health and empower clients to honor their internal and external experiences. I have extensive experience with LGBTQIA+ populations, Transgender health, women's health, gender roles & societal expectations, romantic relationships, sexual violence, anxiety, and adjustment concerns. My approach to counseling is contextualized based upon each client but is firmly grounded in co-identifying your internal resources that can help you build compassion and awareness around painful interpersonal and intrapersonal patterns that lead to emotional conflicts. When I am not on campus, you can find me at First Avenue, chasing after other people's cats, or running around any and all bodies of water in Minneapolis.

I received my M.A. and Ph.D. from the UMN in Counseling Psychology (Go Gophers!) where my research was focused on cultural implications in abortion access and clinical supervision. I completed my Pre-Doctoral Health Psychology Internship at Virginia Commonwealth University where I gained specialized training and supervision in working with Transgender, Gender Nonconforming, and Nonbinary (GNCNB) populations. While doing my post-doctoral research training at the University of Iowa I taught graduate level courses, co-created a telehealth counseling clinic that provides mental health services to underserved populations, and provided free assessment & clinical services at the LGBTQ Clinic. 

 

Maureen Maslinski, MSW, LICSW
Headshot of Maureen

Pronouns: She/her/hers
Wellness Counselor/Embedded Counselor for Carlson School of Management (CSOM)
Education: MSW, Social Work, University of St Thomas/College of St. Catherine

About Me: My hope is to help students improve their quality of life and get to know themselves better. I believe, as humans, we inherently have within us what we need to feel better and experience life more fully.  Oftentimes, we need help accessing those capabilities, as well as navigating through and healing from the environmental and life stressors that we deal with along the way. As a counselor, I provide that help.

As the embedded Wellness Counselor within the Carlson School, I meet with undergraduate students for individual counseling. I provide monthly workshops on wellness topics, and host monthly Wellness Connection Wednesdays as a time for students to connect over food and share their wellness ideas/tips with one another. I am also available to provide support/training/resources for student groups, staff and faculty. I am located on the West Bank in Hanson Hall and meet in-person and virtually. 

I enjoy connecting with students to form a trusting, inclusive and open space. I utilize relationship-based, strength-focused, empowerment, social justice, and system perspectives in my work. As a white, cisgender woman, I am committed to doing my own daily work to address biases, combat systematic racism, and educate myself and others of the consequences of oppression and marginalization on individuals from the BIPOC, LGBTQIA+, and other marginalized communities.  

In my free time, I enjoy taking my golden retriever out on sniffing excursions, traveling, spending time in nature, being with family and friends, and watching a variety of sports on TV and in person.  

Professional Interests:  I have extensive experience helping people heal from and work through trauma, attachment injuries and grief and loss. I enjoy helping individuals on their own journey of identity exploration as it relates to sexuality, gender, spirituality, race, culture, being a student, adoption, etc. I am also interested in helping students dealing with depression, anxiety, and other adjustment stressors.

 

Mae Moua, M.A.
Mae Moua

Pronouns: She/Her/Hers
Crisis/Intake Counselor.
Education: Argosy University, M.A. Marriage and Family Therapy

 

Emily O’Hara, MSS, LICSW

Headshot of Emily O’Hara

Pronouns: she/her/hers
Assistant Director for Clinical Services
Education: MSS, Social Work, Bryn Mawr Graduate School of Social Work and Social Research 


About Me: As a licensed social worker, I have been working with individuals and communities for over fifteen years. My experiences range from community mental health, case/care management, college counseling, and anti-poverty activism. Relationships, inclusivity and compassion are some of my core values. As a result, in both counseling and supervision, I strive to create a welcoming, affirming and accessible environment where individuals feel seen, heard, and valued. Everyone deserves space to share their story. With that in mind, I collaborate with clients to help them transform painful past learning and experiences into resilience and hope for the future. I work with a range of issues but specialize in trauma and attachment/relational issues. We are all the experts of our own experience; therefore, my work honors the humanity, dignity and values of each unique person. The therapeutic relationship is critical, especially when working cross culturally. I’m committed--and always will be committed--to working from an anti-oppressive, holistic, trauma-informed lens. 

In my spare time, I enjoy being in nature and spending time with my family. My own self-care includes distance running, watching women’s basketball, reading, dark roast coffee and live music.

Professional Interests: I am formally trained in Forward-Facing Trauma Therapy, Accelerated Resolution Therapy, Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing, (Level 1 & 2), Brainspotting (Phase 1 & 2), and Health and Wellness Coaching. I have extensive experience and a passionate interest in the treatment of traumatic stress. I also have a strong commitment to/participate in ongoing training in neurodiversity, racial trauma, LGBTQIA+ issues, suicide prevention, compassion fatigue and professional resilience. 

 

Mitch Paradise, LICSW 
Mitch

Pronouns: they/them/theirs
Embedded Counselor for Carlson School of Management (CSOM) Graduate Programs
Education: MSW, Social Work, University of Michigan

About Me: As a clinical social worker, I have rooted my counseling approach in anti-oppressive frameworks, acknowledging that we’re all doing our best to live under the weight of large and harmful systems that can impact our individual growth and development. I believe in the power of storytelling and co-creating safe affirming spaces to explore identity and trauma, working with individuals towards a place of radical self-acceptance and healing. I also believe in popular education: we are all educators and learners, prioritizing collaboration to build a meaningful and trusting working relationship with clients that best addresses their concerns. In my clinical practice, I specialize in serving adults, transitional age youth, and those exploring various identities, incorporating elements of Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, Internal Family Systems, relational-cultural therapy, narrative therapy, and expressive arts therapy.

In my free time, I enjoy kayaking and hiking, all things hockey (go Gophers and Wild), catching my favorite bands when they’re in town, and making frequent trips home to Chicago to visit with family and friends.

Professional Interests: identity development and exploration, grief & loss, shame resilience, depression, anxiety, stress management, trauma, relationship to self and others, attachment, fat liberation and radical self-love.

 

Nicole Pierce-Risvold, LPCC

Nicole

Pronouns: she/her
Embedded Counselor 
Education: Masters of Science in Clinical Counseling and Psychology, St. Cloud State University & University of St. Thomas

About me: I have a deep passion for supporting students on their unique journeys. I believe in building strong rapport, using a strength based and holistic approach, and focusing on solutions. I strive to support the individual identities of my clients and create a safe place for exploration and acceptance. 

As an Embedded Counselor in the School of Dentistry, I find that focusing on outreach and finding ways to provide psychoeducation to staff and students allows a community of care to be created. I am passionate about finding unique ways to keep this going! 

When I am not at work, I enjoy being active and getting outdoors. My cup is full when I am around family and friends, and of course a good meal and conversation. 

Professional Interests: My professional interests include yoga, movement, neuroscience, and meditation. I feel that teaching folks tangible tools can go a long way! I also enjoy educating individuals on creating meaningful and creative self care plans that can allow them to cope in times of stress. 

 

Dan Piñon, M.A., LPC
Dan Pinon

Pronouns: them/them/elle/elles
Intake Counselor, Case Manager

About me: I am a biracial, queer, latine (specifically Zapotec roots), trans therapist who has worked with a wide variety of ages, backgrounds, and presenting concerns. Additionally, I am both a first generation college student who is also the second generation to an immigrant parent. Over time, I have developed an emphasis in working with marginalized folx, life transitions, neurodiversity (ADHD, ASD, Complex PTSD, etc) , young and emerging adults, college students, graduate students, multicultural identities, and those struggling with disordered eating of any kind. Additionally, my counseling style is trauma informed, sex-positive, and anti-oppressive with foundations in intersectional feminist theory, relational cultural theory, time-limited psychodynamic therapy, and developmental psychology. Some of my passions lie in working with body image concerns, mixed identity exploration, grief/loss, somatic experiencing of trauma, disordered eating, complex PTSD, burn out and neurodiversity. 

I am grateful for the role I am able to have in people's lives and all are welcome into my therapy space, regardless of identity or background. I deeply believe in community and the healing power of relationships. Moreover, I understand that each person is greatly shaped by their community, family, friends, institutions and past experiences. My hope is to consider the whole person, including the cultural context from which they come. This includes being mindful of how my own power and privilege enters the therapy room and impacts our interactions. I welcome direct discussion of systematic/institutional racism, long term impacts of identity discrimination and intergenerational trauma as well as how we can begin constructing our own path to healing, for both ourselves and our communities. Outside of work, I'm an artist, a collector of books, a partner, an animal lover, tattoo enthusiast, community member, sibling, child, and cloud gazer.  

Education and Professional Background: Dan is a trauma-informed therapist who holds a Masters of Arts degree in Counseling Psychology from the program at the University of St. Thomas. In addition to their training through an APA accredited doctoral program through the University of St. Thomas, Dan has completed various practicum experiences in university counseling, community mental health ( including intensive outpatient facilities and substance use treatment), and neuropsychological assessment (ADHD & Mild/Major Cognitive Impairment). Dan has additional experience in group counseling, EDI, social justice and case management type. 

 

Greg Sawyer, M.A.
Greg Sawyer

Pronouns: He/His/Him
Counselor/Care Coordinator.
Education: M.A. Marriage and Family Therapy, St. Mary's University.

About Me: I am an African American male, social justice advocate, educator, advisor, and counselor.  I am committed to providing advocacy and support to our student population using a student-centered approach as my guidance modality.  I am a graduate of the U of M and was born and raised in the Twin Cities. I’m also a father to 3 exceptional daughters.

Professional Interests: I am a strong believer in the systems approach to understanding and learning ways to best navigate our world.  I am a proponent of well managed mental health and work to guide and support students in their journey.

 

Lauren Scholder, Psy.D., L.P.
Lauren Scholder

Pronouns: She/Her/Hers
Coordinator - St. Paul Office, Staff Psychologist.
Education: Psy.D. Clinical Psychology,  Chicago School of Professional Psychology.

About Me: I strive to create genuine relationships with clients where they feel heard, understood and accepted. In therapy, we will work together to build insight, self-awareness, coping, problem-solving and promotion of overall well-being. I approach each therapeutic relationship with compassion, empathy, respect, and warmth. My objective is to create safety with clients so that they may be their authentic selves and work towards change.

I have had the privilege of working in four college counseling centers with both traditional and non-traditional college students.  In my free time, I enjoy taking my dog Billmurray for walks, watching too much TV, and spending time with friends and family.

Professional Interests: My professional interests include identity development and exploration, relationships with self and others, navigating significant life change, working with historically marginalized individuals and communities, trauma, managing depression and anxiety, graduate and professional school student issues and clinical supervision and training.

I provide services on the St. Paul campus of the University, and have liaison relationships with faculty and staff who work with students whose majors are housed in St. Paul, or who live on or near the St. Paul campus.

 

Chia-Chen Tu, Ph.D., L.P.
Chia-Chen Tu

Pronouns: She/Her/Hers
Assistant Director/ Training Director.
Education: Ph.D. Counseling and Student Personnel Psychology, University of Minnesota.
Languages Spoken: English, Mandarin Chinese.

About Me: I believe human beings have the potential to grow and my role is to enhance people’s awareness and foster change through human connections. I strive to work collaboratively with clients to create a trusting and respectful relationship in which they can gain perspectives or develop new skills and confidence to meet life's challenges. I have extensive experience doing psychotherapy at university counseling centers and providing supervision and training to psychology trainees. I have a special interest in understanding the complexities of human connections as well as exploring the personal and social factors that can lead to disconnection. I work closely with International Student and Scholar Services staff to support international students, and I also develop workshops to assist graduate and professional school students in coping with academic stress and enhancing professional skills. I am fluent in English and Mandarin Chinese and experienced in providing bi-lingual counseling and clinical supervision. When I am not working, I enjoy visiting local farmers markets or art fairs, attending performance art events or film festivals, and travel.  

Professional Interests: Resilience to shame, relationship distress, anxiety, childhood trauma, cultural adjustment and identity development for international students, common concerns for first generation students or students of color, training and supervision of psychology trainees, mind-body integration.

 

Jeff Walter, Ph.D., L.P.
Jeff Walter

Pronouns: He/Him/His
Interim Director
Education: PhD, Educational Psychology, University of Minnesota 

About me: I provide individual psychotherapy personalized to help address students’ distinct goals and needs. My therapeutic approach is integrative and relationship-focused, with a perspective influenced by liberation psychology, feminist/multicultural, and humanistic/existential lenses. I trained as a generalist and also have extensive experience working in integrated care settings. I have worked with trauma and torture survivors, focused on helping people cope with experiences of domestic violence and abuse, and have helped students address topics such as academic success, anxiety, depression, grief and loss, identity development, and healthy relationships. I have worked in both community and university settings and have focused my career on working cross-culturally and continually refining a culturally humble approach to psychotherapy work. 

In my free time, I enjoy running, playing basketball, connecting with friends and family, and playing both retro and modern video games.

Professional interests: I have specialized in working with trauma and torture survivors, victims of domestic violence and abuse, as well as students across the undergraduate and graduate student experience. I enjoy working with the variety of concerns that students may bring to psychotherapy, including: identity development, LGBTQIA+ issues, anxiety and depressions management, grief and loss, communication strategies, healthy relationships and more.

 

Siming Xie, Ph.D., L.P.
Siming

Pronouns: He/Him/His
Staff Psychologist- BIPOC/International Students Focus
Education: Ph.D. Counseling Psychology, Texas A&M University 
Languages Spoken: English, Mandarin Chinese.

About Me: As a psychologist working in a university setting, I'm enthusiastic about assisting students in tackling the diverse personal and developmental challenges they encounter. My primary clinical orientation and approach draw inspiration from Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) and Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT). I also place a strong emphasis on multiculturalism in counseling, introducing culturally adaptive coping strategies to better serve my clients. I'm dedicated to providing a safe and affirming environment where clients can openly explore their identities, cultures, values, and strengths. I grew up in Tianjin, China, and I'm fluent in Mandarin. As a former international student myself, I'm particularly passionate about working with underrepresented and international students. In my free time, I find fulfillment in various activities. I enjoy traveling, hiking, working out, watching sports and movies, trading, and fishing.

Professional Interests: culturally sensitive treatment; concerns for BIPOC and international students; cross-cultural adjustment; brief therapy; positive psychology; anxiety; grief and loss; relationship concerns; training and supervision

Predoctoral Interns

Emily Eng, M.A.

Emily Eng

Pronouns: She/Her/Hers
Psychology Intern
Counseling Psychology, University of St. Thomas 

About Me: I am a mixed race, second generation Cambodian American therapist and social justice advocate. I view connection–with self, others, and nature–as the foundation for wellbeing. Whatever experiences in the world we might share, and whichever ones we don’t, I’m excited to learn about you and build a therapeutic relationship together. My focus in therapy is on my relationship with you, understanding what you need as an individual, and using this understanding to help you gain insight into how to make the changes you want to make in your life. I will help you find greater ease through exploration of your feelings, thoughts, experiences, and relationships. I will help you take charge of your life through developing a deeper understanding of what gets in the way of knowing what you want and moving toward it.

Recognizing that systems and structures impact our health, I hold space to address grief and trauma caused by injustice, discrimination, alienation, and oppression. I will help you recognize and reclaim your inner wisdom and gain knowledge and tools to step into your agency and voice.

Professional Interests: I approach therapy from a relational, psychodynamic, trauma-informed, and anti-oppressive stance. I am trained in Brainspotting (phase 1 &2), and recognize the importance of somatic practices for nervous system regulation in healing trauma. I have specific interests in supporting students with resilience to shame, neurodivergence (ADHD/autism spectrum), complex PTSD and dissociation, recovering from othering and ostracism, race-based traumatic stress, relational conflict, attachment healing, complex family systems, mixed race identity development, outsider/subcultural identities, balancing activism and personal wellbeing, graduate student mental health, sexual wellness and sex education, and LGBTQ+ wellbeing. 

 

Kris Robbins, M.S.Ed.

Kris

Pronouns: she/her/hers
Psychology Intern
Counseling Psychology, Purdue University 

About meIn therapy, I aim to create a supportive and collaborative environment with my clients through genuine concern and transparency. I believe that forming trusting relationships in therapy can help us to better navigate relationships and challenges outside of therapy. When working with me, you can expect us to establish therapeutic goals together and explore different approaches to best fit your needs. Using an emotion-focused lens, I support clients in understanding and accepting their emotional experiences and needs by exploring their identities, socializations, and experiences of power and oppression. By emphasizing clients’ strengths, I empower clients to develop new skills and insights so that they can make meaningful changes in their lives.

On a more personal note, I enjoy reading novels, walking my 13-year-old rescue dog, and playing board games with friends. I am new to the Twin Cities and am enjoying trying new restaurants (especially ice cream shops) and exploring the many neighborhoods.

Professional interests: I have a strong interest in working with international students and students who identify as LGBTQIA+. My clinical interests include presenting concerns such as interpersonal conflict (e.g., romantic relationships, friendship), experiences of trauma, developing self-compassion, experiences grief and bereavement, and emotional regulation.  

 

Gisel Suarez Bonilla, M.A.

Gisel

Pronouns: She/Her/Hers
Psychology Intern
Counseling Psychology, Texas Tech University 

About me: My goal in therapy is to create a safe, open, non-judgmental space where individuals’ voices are heard and where collaboration can occur to meet their mental health needs. People are unique with their own intersectional identities and experiences. Thus, my therapy approach is integrated including a variety of theoretical orientations based on a relational lens that is tailored to meet the clients’ therapy goals. I provide a multicultural lens as well through cultural humility and acknowledgement of how the different systems in our world may influence mental health well-being. I am passionate about meeting my clients where they are at and supporting them throughout their growth.

Professional interests: Some of my interests include: mindfulness, self-compassion, identity exploration and development, adjustment, relationship concerns, managing anxiety and depression, racial and ethnic minorities, first-generation college students, and Latinx/e mental health. 

 

Advanced Practicum Trainees

William E. Casserly

William
Doctoral Practicum Student
Pronouns: He/Him/His
BASc. Psychology, B.A Communication, University of Minnesota Duluth
M.S.E. Clinical Counseling, University of Wisconsin-Superior
 
About me: Hello! My name is William and I am a Psy.D student at Saint Mary's University of Minnesota. My passion is working collaboratively with people to address  their identified goals, needs, and challenges through a holistic, mindful, and bottom-up systemic approach. I pull from an Existential/Humanistic and Psychodynamic lens which entails an emphasis on your lived experience and your ever-evolving process of becoming. I particularly enjoy meeting folks where they are on their intersectional and identity journey and supporting them along their path - however that presents and manifests. I have experience working with anxiety, depression, trauma, relationship issues, academic issues, grief, identity exploration, and more.
 
On a personal note, I love reading, spending time with family/friends (including my cat Bean), engaging in any way possible with the outdoors, traveling, and finding new restaurants. 
 
Professional Interests: I am currently trained in a generalist program, which includes working with a wide range of concerns. I have a strong interest in identity development, mindfulness, assessment, mood disorders, spirituality, and systems of trauma. I seek to understand all issues through a contextual and systemic framework and attempt to foster inclusivity and cultural humility both in clinical spaces and in greater systems.  

Practicum Trainees

Stephanie Valle 

Stephanie Valle

Pronouns: She/Her/Hers
B.A. Psychology, Carleton College

About Me: I am a PhD student in Counseling Psychology at the University of Minnesota. I received my B.A. in Psychology from Carleton College. In my free time, I enjoy trying new restaurants, going to concerts, and traveling.

Professional Interests: My clinical interests include presenting concerns such as anxiety, depression, interpersonal relationship concerns, adjustment difficulties, emotional processing, identity exploration, grief/loss, and trauma. I believe it is important to consider cultural context. I aim to provide a multicultural lens and the acknowledgment that the systems that we function within may influence mental health well-being. My goal in therapy is to create a supportive, non-judgmental environment where we can collaboratively work towards your goals. My identities largely influence my research which seeks to explore minority specific stressors such as intergenerational trauma, financial barriers, and discrimination. 

Administrative Staff

 

Ahmed Elhadidi

Headshot of Ahmed

Office Supervisor

About me: I was born and raised in Egypt until the age of 10, I developed a deep appreciation for cultural diversity and an understanding of the importance of equality and fairness.  After completing my undergraduate degree from the University of Minnesota with a Political Science degree, I joined a prominent corporation, where I dedicated seven years of my career. During that time, I honed my ability to deliver exceptional service, foster effective communication and maintain strong relationships with colleagues and clients. I love to hang out with my family and friends in my free time. I also enjoy playing chess, watching Football, and reading about history.

Sophia Downey 

Front Desk Staff

Anna Nett 

Front Desk Staff

Sam Everetts

Records Manager