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Meet our Brooklyn Park Office

Anne, Therapy Dog

Anne is a Certified Therapy dog who loves to cuddle and works with adults, teens, and children. She is a border collie mix who is spayed and current on all of her vaccinations. She was a rescue and has a bad hip probably from being hit by a car, but that doesn’t hold her back from loving on people and seeking attention from everyone.

She loves treats, playing at the puppy park, and rolling in the snow. She does not respect human ideas of personal space, but most people seem to forgive her. She works only with her handler, Bonnie, but if you are interested in having her join your session, let us know. 

Shanelle Wenell, MA, LAMFT, Marriage and Family Counselor

We all know life is complicated, but it doesn’t have to be complicated and lonely. Sometimes we meet professionals that are God sent to help us along the way. I know I have. My hope is, I might be that for you; a beacon of hope shining in the darkness. 

A little about me,  I graduated from Adler Graduate School with a degree in Marriage and Family therapy. While I have many different passions the first of them starts with the simple step of getting to know you. I am passionate about understanding my clients and their journey this far. I believe understanding you and the context in which you have experienced life is the most important start to your journey of wholeness.

My therapy style is compassionate, understanding, honest, humorous, challenging and a balance of walking out faith, while living in reality. I am passionate about all people, but connect well with couples, adolescents, young adults and men struggling to emotionally connect.

I believe in working with the way God designed us, and therefore do my best to use evidence based approaches to help my clients deal with their presenting concerns. Much of my success as a therapist has been: working with couples lacking emotional intimacy and understanding of each other’s needs, anxiety disorders, social disorders and young adults and adolescents struggling with social skills and healthy relationships. I look forward to hearing your story and sharing in your journey to hope, to health and healing.

Melissa "Mel" Jacobsen, MA, Marriage & Family Counselor

No journey is without turbulence and sometimes we just get plain “stuck” I’m passionate about coming alongside you in these moments to help you reconnect with your strengths while working with you to find new strategies to reach your goals and ultimately find greater hope, healing, and peace.

I graduated from Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota with a Master’s degree in Marriage and Family Therapy. I enjoy working with a variety of clients including young professionals struggling to find a work-life balance, teens searching for direction, as well as couples and families, specifically those who have been impacted by Child Protection. In addition, I’m drawn to supporting those whose lives have been touched by chronic illness and disability as I recognize these circumstances often have ripple effects across an entire family system.

My style is grounded in warmth, humor, and a client-centered approach I believe clients are experts in their own lives and we all have the ability to be the change we want to see. My hope is therapy will be a safe space for clients to share and explore on the journey to becoming who they want to be! For those who find comfort in their faith I will join with you to incorporate this into your healing. I look forward to meeting you!

BONNIE THEIS, MS, NCC, COUNSELOR

I enjoy helping clients find their strengths and problem solve to succeed in their life goals. I love to use humor to help you feel comfortable and enjoy the process. I completed my Masters Degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling at Minnesota State University- Mankato. My approach is primarily CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy) based and focuses on helping you make tweaks to unhealthy thought patterns, but it is tailored based on your specific needs.
 
I have worked with a wide array of age groups but my true passion is working  with adolescents and young adults. This specific time in your life can be difficult but I strive to help you find resources outside of counseling as well as being a resource for you in the office. My goal is to be a listening ear and make a difference by being an ally for you.  I genuinely care for my clients and add an aspect of fun to every relationship.

ADAM RETTERATH, MA, LAMFT, MARRIAGE & FAMILY COUNSELOR

I completed my Masters degree in Marriage and Family Therapy at St Thomas university. I love working with families and couples on resolving their conflicts, improving communication, and restoring peace to the relationship. I am level I Gottman trained and find this approach very helpful for couples who find themselves struggling with resentment and having the same fight over and over again. (In Gottman language, we address these issues as “perpetual problems”). I’d love to be able to help your family negotiate these struggles and work together as team mates and partners again. 

I also enjoy working with individuals struggling with a wide range of issues including depression, anxiety, relationship issues, building self esteem and reaching their personal and family goals. I have extensive experience working with children with trauma and behavioral issues, but in those cases I particularly enjoy helping the entire family system to develop new strategies to not only cope and survive, but connect and thrive. I feel honored to be invited into your family to bring change, encouragement, and hope.

PRISCILLA WILSON, MA, LPCC, COUNSELOR

I completed my Masters in Adlerian Therapy at Adler Graduate School and have worked for the past several years doing in-home therapy.  I tend to use a coaching style and can be very encouraging, but also straight forward when needed. I like to use humor, metaphors, and story telling to help you get through tough moments. Others would describe me as easy going, compassionate, and determined; I am determined to help each individual and family that I work with to reach their goals and find hope.

I specialize in Autism and love working with families affected by this diagnosis. I have worked extensively with autism related challenges and have a passion for educating and supporting families so they can not only survive, but thrive with this unique condition.  I  love working with families and marriages with a variety of issues and take a systemic approach to helping families improve their situation.

I have experience in helping clients deal with trauma and PTSD and would be happy to walk with you through the journey of healing from past pain and hang-ups. I also have a ministry degree and can provide pastoral counseling for those seeking more faith integration in their counseling.

KRISTA NEWMAN, MA, LPCC, CLINICAL DIRECTOR

I am a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor and have been active in the field of mental health and wellness since 2009. I have extensive training and passion in work with trauma including dealing with abuse, anxiety and PTSD, anger management, and relationships impacted by abusive partners. 

I have experience, in particular, working with clients who are in relationships with abusive partners such as those struggling with Borderline or Narcissistic Personality disorders; I love to help individuals find the strength to set limits and emotionally heal from some of the “invisible abuse” that occurs within these relationships.

I tailor my approach to best meet the needs and goals of the individual. The theoretical model I most utilize is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. I am also certified in the highly effective treatment of Eye-Movement-Desensitization-Reprocessing (EMDR).

Cerise Lewis, MS, LAMFT, Therapist

I understand the complexity of life’s challenges and enjoy working with married couples, children and families. I am passionate about strengthening families and building strong relationships. I specialize in working with communities of color, families, couples and school aged children. 
 
My experience with this work began over twenty years ago, at a nondenominational church, counseling couples and their families through relationship and parenting challenges. My personal experience, in marriage and raising six children with my husband has equipped me with skills to empathize with others and integrate faith into practice, if desired. 
 
I ascribe to family systems approaches to counseling and welcome the opportunity to help you navigate and overcome challenges with marital infidelity, relationship boundary issues, parenting, children and teens, depression, anxiety, stress, and general relationship issues.

MARIE MERKL, MA, THERAPIST

Struggling with addiction can feel like a vicious cycle. Now providing chemical use assessments and outpatient treatment/counseling. In creating a caring, compassionate environment as client-centered therapist I build a therapeutic relationship with each individual, family, or couple to reach their goals. Over the past several years I have worked with a variety of clients, however I have developed a passion working with specific areas of therapy. Some ares of specialty I work in are severe and persistent mental illness (SPMI), trauma and PTSD, EMDR, addiction issues, and personality disorders. 

I consider your comfort in the therapeutic process to be an upmost priority. Therefore by taking a client centered approach I provide a space where you are able to openly discuss any life challenges with no fear of judgement or shame. Call today for your appointment!

CINDY HODGSON, MA, COUNSELOR

There are times when we all need someone to listen, understand, and maybe help us see things in a new way. Acknowledging that and reaching out can be the first steps toward dealing with stressful life situations and mental health concerns. If you’re thinking about talking with someone about what’s going on in your life but the thought of sitting across from a counselor in a therapy room seems a bit intimidating, let’s make it a little more casual. I’m happy to connect with you and will be here to listen and meet you where you are at.

I use an integrative approach that combines the practical strategies of cognitive-behavioral therapy with an exploration of the underlying beliefs and relational wounds that may be contributing to your current problems. I have a Christian worldview and can integrate faith into the counseling process for those who are interested.

Whether you’re struggling with depression, anxiety, obsessive thoughts, troubled relationships, or other issues, I would love to walk with you on your journey to freedom. I hope you’ll reach out today and allow me to join you on the path to healing!

LISA MANDELL, BILLING ASSISTANT

I am the offsite billing assistant. I manage most of the contact with your insurance company to ensure that our therapists get paid and your insurance covers everything they are supposed to. I am a retired biologist and former business owner. In my free time I enjoy quilting, reading, doing bible studies, cooking new dishes, and playing with my adorable grandchildren.

Maggie Schiffman, Intake Coordinator

Life is weird and sometimes, we all just need that extra little boost or support while we face the curveballs that have been thrown our way.  My goal is to be the first friendly face to welcome you to Threads of Hope! If you’ve got a question about your next appointment, insurance benefits, or need to reschedule, I’m your gal.

I have my Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Bethel University and am currently pursuing a Master’s in Counseling Psychology at the University of St. Thomas. In my free time, I enjoy checking out local restaurants with friends, reading, training for running races, or going for a walk around one of the lakes around Minneapolis.
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