Meet our Newport Office


The center of my practice is focused on building empowerment, balance, self-esteem and self-awareness. I offer a warm and empathic environment for those facing difficult life transitions, relational challenges, past and present traumas, underlying issues of illness and stress, and any other issues preventing individuals from realizing the freedom and happiness of their true nature.

I integrate a mindfulness approach to help build awareness of one’s thoughts, feelings, physical sensations, and beliefs to develop insight and uncover new choices. I also incorporate additional therapeutic techniques to fit your individual needs, as well as temper the counseling process with creativity and humor, along with practical solutions and concrete goals.

I hold a Master’s degree in Counseling and Psychological Services from St. Mary’s University.  In addition, I enjoy building upon my education and skills through volunteerism and draw upon my personal development as a cancer survivor. I would be honored to walk with you through your life challenges and growth.

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.


I have a heart for those who have been wounded by relationships and difficult life situations. My passion is to walk with people through their pain and help them find hope and freedom from their past. I graduated from Bethel University with a Masters in Counseling Psychology and completed additional Marriage and Family Therapy coursework through Adler Graduate School. My style is very practical and insight-oriented and I like helping individuals and families think about situations in new ways to get un-stuck. I am a real person in the counseling office and use humor to help you feel comfortable and enjoy the process. My Therapy puppy, Pip, attends some sessions with me for those who wish to incorporate Animal Assisted Therapy.

I enjoy working with a variety of clients and have extensive experience working with divorce family issues, kids and teens, ADHD, adjustment issues, depression, anxiety, people pleasing, and healthy boundary setting. I have a special interest in helping individuals who are in relationship with toxic people such as spouses or children of people with personality disorders.

I provide parent coaching and particularly ascribe to behavioral methods and the model developed in “Parenting with Love and Logic” as it teaches children to be responsible for their own behavior and empowers their parents as coaches and allies rather than adversaries. I am a certified Prepare/Enrich couple and group facilitator. I also have a special interest in healing the wounds of sexual addictions and have received training through the American Association of Christian Counselors. I love to meet the needs of the hurting and help them continue to grow into the people they were made to be.  


Pip is our Therapy dog in training. Pip is a chihuahua mix who joined our team from a rescue and he is neutered and current on all of his vaccinations. He is still a puppy and learning his manners, but he loves meeting new people: adults, teens, and children and is a big cuddler during his naptime.

He has some quirks such as enjoying raw carrots and chewing on blankets. He has been known to give excessive puppy kisses, but if that bothers you he can be encouraged to refrain. He works only with his handler, Jenny, but if you are interested in having him join your session, let us know. 


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.


I am a mental health professional who values helping clients find freedom and joy in their everyday lives. I have specialized training in working with stage of life adjustments, spiritual healing and development, grief and loss, depression, and anxiety.

I received my Bachelor’s degree in Alcohol and Drug Counseling from North Central University and a Master’s degree in Professional Counseling from Liberty University. I have worked with individuals recovering from substance abuse and family members seeking support and education concerning loved ones battling addiction. Much of what propelled my interest into addictions studies, and then later into my master’s program, is the desire to see people live in freedom and reach their goals.

Stylistically, I counsel from an accepting, warm, and client- lead perspective. I am trained in Eye Movement Desensitization-Reprocessing (EMDR) which is a highly effective approach for addressing trauma. I am also trained in Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) which can be helpful for those struggling with emotional regulation, relationships, and coping with change. I am a fan of Reality therapy and am a therapist who can really tell-it-like-it-is for those looking to be challenged. I believe that individuals often hold the tools they need to overcome, but sometimes benefit from the counseling process to tune and uncover those tools. For those who desire, I am happy to integrative faith-based interventions as part of the counseling process.

Tanager Polowchak, MA, LPC, Therapist

I have worked with children, adolescents, and their families in their homes, schools, communities, and day treatment settings for the last 6 years. I am especially passionate about working with children from difficult life circumstances, involving abuse, trauma, loss, grief, and attachment issues.

I believe that each child longs to be seen, heard, and valued and I use play therapy and expressive therapies to connect with children and to assist them in telling their stories. Often when kids have behavior issues or seem to be “acting out” there is something deeper that they don’t have the words to express. I also work with parents to facilitate an inner sense of expertise, satisfaction, and enjoyment in relating to and interacting with your child.

I am adoption and permanency certified and enjoy supporting children and families who find themselves at any point on the child welfare spectrum, whether you’re seeking family preservation or are in the process of adoption. I received my Masters in Counseling Psychology from Bethel University with an additional certificate in Christian counseling from University of Northwestern, St. Paul.

With adults I enjoy helping you to find healing from past trauma and care for yourself today. I work from an attachment lens to help you find insight into why you interact in relationships the way you do so that you can choose to change and grow or at least learn to give yourself more grace.


I am currently completing my Masters Program at Colorado Christian University and I work with teens, adults, and couples. I have a special passion for working with couples and partners facing toxic relationships. My desire, as a counselor, is to help clients sort through thoughts and emotions and find hope. I believe each person is significant, and at times this truth is lost. With jumbled thoughts, we can lose sight of our worth and this can lead to despair.

Together I want to help discover strengths and resources that can carry you through this time. I desire to build the confidence to face all of life’s hardships, because you’re worth the hard work of restoration!

We all have our own brokenness and struggles, sometimes all you need is a caring person to come alongside you. My faith in God is central to who I am, and the reason I have a passion for helping people who are hurting. I will gladly incorporate faith into the process if you desire. I welcome people from all different walks of life!

Deb Kunze, Counseling Intern

I love working with children, teens, and families to help you improve your relationships and stop feeling stuck in negative patterns. As a mom of two children with ASD, I have a special passion for working with parents of special needs children to find solutions and new ways of doing life that help your family to reconnect and thrive. I am currently completing my Masters Degree with Liberty University.
I also work with individuals and know that it is not uncommon to have seasons in our lives where we can’t seem to shut our brain off; the couple who continues to have the same argument, the teen who only hears the negatives or the parents of a special needs child who can’t stop the ‘what if” tape in their mind. We all do it, but sometimes it helps to express those thoughts in a safe place.
Sometimes the answer is less about controlling thoughts, and more about accepting them but changing the story. I am here to listen to you, to engage with you, and to challenge you to cut through life’s noise. “I will even make a road in the wilderness.” Isaiah 43:19 I would be honored to help you walk through your struggles and find renewed hope.


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.


I am one of the friendly voices you may hear when you call our office.  I love spending time outdoors in all seasons, cooking, gardening, and scrapbooking. I also love having fun with my new husband and our fluffy cat. I enjoy working with people and bringing a smile to your day!


We at Threads of Hope Counseling care deeply for you, your families, and our community. As the concern regarding the spread of COVID-19 increases worldwide, Threads of Hope is prepared to reduce the spread of illness by following the expert guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and the Minnesota Department of Health. MDH continues to stress common-sense illness prevention strategies such as sanitizing surfaces, covering your cough and sneezes, and frequent hand washing.

If you are experiencing signs and symptoms of a viral respiratory infection including fever, cough, and shortness of breath or if you or someone you have been in contact with traveled internationally in the last 14 days, please DO NOT come to our office. Instead we are happy to offer you telemedicine (online video) services.

Telemedicine appointments are HIPAA secure, do not require any downloads, and can be accessed on any device with microphone and internet access. Ask your provider or the administrative staff if this is a service you’d like to pursue.

Additionally, there is a lot of misinformation being spread regarding this virus which has inspired significant anxiety in many in the community. Look here for ideas on how to reduce your fear while remaining wise in facing the uncertainty of this disease.
We are here for you and there is always hope.