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Meet our Newport Office

ERIN URBAN, MA, THERAPIST

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.

JENNY BEALL, MA, LPCC, THERAPIST & FOUNDER

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. 

I am licensed and able to provide services and clinical supervision for residents of Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Arizona.

PIP, THERAPY PUPPY

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. 

EMILY SCHMIDT, MA, LPCC, COUNSELOR

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, LPCC, COUNSELOR

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.

SHERI PETERSEN, MA, COUNSELOR

I completed my Masters Program at Colorado Christian University and I work with 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!
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Deb Kunze, MA, Counselor

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 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.

David Staton, Counseling Intern

I am currently completing my master’s degree program with Crown College. I have over 17 years of experience working with people in a variety of settings, including inpatient, hospitals, and residential treatment programs. I’ve worked with clients of all ages from a wide diversity of backgrounds and cultures who struggle with issues across the spectrum. I am very real, authentic, and down-to-earth in counseling and believe in the importance of smiles, warmth, and humor. I am equipped to help individuals who struggle with everything from anxiety and depression issues to schizophrenia, anger issues, and even ritual abuse and other severe traumas. There is peace and calm in my presence, and I can help you grow in those qualities and find stability, even in the storms of life.

I love to help couples and families discover how to communicate better, bond in healthy ways, work through hurts and wounds, find forgiveness and healing, and overcome life’s challenges together. I am a certified Prepare/Enrich couple facilitator. I can also help individuals who are struggling in relationships with toxic people, including those with personality disorders. As a father of five children, I also understand family dynamics and would love to help parents work together to reach their goals and achieve greater harmony.

I’ve played guitar for many years and enjoy working with artists, musicians, and creative types. I love to work with helping professionals. I understand the rich and complex inner lives of those who are highly sensitive and feel things deeply and would love to help guide and support you through your current life challenges with empathy and respect.

I provide a nonjudgmental environment where real depth of insight and exploration can occur. I love to counsel people from all walks of life. I have a strong foundation of Christian faith and am a longtime student and teacher of the Bible, and I am happy to integrate faith-based interventions into the counseling process for those who desire.

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Elexus Stowers, MS, Marriage & Family Counselor

If this is your first time or you’re giving it another try, I get it. Therapy can be intimidating at first but your healing is certainly worth it. I enjoy helping individuals, couples, and families learn about the patterns and habits that keep us stuck and how to create new healthy ones. Whether you’re battling the ‘What-if” thoughts, feeling alone, or trying to find your place in your friendships, families, or in the big world, I am here to join you on your journey.

I like to help create an experiential journey, that can be hands-on, with some activities and movement at your pace. I desire to help heal your worries from small to overwhelming. If you are looking for a warm space to practice vulnerability, receive straight-forward and constructive feedback, or just need a listening ear, then I look forward to meeting you! 
 
A few of my passion areas include depression, anxiety, self-esteem, trauma-related experiences, and emotion and attachment in relationships. I offer in office and telehealth appointments. Contact our office if I sound like a fit for you!
 

Jenny Johnson, MA, LPC, Counselor

Whatever is troubling you to seek counseling does not define you. As individuals we are quick to identify ourselves by what is wrong (i.e. I am depressed or I am terrible at relationships or I am a bad parent), but we are not our symptoms. We are so much more. There are so many wonderful things about you and your story, things I look forward to discovering. Together we will talk about you! I am hopeful you will share stories from your past like how you fit in your family, what you wanted to be when you grew up, or how you were as a child. In our laid back and gentle conversations we will weave back and forth between your present and your past. With a mix of humor, continued encouragement, and care you will find different ways of solving today’s problems and discover new things about yourself.

I am a licensed counselor in Minnesota. Many of the tools acquired while attaining a master’s degree from Adler Graduate School have built on my Christian foundation of love and compassion and a desire to speak life and restoration into others. I enjoy working one on one with individuals of any age, including children and will be seeking certification in play therapy in the future allowing me to expand upon my creativity and talents with children. Over the last five and a half years of practice, grief/loss has become one of my specialties however I simply have a heart for discouraged individuals no matter the cause.

In our sessions scripture and prayer can be integral components should you desire. Whatever your faith background please know you will be treated with compassion, respect and covered in encouragement. My prayer is for God to use me as a bridge to get you from where you are to where you want to be. I look forward to meeting you!

Joan Wittrock, MDiv, Counseling Intern

Whether your struggle is with a relationship, a recent loss or injury, a problem at school or work, or anything in between, I’m here to help you through the storm. We are sometimes our own worst enemies along the way, blaming ourselves for things we can’t change or getting stuck in old patterns. I believe that seeking help for the journey is a meaningful first step toward reaching your own goals of health and healing.

I come to the field of mental health counseling with more than a decade of professional faith-based experience, in chaplaincy and other ministry work. If you desire, I am able to integrate faith into our sessions. My faith has directly impacted my life as a professional because it changes my life as a human being.

Although I see clients from all walks of life, I am especially interested in working with the unique challenges experienced by ministry professionals and other frontline caregivers. Caregivers often need extra support in maintaining their own spiritual and mental health and avoiding the pitfalls of burnout.

If you are experiencing some of life’s curveballs, I invite you to reach out and take that next important step toward being the best you that you can be. I see you, I know it’s rough, give me a call.

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.

COVID-19  NOTICE

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.