Child and Adolescent Individual Therapy
Child and adolescent individual therapy applies techniques and methods to help kids who are experiencing difficulties with their emotions or behavior. Although there are different types of therapy, most rely on communications as the basic tool for bringing about change in a child’s feelings and behaviors. Individual therapy will involve an individual child or adolescent and also typically involves primary caregivers to the extent necessary. Playing, drawing, building, and pretending, as well as talking, are important ways children and adolescents share their feelings and resolve problems.
Child and adolescent individual therapy may address:
Contact us to learn more about our child/adolescent individual therapy services and to schedule an appointment
Our Therapists Who Specialize in this Area
Erika Ladwig, M.Ed., LPCC
I believe in creating a safe and welcoming environment where clients feel open to exploring emotions, thoughts, beliefs, and behaviors in order to empower them to live a rich and meaningful life. I appreciate the complexity and the messiness of our journeys, and I believe each individual’s unique story offers the foundation for growth and transformation. I think that every individual is moving toward self-actualization and part of our work together is aligning our authentic self, our best self, with the life we are currently living.
Our therapeutic relationship begins with compassionate listening, which lays the groundwork for human connection and allows meaningful change to occur. Empathy in the therapeutic relationship allows us the opportunity to develop self-awareness, self-confidence, and healthy coping skills to emerge stronger and healthier in the face of life’s ups and downs.
I work with clients, primarily adults, who are struggling with major life transitions, relationships, dating, depression, and anxiety, as well as clients who are simply feeling stuck or find themself in need of a place to explore ways to align their choices with their values. I use an integrative approach to counseling, pulling from several theoretical models including Cognitive Behavioral, Humanistic, Psychodynamic, and Existentialist to help clients find a path to change that feels right for each individual.
I trust in the inherent good of all human beings and am committed to provide unconditional positive regard for every client. As a former writing teacher, I’ve always been drawn to stories, and my love of complex characters led me to a career in counseling, where I can explore the subtleties and nuances of the human condition with each of my clients. It brings me great satisfaction to empower people to write their own life story.Education:
Master of Education and Counseling, University of Minnesota, Counseling and Student Personnel Psychology Program
Bachelor of Arts in Literature, Gustavus Adolphus CollegeExperience:
10+ years of counseling experience in secondary schools and private practice.Specialties:
Traci Hackmann, MA, LP
I believe people do the best they can with what they know at the time. Given the opportunity to do better, they will. The therapeutic relationship can provide that sense of safety and trust for growth and healing.
My therapeutic approach blends my background and interest in developmental psychology and social psychology. I incorporate evidence based techniques such as Cognitive Behavioral therapy (CBT), Solution Focused Therapy, Narrative Therapy and Client or Person Centered Therapy. My extensive work with young clients has allowed me to do attachment work, trauma-informed treatment and aspects of play therapy. The specific therapeutic process is determined by the unique, individual needs of each client.
Master’s Degree in Counseling Psychology from St Mary’s UniversityExperience:
25+ years of experience in community mental health settings including residential, children’s intensive mental health day treatment, juvenile corrections, in-home and outpatient clinics. I have provided diagnostic assessments, individual therapy, family therapy, skills training and group psychotherapy for children, adolescents, and their families.Specialties:
- Behavior problems
- Anger management
- Emotional regulation
- Attachment work
- Cognitive Behavioral
- Systems perspective
- Anxiety issues
- Life transitions
Gene Nisja, MA, LMFT
If anxiety and depression are holding you back from reaching your full potential, you are not alone. I understand how that happens to people and ways to move you to a better place. I have counseled others for more than 25 years in a variety of settings and can use what I have learned to help you replace nonproductive behaviors and propel you into reaching your full potential. If you are in a position of leading others, I am in a unique position to provide support to help you maximize your leadership role. I am on the leadership team in a hospital setting and I recently earned a Bronze Certification in Lean Process. I can assist you in understanding how to remove waste and assist your business in operating more efficiently. I can leverage my experience as a therapist and a leader. I use cognitive behavioral techniques to treat anxiety and depression. I approach therapy with humility and gratitude as a foundation of my approach.Education:
Master’s Degree in Counseling Psychology (2001), St. Mary's University of MinnesotExperience:
Gene Nisja has over 30 years experience in the mental health field.Specialties:
- Individual therapy
- Family and Group therapy
- Adolescents and Adults
- Specific Phobia
- School Avoidance
- Generalized Anxiety Disorder
Alejandra Aschittino-Rodriguez, MA, LPCC, LADC
I believe personal agency is key to finding meaning in distressing scenarios and growing from them. I use both Existential and solution-oriented approaches when engaging with clients and strives to provide individuals and families with tools for self-awareness and self-empowerment through a mixture of theoretical models tailored to the client’s strengths and needs. I work to help clients establish more adaptive patterns of thinking with humor, empathy, and respect. While I will explore root causes of issues, I emphasize the importance of personal growth and identifying personal strengths.
I work with adults and teenagers who are experiencing life-phase transitions, substance and alcohol use, and grief and loss. I have experience in working with depression/anxiety, PTSD, and general stress management. I often utilize psychodynamic-Adlerian, existential, and Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) skills with a culturally sensitive lens to provide a personalized care based on evidence-based practices.
I will do my very best to ensure you are seen in a holistic manner and with your personal history taken into consideration while we are working together. Your dignity, safety, and self-actualization are always a priority in my work. I currently work with adults, older adolescents in individual or family therapy.
- MA in Addiction and Mental Health Counseling – University of Minnesota, Twin Cities
- BA is Psychology and Philosophy – Grinnell College, Iowa
I had the opportunity to work with individuals and institutions in Ecuador, South Africa, India, and Slovenia for a research project examining the effect culture has on grief as a Watson Fellow after graduating college. Additionally, I have worked with Family Means to create intensive training regarding working with Minnesota’s minorities in palliative care and collaborated with The Hubs Center for lifelong learning to create an education course on Job loss and grief as the Covid-19 pandemic elevated the unemployment rates across the state and nation. My latest project is being an Adjunct instructor at St. Catherine University, where I teach undergraduate students about theories, methods, and concepts central to Psychology and how cross-cultural and ethnic diversity must be considered before concluding the validity of psychological concepts or theories.Specialties:
- Loss of meaning / “Existential anxiety”
- Spiritual and Life Issues
- Culturally Sensitive Therapy/Culturally Specific Issues
- Life’s transitions
- Dual Diagnosis
Sara Ruiz, MS, LAMFT, Post-Master's Fellow
The space created in therapy means something different to each of us. Sometimes we are looking for healing or safety. Other times, we may be looking to be present with ourselves. As you reflect on what the space you want to create, you may consider what kind of therapist may be compatible with that vision. Here is more about me.
I am a Master’s level clinician, pre-licensure, with training in marriage and family therapy. With individuals, intimate partners and families, my goal is to hold the many stories and systems that impact internal and external relationships. My style is collaborative, rather than prescribed or directive. I work to provide the balance of offering practical strategies alongside opportunity for self-understanding.
MS of Marriage and Family Therapy, Edgewood College (2019)
BS of Psychology, Edgewood College (2015)Experience:
I have over five years of experience in a variety of mental health settings. My experience extends across the lifespan, including individual therapy services for teenagers and beyond, intimate partners, and families with children of all ages. I have extended experience working with families with children diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder. I have attended additional trainings in the areas of couples, trauma, and supporting youth/families as they dialogue topics related to the gender spectrum.Specialties:
- Adjustment and Life Transition
- Family Dynamics
- Couples and Other Intimate Partner Relationships
- Autism Spectrum Disorder
- Individual Therapy
Ramona Hemphill-Kent, MSW, LICSW
In my years as a therapist, I’ve learned one of the hardest and most difficult parts of the process, is getting the courage to finally reach out and ask for help. When you do, my job is to celebrate with you for making such an important choice to put yourself first, and then empower you to keep going.
I’m a huge believer that every client who walks into my office, is the absolute expert in their own lives. I’ll teach you what I know, and you’ll teach me what you know. I’m not there to provide all the answers, but I am there to walk with you while we figure it out together.
In my experience, I quickly learned that most individuals that step into a therapy room, have some sort of trauma that has impacted their life and has made it difficult to function the way they want to. Whether it be childhood trauma, a single incident that changed your life or perspective, or complex trauma that has continued throughout your life; it doesn’t have to prevent you from living your best story. I knew I wanted to be able to help those who have experienced trauma, because trauma impacts every single aspect of our lives; all the way down to our physical health.
I am most fond of Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing (EMDR) and have found that it’s my absolute passion to be able to provide this type of therapy to those who need it. Throughout working with me, you’ll learn how trauma impacts your brain, which in turn helps you better understand your body, and ultimately, you’ll feel empowered to be able to calm and ground your mind and your body together. I’ll combine EMDR with other modalities that focus on self-esteem, attachment, empowerment, self-regulation and cognitive coping, to help you develop an eclectic set of skills that serve you in all domains of your life.
Master’s of Social Work from Augsburg College
Bachelor’s of Social Work from the College of St. Scholastica
10+ years of experience in domestic/sexual violence and community mental health.Specialties:
- Domestic/Sexual Violence
- Women’s Issues
- Stress Reduction, Mindfulness and Relaxation Training
- General mental health functioning
- Relationship Issues
- Children’s Mental Health/Behavioral Issues
- Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT) - evidence based trauma therapy for children and adolescents age 3-18
- Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing (EMDR) - evidence based trauma therapy for adolescents and adults
- Accelerated Resolution Therapy (ART)
Margaret Czernia, MS, LPCC
It is my belief that therapy is not only a place to enact change and growth but a place where you can express yourself without fear of judgement; where you can explore who you are, what strengths you possess, and what values you hold. No matter what has led you to therapy, I will promote a safe space where you will be heard, respected, and supported. We each have our own story and I strive to hear what that story is for you and how it has shaped you. Change can take time and can feel scary, but we are all capable of it when given the right space and understanding.
As a therapist, I use client-centered and evidence-based practices including Dialectical Behavioral Therapy and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy to provide individuals with the knowledge and tools necessary for them to understand their emotions, thoughts, and behaviors. Every individual is unique and thus has unique goals when it comes to therapy. It is my goal to assist you in finding what these are and in empowering you to work towards them and live a life you find meaningful.
While working with adolescents, it is sometimes beneficial to their treatment goals to include caregivers in the process. I will uphold the trust and autonomy of my adolescent clients when meeting with caregivers by providing transparency on anything discussed with caregivers.Education:
Master’s degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Marquette University with specialization in Child and Adolescent TherapyExperience:
Multiple years of experience in clinical settings, including residential and outpatient treatment settingsSpecialties:
- Individual (Adolescent and Young Adult)
- Addictions and Dual Diagnosis
- Behavioral Problems in Childhood and Adolescence
- Emotion Regulation and Coping Skills
- Identity Exploration and Self-acceptance
- Mindfulness and Relaxation Techniques
- Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) and Biopsychosocial Approach
- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
MaryBeth Ehlert, MSW, LICSW
In my therapy work, I use a blend of approaches to meet the unique needs of each person, drawing from theoretical frameworks such as psychodynamic, attachment, and systems theories while utilizing skills and techniques from areas such as mindfulness, dialectical behavior therapy, and cognitive behavioral therapy. My ultimate goal in combining these is to help you develop a deeper understanding of yourself and your motivations while also giving you tangible techniques to manage each difficult moment. I strive to be collaborative and non-judgmental in session, providing a safe therapeutic space to explore old patterns and create new ones.Education:
Master of Social Work from University of St. Thomas/St. Catherine University
Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from University of MinnesotaExperience:
I enjoy working with clients with a wide variety of presenting concerns, such as anxiety, depression, trauma, eating disorders, personality disorders, and family/interpersonal conflict. As a former Human Resource professional, I also specialize in helping clients learn to self-advocate and successfully navigate interpersonal or structural stress in their careers.Specialties:
- Adolescent and Adult Individual Therapy
- Depressive Disorders
- Anxiety Disorders
- Family Conflict
- Emotional Regulation
- Eating Disorders
Kelly Gadola, MSW, LICSW
Therapy can be intimidating for many individuals, and I strive to create a warm and safe therapeutic space through building a strong rapport with each of my clients. My main goal is for my clients to feel respected and understood, as well as to develop a positive therapeutic relationship that will facilitate exploration, growth, and healing. I believe that individuals are always doing their best in any given situation and that what our best looks like can fluctuate depending on outside factors and life circumstances. I want to provide a stable, empathetic, and caring relationship where clients feel empowered to create positive change in their lives and that they can feel confident in themselves to continue doing their best.
As a therapist, I provide individual psychotherapy for adolescents, teens, and adults who are experiencing mental health concerns such as: anxiety, depression, identity/gender/sexuality exploration, trauma, school stress, and peer/relationship stress. I use a blend of therapeutic approaches including relational, strengths-based, cognitive-behavioral, mindfulness, narrative and EMDR (eye movement desensitization reprocessing). I feel very fortunate to get to learn about my clients' lives and I delight in the connections that I get to make each day.
Master of Social Work- University of MinnesotaExperience:
I have experience in working with clients across the lifespan through working in schools, client homes, medical health care units and outpatient therapy settings. While a majority of my experience has been with adolescents and teens, I also greatly enjoy working with adults and children.Specialties:
- Adolescents and Young Adults
- Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing
- Stress Reduction/Mindfulness Skills
Allison Thorson, MSW, LGSW, Post-Master's Fellow
I believe therapy is a journey and I applaud you for taking the first step. Therapy can be emotional, messy, and beautiful, but most importantly it should be unique to your own experiences. I will always strive to provide a safe and nonjudgmental space for us to build a trusting therapeutic relationship. I appreciate my clients’ willingness to allow me to come with them on their journey.
As a therapist, I provide individual psychotherapy for adolescents, teens, and adults that are experiencing mental health struggles such as: depression, anxiety, identity/gender/sexuality exploration and questioning, school stress, life transitions, work/life balance, relationship stress, and parenting. In my practice I use a variety of therapeutic approaches, including Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Dialectical Behavior Therapy, strengths-based, solution-focused, and mindfulness.
Healing is a process. My main goal is to support my clients during this process by providing coping skills to help manage the challenges ahead. I want my clients to feel respected, heard, and understood. But I will challenge you to make long-lasting changes, and above all, be kind to yourself.
Master of Social Work from Arizona State UniversityExperience:
My social work experience has spanned across the country from Arizona, to North Dakota, and Minnesota. I have 3 years of experience working with children in the foster care system providing reunification and safety intervention services to families. More recently I have provided telehealth services to Minnesota’s frontline workers who have braved COVID-19 throughout the entirety of the pandemic.Specialties:
- Stress Reduction/Mindfulness Skills
- Adolescents and Teens
- Life Stressors
- Work/Life Balance
- Family Problems
- Emotion Regulation
- Healthcare Worker Stress
- Women’s Issues
Connie Palacio, LMFT, LICSW
Therapy is a journey of growth, healing and self-discovery. I would be honored to embark on your life journey by your side. Together we will tailor our dialog and treatment plan to meet your unique and specific needs. It takes courage to seek a more fulfilling and happier life and to take the first steps towards change. As you get ready to start this journey, I will be there to support and empower you. I feel honored to be a part of my client’s therapeutic journey, as our problems and feelings are unique and yet we are all one and together.
I am a bilingual and multicultural Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker with over 13 years of experience providing in person and online therapy for individuals, couples, and group counseling.
I have worked with clients with a wide range of concerns including depression, anxiety, couples’ problems, sexual health and sexuality, intimacy problems, attachment, divorce separation, parenting problems, grief and loss, immigration and adjustment issues.
I have also helped many who have experienced trauma, post-traumatic stress, emotional/verbal, physical, or sexual abuse or assault.
My counseling style is warm, patient, kind and interactive. My approach combines client centered, cognitive behavioral, solution focused, trauma informed, narrative, attachment theory, emotionally focused couples therapy, Gottman, and systemic counseling.
Together we will tailor our dialog and treatment plan to meet your unique and specific needs. It takes courage to seek for a more fulfilling and happier life and to take the first steps towards change. As you get ready to start this journey, I will be there to support and empower you.
I feel honored to be a part of my client’s therapeutic journey, as our problems and feelings are unique and yet we are all one and together.
That is the way I like to approach our sessions, as a team, addressing challenges together to become free from judgement, criticism, pain, changing our negative perceptions, and to live a joyful and peaceful life.
For my professional growth, I read related literature, keep myself up to date with ethical and legal guidelines in the field, and the latest research and attend conferences and trainings. In my personal free time, I like to spend time with my family and our new puppy. I love traveling, playing tennis, skiing, and going to any fun event.
Master of Arts in Marriage and Family Therapy from Saint Mary’s UniversityExperience:
- Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist
- Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker
- MFT Board Approved Supervisor
- SW Board Approved Supervisor
- Mediation Training
- EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing) Training
- TFCBT (Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy) Training
- Prepare-Enrich Couples Certified (Pre-marital counseling)
- Anxiety and Depression
- Postpartum depression
- Trauma & Posttraumatic Stress Disorder
- Coping with life changes
- Parenting issues
- Intimate Relationship issues
- Sexual health & Sexuality
- Domestic Violence
- Sexual abuse and assault
- Immigration and acculturalization issues