Couples, marriage, or relationship therapy is offered to support people in relationships who may be considering a separation or divorce. Or they may be seeking improved communication, conflict resolution skills, intimacy, connection, or understanding. In couples counseling, the relationship is the primary focus. However, each partner should anticipate focusing on their own self-improvement and self-awareness.
Our Therapists Who Specialize in this Area
Ross Barr, PsyD, LP
In working with people, I always look for the strengths that a person carries with them that have often gone overlooked due to the stressful events that have been endured. I view my responsibility as helping people remove the road blocks that prevent them from experiencing a fulfilling life. These road blocks may take the form of thoughts, difficult emotions, the way people act, or difficulties interacting with one's environment and social network. I want to assist people in adapting to these areas with evidence based interventions, so that people I meet with can return to enjoying their lives. My style is empathetic, warm and genuine.
As a therapist I primarily use Cognitive Behavioral Therapy to understand the impact that certain thoughts have on a person’s emotions and actions. I am also trained in Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, Cognitive Behavior Therapy, (CBT), Family Systems, Play Therapy and Solution Focused Brief Therapy (SFBT). A key component of my approach is assessment of the client’s social network to understand their connection with othersEducation:
Doctoral Degree in Clinical Psychology, The School of Professional Psychology at Forest Institute, 2015
Master’s Degree, Marriage and Family Therapy
Multiple years of experience in community and private practiceSpecialties:
- Individual, couples, families, pre-teens, adolescents, children, elders
- Psychological testing for children, adolescents and adults
- Relational issues
- Family problems/conflict
- Family of origin issues
- Men’s issues
- Mood disorders, including anxiety and depression
Melanie Hultgren, PHD,
Therapy is a journey that people often embark on when life presents challenges, or they identify areas where they believe they could benefit from change or self-discovery. I consider it a privilege when my clients allow me to take that journey with them. I view our work together as a collaborative process where we explore the different elements of who you are, such as your family of origin and your personal experiences, and how they are affecting your life. I provide a caring, supportive, and non-judgmental environment to begin your therapeutic journey.
As a therapist, I have training, and experience working with children, adolescents, adults, couples, and families around a broad range of issues, including, but not limited to, anxiety, depression, and relationship conflict. Some of my favorite approaches include cognitive behavioral, systemic family therapy, emotion focused therapy, and attachment theory. I consider my therapeutic approach to be eclectic, pulling from these theoretical orientations in order to best serve your unique needs.Education:
Doctorate degree in Marriage and Family Therapy from the University of MinnesotaExperience:
9+ years of experience in private practice, academic settings, and community agenciesSpecialties:
- Individual, couple, child and family therapy
- Diagnostics assessment and treatment planning
- Medical family therapy
- Caregivers for older adults with dementia
- Relationship dynamics in chronic illness
- Intergenerational relationship issues
- Marital, pre-marital, relationship concerns
- Child Adolescent issues
- Parenting concerns
Sonal Markanda, PhD, LP, CCTP-II, PGRS-C
Dr. Sonal Markanda strongly believes in a biopsychosocial approach, integrated assessment, attention to cultural and spiritual/religious factors, and working collaboratively with an individual’s established treatment team (primary care physicians, etc.) to provide an optimal counseling experience.
She respects the courage it takes to attend counseling and finds it a privilege to be of service to others.
“There must be those among whom we can sit down and weep and still be counted as warriors.”
― Adrienne Rich
Dr. Markanda loves all animals, has 3 cats, and is looking forward to getting a dog.
Dr. Markanda received her Ph.D. at the University of Minnesota in Counseling and Student Personnel Psychology. She received both her Bachelor of Science in Psychology and Masters of Education in Counseling Education at Northern State University.Experience:
Dr. Markanda has many years of clinical experience in the mental health field providing inpatient and outpatient services to adults, adolescents, and children with a broad range of diagnoses. She is skilled in providing therapy via multiple modalities including individual, group, and family counseling.
Dr. Markanda also has experience in public policy/consultation. She is proficient in applying technology within the clinical sector including conducting detailed, high-level statistical data analysis. Previously, working for the Department of Human Services, she was tasked to enforce state and national Medicaid standards and served as the public policy consultant for Dialectical Behavior Therapy, Integrated Dual Diagnosis Treatment, and Culturally Specific Grants. She has the demonstrated ability to oversee concurrent projects that are clinical, policy-based, and financial in nature.
Dr. Markanda is board approved to supervise LPC and LPCCs.
- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Panic Disorders, Phobias)
- Culturally Sensitive Therapy/Culturally Specific Issues
- Individual/Couples/Family Therapy
- Mood/Affective Disorders (Depression, Anxiety, Bipolar I and II, Schizophrenia)
- Psychological Testing (Personality and Cognitive)
- Spiritual and Life Issues
- Women's Issues
- Attachment Informed Therapy
- Certified Clinical Trauma Professional
- Clinical Supervision
- Pet Loss Grief Recovery
Mara Pease, PsyD, LP
My clinical and personal experiences have taught me that life is not always easy or predictable. However, I believe that all human beings have the capacity to survive and thrive amidst mental and physical adversity. At the same time, I also deeply appreciate that the journey in doing so can take an incredible amount of struggle, humility and vulnerability. For most, therapy and introspection involves hard work. I believe my clients demonstrate a sense of courage just by walking in the door. I communicate this understanding early on, which sets the tone for the therapeutic alliance as a relationship that is based in mutual respect and authenticity. I also strive to express a stance in which I honor all ways of being with acceptance and non-judgment. My clients are the experts on their own lives. I welcome the unique viewpoints and cultural norms that each individual brings to the therapeutic environment and attempt to remain mindful of differences in thought, behavior, context, and expression of symptomology.
I view my role as a therapist in three equal parts: a “Coach”- continuously attempting to inspire individuals to utilize their innate strengths, a “Co–Investigator”- working collaboratively to test hypotheses, set goals, direct treatment, and monitor progress, and a “Teacher”- providing education on a myriad of mental health topics from brain processes to coping skills.
For me, an integration of cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) and mindfulness techniques provide a flexible framework from which to work with varying needs. It also represents attention to evidence-based practice and encapsulates the essential therapeutic components that I believe translate into meaningful change. I also have advanced training in Exposure with Response Prevention (ERP), Motivational Interviewing (MI) and Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT), which I utilize whenever appropriate.
- Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Minnesota
- Master’s Degree from Saint Mary’s University
- Doctorate Degree from the University of St. Thomas
10+ years of experience in hospital, private practice, neuropsychology, and community mental health settingsSpecialties:
- Health/Medical Concerns (e.g., Cancer, Multiple Sclerosis, Lupus, Fibromyalgia, Chronic Lyme’s Disease, Digestive Disorders, Heart Disease, Severe Food Allergies, Chronic Skin Conditions)
- Grief/Bereavement and End of Life Issues
- Caregiver Support
- Chronic Pain
- Anxiety Disorders (e.g., GAD, OCD and phobias)
- Stress Reduction, Mindfulness, and Relaxation Training
- Sleep Concerns