Family therapy involves work with families to facilitate change and development. It focuses on the systems of interaction among family members and emphasizes family relationships as an important factor in psychological health and well-being. There are different types of family therapy approaches. Most have a common belief that, regardless of the problem and regardless of whether it is in fact an individual or family issues, involving families in therapy solutions often benefits clients.
Our Therapists Who Specialize in this Area
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 Minnesota
- Masters Certificate Marriage and Family Therapy (2003), St. Mary's University of Minnesota
- Individual therapy
- Family and Group therapy
- Adolescents and Adults
- Specific Phobia
- School Avoidance
- Generalized Anxiety Disorder
Scott Guldseth, PhD, LP
Hi. There is no perfect day to start therapy. There is only the day you are ready. When stressors in our lives become overwhelming or confusing they challenge our ability to maintain the balance for which we strive. Just as each person’s struggle is patented to them, whether in their social, personal, recreation or business life, so too I strive to make my connection with them.
I have worked with people suffering from depression, anxiety, obsessive compulsive disorder, relationship issues, sexual issues, personality disorders, and many more. I embrace building rapport with my clients in a way that allows us to engage in a collaboration of unique, innovative and effective techniques to overcome the challenges, problems and/or difficulties they are facing.
While I have grounded myself in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), I use all my clinical experiences, resources and flexibility to meet my clients where they are in their journey. I take pride in listening to my clients and trying to provide them thoughtful tools they can use long after our sessions are complete. This might include mindfulness work, existential questions, focus and performance exercises, and often includes movie quotes and clips, books and readings, and laughter.
Doctoral Degree in Clinical Psychology from the University of North DakotaExperience:
18+ years of outpatient clinical and forensic psychology using individual, family and group modalities. 10+ years of clinical supervision of other providers for licensure.Specialties:
- Obsessive-Compulsive Issues
- Sexual Addictions
- Relationship Issues
- Increasing Behavioral Performance
Alejandra Aschittino-Rodriguez, MA, LADC, LPCC
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.
- BA is Psychology and Philosophy – Grinnell College, Iowa
- MA in Addiction and Mental Health Counseling – University of Minnesota, Twin Cities
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
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.
BS of Psychology, Edgewood College (2015)
MS of Marriage and Family Therapy, Edgewood College (2019)
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 healthSpecialties:
- 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)
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