Mental Health Professionals

Mandy Byram

 

Hello! My name is Mandy Byram, and I am a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor, Registered Play Therapist, and an EMDR-trained therapist, which is a form of therapy developed to address those symptoms that often follow experiencing, or being exposed to trauma. I also have training in sandtray therapy and attachment-based therapies. I have worked extensively with child, adolescent, and adult perpetrators and victims of sexual violence for the last nine years. I also enjoy working with individuals and couples on partner-relational discord.

 

Email : mbyram@jthcc.org

 

 

Zachery Eichler

 

"Hello! My name is Zach Eichler and I am a Clinical Trainee on track to become a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor. I graduated from Minnesota State University, Mankato, with a Master of Science in Mental Health Counseling. I received my Bachelor of Science from North Dakota State University (Go Bison!) in Human Development and Family Science. I enjoy working with clients of all ages and am very enthusiastic about providing my clients with the skills they need to reach recovery. I hope that I can eventually become a supervisor for future clinical trainees and teach courses to counselors in training. My weekends are often filled with football, hockey, Settlers of Catan, and spending time with friends and family."

 

Email : zeichler@jthcc.org

 

 

Nicole (Nikki) Gartner

 

 

Hello, my name is Nikki. I am a Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist (LMFT) and Nationally Certified Counselor (NCC). I have experience in providing outpatient psychotherapy for individuals of all ages, couples, and families with a variety of concerns and mental health diagnoses including, but not limited to, anxiety, depression, boundaries/relationship co-dependency, verbal abuse, trauma, attachment, emotional regulation, family stress, and co-parenting. I utilize a client-focused, trauma-informed approach with a balance of both challenge and support. I am passionate about collaborating with individuals, families, and other professionals in providing services.

I received my Bachelor of Arts Degrees in Psychology and Gender & Women’s Studies at Minnesota State University, Mankato in May 2013. I received my Master of Science Degree in Mental Health Counseling at Minnesota State University, Mankato in May 2015.

I am an ally of and work competently with individuals, as well as their families, who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, and/or trans*/non-binary (LGBTQ+). I have specific training in DC:0-5 (diagnosing and treating children ages birth through 5) and play therapy.

Email: ngartner@jthcc.org

 

 

Heather Frantum-Mathes

 

Hi! My name is Heather, I am a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and Registered Play Therapist. My specific areas of interest include working with individuals of all ages to resolve and work through single episodes of trauma or complex trauma.  I provide outpatient psychotherapy to children and adolescents who have been impacted by abuse, neglect, and trauma. I received certification through the Association for Play Therapy as a Registered Play Therapist.  I also a provide trainings and supervision/consultation services to other therapists seeking licensure or certification in Marriage and Family Therapy (LMFT), Licensed Professional Counselors, Licensed Professional Clinical Counselors and/or Play Therapy.

 

I am a graduate of Minnesota State University, Mankato with a Master of Science in Community Counseling with specialized training in Marriage and Family Therapy and Play Therapy. I also hold a Bachelor of Science degree from Minnesota State University, Mankato, majoring in Psychology.

 

I have specialized training in Experiential Play Therapy, Filial Therapy, Theraplay, Parent Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT), both Sandplay and Sandtray Therapies, Incredible Years Groups, In Touch Therapy, and the DC: 0-5, which is the diagnostic criteria for children ages 0-5.

I am also trained in Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), a psychotherapy treatment used to reduce distress connected to psychological symptoms and trauma. I completed the Permanency and Adoption Competency Certificate in June 2017 to better serve families through the adoption process and the loss that surrounds adoption changes and transitions. Most recently I have begun training in Somatic Experiencing (SE) a therapy that aids in the resolution of unresolved trauma that impacts the mental health and the functioning of individuals and their families.

 

 

Email: hfrantum@jthcc.org

 

Justin D Kruse

 

"Hello! I'm Justin, a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, Registered Play Therapist, and proud graduate of Minnesota State University, Mankato. I entered this profession out of a genuine desire to help others in a meaningful way. Buddy, my companion dog, now joins me on this journey. My clinical experience has ranged from the developmental impact of trauma to attachment to the use of multi-sensory forms of psychotherapy in the treatment of client difficulties. I work with individuals across the lifespan and have received specialized training in Experiential Play Therapy®, TF-CBT, EMDR, Filial Therapy, Theraplay®, Sandplay and Sandtray Therapy, Incredible Years Groups and the DC: 0-5. I’m also a 2017 graduate of the Permanency and Adoption Competency Certificate program. And I’ve committed myself to a 3-year-long study and training in Somatic Experiencing. With this close concentration on resiliency-based treatment, attachment, and trauma, I focus on re-establishing the client’s innate capacity for emotional regulation and assist clients in the recognition and release of physical tension that may remain in the body in the aftermath of a traumatic event. I also specialize in strengthening family relationships through play and in addition to trauma and attachment, I’ve treated a wide range of mental health struggles including anxiety, depression, conduct and oppositional behaviors, and ADHD. My philosophy of service includes a collaborative, inclusive approach that draws upon the involvement and expertise of a range of disciplines, supports, and organizations of the client system. I also work competently with individuals who identify as LGBTQ and provide trainings, supervision and consultation to therapists seeking licensure as an LMFT, LPC, or LPCC."

 

Email: jkruse@jthcc.org

Amber Lodes

 

"Hi, my name is Amber Lodes. I graduated from Minnesota State University, Mankato with a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology and from Argosy University with my Master’s in Marriage and Family Therapy. I am currently on track to complete my licensure. I have many years of experience working in the group home setting with Individuals of all ages with a wide range of disabilities such as Autism Spectrum Disorder and Downs Syndrome. I completed my Master’s Internship and then subsequently volunteered at the Bridge for Youth, a Youth homeless shelter in Minneapolis and gained valuable experience working with displaced youth. I enjoy working with Individuals of all ages and find joy in assisting others to live to their fullest potential. I also find joy in reading, watching movies, and spending time with family, friends, and my dog."

 

 

Email: alodes@jthcc.org

 

 

Michelle Nortrup

 

Hello! My name is Michelle Nortrup and I am a Nationally Certified Counselor (NCC) and Clinical Trainee on track to become a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor.  I graduated from Minnesota State University, Mankato with a Master of Science Degree in Mental Health Counseling in July 2017, I have a Bachelors of Science Degree in Psychology with a minor in Gender and Women’s Studies. I have special interests in crisis intervention, couples counseling, and being an ally to the LGBTQ+ community. I hope to someday have a therapy dog and to volunteer with the Red Cross for disaster response counseling. My hobbies include traveling the United States, going to the movies, and spending time with my animals.

 

 

 

Email: mnortrup@jthcc.org

 

 

Laura Pierson

 

"Hello, my name is Laura Pierson.  I am a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and Drug and Alcohol Counselor.  I have over five years of experience working with couples, families, and individuals of all ages, with a variety of presenting concerns. I use an integrative and comprehensive approach to therapy and have a compassionate, genuine, and approachable demeanor. I am enthusiastic, personable, and empathetic and am fully invested in developing a therapeutic connection with clients. I strive to create a sense of safety and trust as clients begin to share their life stories and work on self improvement.

I have worked extensively with individuals experiencing mood disorders, domestic violence, partner-relational discord, trauma, and chemical dependency issues. I utilize a client-focused, trauma-informed approach to therapy. I am trained in Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), a psychotherapy treatment used to reduce distress connected to psychological symptoms and trauma. I also have extensive training in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT).

I completed my educational training at Minnesota State University, Mankato with a Master’s Degree in Mental Health Counseling. I have a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology and Drug and Alcohol Studies."

 

Email: lpierson@jthcc.org

 

Dr. John Seymour

 

Hello, my name is Dr. John Seymour.  I am a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and Registered Play Therapist – Supervisor serving individuals and families in family therapy, play therapy and mental health counseling. My educational training has included an undergraduate degree and three graduate degrees:  a Master of Divinity (M.Div.) in pastoral studies (Southern Seminary; Louisville, KY), Master of Arts (M.A.) in family therapy and psychology (University of Houston-Clear Lake; Houston, TX) and a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in counseling (Texas A & M University; Commerce, TX).

In 2001 I moved from private practice to accept an appointment to the graduate facility of Minnesota State University, Mankato, where I currently serve as Professor of Counseling and Student Personnel, teaching courses in family therapy, play therapy, mental health counseling, and clinical supervision.  I have been providing outpatient services in the Mankato area since 2004 and joined the staff at Journeys Toward Healing Counseling Center in October 2011.

 

Email: jseymour@jthcc.org

 

Brenda Todd-Bense

 

Hello.  My name is Brenda Todd-Bense.  I am a Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker who provides therapy to adults, adolescents, children, and families.  My specialty areas include working with persons experiencing serious and persistent mental illness, developmental disabilities, and sexual behavior issues.  I bring over 20 years of experience in providing therapy.  I am a graduate of the University of Minnesota with a Master’s Degree in Social Work.

 

 

Email: btoddbense@jthcc.org

Mental Health Practitioners

Bridget Anderson

 

My name is Bridget Anderson and I work as a Children's Therapeutic Services and Supports Mental Health Practitioner here at Journeys Toward Healing Counseling Center. I provide in home services to children, ages ranging from 2 to 16, and their families. I received my B.S. in Psychology from Minnesota State University, Mankato in 2013 and have worked in the mental health field since, serving various populations. Children have always been a great source of inspiration and joy for me and I thoroughly enjoy working with them in the way I currently am. My favorite color is purple, my favorite food is chips and salsa, and hula hooping is one of my favorite past times.

 

Email: banderdson@jthcc.org

 

Taylor Montbriand

 

My name is Taylor Montbriand and I am currently a Children’s Therapeutic Services and Supports Mental Health Practitioner here at Journeys Toward Healing Counseling Center. I graduated with honors from Minnesota State University, Mankato in 2016 with a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Psychology and a minor in Corrections. I have been working in a variety of different settings in the mental health field for over 4 years now. My experience includes working with individuals who have severe and persistent mental illness, adolescents that have developmental cognitive delays and the at-risk youth population. In the future, I plan to continue my education and work towards getting my Master’s degree. I enjoy working with other people and strive to improve the quality of everyday life. I am a huge dog lover and I like to stay active and rollerblade!

 

Email: tmontbriand@jthcc.org

 

 

Kellianne Schmidt

 

My name is Kelliann Schmidt. I graduated from Minnesota State University, Mankato in 2017 with a Bachelor's degree in Corrections and a minor in Law Enforcement. I am a Children's Therapeutic Services and Supports Mental Health Practitioner here at Journey's Toward Healing Counseling Center. Working and helping children and at-risk youth has always been a passion of mine. Future plans involve continuing my education and working towards a Master's degree. I love animals and being outdoors in my free time! I enjoy making the most of every situation that life has to offer!

 

Email: kschmidt@jthcc.org

 

Interns

MacKenzie Gohdes

 

"Hello! My name is MacKenzie Gohdes, and I am currently a Counseling Intern at Journey Toward Healing Counseling Center working towards becoming a Licensed Professional Counselor. I received my Bachelor of Arts in Relational Communication from Crown College and am currently finishing my Masters of Counseling through Crown Collage as well. Previously, I had the opportunity to work as an educational specialist and assistant teacher for two different preschool and daycare facilities. I loved being able to work with children as a teacher but felt like I wanted to be able to do more for the care of their social, emotional, and mental health. Once graduated, I hope to continue to learn and grow, specifically, in the area of trauma treatment, play therapy, and working with couples and families. Within the next five years, I hope to not only gain my license but to proceed to become a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor."

 

Email: mgohdes@jthcc.org

 

 

Yukiko Koto

 

Hello! My name is Yukiko Koto and I am an intern student and a second-year graduate student in the Mental Health Counseling program at Minnesota State University, Mankato. I studied Early Childhood Education and worked as a preschool teacher at the Head Start preschool. I also have experience working with high school students as a residential counselor in the past summers at the Upward Bound program. Originally, I came from Japan, and this is my 5th year living in MN. I genuinely love working with individuals of all ages regardless of their race, gender, ethnicity, culture, socio-economic status, religions, and so forth. My special interest is working with couples and families with trauma through play therapy and attachment theory. I am still learning and growing as a counselor, but my strong desire has always been to help others by providing the best part of me. I am very grateful and honored to be part of your journey, and I thank you for welcoming me here at Journeys!

 

 

Email: ykoto@jthcc.org

 

Samantha Pruitt

 

“Hello! My name is Samantha Pruitt; you can call me Sam. I am an intern here at Journeys Toward Healing Counseling Center. I am currently working towards receiving my Master of Science Degree in Mental Health Counseling at Minnesota State University, Mankato. I hold a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Psychology from St. Cloud State University. In the future, I hope to receive specialized training in Play Therapy approaches such as Theraplay, as well as trauma focused therapies in order to provide additional services to my clients. In my free time, I enjoy playing tennis and going to the movies.”

 

 

Email: spruitt@jthcc.org

 

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