Life can be viewed as a series of “stepping stones” in which the circumstances we face, both positive and negative, establish a path that shape our lives. Sometimes, these stepping stones consist of moments where we may experience a strong sense of accomplishment, and dreams are fulfilled. Other times these stepping stones turn into a path that leads to brokenness, loneliness and despair.

Many stepping stones in my own life turned into my passion to become a therapist. My heart was broken for children and their families. I was drawn along a path which allows me to work with others who are hurting but need a guide to return to a path of healthy stepping stones. After college I worked in an emergency shelter satellite home which took in children who had been removed from their homes by Child Protection Services. I then moved along to a Central Intake facility where I learned the importance of accepting people where they were in that moment. My path then took me to northern Minnesota where I worked with children, adolescents, adults and families impacted by complex trauma, including physical, emotional, and sexual abuse. I also worked with a number of families dealing with the impacts of military service on families.

Some of my own stepping stones have been very difficult. But they have also allowed me to see miracles happen in the lives of people when they are able to find hope in their own circumstances when they recognize that there are healthy ways to find their way back to a healthy and happy path. God, in His graciousness, wants to help each of us on our journey to make sense of our own “stepping stones”. My goal as a therapist is to guide my clients along a path leading to true success.

As a Christian, there are stepping stones not only in our personal lives but also in our own faith journey. I Corinthians 1:3 talks about how God comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort those going through difficult times. As a Christian therapist, my goal is to take that outpouring of compassion and acceptance and come alongside people wherever they are in their own personal or spiritual journey and guide them on the journey intended for them.

Also, I believe that God loves His people and can work in a variety of ways to bring healing and restoration to our lives. There are a number of different tools to assist in that journey. I have a specialty in play therapy and filial therapy. I utilize a child centered play therapy approach in which children (ages 2-10) are able to freely express their feelings and take a lead in solving their own problems. I also utilize filial therapy as a way to help parents or caregivers establish stronger attachments with their children. This is a model in which I train and supervise parents while they learn how to conduct non directive play sessions with their own children. I am also certified as a Somatic Experiencing practitioner which is a mind/body approach to working with psychological trauma. This model involves helping people to physiologically discharge trauma from their bodies and focuses on nervous system regulation. I also have experience in working with children in foster care, adoptions, custody disputes and military families. In working with adults, I attempt to meet people where they are at and together help establish the best method of treatment based on what the client is facing.

Experience

Rachel holds a Bachelors degree from Northwestern College in Psychology with a emphasis in Marriage and Family. She has obtained a Master of Arts degree from Bethel College in Counseling Psychology and a post-graduate certificate in child and adolescent mental health. She has also completed advanced classes in Marriage and Family Therapy at the University of St. Thomas. She is a licensed therapist (LPCC) in the State of Minnesota and a Registered Play Therapist (RPT).