Center Director | Clinical Mental Health Therapist
Brittni received her master’s degree in Community Counseling from Winona State University. Brittni is a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor, Registered Play Therapist, and a National Certified Counselor. Brittni is level one trained in Theraplay©. Brittni is DC 0-5 trained. Brittni has completed her training to include additional advanced level training, cohort consultation, and supervision for Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy®. Brittni was vetted for competencies in trauma, attachment, adoption, and permanency related considerations concurrently demonstrating background, education and practice focus necessary to help those touched by adoption, foster care, and kinship care to connect, heal, and thrive in March of 2016 by the MNAdopt’s Help Program and continues to maintain her adoption competent MNAdopt connected therapist status with the MNAdopt Help program. Brittni is currently one of two MNAdopt Help Program adoption competent therapist in the Southeastern region of Minnesota that encompasses fifteen counties. Brittni has experience collaborating with various state and county level entities as an active contributor to the development of a pilot program aimed at increasing the capacity of early childhood mental health providers serving children birth to five years of age within Olmsted County in the state of Minnesota. Brittni is an approved supervisor through the State of Minnesota’s Board of Behavioral Health and Therapy, qualifying her to provide supervision to Licensed Professional Counselors (LPC) applicants and licensees and Licensed Professional Clinical Counselors (LPCC) applicants applying by the conversion method or general method.
Brittni is a National Board for Certified Counselor International Registered Mental Health Facilitator Master Trainer. Brittni participated in the inaugural Rwanda Mental Health Facilitator Capacity Development Program in Kigali, Rwanda in August of 2015. Brittni co-facilitated the Mental Health Facilitator Training in the 2016 Haiti Trauma Project in Croix-Des Bouquet, Haiti in collaboration with Global Trauma Research Inc. and The Haitian American Caucus-Haiti. Brittni collaboratively developed a level two trauma training with four other clinicians from around the globe in 2017 and was part of the implementation team with Global Trauma Research Inc. that piloted the program in Croix-Des Bouquet, Haiti in December of 2017. Brittni continues to collaborate and work with various domestic and international organizations to implement mental health and trauma informed trainings internationally in countries that have experienced significant trauma or hardships and domestically.
Brittni has worked in various clinical settings within the mental health field to include in-home treatment aimed at increasing the daily functioning of adults living with mental health and behavioral concerns, a psychiatric unit within a hospital setting with individuals of all ages experiencing a mental health crisis, clinical research within a university setting, and providing therapeutic services in an outpatient private practice setting to children, adults, and families. Brittni has experience working with many populations including early childhood, elementary aged children, adolescents, adults, and families. Brittni’s training and expertise focus on therapeutic issues include children experiencing out of home placements, adoption, attachment, trauma, self-regulation and an array of mental health and behavioral challenges. Brittni’s special interests are children experiencing out of home placements, children involved with the foster care system, and adoption. Brittni has a passion of integrating play therapy and other experiential modalities and techniques into treatment.
As the Founder and Center Director of Birchlawn Place Counseling Center, INC Brittni provides play therapy, individual therapy, family therapy, group therapy, parent coaching, reunification work for children and their families, and parenting assessments. In addition to providing clinical services, Brittni provides an array of professional services including professional consultation, case consultation, trainings, continued education, and licensure supervision. Brittni believes that an integral part of providing holistic and innovative services is dependent on providing a safe place while fostering connections, emotional wellness, healing, and a sense of community within the children and families she works with.
Clinical Mental Health Therapist
Leighann received her master’s degree in Community Counseling from Oklahoma State University. Leighann is a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor in the state of Minnesota and holds a Licensed Professional Counselor license in the state of Arizona. Leighann is a board certified counselor through the National Board of Certified Counselors and holds her National Certified Counselor credential. Leighann has completed extensive postgraduate degree training and education in Infant and Family Studies through the Harris Institute. Leighann has completed advanced training and has extensive clinical experience in Sand Tray Play Therapy. Leighann is competent in providing services to children and families experiencing adoption and guardianship and has completed the National Adoption Competency Mental Health Training for Mental Health Professionals. Leighann has completed training and has clinical experiences in DC 0-5, Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy®, Circle of Security® parenting program, Trust Based Relational Intervention®, Conscious Discipline®, and has completed some training towards becoming a Clinical Trauma Specialist for Families. Leighann was vetted for competencies in trauma, attachment, adoption, and permanency related considerations concurrently demonstrating background, education and practice focus necessary to help those touched by adoption, foster care, and kinship care to connect, heal, and thrive in April of 2021 by the MNAdopt’s Help Program and continues to maintain her adoption competent MNAdopt connected therapist status with the MNAdopt Help program. Leighann is currently one of two MNAdopt Help Program adoption competent therapist in the Southeastern region of Minnesota that encompasses fifteen counties. Leighann has clinical experience and a passion for providing clinical consultation and community outreach support to organizations such as schools, daycares, and various other organizations that work with children. Leighann partners with the Maternal Child and Family Health Partnership Advisory Committee in Rochester, Minnesota, which is part of the Maternal and Child Health Bureau which administers programs, supports research, and invests in workforce training to ensure the health and well-being of mothers, children, and families.
Leighann has worked in various clinical settings in the field of mental health including in-home therapy for at risk children that have experienced trauma, outpatient office-based work with children and adults experiencing mental and behavioral health concerns, and school-linked therapy for children that have barriers to accessing traditional therapy services. Leighann’s training and expertise focus of therapeutic issues include ADHD, mood disorders such as anxiety and depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, grief, attachment issues, family of origin problems, defiance, aggression, abuse and neglect, domestic violence, sexual violence, and abuse, eating and feeding issues in young children, toileting concerns, communication difficulties, emotional regulation, as well as sensory processing and sensory sensitivity. Leighann has experience working with many populations from all stages of life including infants, early childhood, elementary aged children, and families. Leighann utilizes trauma informed and developmentally appropriate evidenced based practice interventions and is passionate about providing high quality, individualized therapeutic services to young children and their families. Leighann’s approach to therapy is guided by the developmental perspective and integrates components of many modalities, demonstrating her eclectic expertise and therapeutic style. Leighann has a passion for infant and early childhood mental health and therapeutic services, parent-child therapeutic services, and integrating Sand Tray Play Therapy into her practice. Leighann provides therapeutic services with a holistic perspective in mind and views the therapeutic process as a journey toward hope, healing, and integration that she embarks on together with her clients and their families.
Clinical Mental Health Therapist
Heather received her master’s degree in Counseling and Psychological Services from St. Mary’s University of Minnesota. Heather is a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor in the state of Minnesota. Heather has completed training and has clinical experience in DC 0-5, Circles of Security®, Theraplay©, and Trust Based Relationship Intervention ®. Additionally, Heather has completed training and has clinical experience in implementing various trauma-focused interventions and play therapy informed interventions. Heather most recently completed the required training to become a board approved clinical supervisor with the Minnesota Board of Behavioral Health and Therapy. Heather is currently awaiting the finalization of her clinical supervisor application that will allow her the ability to provide clinical supervision to Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor applicants and Licensed Professional Counselor applicants and licensees starting in August of 2021. Heather has experience collaborating with various surrounding counties and local entities providing monthly support groups for foster and adoptive parents and their families utilizing Trust Based Relationship Intervention® ensuring she is providing support that is attachment-based, trauma-informed, and designed to the meet the complex needs of vulnerable children by utilizing empowering principles to address physical needs, connecting principles for attachment needs, and correcting principles to disarm fear-based behaviors that are often a result of trauma and/or a rupture in attachment.
Heather has devoted her entire adult life to servicing children and families. Prior to her clinical practice, Heather worked in an academic setting in both preschool and kindergarten classrooms, in an intensive day treatment program as a paraprofessional assisting children living with Autism Spectrum Disorder, and in-home services as a parent educator working on family dynamics, interpersonal relationships, and caregiver-child attachment. Since transitioning into her clinical practice, Heather has worked in various clinical mental health settings to include agency based in-home therapy aimed at increasing the daily functioning of children and families living with mental health concerns, numerous day treatment settings with individuals experiencing heightened mental health concerns requiring a higher level of care, and therapeutic services in an outpatient private practice setting to children and families. Heather has experience working with many populations including early childhood, elementary aged children, adolescents, adults, and families. Heather's training and expertise focus on therapeutic issues around attachment/attachment disruptions, trauma, adoption, mood disorders, behavioral challenges, family dynamics, self-regulation, and emotional learning.
Heather integrates experiential and play based interventions, techniques, and modalities into treatment. Heather values interpersonal relationships and the importance they play in individuals’ lives. Heather believes in utilizing a strength-based approach when working with children and families while concurrently providing and modeling healthy interpersonal relationships. Heather strives to provide hope and healing for children and families by walking alongside them as they navigate their personal journey. Diligently striving to help others feel heard and valued.
Clinical Mental Health Therapist
Michaela received her dual master’s degree in Art Therapy and Clinical Counseling from Eastern Virginia Medical School. Michaela is a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor in the state of Minnesota. Michaela’s education and training focus includes trauma-informed mental health services, medical art therapy, depth psychology, and exploring the clinical implications of integrating a combination of bibliotherapy and art therapy into service delivery. Michaela has completed her education, an art therapy residency, and her clinical supervision hours to obtain a Registered Art Therapist credential and is awaiting the administrative processing necessary to finalize her Registered Art Therapist credential. Michaela is passionate about continued education and professional development and has plans to expand her services upon joining Birchlawn Place Counseling Center, INC by beginning the rigorous education, training, and clinical supervision required to become a Registered Play Therapist.
Michaela began her counseling career in the state of Virginia, gaining clinical experience in diverse clinical settings within the mental health field that include an academic setting, partial hospitalization program, residential treatment program, an acute inpatient hospital setting, and a burn/trauma unit in a hospital setting. It was through these diverse clinical practice experiences in which Michaela provided services to adolescents presenting with severe mental health needs or in crisis, that Michaela developed a passion for adolescent mental health. Through Michaela’s extensive clinical experiences, she identified the need for and importance of integrating adolescents’ mental health journeys into their family systems. Michaela has experience working with adults, adolescents, children, families, and various diverse populations. Michaela’s career has afforded her the opportunity to gain advanced clinical experience working with the military population, the LGBTQIA+ community, the adoption community, and individuals living with complex physical and emotional trauma and diverse mental health diagnoses. Michaela strives to partner with clients and additional service providers when necessary to make art therapy an accessible resource to all individuals.
Michaela integrates Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Trauma-Informed Therapy, Bibliotherapy, Narrative Therapy, Depth Psychology, and Art Therapy in her clinical approach. Vital components of Michaela’s treatment approach are cultural competency, equality, accessibility, and inclusivity. Michaela values and enthusiastically integrates a person-centered, strength-based, and collaborative approach into care, tailoring her therapeutic approach to each individual and family’s needs. Michaela is passionate about empowering teens in their mental health journey and assisting families in learning, growing, and healing as they unite with their child in a collaborative process.
Mental Health Therapist
Nikki received her master’s degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from University of the Cumberlands. Nikki completed a master’s degree in Early Childhood and Family Development through Missouri State University. Nikki is a Licensed Professional Counselor and is working toward becoming a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor. Nikki is a certified facilitator of the Circle of Security® parenting program. Nikki has completed extensive training and has clinical experience in DC:0-5, Conscious Discipline®, Trust-Based Relational Intervention®, and parent psychotherapy. Nikki has completed multiple post-graduate school trainings related to her specialty areas that include working with young children, families, culturally diverse client populations, and children who have experienced trauma. Nikki is currently enrolled in the National Adoption Competency Mental Health Training Program. Upon the completion of the National Adoption Competency Mental Health Training Program, Nikki plans to apply for and complete MNAdopt’s Help Program’s vetting process to obtain a MNAdopt Help Program adoption competent therapist status. Nikki is fervent about continued professional growth and believes that learning and growing are lifelong processes.
Nikki’s training and experiences include working with children and families living with anxiety, trauma, attachment disruptions and concerns, abuse, neglect, domestic violence, emotional and behavioral dysregulation, family of origin concerns, transcultural families, families formed through foster care and adoption, parenting struggles, identity issues, defiance, aggression, communication difficulties, sensory processing challenges, grief, ambiguous loss, medical trauma, delayed social skills, ADHD, and symptoms related to eating, sleeping, and toileting. Nikki has extensive clinical experience providing family therapy. Nikki provides clinical services rooted in the developmental perspective that are trauma informed and culturally aware with a passion for relationship and attachment focused therapeutic services. Nikki also concurrently approaches therapeutic services as an adaptive and collaborative journey toward wellness, connection, and healing in which she partners with her clients and their families. Nikki recognizes that each client has their own personal, family, and cultural histories that have shaped their perspectives and that they are the experts on their own stories. Nikki is passionate about equity and approaching all clients with respect, acceptance, and authenticity. Nikki’s therapy style is integrated, allowing her to utilize her various competencies and be flexible in meeting the individualized needs of the clients and families with whom she works. Nikki has experience providing services in various settings including in-home, office, school settings, childcare facilities, and community locations to meet the needs of clients and families in the environments where they occur. Nikki integrates various experiential interventions into her clinical practice that are play therapy informed, expressive arts informed, and sandtray therapy informed. Nikki’s believes that services are most effective when individuals recognize the multitude of impacts the various systems in one’s life can have on an individual. This belief fuels Nikki’s passion for working with all systems that that impact the children and families, including immediate and extended families, schools, childcare providers, communities, other family supports, and the individual’s culture.
Pediatric Occupational Therapist
Krissy received her master’s degree in Occupational Therapy from the College of St. Catherine. Krissy is a licensed Occupational Therapist in the state of Minnesota. Krissy is a board certified occupational therapist through the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy and holds her Occupational Therapist Registered credential. Krissy is a trauma-informed Occupational Therapist and completed a yearlong psychotherapy training from the Center of Self Leadership where she successfully completed the Level 1 Internal Family Systems (IFS) certification. Krissy is a certified HeartMath Practitioner, who utilizes biofeedback technology to teach the children, adolescents, and adults how the mind, body, brain, and emotions can return to balanced alignment. Krissy has obtained the Therapeutic Listening certification as well as completing Soundsory® training. Both of which are sensory motor based auditory programming and technologies. Krissy maintains a Certificate of Proficiency in the Developmental, Individual Difference, Relationship-Based Model (DIR®/Floortime™) which promotes the child’s development through a respectful, playful, and joyful process. DIR®/Floortime™ utilizes the power of relationships and human connections to promote engagement, communication, positive behaviors, and thinking. Krissy has extensive background and training in a variety of sensory integration techniques and approaches. Krissy has a special interest in feeding and eating difficulties, having completed a variety of trainings and certifications including trainings focusing on special and complex feeding populations.
Krissy has practiced in several pediatric settings that include outpatient rehab, home care, and the public-school systems. With over fifteen years in the occupational therapy field, Krissy has extensive training, experience, and expertise in treating and working with general developmental delays, visual motor difficulties, and visual processing difficulties, learning and attention disorders, sensory processing difficulties, coordination disorders, functional fine motor, and mental health concerns. Krissy is dedicated in exploring the relationship between the effects of trauma on the nervous system, specifically the sensory system and how that uniquely emerges in the child’s daily activities, relationships, and environments. Krissy is excited to be a part of the multidisciplinary team at Birchlawn Place Counseling Center, INC, allowing her to collaborate with mental health clinicians dedicated to holistically addressing mental health concerns and the general wellness of the children and families they service.