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.
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
Morgan received her master’s degree in Occupational Therapy from the University of Minnesota. Morgan is a licensed Occupational Therapist via the Minnesota Board of Occupational Therapy Practice. Morgan is a board certified occupational therapist through the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy and holds her Occupational Therapist Registered credential. Morgan is passionate about ongoing professional development and is currently pursuing Board Certification in Pediatrics with the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy. Additionally, Morgan is pursuing Certification in Ayers Sensory Integration and has completed both level one and level two in the Ayers Sensory Integration certification program.
Morgan has experience in a variety of settings including hospitals, community programs, skilled nursing homes, and outpatient clinics. Morgan has experience working with many populations including children, adolescents, adults, geriatrics, and families. Morgan’s training and expertise focus on assisting children and their families in identifying missed milestones and maladaptive behaviors impacting the child’s ability to successfully engaging in their daily activities and/or interpersonal relationships. Morgan values partnering with children and their families to complete a series of standardized assessments that allow Morgan to critically analyze each child’s development, areas of growth, and strengths in addition to assessing sensory processing to aid in establishing a comprehensive plan of care that is individualized for each child’s unique needs.
Morgan integrates the Ayers Sensory Integration approach into treatment sessions allowing the child to explore, process, and purposefully interact with the environment around them during structured occupational therapy interventions and activities. Morgan believes play and self-exploration are critical for childhood development including physical, social, emotional, and intellectual skill development. Morgan is passionate about incorporating mindfulness, zones of regulation, reflex integration, and sensory integration into therapy along with many other modalities. Morgan has a creative way of making therapy not only effective, but fun for children and families. Morgan enthusiastically pairs problem-solving and adaptive thinking with her training and expertise ensuring she is providing client-centered and evidence-based practices. Morgan desires to raise awareness about the crucial role occupational therapy has in children’s mental health and the healing process due to the mind-body connection.
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.
Mental Health Clinical Intern
Jenna received her Bachelor of Social Work degree from Winona State University, graduating Magna Cum Laude. Jenna is a licensed social worker through the state of Minnesota’s Board of Social Work. Jenna is currently working toward completing her Master of Social Work graduate degree from Winona State University with an expected graduation date of August 2021. Jenna has fervently maintained a 4.0 GPA while balancing her graduate studies, family, and work. Throughout Jenna’s graduate schooling she has received academic instruction and completed training modules for trauma-focused cognitive behavioral therapy, cognitive processing therapy, and alternatives for families: cognitive behavioral therapy. Additionally, Jenna has graduate level academic instruction in specific therapeutic treatment modalities that include, trauma-informed yoga, somatic experiencing, neurofeedback, sensorimotor psychotherapy, internal family systems, expressive arts therapies, and eye movement desensitization and reprocessing. Throughout Jenna’s graduate program she has learned about and practiced utilizing several diagnostic tools, assessment measures and screening tools, and therapeutic interventions through both written and experiential course work.
Jenna is passionate about working with children and families resulting in children and family mental health being her specialty focus as she furthers her clinical experiences and advances her career in the mental health field. Jenna brings to Birchlawn Place Counseling Center, INC extensive experience in working with children and families in various settings to include academic settings and various community-based settings. Jenna has spent the last seven years working in an elementary school setting on the school’s mental health team providing mental health services to students, connecting students and families to resources in the school and community, collecting and assessing student wide data, collaborating with a multidisciplinary academic staff, students, and their families to create student intervention plans that aim to increase student social emotional learning along with support and academic success. Prior to Jenna working in the academic setting, Jenna completed an undergraduate internship with Rochester Community and Technical College’s Upward Bound Program developing and implementing various forms of academic and non-academic programming and activities while concurrently connecting students to applicable resources while fostering relationships with students enrolled in the program. Jenna’s passion for serving the children and families in her community is demonstrated through Jenna’s extensive volunteer history in the community through a variety of youth programs such as Girl Scouts, American Heritage Girls, Young Life Ministries, ARC Kid’s Club, and ARC Buddies Ministry.
Jenna looks forward to implementing all she has learned through her graduate studies, work experiences, and volunteer experience in our community in the clinical setting while completing her clinical internship at Birchlawn Place Counseling Center. Jenna hopes to strengthen her clinical skills and confidence in herself as a clinician through additional academic and training experiences in addition to gaining clinical insight through her clinical internship experiences in which she will be implementing a multitude of mental health interventions, building rapport with clients, partaking in active self-reflection, and engaging in rigorous clinical supervision. Jenna is eager to learn more about the role of trauma and its impact in clients’ lives, attachment issues, parenting assessments, the parent-child reunification processes, parent coaching, and play therapy. Jenna’s long term career goals include obtaining her Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker license and obtaining a Registered Play Therapist credential through the National Association for Play Therapy. Jenna strives to become a highly trained and competent trauma-informed clinical social worker that recognizes early adversity in clients, who collaborates with clients in identifying their strengths to help empower, encourage, and advocate throughout the healing process.