Meet Our Team

  • Katie Erickson,
    MA, LPCC

    The biggest part of my job as a therapist is feeling compassion for others. I get to work each day with my colleagues who are like family and who also are passionate and dedicated to serving this community. In addition to counseling, I'm a mediator for family, community, and business meditations, and I work on the business end of the Duluth Counseling Center. What an opportunity I have, to come to work, enjoy my job, enjoy who I’m working with, and work with so many others who are also excited to be here, all while making a difference in people’s lives. I strive not to give up on a person, even those upon whom others have given up. I see my role as a cheerleader and giver of hope as I try to pass on unconditional support. I am fervent about meeting people where they’re at and providing them a space of nonjudgmental support. My goal is to help my clients find or regain their purpose and happiness that they may have lost due to life adjustments, depression, anxiety, etc. I work with individuals, families, and couples. Away from work, you will find me outdoors in most of my free time with my husband, children, and friends. My friends will attest that I actively live my life by the motto “There is no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothing.” I’ve coached youth hockey. I particularly like getting girls interested in hockey and in golf. I enjoy hunting and shooting; I strive to be a female role model in these outdoor sports. I also volunteer in the courts and the community providing mediation services. I am also passionate about education and I am on the Board of Directors at my children’s school. Lastly, I am an avid reader.

  • Aurora Abbott, MS, LPCC

    Hello! I recall from a young age hearing people's stories about life's struggles and wanting to help. I also observed how people pushed themselves out of their comfort zones in life to grow from these challenges, and I see counseling as similar to this. We as humans have wisdom and truths about ourselves, and survive with skills we do not acknowledge. My work in therapy is strength-based and person-centered, while embracing growth and exploring those skills that can develop into new behaviors and thinking patterns.

    I worked in ARMHS for several years prior to graduating from Walden University with a Master's of Science Degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. I work primarily with adults, who may be struggling with adjusting to life stressors, anxiety, depression, grief and loss, and trauma. My approach to therapy is utilizing cognitive behavioral techniques, mindfulness, motivational interviewing, and dialectical behavior therapy (DBT).I am trained in Eye-Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR).

    To share a little about me. I am from the Iron Range area, and enjoy being at the lake with family. I find nature to be a therapeutic and healing place. I love walking, four wheeling, and just being outside. I enjoy spending time with my husband and being a dog mom, listening to music, trying out new restaurants and foods, traveling, and reading biographies.

  • Debbie Becker,
    MSW, LICSW

    One of many things I utilize in my practice, is helping clients learn and grow in their empowerment. I teach about boundaries and the importance of honoring those for ones self and others. I provide insight on how to change negative thought patterns and harmful behaviors. In therapy I take into account the experiences of childhood and examine how we are impacted by those experiences. I believe that honesty is a vital component to one's success in therapy while at the same time I recognize that the truth can be deeply painful for many. I support clients in taking an honest self inventory and walk with them as they move through difficult times in life. I greatly value an open and direct dialogue within my practice. While drawing on a wide variety of methods throughout the therapeutic process, the foundation of my clinical expertise is person-centered and strength-based, with my primary focus being CBT and DBT. I will always provide a safe and nonjudgmental space for clients.  

  • Charles Fai, MA, LPCC

    Charles is a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor (LPCC). Charles loves working with children, teens, families, and midlife adults. Charles has completed trainings in Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TFCBT) and draws from Cognitive Behavioral Therapy concepts in his practice.  Charles believes everyone should have a safe and healing place to work through life's difficulties. Charles specializes in teenager's behavioral concerns, he works closely with parents to address behavioral, concerns at home, in schools and in the community. When working with adults, his focus extends to anxiety, depression, Trauma, specific phobias, and life transitions.

  • Lisa Fedora,
    MA, LP

    I went into counseling with the relatively young mindset of a simple desire to help people. This started in third grade, when I was curious about what motivated people's behaviors and emotions. I am now a clinician with over 25 years experience in the world of mental health, trying to help people simply feel better as all of us journey through life. I have been specifically trained in DBT (Dialectical Behavior Therapy), EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing Therapy) and TF-CBT (Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavior Therapy). I sincerely enjoy connecting and working with people in order to find solutions to issues, relationships, or situations that are life-interfering.

    Outside of work one can find me busy being a wife as well as a mother of two children and 2 Brittany spaniels, who enjoys spending time with friends as well as hiking in the woods, cooking, reading, singing when I can and spending as much time as possible at the family cabin.

    Come chat with me.  

  • Nicole Hawkins,
    MSW, LICSW

    Congratulations on taking the first step to wellness. Even beginning to look for a therapist can be challenging; as there are many different specialties and people to choose from. As a therapist, I am extremely passionate about helping each individual I serve to obtain their personal wellness or maybe just to process difficult/challenging history. Life can be tough, and therapy is there to help; much like seeing a doctor when you are feeling ill or out of sorts. I have a passion for helping people identify and embrace their worth, and rediscover the joy of being human. I approach each person from a non-judgmental and exploratory approach, as labels only help us to categorize and do not allow for intricacies of human nature. My approach to your wellness, includes cognitive behavioral techniques, empowerment, DBT informed, EMDR, and solution focused. My primary areas of specialty include trauma, anxiety, depression, SPMI, crisis, post-natal transition, and problematic sexual concerns/behaviors. I am trained in EMDR, various areas of sexuality, and various areas of supervision/conflict management.

    A little about me, I obtained my Masters of Social Work from the University of Minnesota Duluth and have over ten years post masters experience, but have been working with people for many more. I have three kids, three dogs, three cats, and some chickens. I enjoy running, hiking, snowshoeing, snowboarding and glamping. I am also an avid reader.

  • Andréa Johnson, MSW, LGSW

    I draw inspiration from the profound words of Ann Voskamp, believing that 'Shame dies when stories are told in safe spaces.' With warmth and empathy, I create nurturing environments where individuals can freely share their stories without fear of judgment.

    Rooted in a trauma-informed and strengths-based framework, my focus is on supporting adults through a range of challenges, including complex trauma, depression, anxiety, loss and grief, body image concerns, ADHD, stress management, and life adjustments. With over 15 years of experience in the mental health field, I also bring expertise in working with Severe and Persistent Mental Illness (SPMI), co-occurring disorders, and physical/developmental disabilities.

    I hold a Master of Social Work degree from The College of St. Scholastica. I integrate various therapeutic modalities such as Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT), Relational Cultural Theory (RCT), and Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) into my practice. Additionally, I embrace mindfulness techniques and welcome faith-based perspectives to enrich the therapeutic process. My ultimate fulfillment lies in guiding clients through their unique journeys of healing and self-discovery, empowering them to recognize their inherent worth and value.

    Beyond my professional pursuits, I find joy as a proud military wife and devoted 'dog mom.' In my leisure time, I cherish quiet evenings with loved ones, relish fall hiking adventures, indulge in collecting heart-shaped rocks, and express my creativity through the lens of photography.

  • Stephanie Leahy, MA, LPCC

    Hello! As a therapist, I make it a priority to provide a non-judgmental space for clients to be open, feel supported, and have the opportunity to reflect and grow. I aim to create room for clients to be met with compassion not only by me, but by themselves as well.

    I work with individuals who are having difficulty with anxiety, depression, life transitions, relationship issues, trauma, daily stressors, and more. Together we explore different patterns, better manage symptoms, and re-frame mindsets. Additionally I value the importance of having one’s feelings heard and acknowledged. I most often utilize humanistic and relational therapy as well as CBT.

    I received my bachelor’s degree in Psychology from the University of Massachusetts Boston and my master’s degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Lesley University in Cambridge.

    In my free time I enjoy reading, going for walks, practicing yoga, and surrounding myself with family and friends (and food)!

    Starting therapy can be a scary step and I’m here to meet you where you’re at.

  • Kym Nelsen, MSW, LGSW

    Hello and welcome! It can be intimidating to seek out therapy options and I am glad you are taking the first step! I strongly believe that everyone could benefit from having a therapist to help navigate life's ups and downs. I graduated with my Masters of Social Work Degree from the University of Minnesota Duluth in 2017. Since that time, I have spent time in the community working with children and families. As a professional, I strive to ensure my work with clients is supportive and non-judgmental. I am always looking for ways to make connections with others while ensuring that they have the space to work toward their goals. I utilize strengths-based approaches and relational therapy along with CBT techniques in my practice. I work individually with clients who are facing struggles with anxiety, depression, past trauma, relationship concerns, and many other obstacles. I aim to ensure that clients feel they can speak openly about their current and past stressors and successes in order to learn new skills to help them continue to grow.

    In my free time I enjoy spending time with my family, going to our cabin, and fishing.

  • Kari Nelson,
    MSW, LGSW

    Hello there, and welcome! Whether this is your first time seeking therapy, or you are looking to connect with a new therapist, I am glad you are taking this courageous step to promote growth and wellness in your life. As a therapist, I am here to explore with you ways in which you can recognize and harness your strengths, build resilience, feel empowered, bring about balance, and lead a happy and fulfilling life. Practicing from a genuine mindset of nonjudgment, support, and unconditional positive regard, I am passionate about walking alongside you on your journey toward wellness. I believe that in therapy, your needs are best met with an eclectic approach, and I tend to gravitate toward utilizing cognitive-behavioral theory, mindfulness, empowerment, narrative therapy, person-centered theory, and DBT skills. I also work from a person-in-environment perspective, as no one’s experiences exist in a vacuum, and what is around us shapes our lives in number of ways. Using these tools, I am here to assist you with managing anxiety, depression, interpersonal stress, grief (including such from ambiguous loss), and general stress and overwhelm that can come with day-to-day life. I also have a great deal of experience working with those who are in crisis, individuals living with SPMI, and those who have developmental/intellectual disabilities.

     
    To share a little about myself, I am a lifelong Minnesotan and longtime Duluthian. I enjoy spending time out in the woods, down by the lake, and with family, friends, and my two cats, Paul and Sinatra. I also love to cook, listen to live music, play board games, and go camping. 

  • Ina Newton,
    MSW, LICSW

    Due to many internal and external factors, we can lose track of our best selves. Trauma, stress, oppression, abuse, life transitions, lack of healthy modeling, and much more can make someone feel disconnected, overwhelmed, helpless. Therapy is a powerful tool to help objectively understand how we have come to a specific place in our lives, and allow us to look at where we want to go and who we want to become moving forward. As a therapist it is my goal to guide the process to increase your awareness and insight, work through problems, and understand your own patterns. I recognize the strength in vulnerability, healthy connections and creating liberating experiences that foster safety and self-empowerment. I work with teens and adults struggling with a variety of symptoms and barriers, tailoring my therapeutic processes based on your individual and unique needs.

    Primary areas of focus include: Trauma, Anxiety, Depression, Life stress/transitions. I am trained in Emotionally Focused Individual Therapy, Accelerated Resolution Therapy (ART), Trauma-Focused/ Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT), Relational Cultural Theory with a foundational lens of attachment theory, somatic literacy, and mindfulness.

  • Richie Norris, MS, LPCC

    Everyone needs therapy, whether it be your daily walk or your morning cup of coffee, but life can deal us confusion and challenges that walks and coffee can't always fix! I can support you in changing your thinking patterns, cycles and finding motivation. I can help you work through barriers and adjustments and challenges. It is important to challenge and explore thoughts that you are avoiding or they are negatively impacting your daily routines and expectations. Connecting with others and building rapport are the cornerstones of successful therapy. I can support you through setting goals, finding motivation, and working through barriers and adjustments that are holding you back. My career is where I find my meaning. Working through anxiety, depression, adjustments and relationship issues with my client is most rewarding. My clients say I am trusting, understanding, calm, and approachable.  

    I most frequently use interventions that include mindfulness, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), Person Centered, and trauma related. Everyone should have routine therapy, through self-reflection, an activity, natural support, or professional therapy. I truly enjoy supporting clients as they open up and push through barriers that were once feared or avoided. My clients are important to me and I continue to research and be curious about psychology in order to become the most effective therapist possible.

    I grew up in central Minnesota and graduated from San Jose State University with a BA in Psychology. I earned my Masters in School Counseling at St. Cloud State University and then I completed my License in Professional Clinical Counseling at University of Wisconsin. I have eight years experience working as a high school counselor in a high-risk behavior setting and as an Adult Rehabilitative Mental Health Services provider. My experience has shown me that working with clients that struggle with adjustments, depression, anxiety, mood instability, and relationships is my most fulfilling work.

    Outside of work, you will find me, my wife, and two daughters outside as much as possible. I grew up playing hockey and I continue to play and watch as many games as I can. I enjoy snowboarding, golfing, fishing and playing guitar. Exercising is something I engage in, but can't say that I always enjoy it!

  • Connie Rabideaux,
    MSW, LICSW

    As a therapist, I strive to build a relationship based on trust and empathetic listening. I have a passion for helping people move through the hardships they might be facing in their lives. I feel it is important to provide an environment that is safe, supportive, non-judgmental, and confidential. I realize therapy is not a “one-size-fits-all” approach and I will work with you to help you build skills that are effective for you. Together we will evaluate your progress and work to build the right path that works best for you. I believe we all have struggles in this journey through life and finding a third person who is not directly involved with your situation can be very beneficial in helping you heal. I will help you gain insight into your life, identify negative thought patterns, and challenge you to think “outside of the box”. During the time we spend together, we will focus on strength-based and person-centered treatment.
     
    I currently work with adults and young adults. I have worked with individuals who have experienced severe trauma, anxiety, depression, grief, feelings of low self-worth, stress management issues, distressed interpersonal relationships, problems at work, schizoaffective disorder, social isolation, boundary setting, adjustments to life changes, and individuals who are in need of safety plans due to suicidal behaviors and ideation. I use several therapeutic approaches such as Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy, Dialectic Behavioral Therapy, Motivational Interviewing, and mindfulness. I am trained in Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR.) I have found these approaches to be very successful in treating PTSD, anxiety, and changing the negative scripts individuals have about themselves. Together with the therapeutic approaches mentioned above and your life experiences, I look forward to helping you achieve a healthier and happier life.

    Outside of work, I am a member of the Governor’s Council on Developmental Disabilities and a member of the advisory committee for the Minnesota Disability Law Center. I enjoy spending time with my family, my animals, and near Lake Superior. My undergraduate degree is in Legal Studies with Mediation Diversity from the University of Superior Wisconsin, and my graduate degree is from The College of St. Scholastica.

    I look forward to having the opportunity to work with you. 

  • Kristin Rich, MS

    Hello, and welcome!  I have always been passionate about helping others, and I am honored to have the opportunity to assist on the path to a more fulfilling life. As a counselor, I strive to take a person centered approach in order to encourage clients to empower themselves and take charge of their own healing process. I will always provide a safe, non-judgmental environment in which people can feel comfortable to explore their sense of self, discover their worth, and tell their stories.

    I primarily work with adolescents and adults. I have a background in working with individuals who struggle with depression, anxiety, trauma, and eating disorders. During sessions, I like to use aspects of emotion focused therapy, narrative therapy, and DBT. I also have a Bachelor's degree in art therapy, and love helping others discover themselves through creativity.

    I look forward to meeting you!

  • Lindsay Smart,
    MS

    Hello and welcome! I am excited and happy that you are here! I believe that there are many benefits to experiencing counseling for everyone and every situation. I am passionate about supporting others as they work through anything and everything that does not serve them. I believe that everyone is worthy of the life they want and things they want out of life. Working with such individuals to reach and achieve such things is what I strive for in my practice. I recently graduated with my master’s degree in clinical mental health counseling through Capella University. I have learned a lot throughout my training that has led me to having a particular interest in supporting individuals who experience depression, anxiety, difficulty in identifying and understanding their emotions, and figuring out who they are as an individual along with determining what they want out of life. The therapeutic approaches that I will often utilize include cognitive-behavioral and client-centered therapies with the additional use of mindfulness techniques. I strongly believe that one’s mental health is just as important as their physical health and maintaining it is necessary to living a full and healthy life.

    A little bit about me. I really appreciate being outdoors by the water, especially in the summer. I like to explore and visit new places. Traveling is another thing I thoroughly enjoy and look forward to the opportunity to travel more in the future. Lastly, I love spending much of my free time with my family and friends. 

  • Miranda Stenstrup,
    MSW, LICSW

    As a therapist, I use compassion and empathy to provide a safe space for my clients to feel seen, heard, and understood. My ultimate goal is to build strong therapeutic relationships in order for my clients to freely express their most authentic selves without fear of judgment. I strongly believe connection is the essence of existence and the therapeutic relationship is the core of effective therapy. Life is hard and I am dedicated to supporting individuals through the inevitable ebb and flow of their journey. I hope to help clients build the insight and awareness needed to experience growth, healing, and meaningful change.

    I use a variety of approaches in order to meet my clients where they are in life. I primarily work with young adults who may be experiencing challenges with depression, anxiety, trauma, interpersonal conflicts, low self-worth, and life adjustments & stressors. My work is directed by a client-centered and strength-based lens while incorporating knowledge and skills from Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Trauma-Focused CBT, Mindfulness, Self-Compassion, Attachment, and Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT). I am also trained in Accelerated Resolution Therapy (ART), a form of psychotherapy that utilizes eye movements to produce effective results in treating common challenges such as depression, anxiety, phobias, grief, and PTSD.
     
    Outside of work, I feel most grounded while exploring the outdoors or spending time with family & friends. You can often find me hiking in the woods or camping up the shore. I have a love for traveling and discovering all that this beautiful world has to offer us. In my free time, I am also dedicated to my own self-growth and working on becoming the best version of myself.

  • Jess, Administrative Assistant

    Hi! I'm Jess, and I'm thrilled to be part of the team here at Duluth Counseling Center. With over eight years of customer service and administrative experience, as well as a background in digital marketing and graphic design, I'm excited to bring my skills to a role where I can directly support people in our community. Outside of the office, I enjoy restoring furniture, kayaking, and crafting, in addition to offering digital marketing and graphic design services. I look forward to supporting you and being a part of your wellness journey.

  • Kat, Administrative Assistant

    Hello! My name is Kat, I joined the DCC team in October 2019 having more than 10 years of office/administrative experience. I’m excited to be your first point of contact with Duluth Counseling Center, offering a warm smile and an enthusiastic “Hello”. I feel the work we do here at DCC is important because focusing on our mental health will improve the quality of life, we have in the twin ports. I am super excited to help you on your journey here at Duluth Counseling Center.

  • Erin, Administrative Assistant

    Hello, my name is Erin! I am so excited to support you on your journey here at Duluth Counseling Center.

    I graduated from the College of St. Scholastica with my Bachelor of Arts in Health Humanities. I hope to be a therapist myself in the future. I am currently working towards getting my Masters in Clinical Mental Health Counseling.


  • Karissa, Administrative Assistant

    Hello! My name is Karissa. I am very eager to join the DCC team as an administrative assistant. I attended the University of Minnesota Duluth as a music major with a focus in theory and composition. I plan to return to school to pursue an English degree. I believe mental health is important to us all and a way to improve our health and our lives. I am ecstatic to be one of the first lines of communication when you call or visit us. I can't wait to support you on your journey with us.

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Office Hours

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Monday:

8:00 am-5:00 pm

Tuesday:

8:00 am-5:00 pm

Wednesday:

8:00 am-5:00 pm

Thursday:

8:00 am-5:00 pm

Friday:

8:00 am-5:00 pm

Saturday:

8:00 am-2:00 pm

Sunday:

Closed