Meet the Clinical Team

Jeff Agaton Howes
MSW, LADC

HDC Program: St. Louis County Adult Outpatient Therapy

Certifications: MSW, LGSW, LADC, Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR I & II)

University: University of Minnesota – Duluth, University of Wisconsin Superior, and Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College

Areas of Professional Interest: Working with adults and young adults experiencing a wide range of human experiences including grief & loss, addiction, depression, anxiety, and trauma.

About Me: I was born in Olongapo City in the Philippines and grew up in the Midwest United States. Currently, I live with my beautiful and talented wife on the Fond du Lac Reservation with our two kids, two dogs, and chickens. I enjoy practicing Aikido, sailing my catamaran, and attempting to not drown with my new hobby of scuba diving.

Why HDC: I am fortunate to be part of a team at HDC where we value access to affordable, quality, culturally respectful mental health services that fosters hope, self-determination, and recovery. I enjoy being alongside, listening to, and bearing witness to the many stories of people that live here in the Northland. It’s an honor to work with my peers and with people from this community.

Haley Aldinger
MSW, LGSW

HDC Program: St. Louis County Adult Outpatient Therapy

Certifications: MSW, LGSW, and Eye Movement and Desensitization and Reprocessing Therapy (EMDR) trained 

University: University of Minnesota – Duluth

Areas of Professional Interest: Working with adults and adolescents experiencing mental health concerns and am interested in Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT).

About Me: Whether it is being on a pontoon or four-wheeling with friends, I love spending time outside! I also enjoy shopping, traveling everywhere and anywhere, trying new restaurants, and spending hours watching Friends on Netflix.

Why HDC: One of the biggest reasons that I work in community mental health is because I want to empower and strengthen the self-determination for all individuals in a broad spectrum of populations and backgrounds. HDC works hard to empower everyone’s right to self-determination, while respecting their dignity and need for healthy connection with their community.

Racheal Barnaal
MSW, LGSW

HDC Program: St. Louis County Outpatient Therapy

Certifications: Eye Movement and Desensitization and Reprocessing Therapy (EMDR) trained and Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT)

University: The College of St. Scholastica

Areas of Professional Interest: Grief and loss, depression, anxiety, trauma, and life changes throughout the stages of adulthood.

About Me: I enjoy cooking, reading, and spending time with  family and friends.

Why HDC: Community Mental Health is inspiring because I am provided the opportunity to work with a diverse and unique population. Working at HDC and within my community has been and continues to be rewarding. 

 

 

Shannon Bayless
MSW, LGSW

HDC Program: St. Louis County Child and Family

Certifications: MSW, LGSW, TF-CBT, CBITS, and EMDR

University: College of St. Scholastica

Areas of Professional Interest: School-age and adolescent children, Depression, Anxiety, and Trauma

About Me: Most of my free time is spent coaching cheerleading or with my family and my dog.

Why HDC: I completed my clinical internship with HDC and was exposed to the coordination between clinical care and supportive services, as well as the school-based mental health services HDC provides. I view this service coordination as quality client care, and it was something I wanted to continue to be a part of.

Tanya Bednarek
LADC

HDC Program: Addiction Services

Certifications: Licensed Alcohol and Drug Counselor

University: University of Wisconsin – Superior, College of St. Scholastica, Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College 

Areas of Professional Interest: Addiction/Substance Use, Trauma, and Attachment, the neuroscience of addiction and relationships, ABC, Relational Cultural Theory and Somatic Literacy, and EMDR.

About Me: My hobbies and interests include reading, continuing education, painting, and baton twirling.

Why HDC: I have always had a connection and understanding of people’s struggles with addiction and mental health. In today’s world, the need to work with individuals who are suffering is high and having compassionate people working in this profession is a dire need. I feel blessed to be one of those people. When I completed my undergraduate program, I applied to work at HDC because of the reputation it has within the community. I quickly found that I enjoyed the atmosphere I work in, and it was unlike any other place I have been employed. I am also very fortunate that I have been supported by the agency as I continue my education and grow as a professional. I feel that HDC has great employees that truly care about the populations they serve and providing treatment within HDC’s mission statement.

Deb Ellison
MSW, LICSW

HDC Program: Lake County Outpatient Therapy

Certifications: MSW, LICSW, Clinical Supervisor

University: University of Minnesota – Duluth

Areas of Professional Interest: Addictions Treatment, Trauma Work, General Mental Health Counseling, and Geriatric Populations.   

About Me: In my spare time I enjoy hiking, spending time with friends, and just hanging out at my home on the North Shore. I love to cook (and eat)! 

Why HDC: HDC has an inclusive mission statement, and in my almost 16 years of working here, I have found no hint or evidence of anything but professional, respectful services to our clients.

Theresa Gogins
MSW, LGSW

HDC Program: Carlton County Outpatient Therapy  

Certifications: MSW, LGSW

University: Bethel University; College of St. Scholastica

Areas of Professional Interest: Trauma Informed Practice: Children – Adults.

About Me: I was born and raised in the Twin Cities and moved to the Duluth area in 2017. I love spending my down time in nature, going on hikes with my husband and our dog, or just taking a drive up the North Shore. I also enjoy cooking and trying cuisine from around the world.

Why HDC: For me, community mental health is incredibly important. Working alongside individuals dealing with their mental health is a wonderful experience, and HDC provides me that opportunity. It’s amazing to watch the positive transformations individuals make for themselves.

Benita Gusaas-Goodwin
MSW, LICSW

HDC Program: St. Louis County Adult Outpatient Therapy

Certifications: LICSW, EMDR certification in progress

University: North Dakota State University; University of Minnesota – Duluth

Areas of Professional Interest: Depression, Anxiety, Schizophrenia, Complex Trauma, Bipolar Disorder, Elderly, Grief and Loss, Couples, and Co-occurring Disorders (MI/CD).

About Me: When I am not working, I enjoy spending time with my family and dogs. My interests include camping, sewing, spending time outdoors, arts/crafts, traveling, and attending Native American events such as Pow Wow celebrations.

Why HDC: HDC services offer an integrated approach to each person or family that is seeking mental health services in order to promote moving towards the future.

Krystle Haugen
MA, LMFT

HDC Program: St. Louis County Child and Family

Certifications: MA, LMFT, Child Parent Psychotherapy (CPP), Attachment Biobehavioral Catch-Up (ABC), Parent Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT), Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TFCBT), Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), DC:0-5, Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health, and Minnesota Board of Marriage and Family Therapy Approved Supervisor

University: University of Minnesota – Duluth, Argosy University – Twin Cities

Areas of Professional Interest: When I started working in a preschool mental health day treatment program over 10 years ago, I become passionate about working with young children who had experienced adverse experiences. I believe that early intervention is prevention of serious mental health issues later in life and creates a healthy foundation for the children and their families. I also believe anyone can benefit from therapy, so I appreciate and respect working alongside people who are experiencing stress including trauma, life changes, anxiety, depression, and relational problems.

About Me: I’m originally from North Dakota. I came to Duluth to attend UMD and fell in love with this city, so I had to move back once I finished my Master’s Degree! I love and am drawn to the lake and nature within this city. I enjoy spending time with my family and watching my little ones grow, cooking, and listening to music.

Why HDC: I appreciate working for HDC as they have supported training in evidence-based practices to provide quality care to our clients. Community Mental Health is important to me because I want to be able to help anyone who walks in the door with the wraparound services we provide to support people’s recovery. We have the ability to meet people where they are, and I love that about HDC and Community Mental Health!

Taushia Henkel-Johnson
MS, LPCC

HDC Program: St. Louis County Child and Family Team

Certifications: MS, LPCC, Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT), Emotion-Focused Couples Therapy (EFT), Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), and Lifespan Developmental Psychology

University: College of St. Scholastica and Indiana State University

Areas of Professional Interest: Working with survivors of trauma, grief, anxiety disorders, couples therapy, repairing parent-child relationships that are impacted by factors such as parental substance use, depression, and childhood behavioral concerns.

About Me: I have 2 dogs – an English Springer Spaniel and a Golden Retriever! I grew up in a rural farming community (Crookston, MN), and I have 6 nieces and nephews who could make my heart explode with love. I got last place in my junior high track meets several times, and I have the ribbons to prove it!

Why HDC: As a therapist, I wanted to make sure that I was not only serving clients who were privileged enough to have wonderful healthcare that covers all of/most of the cost of therapy but also those who could not afford to pay out of pocket for the service. It is important to me that I serve a diverse range of clients. I love that HDC has a sliding-fee scale considering a client’s income/ability to pay for services. I also love the emphasis on integrative care (collaborating with psychiatry, case management, primary care doctors, teachers, etc). Additionally, I highly value the extensive training in assessing and treating trauma—rather than chasing behaviors, HDC always assesses for and treats trauma that may be contributing to disruptive behavior. I have experienced some significant loss in my life, and I often wish my family and I had a place like HDC to go to for help when I was younger.         

 

Mark Hunt
MA, LPCC

HDC Program: Carlton County Outpatient Therapy

Certifications: Co-occurring Mental Health and Substance Use Disorders. Eye Movement and Desensitization and Reprocessing Therapy (EMDR) Trained, and Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT) Trained

University: Adler Graduate School

Areas of Professional Interest: Trauma, Midlife Transitions, and Addictions.

Why HDC: I chose Community Mental Health because I like being part of helping a small community thrive.

Lindsey Jackson
MSW, LICSW

HDC Program: St. Louis County Adult Outpatient Therapy

Certifications: MSW, LICSW

University: College of St. Scholastica

 

Ashley Kamantauskas
MSW, LGSW

HDC Program: Lake County Outpatient Therapy

Certifications: MSW, LGSW

University: University of Minnesota – Duluth

Areas of Professional Interest: Women’s Issues, Anxiety/Depression, and Trauma.

About Me: I live in Duluth and enjoy spending time with my family and beachcombing for agates and sea glass.

Why HDC: Mental health issues are just as real and important as physical health challenges and should be addressed as such. Healing should come from a multi-dimensional approach including support from friends and family, psychotherapy, appropriate medications, substance abuse treatment, physical health care, hobbies/interests, and spirituality. Often times, individuals who live in smaller communities have fewer resources available to them. I am grateful to be able to provide guidance and help clients see their challenges and strengths in a new way.

Taryn Lepisto
MSW, LGSW

HDC Program: St. Louis County Child and Family

Certifications: MSW, LGSW, TF-CBT, CBITS, MAP, and Motivational Interviewing

University: College of St. Scholastica

Areas of Professional Interest: Families, adolescents, psychosis, trauma work, depression, and anxiety.

About Me: I love spending time with my dog and my family. I grew up in Duluth and have lived here most of my life. I like to travel when I get the chance. When I’m not traveling or spending time with my dog, I like to craft and read.

Why HDC: I like being apart of what HDC stands for and what the agency brings to this community. HDC can reach so many different people and provide so many different resources.

Cody Lindquist
LADC

HDC Program: Addiction Services

Certifications: LADC

University: College of St. Scholastica

Areas of Professional Interest:  Addiction and Mental Health services.

About Me/Why HDC: I am a person in long-term recovery, and as a result, I know what it is like to walk in the shoes of our clients. Having recovered from my own addiction and mental health issues in the past places me in a position to be of maximum service to those seeking recovery themselves.

Matt Livingston
LADC

HDC Program: Addiction Services 

Certifications: LADC 

University: Lawrence University; New England Conservatory; Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College

Areas of Professional Interest: Pursuing an MSW and/or Personal Trainer/Health Coach certification. 

About Me: I consider myself fully retired from the music field. I enjoy staying busy, helping others, and signing up for the occasional ultramarathon. 

Why HDC: HDC’s brand of comprehensive behavioral health continues to help so many in our community. I am so proud to be a part of it.

Jaime Mallory
MSEd, LPCC

HDC Program: Carlton County

Certifications: PACC (Permanency and Adoption Competency Certificate), TF-CBT, Early Childhood Certified, MSEd, and LPCC

University: University of Wisconsin – Superior

Areas of Professional Interest: Trauma-based therapy, Clinical Supervision, teaching others, and clients of all ages. 

About Me: I love spending time with my family, friends, and children. Seeing my children learning, growing, and becoming their own people is amazing and rewarding. I enjoy picking agates, singing, bowling, and reading. 

Why HDC: I love working for an agency that works so hard to help others. I see the passion that HDC has for supporting our communities and feel lucky to be a part of that. 

Stephanie Mansur
LPC

HDC Program: St. Louis County Child and Family

Certifications: LPC, TF-CBT, EMDR

University: Argosy University

Areas of Professional Interest: Adults and Children with Trauma, Depression, and Anxiety, Family Work. 

About Me: I have Minnesota heart, but a Tennessee soul. I’ve lived in Duluth almost 7 years. I love being outdoors and taking by dog for walks down by Lake Superior every morning. My friends and family are important to me, and I have 3 adorable nieces who are my favorite people.

Why HDC: I appreciate what HDC brings to this community. It reaches so many by so many different avenues. I like being a part of something that is a resource for the underserved.

Rebecca Oachs
MSW, LICSW

HDC Program: St. Louis County Child and Family

Certifications: MSW, LICSW, DC: 0-5, Trauma Informed Child Parent Psychotherapy (TI-CPP), Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT), Parent-Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT), and Infant Parent Mental Health

University: Concordia College, University of St. Thomas/University of St. Catherine,  University of Massachusetts

Areas of Professional Interest: Working with children, specifically with anxiety and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder diagnoses. Providing early childhood specific services to children ages 0-5 and their caregivers/families.

About Me: I like to read, travel, and bake. I was raised in Duluth and returned to the community after graduate school.

Why HDC: HDC had the opportunity for me to be trained in and to specialize in providing therapy services to children ages 0-5 and their caregivers/families, (specifically doing early intervention and prevention work within child-caregiver relationships) which was an area of interest for me when I was in graduate school.

 

Cortni Osterhues
MSW, LGSW

HDC Program: St. Louis County Child and Family

Certifications: MSW, LGSW, TF-CBT, DC: 0-5, and Attachment and Biobehavioral Catch-up for Infants (ABC)

University: College of St. Scholastica

Areas of Professional Interest: Early Childhood (Ages 0-5) and trauma and family work.

About Me: When not at the office, my time is spent with my Goldendoodle, going for walks, hanging out at the dog park, and spoiling him with treats and cuddles.

Why HDC: I chose to work at HDC because of my interest in working with the Early Childhood population to provide preventative and trauma-informed services to young children and their families.

 

Virginia Pappas
MSEd, LPCC

HDC Program: Carlton County Outpatient Therapy

Certifications: LPCC

University: University of Wisconsin – Superior 

Areas of Professional Interest: Substance Abuse, Depression, Anxiety, Eating Disorders, and Dialectical Behavior Therapy Skills.

About Me: I love dogs, movies, being outdoors, knitting, crocheting, and Lake Superior.

Why HDC: As a therapist, I want to be involved in coordinated care and the availability of mental health treatment to every person who needs care.

Rachel Phillips
MSW, LGSW, LADC

HDC Program: Addiction Services and Adult Outpatient Therapy 

Certifications: MSW, LGSW, LADC, EMDR

University: University Wisconsin – Superior; University of Minnesota – Duluth; Fond Du Lac Tribal and Community College

Areas of Professional Interest: Trauma, Addiction, Treatment Groups, Depression, Anxiety, and Eating Disorders.

About Me: I strive to do something I love on a daily basis, like running, spending time in nature, being with my family, or training my dog to be service certified. 

Why HDC: I chose HDC nearly ten years ago because I believe in our mission statement: “Helping those most in need improves the quality of life for all.” The work we do here helps reduce the stigma of receiving mental health services, and that’s very important to me.

Jean Pierce
MA, LP

HDC Program: Carlton County Outpatient Therapy

Certifications: Licensed Psychologist

University: University of Minnesota – Duluth

Areas of Professional Interest: Working with the full range of mental and behavioral health diagnoses across all ages (infants, children, adolescents, and adults).

About Me: I have lived in this area for 43 years. I have three adult children and five wonderful grandchildren. This area is fantastic and beautiful and has been great for me as I love to skate, ski, walk by the lake, agate hunt, and feed the birds and all other creatures that live in my backyard. My family loves to return to this area to enjoy all that Duluth and the surrounding area provides.

Why HDC: Community mental health breaks down the barriers for receiving treatment for mental health and addiction services by providing more people the opportunity to recover while maintaining family relationships, social relationships, and work schedules. HDC staff recognize and validate the needs of our clients as our first priority. HDC has given me the opportunity to learn a tremendous amount about mental health and life in general via training, consultation with knowledgeable colleagues, and exposure to a wide range children, adolescents, and adults. I have experienced a supportive, flexible, respectful, and responsive culture while being employed at HDC.

Alli Pikul
MSA, LICSW

HDC Program: St. Louis County Child and Family

Certifications: MSA, LICSW, TF-CBT, EMDR, DC 0-5, LGSW, and LPC Clinical Supervisor

University: University of North Dakota

Areas of Professional Interest: Children and Families, Traumatic or Stressful Events.

About Me: I enjoy spending my free time baking and cooking or being active. I often spend time hiking or with my family and friends at the lake.

Why HDC: I feel passionate about community mental health because as a service agency, HDC allows us to work more comprehensively with our clients. I was originally drawn to HDC because of the agency’s prioritization of evidence-based treatment models and school-based therapeutic services.

Kiley Pronschinske
MSW, LGSW

HDC Program: Carlton County Outpatient Therapy

Certifications: MSW, LGSW

University: College of St. Scholastica

Areas of Professional Interest: Children and Adult Community Mental Health services.

About Me: Outside of work, I can be found outdoors, hiking, reading, watching sports, attending concerts, or visiting friends and family.

Why HDC: The Human Development Center is a wonderful place to work because we put the clients first. My overall goal is to establish and maintain positive working relationships with clients to assist them in living healthier lives and achieving their goals. 

Shana Roberts
MSW, LGSW

HDC Program: Lake County Outpatient Therapy

Certifications: MSW, LGSW, Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT), Eye Movement and Desensitization and Reprocessing Therapy (EMDR) trained, and Cognitive Behavioral Intervention for Trauma in Schools (CBITS)

University: College of St. Scholastica 

Areas of Professional Interest: School-aged and adolescent children, Depression, Anxiety, and Trauma.

About Me: I really enjoy spending time with my family, and I have four wonderful nieces. Gardening is my favorite hobby. Animals are a big part of my life, especially my cats. 

Why HDC: I work in community mental health because I believe in the power of connection and community. At HDC, I have the privilege of providing services in school-based settings to those in rural areas including Two Harbors and Silver Bay.

Sharlene Santmyer
MSW, LGSW

HDC Program: St. Louis County Community Support Programs (CSP)

Certifications: MSW, LGSW

University: College of St. Scholastica

Areas of Professional Interest: Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Dialectical Behavior Therapy Skills, and Somatic Therapy.

About Me: My family consists of my husband, dog, and many extended family members. My hobbies include reading, sewing, crafting, and exercising. I have a strong belief in giving back to the community and making our community better for everyone. I am interested in Somatic Therapy and plan to go back for my Somatic Therapy certification. 

Why HDC: I work in community mental health because I believe in the mission of HDC and giving back to the community. I really appreciate the variety of services provided by HDC. The comprehensive services allow for comprehensive care when needed.

Lori Sternal
MA, LP

HDC Program: St. Louis County Adult Outpatient Therapy

Certifications: Licensed Psychologist, MA

University: College of St. Scholastica

Professional Interests: Working with adults to utilize mindfulness, narrative, cognitive behavioral therapy approaches for treatment of anxiety disorders, depression, bipolar disorder, trauma, and personal growth.

Why HDC: I am privileged to have worked thirty five years for HDC in its dedication to create comprehensive services to meet the mental health needs of our community.

Erin Therrien
MSW, LICSW

HDC Program: St. Louis County Child and Family

Certifications: MSW, LICSW, DC:0-5 diagnostic training for children under 6 years, Attachment and Biobehavioral Catch-up for Infants and Toddlers (ABC), EMDRIA approved training in EMDR, Trauma Informed Child-Parent Psychotherapy (CPP), Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT), Cognitive-Behavioral Intervention for Trauma in Schools (CBITS), and sand tray training

University: University of Wisconsin- Milwaukee and College of St. Scholastica

Areas of Professional Interest: Early Childhood Mental Health, Adolescents, Adults, Parents and Families, Relational Cultural Therapy, and acculturation difficulties.

About Me: I have a background in art, am an adventurous cook, and love to travel. I value the ability to be outdoors and active year round and can be found kayaking, canoeing, mountain biking, cross-country skiing, snowboarding, and playing soccer outside of work.   

Why HDC: I began at HDC as an intern because I liked knowing that I am part of an organization that cares for our entire community and because of the Early Childhood and family focus of HDC’s Child and Family Program. The ability to practice in a collaborative environment that emphasizes relationships is what keeps me at HDC.

Phoenix Walker
LADC

HDC Program: Addiction Services

Certifications: Licensed Alcohol and Drug Counselor, Relapse Management Specialist, Woman’s Ways Facilitator, and Change Companies Facilitator

University: College of St. Scholastica

Areas of Professional Interest: Addiction Studies, Neuropsychology, Relapse Management, and Organization Management.

About Me: I have worked with rehabilitation of abused dogs. I am an avid gamer who enjoys board games, RPG’s and video games. I enjoy reading research papers as a way to relax.

Why HDC: The Addiction Services program at HDC was designed from the beginning with a focus on harm reduction and client strength building. I believe working with clients to increase their periods of sobriety while also supporting long term changes in their lives will enable anyone to obtain and maintain recovery as a lifestyle.

Hannah Waterman
MSW, LICSW

HDC Program: Lake County Outpatient Therapy

Certifications: MSW, LICSW, Early childhood evidence based interventions, Trauma Informed Child Parent Psychotherapy (CPP), Attachment and Biobehavioral Catch-up (ABC). DC0-5 trained, diagnostic manual for children 6 and under, adult trauma work utilizing EMDR, children 6+ utilizing TF-CBT, trained in play therapy and sand tray therapy techniques.

University: University of Wisconsin – Superior, Florida Gulf Coast University 

Areas of Professional Interest: Working on a preventative level within early childhood programs and training HDC clinicians in early childhood evidence based interventions.

About Me: I was born and raised in Duluth, left for 10 years, and returned in 2013 to be near family again. I enjoy being near Lake Superior and exploring the North Shore. I appreciate supporting our local businesses and all that the area has to offer.

Why HDC: I have been passionate about working within my community since receiving my bachelor’s degree in social work back in 2001. I chose to go back to school to get my master’s degree because I wanted to work in community mental health as a therapist. Working at HDC is the perfect fit for me because I believe in the powerful work we all do! Being able to work together as a team of providers is crucial to help support our community.

KayLa Wilson
MSED, LPCC

HDC Program: St. Louis County Child and Family

Certifications: MSEd, LPCC, and EMDR Trained

University: University of Wisconsin – Superior

Areas of Professional Interest: Trauma, First Episode Psychosis, and postpartum mental health .

About Me: I enjoy running, yarning, reading, but most of all, spending time with my family.