Behavioral Health Team

Rick Laska

Rick Laska, LICSW, CST

I am a Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker (LICSW #23383) and psychotherapist, with a focus on issues related to human sexuality. I am a Certified Sex Therapist (CST) and focus on issues related to human sexuality, including, but not limited to: Sexual functioning, sexual trauma, sexual identity, sexual behaviors, arousal concerns, desire discrepancy in relationships, issues with orgasm, and issues with sexual pain.

I work from a psychodynamic, trauma-informed, relational perspective. I primarily use Accelerated Experiential Dynamic Psychotherapy (AEDP and AEDPfC (for couples)) and I incorporate mindfulness, Imago, and behavioral therapies (CBT and DBT). I also work from a risk-reduction perspective, meaning I work with people who are current or former substance users.

My professional areas of interest include, but are not limited to, working with sexual trauma, LGBTQIAA2S people, mindful and tantric sex, individuals struggling with sexuality and substance use disorders, and issues related to non-mainstream sexualities such as kink, BDSM, and non-monogamy.

In addition to offering therapy, I provide supervision for therapists-in-training.  If I am unable to work with you, there are clinical interns and non-independently licensed practitioners who provide care under my license. These therapists share an interest in the types of therapy I do, and we work together to ensure they are engaging in best-practices.

Ultimately in my work, I strive to hear the ways my clients' issues interact with their individual stories and assist them in finding the relationships they want in their lives, with themselves and with others.

Christy Rushfeldt

Christy Rushfeldt, LICSW, LADC

I am a Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker and Licensed Alcohol and Drug Counselor. I work from a trauma-informed, harm reduction perspective. Research and experience indicate a strong link between trauma and coping behaviors that can make life more complicated.

I specialize in working with people with a history of trauma or adversity. I use a variety of approaches in therapy, based on individual needs and preferences as one size does not fit all. Some of these approaches include: Interpersonal therapy, CBT, DBT, EMDR, and Narrative Therapy.

In addition to offering therapy, I provide supervision for therapists-in-training.  If I am unable to work with you, there are clinical interns and non-independently licensed practitioners who provide care under my license. These therapists share an interest in the types of therapy I do, and we work together to ensure they are engaging in best-practices.

When it comes to therapy, the relationship is the priority. I believe people are resilient and utilize a strengths-based approach that seeks to affirm and build on personal resources. Let's work together to identify and address patterns that are stealing your joy.

Chris Lorenz

Chris Lorenz, MBA, LADC

Chemical Health Assessor

I am a Licensed Alcohol and Drug Counselor (#304674).  Over the years, I have worked in various positions within the chemical health field, including: Chemical Dependency Technician, MICD Residential Admissions Coordinator, MICD Residence Manager, Chemical Health Assessor, and Chemical Health Case Manager. Regardless of my position, I have always been most passionate about helping individuals who are experiencing active addiction.

I work from a client-centered perspective that highlights your experiences and values.  By doing this, we can find your strengths and prioritize these within your plan of care. I specialize in working with the LGBTQIAA2S community and people who are living with HIV, specifically around the intersections of chemical dependency, mental health issues, and homelessness in their lives.

When we work together, I want you to feel safe from judgment so we can develop a relationship based on your experiences, your truths, and your goals.  I will always strive to help you find hope and a way to live life with purpose, meaning, and connection with others.

Caitlyn Kerber

Caitlin Kerber, LADC

Chemical Health Assessor/Behavioral Health Intern

I am a Licensed Alcohol and Drug Counselor (#305185) and I am completing my Master of Professional Studies in Integrated Behavioral Health at the University of Minnesota. This degree will allow me to work with both substance use disorders and mental health disorders.

I believe everyone is different and therefore benefits from different types of treatment interventions. I plan to focus on using cognitive behavior therapy (CBT), dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT), and mindfulness techniques through a harm reduction lens when working with my clients.

Most of my experience includes working with LGBTQ+ individuals but I consider myself lucky to be able to work with people from diverse identities! As an LADC, I work with individuals who have various substance use disorders. Many of the individuals I work with have suffered trauma and are dealing with various mental health issues. As a Part-time Chemical Health Assessor, I provide Rule 25 Assessments for people living with HIV, and collaborate with clients to find a treatment program that will benefit them most. As a clinical trainee with JustUs Behavioral Health’s program, I will focus on offering a DBT skills group.

I strongly believe in a collaborative relationship in which clients are able to learn and implement positive, new skills into their lives.

Sam Ness

Sam Ness

Program Assistant

I am currently a Certified Peer Recovery Specialist and I have my B.A. in Non-Western Religion and Anthropology. I have also received my Paralegal Certificate and have worked as an Americorps volunteer. My professional background includes working in legal settings and non-profit settings, especially those specializing in environmental health, sexual health, and women’s health.

After working as a Program Assistant for JustUs Health’s case management program for several years, I transitioned into our Behavioral Health Clinic and have been working at the front desk, as well doing our billing and intakes. As a consumer of behavioral health services for decades, my passion lies in helping others and sharing in their epic journeys. I am educating myself on the topics of neuroscience, mindfulness, risk reduction, nutrition, and exercise not only to improve my health and well-being, but to explore my professional development. Learning about how trauma affects us all, especially as children, has fueled my belief that therapy can be an incredibly powerful tool to help connect us with others and ease some of our suffering. Professionally, I am especially interested in suicide prevention and helping vulnerable communities find the tools and resources they need to live life to its fullest.

Further education is a priority to me and that is why I am also very excited to be working with interns who are doing so much learning and training to become better providers for our community. Working with clients every day, whether it is greeting them at the door or reconciling their claims, makes me feel lucky and fulfilled.

Aaron Spiegel-Emms

Aaron Spiegel-Emms, LSW

Behavioral Health Intern

I am a Licensed Social Worker (#23908) and am currently pursuing my Master of Social Work from Augsburg University in Minneapolis, MN. I chose social work because I love how we take an integrated approach to working with people and seeing people in the context of all aspects of their lives. I am passionate about social justice and working towards a world in which everyone is treated with respect and dignity.

I use a strengths-based, person-centered, risk-reduction, and trauma-informed lens in the work that I do. I believe you are the expert on your own life experiences. I want to specialize in working with LGBTQIAA2S people, which is why I am looking forward to learning from the staff at JustUs Health. I will use multiple approaches in my work as I believe that the best approach is based on an individual’s specific needs and desires.

In the work that we do together, I want to affirm your strengths and find new ways to approach areas where you are seeking help in your life. I believe that you are resilient and already have many tools for success. I believe that therapy is a collaboration between us to uncover those strengths, identify patterns, and develop new strategies where they may be needed in your life. I want to work together to reach your goals and help you to live a passionate and authentic life.

 

Jeff Eberhard

Jeff Eberhard, LSW

Behavioral Health Intern

I am a Licensed Social Worker (#16022) and a student in the Master of Social Work program at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities. I have been a social worker since 2000, with professional experience in acute mental health settings, long-term care and skilled nursing facility settings, as well as providing case management services as a guardian/conservator when individuals have been deemed incapacitated to manage their own affairs.

My professional experience and areas of interest include working with individuals diagnosed with severe and persistent mental illness (SPMI), co-morbid/co-occurring chronic health conditions, and with LGBTQ+ persons. I use a strengths-based approach, using my relationship with my clients as a focus of the work.

I am looking forward to providing therapy for JustUs Health’s clients throughout this next year! I hope to share my skills, thoughts, and listening capacity with every client I have, as well as ways to use the unique training that JustUs Behavioral Health offers. My involvement at JustUs Health is a great match for me, and I look forward to working with you!

Jen Reddig

Jen Reddig

Chemical Health Intern

I am a chemical health intern and first-year graduate student working toward my Master of Social Work degree at St Catherine University/University of St. Thomas. My goal is to become a Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker and to practice therapy with individuals, couples, and families. I’ve chosen this field because I believe in everyone’s ability to choose their best life! I want to be a resource for my clients, providing a supportive relationship as they learn skills they can use to accomplish their goals.

I work from a humanistic perspective and believe in a person-centered approach. I also believe in tailoring my approach to each of my clients’ unique needs. I have experience in teaching cognitive-behavioral, emotion-regulation, visualization, meditation, and imagination skills.

My goal is to work with members of the LGBTQ+ community, providing safe, respectful, and culturally-informed care. This is one of my primary focuses as I complete my education and internship with JustUs Health. I have a background in ethnic studies, as well as Spanish language and culture. I also have a strong interest in the experience of minority communities, intersectionality, grief and bereavement, building healthy relationships, and teaching skills around self-advocacy and boundaries.

The most important thing for me is meeting people where they are at and cultivating a sense of awe at the innate value and potential in every human being.  

Sara Kelly

Sara Kelly

Chemical Health Intern

I am a chemical health intern at JustUs Health and a full time graduate student at St. Catherine University/University of St. Thomas working towards my Master of Social Work degree. I chose to go into social work because of my desire to serve others and to help connect struggling individuals with the resources and services they need.

After completing my degree, I plan on obtaining my LICSW and practicing trauma-informed, narrative therapy in the future. I hope to work with clients in the queer community, as well as people who are working through issues surrounding their gender identity, sexuality, past trauma, depression, suicidal ideation, and substance use.

I believe that we are the experts of our own experiences, that our truths and histories deserve to be listened to with genuine openness, interest, and non-judgment. I’m not here to “fix” anyone; I just want to help folks develop tools that will allow them to care for themselves and their communities.

Leah Bonine

Leah Bonine

Behavioral Health Intern

I am currently completing my final year at St. Catherine University/University of St. Thomas Master of Social Work program. As I intern at JustUs Health, I hope to implement diverse types of therapy including: cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT), trauma-informed therapy, art therapy, and the use of attachment theory in my work.

Although I am open to working with anyone who walks in JustUs Health’s doors, my areas of professional interest are: depression, anxiety, trauma, sexual trauma, chronic pain, and life-long health issues. I especially hope to work with women who have experienced trauma.

I believe that engaging in the creative process and creating art can help people get in touch with their emotions, especially those they are not aware they are feeling. It can be deeply healing to create an open and honest relationship with your therapist. As a result of this relationship, we form a deeper understanding of the patterns of your past and use this information to help you change and create healthier, more-adaptive relationships in the future. I believe my clients are stronger and more resilient than they know. I want to help people see their strengths and build the skills to navigate our often-difficult world.