We're Here to Help
Welcome to Mount Olivet Counseling Service! Mount Olivet Lutheran Church is one of the few churches in America which supports a professional, ethical, licensed Counseling Service to aid in dealing with the tensions, pressures, and stresses of everyday living for its members and the community. Our services help people work through their concerns through the use of psychotherapy and/or medication in a supportive setting that is open to those of all faith perspectives. Our therapists include Licensed Marriage and Family Therapists (LMFT), Licensed Professional Counselors (LPCC), a Licensed Alcohol and Drug Counselor (LADC), and a supervised Graduate Student Practicum Counselor. We offer therapy for adults, older children, adolescents, couples and families. A variety of support and psychoeducational groups are offered as well. We also have a consulting psychiatrist and a medical internist who provide medication management for existing clients of Mount Olivet Counseling Service.
We are a fee-for-service counseling service. We do not bill health insurance, thus payment is due at the time of scheduling. For each counseling and medication management session, we charge $50 for members of Mount Olivet Lutheran Church, and $100 for non-members. If the need arises, we provide reduced-fee sessions with our supervised Graduate Student Practicum Counselor. If desired, we can provide an official claims form for clients to submit to insurance to bill for out-of-network reimbursement, or to be reimbursed through a Medical Flex Spending Account or a Health Savings Account.
Benefits of fee-for-service counseling:
- Couples and family therapy availability: Insurance does not cover relational difficulties; a DSM-V diagnosis is required for one of the members, and a statement that the other person is participating in support of that person. That is not what relational counseling is, and it is unethical to label it otherwise just to make it ‘medically necessary.’
- Greater confidentiality is in place for you since information such as a treatment plan and diagnoses are not being released to an insurance company. This information can follow you, be documented on health records and result in affecting life and health insurance applications and other benefits or services.
- Session availability: Together, we can determine how many times we meet, and for which reasons/issues, instead of the insurance company making that decision.
Therapy is a very positive step to take! We look forward to meeting with you, hearing your story, and addressing your needs. Please reach out if you are experiencing an increase in mental health symptoms or just need someone to talk to. To schedule an appointment, email Molly Pach or leave a message at 612.927.7335 ext. 10.
Counseling Staff Info
Shannon Himango, MA, LMFT
Shannon is the Director of the Counseling Service, and a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. She provides the general practice of counseling for adolescents through adulthood, couples and families. She strives to offer an environment of trust, safety and respect in which clients may explore and process important feelings and issues. Shannon utilizes a straight-forward yet approachable systemic and trauma-informed focus. Areas of interest and training include relational issues such as couples therapy, premarital counseling, parenting support, divorce transition, co-parenting and blended family support, eldercare issues, and sexual relationship concerns. She also works with more individual issues such as anxiety, depression, values clarification, personal growth, grief and loss, assertive communication, mindfulness/healthy self-care practices, work-life balance, sexual/gender identity issues, and she is LGBTQ Affirmative. Shannon has been working in the helping professions for 35 years; in mental health, social services, and youth and family ministries settings, and has taught at the graduate level. She has been a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist since 2006, and is a certified Prepare-Enrich Premarital Assessment Facilitator, a Clinical Fellow with the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy, and a Clinical Member of the MN Association for Marriage and Family.
Sherri Dunham, MA, LPCC
Sherri is a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor (LPCC). She earned her MA in Counseling Psychology from the University of St. Thomas in Minneapolis and has been practicing since 2010. Sherri has experience working with adults, adolescents, and couples of diverse cultural and ethnic identities with issues surrounding depression, anxiety, trauma, life transitions, grief and loss, and more. Sherri’s integrative approach to talk therapy rests at an intersection of clinical psychology and spirituality, which is tailored to her clients’ values and priorities. Working with Sherri can help you build a stronger and more compassionate inner foundation so that you can experience greater ease in all of your relationships, including the one with yourself. Sherri works Monday through Friday, which includes daytime and evening hours.
Fredrick Ferris, MD
Dr. Fredrick O. Ferris is a graduate of the University of Minnesota Medical school and is board certified in Internal Medicine. He has practiced Internal Medicine in St. Paul since 1977. One of his interests in primary care is mental health disorders. He provides medication assessment and consultation for existing clients of Mount Olivet Counseling and coordinates care with Mount Olivet therapists and other health care providers. He has been a member of Mount Olivet Lutheran Church since 1972.
Ron Groat, MD, Psychiatrist
Dr. Ron Groat has a private psychiatry practice in Minnetonka providing psychiatry for adults and older adolescents. He provides medication assessment and consultation for existing clients of Mount Olivet Counseling and coordinates care with Mount Olivet therapists and other health care providers.
Nikki Knudson-Dalal, MA, LMFT, LADC
Nikki has been working and volunteering in the mental health/social service field since 1993. Her clinical experience includes working with couples and families in substance abuse clinics, group homes with adults with developmental disabilities, correctional settings, supportive housing for long term homeless, and providing group facilitation/education on chemical health. As a marriage and family therapist and alcohol and drug counselor, she is able to integrate her knowledge of substance abuse and addiction issues and how it affects relationships and the family. She uses a combination of, Strength Based, Client-Centered and Solution-Focused approaches. She assists clients in coming up with their own solutions and ideas for personal insight, change and growth. She also aims to create a safe and comfortable environment, where clients can freely discuss the topics/issues in their lives that they see as important and valuable. Nikki’s areas of special focus are in, but not limited to the following: Chemical Dependency/Addiction/Recovery (Individuals, Couples and Families), Self-Esteem/Self-Confidence, Relationship Issues, Depression/Anxiety, and LGBTQ/Same Sex Relationships. She works two evenings per week at Mount Olivet Counseling Service.
Molly Pach, Office Manager
Molly is the Office Manager for the Counseling Service. She schedules appointments and provides administrative support for the therapists, and strives to create a welcoming and authentic environment for clients. She lives in Minneapolis with her husband, baby daughter and pup.
Margaret (Meg) Steeves, Graduate Student Practicum Counselor
Meg is nearing the completion of her Master’s in Counseling Psychology at St. Mary’s University of Minnesota. She strives to create a structured, safe environment conducive of awareness, authenticity, and acceptance. Practicing under the supervision of Sara Watne, MA, LPCC At Mount Olivet Counseling Service, Meg provides counseling to individuals; older adolescents throughout the lifespan. Her areas of interest: Anxiety, Depression, ADHD, Mindfulness and Stress Management, Personal Growth, Trauma, Relationships and Sexual Wellness.
Sara Watne, MA, LPCC
Sara is a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor (LPCC), holds an MA in Counseling Psychology and a certificate in Child and Adolescent Mental Health from Bethel College. She has provided mental health services to a diverse clientele since 2003 and believes in equal access of counseling services for all. At Mount Olivet she provides individual and group therapy for adults, adolescents, families and children ages four and up. Sara utilizes traditional talk therapy as well as expressive approaches such as sand tray therapy. Overall, Sara supports her clients’ ability to find wisdom, growth, health and fulfillment by gaining more understanding of themselves as individuals and in relation to those around them. Sara works Monday-Thursday.
Support Group Opportunities
The First Years Without Them (Wednesdays, 3/2/22-5/11/22 (break on 3/30/22), 3-4:30pm, via Zoom) Find healing in the first years following the death of a loved one. Sara Watne, MA, LPCC leads this support group which utilizes contemplative practices, poetry, film clips and discussion to encourage participants along their path of mourning and reconciliation. Cost: $125.
Healing Through Divorce (Thursdays, 1/ 6 – 3/10, 6:30-8pm, via Zoom). In this support group, cultivate a stronger connection to yourself and others on your journey of healing and recovery from divorce. You will be guided to explore and discover deeper meaning, purpose, and strength buried within your painful experiences, helping you to embrace compassion, hope, and trust in yourself and your life. Sherri Dunham, MA, LPCC joins your healing process to help you embrace self-compassion and thrive in your new landscape. Cost: $100.
Contact: Molly Pach by phone at 612.927.7335, ext. 10 or by email for more information.
Children's Counseling Intake Forms
Please contact Molly Pach, Counseling Office Manager at 612.927.7335 to make an appointment before downloading and filling out the forms below.
Please select the forms below dependent on Child’s age
Children ages 7-10
Children ages 11-17
Information on Parenting
Couples Counseling Resources
Helpful Books to Read about Marriage & Relationships
Why Marriages Succeed or Fail; And How You Can Make Yours Last, by John Gottman, PhD (1994)
The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work by John Gottman, PhD (1999).
Wired for Love: How Understanding Your Partner’s Brain and Attachment Style can Help you Defuse Conflict and build a secure Relationship by Stan Tatkin, PsyD (2011)
After the Affair: Healing the Pain and Rebuilding Trust When a Partner Has Been Unfaithful, by Janis Spring, PhD (2012)
Affairs: A Guide to Working through the Repercussion of Infidelity, by Emily Brown LCSW (1999)
Take Back Your Marriage; Sticking Together in a World That Pulls us Apart by William Doherty, PhD (2001)
The Five Love Languages; How to Express Heartfelt Commitment to Your Mate, by Gary Chapman, Ph.D (1995)
Marriage in Motion, The Natural Ebb and Flow of Lasting Relationships, by Richard Schwartz, MD and Jacqueline Olds, M.D. (2000)
Grief and Loss Resources
Books on Grief and Loss:
This Thing Called Grief: New Understandings of Loss by Thomas M. Ellis
It’s Okay to Laugh (Crying is Cool too) by Nora McInerny Purmor (she’s also done a nice TED talk on grief)
Understanding Your Grief: Ten Essential Touchstones by Alan D. Wolfelt
Ida, Always by Caron Levis
The Memory Box by Joanna Rowland
The Invisible String by Patrice Karst
Chemical Health Resources
Resources for Parents with Teenagers:
Just Say Know: Talking with Kids About Drugs and Alcohol by Cynthia Kuhn
The Addiction Inoculation, Raising Healthy Kids in a Culture of Dependence by Jessica Lahney
Staying Sober: A Guide for Relapse Prevention By: Terence Gorski
Beautiful Boy: A Father’s Journey Through his Son’s Addiction By: David Sheff
Adult Children of Alcoholics By: Dr. Janet Woititz
Trauma and the 12 Steps By: Jamie Marich
A Woman’s Way Through the 12 Steps By: Stephanie Covington
Loved One in Treatment? Now What? By: Lisa Fredrickson
Life Recovery Bible By: Stephen Anteburn
The Essential Guidebook to Mindfulness in Recovery By: John Bruna
Books for Kids:
Hot Dogs Anonymous By: Sarah Bridges
Let’s Talk Addiction and Recovery– Hazelden Betty Ford Clinic
Real Recovery Talk– Tom Conrad
Families Navigating Addiction and Recovery– Jeff Jones
Marriage Preparation Workshop
January 22, 9:30am-3:30pm, Mpls Campus, Cost: $150, plus $35 scoring fee for the Prepare Inventory Register by January 10.
April 23, 9:30am-3:30pm, West Campus, Cost: $150, plus $35 scoring fee for the Prepare Inventory Register by April 11.
September 17, 9:30am-3:30pm, West Campus, Cost: $150, plus $35 scoring fee for the Prepare Inventory Register by September 5.
Facilitated by: Shannon Himango, MA, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist; Director of Mount Olivet Counseling Service
As part of planning for your life together, we invite you to participate in a very important, practical and relevant marriage preparation workshop. This fun and engaging 4 hour workshop, along with the completing the Prepare Questionnaire and talking through the results with a Pastor or Prepare facilitator, is designed to enrich your relationship as a married couple; focusing on important topics like positive communication skills, healthy conflict resolution, financial management; and spirituality. You will have ample time to discuss the topics and materials together as a couple as well as with the other participants. These are all areas we hope will be helpful to you as you mark this momentous occasion, and begin your married life together!
Some feedback from past participants:
“I think the communication section was great. Helpful ideas and ways to approach difficult conversations.”
“I really liked the ‘marriage expectations’ section, especially about household chores!”
“I believe I will be able to use these practical skills, especially about how to approach conflict.”
“I feel armed with info about avoiding potential pitfalls before they might arise.”
“I enjoyed learning about the many types of intimacy that can be important for couples to deepen their relationship.’
To register click on the dates above or contact Molly Pach by email or at 612.927.7335, ext. 10