Counseling

Mount Olivet Counseling Service, a place of safety, wisdom, care and support.

We're Here to Help

COVID-19 Update as of May 20, 2021

Mount Olivet Lutheran Church is one of the few churches in America, which provides professional, ethical, licensed counseling services to deal with the tensions, pressures, changing attitudes, and stresses of everyday living for its members and the community. Our services help people work through their concerns through the use of counseling, 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 Clinical Counseling Masters’ Student Intern. We offer therapy for adults, children, adolescents, couples and families. A variety of therapy groups are offered as well. We also have a consulting psychiatrist and a medical Internist who provide medication assessment and management for existing clients of Mount Olivet Counseling and coordinate care with Mount Olivet therapists and other health care providers.

Reaching out for therapy is a very positive action!  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! Please leave a message at 612.927.7335 ext. 10 or email Molly Pach.

 

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 clients age 7 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.  Her focus involves increasing awareness of patterned behavior, stress/conflict management, self-talk, relationships to others and intentionality in self-care to create a healthier lifestyle for the future.  She utilizes Cognitive Behavioral, Narrative and Solution Focused therapies as well as creative art and play therapy techniques.  Shannon’s areas of interest: Anxiety, Depression, Relationship Issues, Individuation and Personal Growth, Parenting Support, Divorce Transition and Co-Parenting Support, Assertive Communication skills, Mindfulness/Relaxation Practices/Mind-Body Connection, Stress Management/Work-Life Balance, Eldercare Issues, Sexuality Concerns, Sexual/Gender Identity issues, and is LGBTQ Affirmative.  Shannon works five days a week at Mount Olivet Counseling Service.  She has been a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist since 2006.

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.

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, 9/8 through 11/3, 3-4:30pm, 1804 W 50th St, Minneapolis 55419). Come 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.  This will be held in-person. Masks are required if unvaccinated but optional if fully vaccinated. Cost: $90.

Healing Through Divorce (Thursdays, 9/8 through November 18 except October 21, 6:30-8pm, 5000 Logan Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55419). 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.  This will be held in person. At this point, masks are required if unvaccinated but optional if fully vaccinated.  Covid-19 vaccination is strongly preferred.  Cost: $100.

Contact: Molly Pach by phone at 612.927.7335, ext. 10 or by email for more information.

Adult, Individual & Couples/Family Counseling Intake Forms

Please contact Molly Pach, Counseling Office Manager at 612.927.7335 to make an appointment before downloading and filling out one of the forms below.

New Client Individual Counseling

New Client Couples or Family Counseling

Children's Counseling Intake Forms

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)

Additional Counseling Resources

Grief and Loss Resources

Books on Grief and Loss:

For adults:
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

For kids:
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:
Web Resources

Why You Should Talk to Your Child

Talk to Your Kids About Tobacco, Alcohol, and Drugs

Books:

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

Books:

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

Podcasts:

Let’s Talk Addiction and Recovery– Hazelden Betty Ford Clinic

Real Recovery Talk– Tom Conrad

Families Navigating Addiction and Recovery– Jeff Jones

Websites:

Alcoholics Anonymous

Smart Recovery

AA meetings and information for Minneapolis

National Institute on Drug Abuse

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration

Al-anon… Family support for individuals struggling with chemical health

Marriage Preparation Workshop

2021 dates:
September 18, 9:30am-3:30pm, in-person at the West Campus, Cost: $150, plus $35 scoring fee for the Prepare Inventory

2022 dates:
January 22, 9:30am-3:30pm, Mpls Campus, Cost: $150, plus $35 scoring fee for the Prepare Inventory
April 23, 9:30am-3:30pm, West Campus, Cost: $150, plus $35 scoring fee for the Prepare Inventory
September 17, 9:30am-3:30pm, West Campus, Cost: $150, plus $35 scoring fee for the Prepare Inventory

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

What's Next?

To schedule an appointment or get more information about the Mount Olivet Counseling Service please contact Molly Pach at 612.927.7335 or by email