Counseling & Mental Health

Counseling & Mental Health Services

JFS has, since its inception more than a century ago, been renowned for its excellent and affordable counseling services.

JFS therapists specialize in the assessment and treatment of a wide range of mental health issues for children, adolescents, adults, couples and families. Concerns addressed include, but aren’t limited to, depression, anxiety, relationship difficulties, family problems, parenting, abuse, aging, grief and loss, life adjustment problems and childhood emotional and behavioral difficulties. JFS counseling staff also offer premarital counseling for couples preparing for marriage.

While JFS therapists have extensive experience working with Jewish family life issues, they serve individuals and families regardless of religion, income, heritage or circumstance; one does not need to be Jewish to be seen at JFS. All services are confidential, and JFS adheres to the strictest privacy standards. Counseling is offered on a fee-for-service basis and therapeutic services at JFS are covered by a wide variety of health insurance plans. A subsidized sliding fee based on family income is also available for those without insurance.

Meet JFS Therapists

Mitchell Wittenberg, Ph.D., LP, the JFS Counseling Director, is a licensed psychologist with over 35 years of clinical experience. He received his doctorate in clinical psychology from the University of Rochester, NY and has practiced in a diverse array of psychotherapeutic settings including community mental health centers, family service agencies, college counseling centers, hospitals, and schools. Dr. Wittenberg has been with JFS since 1993. His clinical practice includes work with adults, couples, families, children, and adolescents. Dr. Wittenberg is a school consultant, and he facilitates a school-based creative problem-solving program he has developed over time.

Clinical Approach/Personal Statement

“For me, the key foundation to personal change in counseling is the development of a positive working relationship with one’s therapist—if you don’t feel sensitively and empathically heard, understood, and appreciated, all my various techniques and approaches are of little value. I strive to connect at deep emotional and personal levels with each client—child, adolescent, adult, couple, or family—as we work together towards a thorough understanding of the issues, concerns, and treatment goals that bring you to therapy. Rather than adhere to a one-size-fits-all approach to treatment, I develop therapeutic strategies tailored specifically for each situation at hand. My focus is often less about fixing problems than nurturing the unique personal strengths and coping resources that everyone possesses and that can be used in the process of therapeutic growth.”

Education
Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN (BA; 1982); University of Rochester, Rochester, NY (PhD; 1986)

Licenses
Licensed Psychologist (Minnesota Board of Psychology; #LP3061; original license date: 2/11/94)

Insurance Accepted
HealthPartners, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Medica/United Healthcare, Preferred One, Aetna, UCARE, Cigna, Medicare, Medical Assistance (please verify your eligibility and benefits before coming in as some coverage benefits vary).

Contact Information
(651) 698-0767 (office)
Email Dr. Wittenberg here


Beth Johnson is a licensed marriage and family therapist who has worked with children, adolescents, adults, couples and families in a variety of settings—as a marriage and family therapist, educator, victims’ advocate, family mediator and Guardian ad Litem—for the past 20 years. In addition to having expertise in general psychotherapy, Beth has extensive experience working with grief and loss, recovery from trauma, depression, anxiety, self-esteem issues, domestic abuse, stress management and midlife concerns; she specializes in issues related to separation, divorce, and co-parenting.  Beth is also specially trained in Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) Therapy, an evidence-based treatment strategy that utilizes eye movements or tapping to help clients heal from trauma and distressing life events. Beth also uses Accelerated Resolution Therapy (ART), a closely allied treatment approach that also decreases post-traumatic stress symptoms.

Clinical Approach/Personal Statement

“When working with clients, I strive to thoroughly understand everyone’s unique experiences, challenges, and goals while utilizing an eclectic therapeutic approach tailored specifically to each individual, couple, or family need. I have a supportive and solution-focused therapeutic style, while helping cultivate individual strengths, so that clients can feel more grounded and secure emotionally; I believe inner peace and healing are obtainable for everyone.”

Watch Beth’s 2020 Mental Health Conference presentation “Cultivating Self-Compassion” here.

Education
University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI (BA; 1987); St. Louis University, St. Louis, MO (JD; 1991); St. Mary’s University, Minneapolis, MN (MFT; 2011)

Licenses
Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (Minnesota Board of Marriage and Family Therapy; #2513; original license date: 4/15/16)

Insurance Accepted
HealthPartners, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Medica/United Healthcare, Preferred One, Aetna, Cigna, UCARE, Medical Assistance (please verify your eligibility and benefits before coming in as some coverage benefits vary).

Contact Information
(651) 698-0767
Email Beth here

 


Stephanie Larson, LICSW, JFS therapist, assesses and treats a wide range of mental health issues for adolescents and adults.

Stephanie is a licensed independent clinical social worker who has served as psychotherapist for a diverse array of clients since 2019. She works with people of all identities and backgrounds across the life span. She is passionate about working with older adults and their families. Stephanie works collaboratively with clients to develop their own goals, while using a variety of treatment approaches tailored uniquely for each individual, couple or family. Stephanie has a very holistic counseling style, often focused on the strengths each of her clients possess for seeing their way through life challenges. Her areas of clinical interest include, but are not limited to, trauma, caregiver fatigue, relationship difficulties, LGBTQ+ concerns, life adjustments, end-of-life, grief and women’s issues. She is basic trained in Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing Therapy (EMDR), an evidence-based approach for reducing the negative and often enduring effects of trauma.

Clinical Approach/Personal Statement

“It is an honor to walk alongside my clients on their unique journeys,” said Stephanie. “I believe the therapeutic relationship and self-accountability are equally important to personal growth. It is important my clients feel comfortable, safe, and able to be vulnerable during our work. Many clients have shared with me that they appreciate my empathetic, supportive, straightforward and genuine character. I use a variety of therapeutic modalities combined with an integrative approach to provide customized care to each person as they work through difficulties and gain a deeper sense of self and their challenges. I believe collaboration in the therapeutic relationship allows the client to trust themselves to do the work of therapy.”

Education
University of St. Thomas: Master of Social Work – Clinical Program; Area of Emphasis in Aging Scholar May 2020
University of Wisconsin – River Falls: B.S. Business Administration , Minor – Dance Education May 1999

Licenses
Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker (Minnesota, #29282, original license date: August 3, 2022 )
Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) (Wisconsin, #11038-123, issued November, 2022)

Insurance Accepted
Medicare, Medical Assistance, HealthPartners, Blue Cross Blue Shield, UCare, United Healthcare, Medica

Contact Information
(651) 698-0767
Email Stephanie here

 


Additional Counseling Services

PEARLS (Program to Encourage Active and Rewarding Lives for Seniors) and PEARLS for Caregivers.
JFS offers PEARLS, a free program that supports adults 55+ who are suffering from low mood or depression. Click here for more information.

Support Groups
JFS also offers dementia caregivers and grief support groups. Click here for more information. Click here to learn more about all our services for caregivers.

Community Support Program
We have also developed our new Community Support Program. During this unprecedented time of uncertainly, many people are understandably expressing increased feelings of anxiety, depression and isolation. In response to the need for additional mental health services, we developed this new program that includes three 20-minute phone conversations with one of our mental health professionals at no cost.

Recognizing that many of us are feeling overwhelmed by the profound repercussions of COVID-19, the goal of the program is to help people be more grounded and emotionally secure. The therapist can assist in problem-solving immediate concerns, discussing strategies for improving one’s sense of well-being, educating on coping skills and providing connection to additional resources as needed.

Contact Tara Burns at (763) 300-3146. There is no fee for this service; however, donations are appreciated.