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.”

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

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.

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

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

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.