Danielle Norby Lien, MSW, LICSW, RPT-S, SEP, CAS
Danielle opened A Better Connection, Inc. in November 2012 with the vision to provide preventative services to individuals of all ages. Danielle is a Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker and a Registered Play Therapist. Danielle received her undergraduate degree at Minnesota State University Moorhead and graduate degree in clinical social work at The University of St. Thomas/ St. Catherine's University. Danielle has experience in county child protection, preschool and high school day treatment, in-home services, and outpatient therapeutic services in a center for community violence, as well as in private practice. Danielle works with all ages and has experience with children ages 0 to 5 years. Danielle is a Somatic Experiencing Practitioner (SEP) which required 3 years of training on the nervous system. SE is used to help individuals heal from past trauma.
Rita Anderson, MA, LADC, LPCC
Rita is a Licensed Alcohol and Drug Counselor who is also working to become a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor. Rita’s undergraduate degree was in Justice Studies from the University of Alaska – Fairbanks. Rita received her Master’s Degree from Hazelden Betty Ford Graduate School of Addiction Studies. Rita enjoys working with adults and adolescents struggling with alcohol/substance use and mental health conditions. She is a Certified Prevention Professional, providing alcohol/substance use prevention and intervention services for adolescents and their families. Rita has worked in residential, day treatment and out-patient settings. Rita uses her prior weight-loss industry experience to help patients make healthy choices for improving overall health and wellness. Rita’s clinical experience includes working in the Wellness Department of Hazelden Betty Ford Center, assisting patients struggling with chronic pain.
Katie Luther, MA, NCC
Katie is originally from Park Rapids and earned her undergradute degree in Psychology and Child & Family Studies from Concordia College - Moorhead. She holds a Master of Arts degree in Community Agency Counseling from East Tennessee State University and is working to become a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor. Katie has experience working in therapeutic foster care, school and community CTSS, elementary and middle school day treatmet, in-home services, and community college counseling services.
Karen Youmans, MSW, LGSW
Karen is a Licensed Graduate Social Worker seeking work experience to become a Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker. Karen recently relocated from Minneapolis, Minnesota. Karen received her undergraduate degree in psychology at Metropolitan State University and graduate degree in clinical social work at The University of St. Thomas/ St. Catherine's University. Karen has multi-cultural experience working in metropolitan family violence centers, crisis response teams, suicide prevention, immigration services, case management, in-home therapeutic services, and outpatient mental health. Karen is excited to provide psychotherapeutic services to area adults suffering from a variety of mental health concerns including, but not limited to, depression, anxiety, personality disorders, and PTSD. Karen is also interested in women’s advocacy and has a passion for empowering domestic violence survivors.
Amanda Gartner, MA, LPCC
Amanda has called Park Rapids “home” the majority of her life. She pursued her undergraduate degree in Spanish Studies at the University of Minnesota Duluth and completed her Masters of Arts in Counseling Psychology at the University of St. Thomas. Amanda has experience working with college students, CTSS school-based services for K-12 students, day treatment for youth, and adults with autism. Throughout these experiences, Amanda has provided services for a variety of mental health issues including depression, anxiety, self-injurious behavior, autism, career planning, anger, impulsiveness, and adjustment disorders. She also has been trained in crisis prevention (CPI) and has pursued continuing education credits from St. Mary's University of Minnesota in Play Therapy, Grief and Loss, and Marriage and Family Therapy for African American families. When Amanda is not providing counseling services she enjoys biking, hiking, swimming, cross-country skiing, and traveling.
Amy Goodwater, LADC
Amy has been a Licensed Alcohol and Drug Counselor since 2009. Her undergraduate degree is in Health Education from Minnesota State University Moorhead and she earned her LADC through the University of Minnesota Twin Cities. Amy has worked in a variety of settings including an adult residential treatment and aftercare program and also as a Chemical Health Case Manager for a Twin Cities metro county. She currently works with adolescents as the coordinator for a recovery high school. Born and raised in Park Rapids, Amy enjoys spending her free time with family and friends, as well as being outdoors and reading.
DON JOSEFSON, MA, LADC
Don is a Licensed Alcohol and Drug Counselor. Don received a BA degree in Psychology and a subsequent BS degree in Criminal Justice at Bemidji State University. Don received his Master’s Degree from the Hazelden Betty Ford Graduate School of Addiction Studies. Don has experience in working with families at the Hazelden Betty Ford Family Program on their campus in Center City, MN, as well as, the Hazelden adolescent program in Plymouth, and their board and lodging program, Fellowship Club, in St. Paul. Don previously worked at River Ridge Treatment Centers in Burnsville, MN, as an intensive outpatient counselor and at their inpatient facility, the Glen Creek Lodge, in Minnetonka, MN. Don has a history as a juvenile probation officer and would like continue his ongoing experience with how trauma informs chemical dependency and ways to reverse, or ameliorate, those effects.
Robb Dent, MA
Robb Dent returns to Park Rapids as a Mental Health Clinician after obtaining his BA degree in Psychology and his MS degree in Counseling & Student Affairs from Minnesota State University Moorhead. After several years as a College Administrator and Career Counselor, Robb is working to become a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor. The majority of his counseling experience has been with K-12th grade students and young adults. He assists others in Mindfulness training, anxiety management, career counseling, and school & community CTSS.
Brandy Parsons, BSW
Brandy was born and raised in Park Rapids. She is a CTSS Skills Practitioner and Intake Coordinator at A Better Connection Inc. She has received a Bachelor's degree in Social Work from Minnesota State University, Moorhead, and an Associate’s Degree in Fine Arts from Minnesota State Community College, Fergus Falls. She is passionate about Art with an interest Art Therapy.
Brady Pieper, MA, LADC, LPCC Licensure Canidate
Brady is a Licensed Alcohol and Drug Counselor who is working toward becoming a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor. Brady completed his undergraduate career at North Dakota State University, where he received a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice. Brady attended Hazelden Betty Ford Graduate School of Addiction Studies, where he received his Master of Arts in Addiction Counseling: Advanced Practice. Brady has a passion for working with adolescents struggling with both substance use and mental health conditions. He has experience working with both adolescents and their families at the Hazelden Betty Ford adolescent program in Plymouth, Minnesota, and with adults in outpatient programs at Hazelden Betty Ford Fellowship Club in Saint Paul, Minnesota. Brady has previous experience working as a juvenile counselor for West Central Regional Juvenile Center in Moorhead, Minnesota. In his spare time, Brady enjoys traveling, being outdoors on a lake, hiking, and spending time with his friends and family.
Kat Fritsch, MA, LADC
Kat is a licensed Alcohol and Drug Counselor who has a Master of Arts in Addiction Counseling: Advanced Practice from Hazelden Betty Ford Graduate School of Addiction. This allows her to work with co-occurring disorders. She appreciates individuals who wish to discuss any mental health concerns and/or discuss using any addictive chemicals. This may include questioning if they have a problematic behavior with chemical dependency. Kat has experience working with clients in intensive outpatient settings as well as inpatient treatment settings at Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation in Center City, MN. Kat has experience working at the Pride Institute in Eden Prairie, MN. She focused in chemical dependence as well as crisis management, grief, trauma, sexual health within the LGBTQ community, anxiety, and depression. Kat is passionate about assisting those with grief and trauma. Kat has been an advocate at the state level for mental health issues. In the future she would like to advocate around the opioid epidemic that affects many people in MN.
Amber Booge, BS
Amber was raised in the Park Rapids area and received her undergraduate degree in Psychology from Bemidji State University. She is currently a CTSS Skills Practitioner working with kids of all ages and an Intake worker. She plans on attending graduate school after gaining valuable experience in the Mental Health field. Amber is currently in the process of obtaining her PATH Intl. Therapeutic Riding Instructor Certificate and would like to open an Equine Assisted Therapy Facility working with children ages 5-18 years with mental health and behavioral challenges. Amber is currently the Hubbard County 4-H Equestrian Drill Team Coach and enjoys working with 4-Hers and their horses to not only improve their horsemanship skills but also guide them through many life skills including building confidence, teaching patience, taking responsibility and gaining emotional control that are all learned while working with an animal. In her free time, Amber enjoys spending time riding and training her horses and showing competitively in NLVRHA and WSCA.