Lee Carlson Center provides exceptional and affordable mental health services for families, children, youth, and adults in our community.



Lee's Story


Board of Directors

Program Staff

Administrative Team

How We're Funded

Annual Reports

Privacy Policy

Careers / Internships



Our Program Staff

Karen Anderson, LICSW, MScSA  Therapist II

Clinical Director

Karen has over 25 years of experience working with clients of all ages.

She joined Lee Carlson Center in 2015. She oversees clinical staff at all of our locations.

In our Domestic Abuse Program, Karen provides clinical and administrative supervision and co-facilitates the Men's Groups.

Susan Fullerton, RPT-S & LPCC, MS 

Director of Operations

Susan believes in the unique needs and assets of the individual.  She utilizes an Adlerian approach which values the assets of the individual and their social connections. 

Areas of specialization include:  family therapy, crisis intervention, group therapy, and assessment.  Susan has worked with children, teens, seniors, and Veterans.  Current interests include anxiety disorders, depression, adjustment issues, and self-esteem.



Carolyn Larson, LMFT, MA  Therapist II

Supervising Therapist

Carolyn spent 6 1/2 years working in Ramsey County as a Supervisor of Children's Mental Health.

She has over 22 years of experience working with clients of all ages.

Her areas of expertise include trauma-focused care, EMDR, attachment therapy, counseling for families and couples, women's anger management, depression, and anxiety.


Julie Smith, LPCC, MA  Therapist II

Bridgeview Supervisor


Julie provides counseling and psychotherapy for individuals and groups.  She is a therapist and the On-Site Supervisor at Bridgeview, our adult drop-in center.  As a therapist at Lee Carlson Center, she works with adolescents, young adults, and adults.  Julie facilitates multiple therapy groups at Bridgeview including men's and women's anger management and symptom management.  Julie is also DBT-trained.

Areas of specialization:
Serious and persistent mental illness, self-esteem, anger management, depression, anxiety, and cognitive-behavior therapy.


Sheila Hoemberg, PMHNP-BC

Board Certified Advanced Practice Nurse

Sheila provides psychiatric assessment and medication management. Experienced in providing psychiatric services in community mental health outpatient, rapid access psychiatry, psychiatric inpatient, child/adolescent residential treatment, and chemical dependency treatment settings.  Her education includes degrees in Nursing from Minnesota State University Moorhead and The College of St. Scholastica. 

At Lee Carlson Center and Bridgeview, she works with current and new therapy clients.

Dr. Thomas Converse, MD

Child & Adolescent Psychiatrist


Dr. Converse provides psychiatric consultation for children, teenagers, and their families.  Consultations include diagnostic assessment and treatment recommendations including medication management, should it be appropriate or desired. 

He is a graduate of Yale Medical School and also has a private practice.

Dr. Suzanne Aoun, MD 

Child & Adolescent Psychiatrist


Dr. Aoun's focus is on children and adolescents and she sees ages 5 and up.  She takes a collaborative approach to treatment, working with a multi-disciplinary team.

Originally from Lebanon, she enjoys spending her free time traveling with her husband and two young sons.


Nan MacDonald, LP, MS 


Nan specializes in psychological testing for children, adolescents, and adults.  Referral sources are therapists, psychiatrists, primary care physicians, county social workers, school personnel, parents, and self-referrals. Clarification of the diagnosis is critical for treatment planning and improving mental health and well-being.


Paul Hildebrandt, LP, PhD Therapist II


Paul joined Lee Carlson Center in 1986.

He has extensive experience working with children, adolescents and adults.  Paul is skilled in working with individuals with disabilities and those adjusting to traumatic events. 

Areas of specialization: 
Developmental and adjustment issues, family therapy, depression, anxiety disorders, ADHD, autism spectrum disorders, and grief and loss.



Jason Cook, LPCC, MS  Therapist II


Jason provides counseling to children, teenagers, and adults.  He has extensive experience working with deaf individuals and a long historyof being part of the deaf community.

He has a particular interest in mind-body conneciton and the importance of both physical health and mental well-being.

Areas of specialization:  Anxiety, depression, self-esteem issues, working with the Serious and Persistent Mental Illness (SPMI) population, as well as working with people who have drug and alcohol use addictions. 

Sandra Ziegler, LMFT, MA  Therapist II


Sandra provides counseling to couples, families, and individuals.  She believes in the systemic view of therapy where both society and family play an important part in shaping who we become as people. 

Areas of specialization: 
Sandy works with a variety of theoretical models including, Solution Focused Therapy, Narrative Therapy, Experiential Therapy, and Play Therapy.  She believes that helping people understand the positive changes that can be made in their lives can give them hope for a better future.


Megan Andersen, MA  Therapist I

Megan enjoys working with children, adolescents, and families from a variety of backgrounds.  She specializes in working with youth 5-18 who are dealing with crisis, depression, anxiety, cutting, and trauma.

Megan is excited and passionate about bringing therapeutic services to North Park Elementary as part of our School-Linked Mental Health Program.

Alyssa Brekke, MA   Therapist I


Alyssa specializes in working with teens who struggle with depression, adjustment, anxiety and trauma.

Alyssa currently works with youth at Columbia Heights High School as part of our School-Linked Mental Health Program.

Alyssa is also DBT-trained.

Jesse Walker, LAMFT, MA   Therapist I


Jesse is part of our School-Linked Mental Health Program, working with youth at Centennial Middle School.

He has a broad background working with youth and with adults providing case management, CTSS services and crisis intervention.

Ashley Dammer, LGSW, MA  Therapist I

Ashley enjoys learning about the stories of children, adolescents and their families to support each person in the process of making sense of past events and preparing for future life experiences.  She has used a combination of therapeutic approaches to support youth diagnosed with depression, trauma, anxiety, emotion regulation issues, behavioral concerns, and developmental difficulties.

Ashley provides school-linked mental health services at Fridley Middle School.

Kari Griffin,   LICSW, MSW  Therapist II


Kari has extensive experience in preschool day treatment working in an Autism day treatment center. 

She pecializes in solution focused, strengths based and relationship therapy with children, adolescents, and their families. She works with youth experiencing social and emotinal regulation issues, Autism Spectrum Disorder, ADHD, Anxiety, trauma, attachment issues as well as working with family system issues.

Kari currently works with youth at Columbia Academy as part of our School-Linked Mental Health Program.

Stefanie Wallace, MA, LMFT  Therapist II


Stephanie has experience working with children, adolescents, adults, couples and families. 

Areas of specialization include depression, anxiety, adjustment and stress related concerns, self-esteem, dual diagnoses, serious and persistent mental illness (SPMI), as well as other various mental health concerns.

Stephanie uses a person centered approach with therapy, helping people to discover and enhance their inner strengths to help overcome the barriers/challenges they are facing in life. 

Stephanie provides counseling in clinic as well as at Centerville Elementary School as part of the School LInked Mental Health Program. 



Kimberley Zack, MA  Therapist I


Kimberley's specialties include working with children with Autism Spectrum Disorders, anxiety, behavioral concerns, trauma and emotional regulation concerns. 

She has experience leading parent groups - both supportive and psychoeducation based.  She has also done family therapy in the form of Parent-Child Interaction Therapy and home family therapy.

She provides services at Centennial, Rice Lake, and Golden Elementary schools in the Centennial School District as part of our School-Linked Mental Health Program.

Farah Hussein, MA  Therapist I


Farah enjoys working with families, children, and youth of diverse backgrounds.  She believes in working from a client centered and strength based perspecitve to provide the best therapeutic services to clients. 

"I feel privileged to help individuals and families create stories that fit with their preferred identity.  I am incredibly excited to provide individual therapeutic services to Fridley High School, as well as Hayes and Stevenson Elementary schools in Fridley."  Farah is part of our School-Linked Mental Health Program.

Jennifer Chasco, LICSW, MSW Therapist II


Jennifer has experience working with children, families, and adults to build resilience through focusing on strenghts and addressing challenges. 

She has experience through individual and group work with people who have experienced depression, anxiety, ADHD, trauma, life stressors, and other mental health or developmental concerns. 

"I am excited about collaborating with parents and schools to bring therapy into the elementary school setting.

Jennifer provides services at Blue Heron Elemenatry and Centennial Elementary through the School Linked Mental Health Program.

Kristi Kontras, LPC, MA Therapist II


Kristi has a background providing group and individual therapy to children and adults with a variety of mental health difficulties including depression, anxiety, trauma, chemical dependency, social-emotional and behavioral difficuluties. 

She utilizes a person-centered approach focusing on client strengths and resiliency in working toward positive change and balanced living. 

Kristi provides therapy services at North Park Elementary and Fridley Middle School as part of our School-Linked Mental Health Program.

Amber Haley, LPCC, MA  Therapist II

Amber has 10 years of experience working with adolescents and their families on a broad spectrum of issues.  Her specialties include trauma, anxiety, anger management and self-harm.  She also has experience doing psychoeducation and support groups on issues related to grief, substance use recovery, self-regulation and healthy relationships.

Amber is passionate about providing trauma informed and culturally sensitive therapy to her clients.  She operates from a holistic approach and believes the most important part of therapy is the client-therapist relationship an dfinding tools best suited for the individual person and their presenting challenge.  . 

Laura Robinson-Hall, LICSW, MSW Therapist II

Laura has experience working with individuals and families from a variety of backgrounds.  She has specialized in working with children with special needs, individuals facing chronic medical and mental health issues and end of life care.

Laura is excited to be providing therapeutic services to children and families at Rice Lake and Centennial Elementary Schools through our School-Linked Mental Health Program. 



Carli Andersen, LICSW, MA   Therapist II


Carli provides services at Valley View Elemementary School in Columbia Heights as well as in our Fridley clinic.  She enjoys working with children of all ages.  She has experience working with individuals, groups and families.

Carli uses Adlerian therapy, solutions focuses and systems theory.  Carli is also trained in Yoga Calm.


Katie Gunderson, MA  Therapist I


Katie specializes in working with children and adolescents who have experienced difficult life circumstances and/or struggle with emotional and behavioral disorders.  She has experience working with individuals, groups, and families.


She has a particular fondness for group counseling and believes that group process and dynamics can be highly effective contributors to personal growth and change.


Mary Alton, MA  Therapist I

Mary works with teens and parents in the CTSS program at Centennial Schools.  For the past two years she worked as a CTSS and ARMHS Practitioner with children, their families and individuals using community resources and skills work to help those with serious and persistent mental health problems.

Her aim as a counselor is to treat each client with positive regard while helping them acquire the tools necessary to to live a full, adjusted life.



Ives Wittman, MA  Therapist I


Ives facilitates group and individual therapy sessions for men who attend the DAP program. He helps clients become experts in their own lives.

His philosophy stems from the belief that in relationship and community, we heal and mature.


Shari Barmash, BA 
Peer Support Specialist

As a School Group Facilitator Shari provides a safe and caring environment for kids to learn and share.  Using a small group setting, she provides helpful tools and teaches skills that kids can apply in everyday situations.  She also provides resources for kids and families to bridge with the community. 

She works with youth in Highland, North Park, and Valley View Elementary schools, as well as Columbia Academy Middle School - all in the Columbia Heights School District.


Jeff Hoffman, MA  Therapist I
Bridgeview Care Coordinator

Jeff provides counseling and psychotherapy for individuals and groups. As a Therapist at Lee Carlson Center, he works with adolescents, yount adults, and adults.  He facilitates mutliple therapy groups at Bridgeview including MI/CD groups, Employement Exploration, Wellness groups, Social Skills and Family Support. 

Areas of specialization:

Serious and persistent mental illness, MI/CD, depression, anxiety, cognitive-behavior therapy, group therapy and family support.



Laura Wallace

Bridgeview Certified Peer Support Specialist

As a longtime advocate for mental health, Laura brings an invaluable perspective to her new role at Bridgeview.

A Peer Support Specialist helps others learn about their strengths and challenges; supports the development of personal responsibility; self-efficacy; and self-advocacy skills; and accepts people where they they are at.  Laura will be working with Bridgeview members to promote symptom stability, wellness management; independent living skills; and will also assist in helping members develop a recovery plan.



Lisa Linz

Bridgeview Program Assistant

Lisa loves working at Bridgeview and truly believes that the shared experiences give members hope and acceptance in their own recovery and understanding of mental illness.  She does the intakes and conducts tours of the drop-in center.  She also leads Bridgeview members on offsite activities such as bowling, touring museums, etc.   And, she prepares all the snacks and lunches at the drop-in center.



Ken Mattson
Bridgeview Driver


Prior to joining Bridgeview, Ken drove semi-trucks and entered the Minnesota Truck Rodeo in 1978 and 1979 and placed second and third.  After that he became a driver trainer and safety supervisor for the company.  So driving has always been a passion.

“Driving for Bridgeview is very rewarding and challenging with time schedules and new areas to pick up Bridgeview members.  But, I love what I do!”


Sarah Windhorst

Clinical Intern

Sarah will be facilitating peer support groups at Columbia Heights Middle School.  She also plans to spend time at our Bridgeview site and with the Domestic Abuse Program, gaining experience working with various groups at each of the sites. 

Sarah will also work directly with therapists at our Fridley clinic.


Jeni Kuhfuss

Clinical Intern

Jeni is facilitating peer support groups at the elemenary and middle school levels. She also works with our Domestic Abuse Program and Bridgeview site, working with individuals and helping to facilitate groups.

She is also working with therapists at our Fridley clinic.

Renee Brasuhn

Clinical Social Work Intern

Renee is in her final year of completing her Masters in Social Work at Augsburg College.  Prior to joining Lee Carlson Center, Renee has worked with children and adolescents in many settings including:  spec ial education, restorative justice and treatment foster care programs.   

She is working directly with therapists at our Fridley clinic and will have a presence at our other sites incluidng in-school support groups, Bridgeview and DAP.



Clinical Intern



Mariam Ahmed

Clinical Intern

Mariam is an MCFC student at Walden University.  She will be facilitating peer support groups at Columbia Heights High school.  She plans to spend time working with the Domestic Abuse Program and the Bridgeview Drop-In Center as well as working with therapists at the Fridley clinic.  Mariam has over 9 years of experience working with low income and homeless families.

Danielle Carter

Clinical Intern

Danielle is an MSW student at the College of Saint Scholastica.  She will be leading peer support groups at Columbia Academy and North Park Elementary School. 

She'll also be working with our Domestic Abuse Program and at our Fridley clinic. 

Her primary interest is working with children and families and she's thrilled to be par of the Lee Carlson Center team.