Mental Health Professionals

Heather Frantum-Mathes


Hi! My name is Heather, I am a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and Registered Play Therapist. My specific areas of interest include working with individuals of all ages to resolve and work through single episodes of trauma or complex trauma.  I provide outpatient psychotherapy to children and adolescents who have been impacted by abuse, neglect, and trauma. I received certification through the Association for Play Therapy as a Registered Play Therapist.  I also a provide trainings and supervision/consultation services to other therapists seeking licensure or certification in Marriage and Family Therapy (LMFT), Licensed Professional Counselors, Licensed Professional Clinical Counselors and/or Play Therapy.


I am a graduate of Minnesota State University, Mankato with a Master of Science in Community Counseling with specialized training in Marriage and Family Therapy and Play Therapy. I also hold a Bachelor of Science degree from Minnesota State University, Mankato, majoring in Psychology.


I have specialized training in Experiential Play Therapy, Filial Therapy, Theraplay, Parent Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT), both Sandplay and Sandtray Therapies, Incredible Years Groups, In Touch Therapy, and the DC: 0-5, which is the diagnostic criteria for children ages 0-5.

I am also trained in Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), a psychotherapy treatment used to reduce distress connected to psychological symptoms and trauma. I completed the Permanency and Adoption Competency Certificate in June 2017 to better serve families through the adoption process and the loss that surrounds adoption changes and transitions. Most recently I have begun training in Somatic Experiencing (SE) a therapy that aids in the resolution of unresolved trauma that impacts the mental health and the functioning of individuals and their families.





Justin D Kruse


"Hello! I'm Justin, a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, Registered Play Therapist, and proud graduate of Minnesota State University, Mankato. I entered this profession out of a genuine desire to help others in a meaningful way. Buddy, my companion dog, now joins me on this journey. My clinical experience has ranged from the developmental impact of trauma to attachment to the use of multi-sensory forms of psychotherapy in the treatment of client difficulties. I work with individuals across the lifespan and have received specialized training in Experiential Play Therapy®, TF-CBT, EMDR, Filial Therapy, Theraplay®, Sandplay and Sandtray Therapy, Incredible Years Groups and the DC: 0-5. I’m also a 2017 graduate of the Permanency and Adoption Competency Certificate program. And I’ve committed myself to a 3-year-long study and training in Somatic Experiencing. With this close concentration on resiliency-based treatment, attachment, and trauma, I focus on re-establishing the client’s innate capacity for emotional regulation and assist clients in the recognition and release of physical tension that may remain in the body in the aftermath of a traumatic event. I also specialize in strengthening family relationships through play and in addition to trauma and attachment, I’ve treated a wide range of mental health struggles including anxiety, depression, conduct and oppositional behaviors, and ADHD. My philosophy of service includes a collaborative, inclusive approach that draws upon the involvement and expertise of a range of disciplines, supports, and organizations of the client system. I also work competently with individuals who identify as LGBTQ and provide trainings, supervision and consultation to therapists seeking licensure as an LMFT, LPC, or LPCC."



Dr. John Seymour


Hello, my name is Dr. John Seymour.  I am a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and Registered Play Therapist – Supervisor serving individuals and families in family therapy, play therapy and mental health counseling. My educational training has included an undergraduate degree and three graduate degrees:  a Master of Divinity (M.Div.) in pastoral studies (Southern Seminary; Louisville, KY), Master of Arts (M.A.) in family therapy and psychology (University of Houston-Clear Lake; Houston, TX) and a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in counseling (Texas A & M University; Commerce, TX).

In 2001 I moved from private practice to accept an appointment to the graduate facility of Minnesota State University, Mankato, where I currently serve as Professor of Counseling and Student Personnel, teaching courses in family therapy, play therapy, mental health counseling, and clinical supervision.  I have been providing outpatient services in the Mankato area since 2004 and joined the staff at Journeys Toward Healing Counseling Center in October 2011.




Mandy Byram


Hello! My name is Mandy Byram, and I am a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor, Registered Play Therapist, and an EMDR-trained therapist, which is a form of therapy developed to address those symptoms that often follow experiencing, or being exposed to trauma. I also have training in sandtray therapy and attachment-based therapies. I have worked extensively with child, adolescent, and adult perpetrators and victims of sexual violence for the last nine years. I also enjoy working with individuals and couples on partner-relational discord.


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Laura Pierson


"Hello, my name is Laura Pierson.  I am a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and Drug and Alcohol Counselor.  I have over five years of experience working with couples, families, and individuals of all ages, with a variety of presenting concerns. I use an integrative and comprehensive approach to therapy and have a compassionate, genuine, and approachable demeanor. I am enthusiastic, personable, and empathetic and am fully invested in developing a therapeutic connection with clients. I strive to create a sense of safety and trust as clients begin to share their life stories and work on self improvement.

I have worked extensively with individuals experiencing mood disorders, domestic violence, partner-relational discord, trauma, and chemical dependency issues. I utilize a client-focused, trauma-informed approach to therapy. I am trained in Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), a psychotherapy treatment used to reduce distress connected to psychological symptoms and trauma. I also have extensive training in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT).

I completed my educational training at Minnesota State University, Mankato with a Master’s Degree in Mental Health Counseling. I have a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology and Drug and Alcohol Studies."




 Diane Caspers


Hello, my name is Diane Caspers and I am a Licensed Psychologist.  I provide individual, couples and family therapy for children, youth and adults.  Areas of expertise include:  Addictions, Anger issues, Coping with chronic pain/illness, Grief and loss, Healing family of origin issues, Life adjustment issues, Mood disorders, Parent-child problems, Persistent mental illness, Relationship difficulties. Spiritual issues, Trauma and abuse.  I am a TFCBT certified Therapist (Trauma-Focused Cognitive-Behavioral Therapist).  I have expertise in testing and psychological evaluation of adults.  In 2011 I completed a 2 year training program that I have added to my practice in sand play therapy which I use with both adults and children.


I have more than 35 years of experience as a mental health professional and spiritual director.


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Clinical Trainee

Michelle Nortrup


Hello! My name is Michelle Nortrup and I am a Nationally Certified Counselor (NCC) and Clinical Trainee on track to become a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor.  I graduated from Minnesota State University, Mankato with a Master of Science Degree in Mental Health Counseling in July 2017, I have a Bachelors of Science Degree in Psychology with a minor in Gender and Women’s Studies. I have special interests in crisis intervention, couples counseling, and being an ally to the LGBTQ+ community. I hope to someday have a therapy dog and to volunteer with the Red Cross for disaster response counseling. My hobbies include traveling the United States, going to the movies, and spending time with my animals.





Amber Lodes


Hi, my name is Amber Lodes. I graduated from Minnesota State University, Mankato with a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology and from Argosy University with my Master’s in Marriage and Family Therapy. I am currently on track to complete my licensure. I have many years of experience working in the group home setting with Individuals of all ages with a wide range of disabilities such as Autism Spectrum Disorder and Downs Syndrome. I completed my Master’s Internship and then subsequently volunteered at the Bridge for Youth, a Youth homeless shelter in Minneapolis and gained valuable experience working with displaced youth. I enjoy working with Individuals of all ages and find joy in assisting others to live to their fullest potential. I am verified by Minnesota Department of Human Services to complete diagnostics and therapy with 0-5 year olds.  I also find joy in reading, watching movies, and spending time with family, friends, and my dog.





MacKenzie Gohdes


"Hello! My name is MacKenzie Gohdes, and I am currently a Clinical Trainee at Journeys Toward Healing Counseling Center on track to become a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor. I received my Bachelor of Arts in Relational Communication from Crown College and my Masters of Counseling through Crown College as well. I have also received training through DHS in the Assessment, Conceptualization, and Diagnoses of Mental Health Disorders in Young Children using the DC:0-5. Previously, I had the opportunity to work as an educational specialist and assistant teacher for two different preschool and daycare facilities. I loved being able to work with children as a teacher but felt like I wanted to be able to do more for the care of their social, emotional, and mental health.  I hope to continue to learn and grow, specifically, in the area of trauma treatment and play therapy. Within the next five years, I hope to not only to be a licensed Professional Clinical Counselor, but also become a Registered Play Therapist."







Mental Health Practitioners

Melinda Haupt


"Hello, my name is Melinda Haupt. I have a Bachelor’s of Science in Social Work. I currently am working on my Masters Degrees in Social Work with Children and Families. I have always had a passion for helping others, which then lead me to Mental Health. Everyday my passion is to learn more and collect more knowledge about people grows. I have experience working with children on managing and stabilizing behaviors in Crisis homes and Group homes. On my free time I enjoy walks, going to the park and relaxing in the sun."




Kellianne Kutschke


My name is Kelliann Kutschke! I graduated from Minnesota State University, Mankato in 2017 with a Bachelor's degree in Corrections and a minor in Law Enforcement. I am a Children's Therapeutic Services and Supports Mental Health Practitioner here at Journey's Toward Healing Counseling Center. Working and helping children and at-risk youth has always been a passion of mine. Future plans involve continuing my education and working towards a Master's degree. I love animals and being outdoors in my free time! I enjoy making the most of every situation that life has to offer!







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