Meet Our Team in Eau Claire, WI
The vision of Collaborative Counseling is to guide and inspire people to overcome the obstacles they face and strive towards their goals. Our goal is to help people bring more joy, laughter and love into their life. It is our mission to provide counseling that will help people live their lives to the fullest by supporting them through difficult times as well as teaching them skills that will allow them to make changes and progress towards a healthier, happier, more fulfilling life.
Melissa HaasMSW, LCSW, IMHE-®
Melissa Haas MSW, LCSW, IMHE-®She/Her/Hers Licensed Clinical Social Worker & Infant Mental Health Specialist
Bachelor of Science Degree in Occupational Therapy and Philosophy - Mount Mary University
Master of Social Work - University of Wisconsin-Madison
Melissa is passionate about helping young children and families thrive. She believes all children do well when they can- and caregivers too. As a practicing occupational therapist for 22 years, she sees the intersectionality of mental and physical health, leading to additional education to become a licensed clinical social worker.
Melissa has extensive training in sensory integration and social-emotional development in children. She has an eclectic approach utilizing mindfulness, body-based activities, and play to promote emotion regulation for children while supporting caregivers as experts of their child.
She completed the UW-Madison Infant, Early Childhood and Family Mental Health Capstone Certificate Program and is endorsed by the Wisconsin Alliance for Infant Mental Health (WI-AIMH) as an Infant Mental Health Specialist.
Her clinical interests include: Neurosequential Model of Therapeutics, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, and Motivational Interviewing. She is experienced in the assessment and relational support of infants and very young children and their caregivers.
In her free time, Melissa enjoys cooking, biking, traveling, and hiking. In the summer she especially enjoys watching baseball games and wearing out her active dog.
Lisa WilsonMSW, LCSW
Masters in Clinical Social Work degree - University of Wisconsin Madison
Bachelors in Sociology degree - University of Wisconsin Eau Claire
Lisa takes a solutions-focused, trauma informed approach to therapy. She enjoys incorporating somatic work into the trauma healing process. Other therapeutic approaches include DBT, polyvagal/mind-body connection, narrative, psychodynamic, internal family systems and emotionally focused therapy. Lisa likes to explore the various social systems at play in your life to understand you as a person holistically. She is an LGBTQ+ identified clinician and has an anti-opressive lens.
Lisa aims to make a genuine connection with each client. Her style in session is authentic, honest, compassionate and non-judgmental. She works with you to create an individualized action plan to help you reach your unique goals.
Patti BakerM.Ed. LPC (WI) LPCC-S (OH)
Patti Baker M.Ed. LPC (WI) LPCC-S (OH)She/Her/Hers Licensed Professional Clinic Counselor
Bachelor of Arts in Design - Bowling Green State University
Masters of Education in Clinical Counseling - Xavier University
Patti has been a practicing clinical counselor since 1999, mostly in southern Ohio. Her work began with children and families, informed by Attachment Theory, Experiential Play Therapy and Family Systems care in outpatient treatment and grew into working with more challenging cases and complex trauma treatment. She has training in TF-CBT, DBT, PCIT and other treatment models to support her work doing trauma treatment with “at risk” children/ adolescents and their families. She has been studying multiple aspects of energy psychology since 2004 which includes Reiki, Shamanic Practice and other models and embodies the ways of healing into her personal practice for self and clients (as appropriate and per client’s preference).
Patti has developed a holistic approach to her counseling practice with a focus on creating balance and understanding “self” as the client is supported in developing and sharing their story. The treatment model empowers the client to observe aspects in daily life that impact functioning and develop ways of communicating wants, needs and preferences in all settings through intentional reflection and exploration. Woven into the narrative development are clinical techniques (informed by CBT/ DBT/ IFS along with therapeutic play, positive communication techniques) that support new ways of seeing and reflecting to others. The model is widely applied to individuals of all ages and most any presenting symptom.
... a note from Patti...
“Throughout my years of practice- I continue to be honored and grateful that people share their stories with me- as they move through transitions in their lives. With each story that unfolds in the client’s narrative, I am reminded that people are capable of transformation. I continue to be amazed by our capacity for moving thru challenging times as we become more aware of our authentic selves and our rooted connections.”
Kathy GuilhasMS, LPC
Kathy Guilhas MS, LPCShe/Her/Hers Licensed Professional Counselor
Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology and Counseling - Texas A&M University, Commerce
Master of Science degree in Counseling - Texas A&M University, Commerce
Kathy is a Texas native, with roots in Oklahoma, South Carolina, and Wisconsin. She loves working with children, adolescents, young adults, and families. She is passionate about meeting her clients where they are on their personal journey and creating a safe space for them to take steps toward the changes they hope to make, body, mind, and spirit. With over 18 years of counseling experience, she considers it an honor to collaborate with her clients as a team to help navigate through the highs and lows that life can bring. Kathy believes in building a rapport with client’s and offers genuineness in sessions.
Kathy provides counseling for those dealing with the following concerns: stress management, anxiety, depression, life transitions, relationship issues and/or divorce, family dynamics, as well as family planning (infertility/postpartum, and grief). Kathy also takes a holistic approach to her work and incorporates clients spirituality and faith in session, if desired by clients.
Kathy’s clinical approaches are as follows: Client-Centered Therapy, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Narrative Therapy, Solution-Focused Therapy, Internal Family Systems.
Kathy has worked in a variety of settings such as: psychiatric inpatient, adolescent residential care, foster care and adoption, day treatment for adolescents and adults, school-based, and out-patient/tele mental health individual, and family counseling.
In her spare time, Kathy loves to travel, go to the beach, watch football, drink coffee and read a good book, spend time with friends and family, and enjoy the simple things in life that bring her joy.
Nicole GardnerMS, LPC
Master of Science degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling - University of Wisconsin, Stout
Nicole has experience working with anxiety, depression, grief and loss, addiction, relationship concerns, trauma, and other life experiences. She believes that each person has their own story that has shaped what they are currently experiencing. Through her work, she strives to foster a safe space where clients can tell their story, gain insight into how that has impacted them, and create a new reality that is more fulfilling. She utilizes various therapeutic approaches including cognitive behavioral therapy, psychodynamic therapy, and narrative therapy.
Stephanie ThomasMS, LPC
Master of Science degree in Mental Health Counseling- University of Wisconsin, Stout
Bachelor of Arts degree in Criminal Justice - University of Wisconsin, Oshkosh
Stephanie’s approach to therapy is focused on connecting with clients in an empathic, authentic, and compassionate way. She creates a therapeutic environment that is free of judgement, filled with understanding, and holds space for healing and growth. She has a background that includes serving a wide variety of clients across different settings and brings an eclectic, holistic, and wellness-based style to sessions. By using a combination of approaches, Stephanie hopes for clients to feel empowered to make changes that align with their values, experience meaningful improvements to their sense of well-being, and ultimately have renewed sense of vitality in their lives.
Therapy modalities used include but are not limited to; Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), Positive Psychology, Motivational Interviewing, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT), Person-Centered Approaches, and Solution-Focused therapy. Stephanie is passionate about health, wellness, spirituality, and mindfulness. She enjoys exercising, spending time with her family, the outdoors, reading, and embracing the simple things in life.
Katrina MahanMA, LPC
Katrina Mahan MA, LPCShe/Her/Hers Licensed Professional Counselor
Master of Arts degree - Eastern Michigan University
Katrina enjoys working to empower clients and increase self compassion in a non judgmental environment. She aspires to provide a safe space for clients from a variety of backgrounds, including people of color and LGBTQIA+ individuals. Katrina works with clients with a range of presenting concerns including anxiety, depression, life transitions, identity development, self esteem, coping skills, and boundary setting / assertiveness skills. Katrina utilizes Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, Solution Focused Therapy, and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy in her work with clients. She has experience working with adults of varying ages and has a particular interest in working with college students and young adults.
Karissa MeyerMS, LPC
Karissa Meyer MS, LPCShe/Her/Hers Licensed Professional Counselor
Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology and Human Development - University of Wisconsin, Green Bay
Master of Science degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling - Marquette University
Karissa is a strength-based, person-centered therapist who believes in meeting clients where they are at in order to help discover and utilize their own personal strengths and motivations to create change in their lives. Karissa believes that a compassionate, accepting, and respectful therapeutic relationship is a key component to change and aims to create that type of environment in her office. Karissa also utilizes cognitive-behavioral skills in her practice. She has experience working in day treatment and outpatient settings with children, adolescents, and adults.
She works with a wide variety of presenting concerns including: anxiety, depression, trauma, mood regulation, behavioral concerns, family conflict, and identity concerns.
Rian RahmMS, LPC
Bachelor's degree in Psychology - University of Wisconsin, Green Bay
Master of Science degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling - University of Wisconsin, Stout
Rian's hope as a counselor is to provide a safe and welcoming environment to all clients. She believes in working alongside her clients as a guide to create an improved well-being in all aspects of their lives. Rian believes the therapeutic relationship is the most important factor in creating change for her clients and also incorporates a cognitive-behavioral approach in her work. Rian has experience working in day treatment and outpatient settings, mostly with adolescents and their families.
She works with a wide variety of presenting concerns including: anxiety, depression, trauma, family conflict, and mood regulation.
Stephanie NicoletMS, LMFT
Stephanie Nicolet MS, LMFTShe/Her/Hers Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist
Bachelor's degree in Psychology - University of Wisconsin, La Crosse
Master of Science degree in Marriage and Family Therapy - Edgewood College
Stephanie aims to meet clients wherever they are in their journey to assist them with recognizing their own capabilities and finding effective solutions and healing. Stephanie has experience working in day treatment and outpatient treatment settings. She has a particular passion for working with teenagers and young adults. She has spent the majority of her career working with marginalized and traumatized youth.
Stephanie works with clients presenting with a wide range of conditions including: family dynamics, school issues, self-esteem/identity concerns, spirituality, trauma, emotional dysregulation, anxiety, depression, bereavement, healthy communication/assertiveness skills and Christian counseling. Stephanie is certified in TF-CBT, is DBT-informed and has co-lead an adult DBT group. She is also trained in EMDR.
Stephanie counsels out of a person-centered philosophy centered on self-compassion and understanding. Stephanie draws from family systems theory and strength-based techniques to guide clients to a better understanding of themselves and to find healing.In her spare time, Stephanie enjoys spending time with her family, exercising, reading, and doing anything that makes her feel productive!
Cynthia HuntMSW, LCSW
Cynthia Hunt MSW, LCSWShe/Her/Hers Licensed Clinical Social Worker
Bachelor's Degree from University of Wisconsin - Eau Claire
Master of Social Work - University of North Dakota
Cynthia’s clinical perspective is that everyone is capable of change and her approach is using each person’s strengths to increase hope in a non-judgmental setting. Cynthia is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker who has worked in the mental health and health care field for many years. She has helped all age groups and focuses on adults and couples. Her areas of interest include work conflict, mood difficulties, relationship difficulties, phase of life changes, grief and chronic medical issues. Cynthia uses a person-centered approach with Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. She is a member of the National Association of Social Workers.
Mary Beth PattersonMSW, LCSW
Mary Beth Patterson MSW, LCSWShe/Her/Hers Licensed Clinical Social Worker
Master of Social Work degree - Minnesota State University, Mankato
Bachelor of Science degree in Dietetics - University of Wisconsin, Stout
Mary Beth brings years of experience in helping all ages with a variety of mental health as well as nutrition concerns. Mary Beth's approach is looking at the whole person and finding solutions together to bring peace, understanding, and happiness again. Mary Beth has extensive knowledge and skills in the areas of Depression, Anxiety, Eating Disorders, Grief, and Conflict Resolution. Her tools include Mindfulness, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and EMDR as well as Restorative Practice.
Mary Beth Patterson is a current Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Wisconsin and a former Registered Dietitian of 20 years. As a Licensed Clinical Social Worker Mary Beth has worked in a variety areas of Crisis Management, School Social Work, and presently in private practice as a Mental Health Therapist. Mary Beth also has extensive knowledge in the areas of Nutrition, Mindfulness, and Well Being.
Danielle RuffMA, LPC
Danielle Ruff MA, LPCShe/Her/Hers Licensed Professional Counselor
Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology - University of Wisconsin, Stout
Master of Arts degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling - Lakeland University
Danielle is passionate about working therapeutically with children, adolescents, young adults and families. Danielle also provides individual trauma-informed therapeutic care for law enforcement, first responders, firefighter, medical and emergency personnel. These individuals will be met with compassion and guidance to create body + mind balance and process the intricate complexities, compassion fatigue and traumas their helping role can place them in. She strives to create an atmosphere of warmth, compassion, genuineness and respect. Her desire is to create a space where you feel safe to share your story free from judgment.
Danielle has an eclectic and trauma informed therapeutic style and uses a variety of approaches in her therapy. To walk alongside clients in a mindful, relational and holistic manner for integrated harmony and balance Danielle supports through play therapy, somatic guided therapy, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT), Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing (EMDR), Internal Family Systems/Parts Work (IFS) and Polyvagal/mindfulness approaches. When your story finds a safe space to be shared and held, you can begin your journey to healing.
Danielle is a Certified Clinical Trauma Professional specializing in developmental trauma, relational trauma and complex trauma. Advanced training in Internal Family Systems (IFS), international training in Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing (EMDR) and national certification in Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TFCBT) equips Danielle with unified and ongoing knowledge to support and guide you in your therapy process.
Danielle works with children, adolescents, young adults, adults and families for a variety of concerns to include: anxiety, depression, trauma, grief and loss, relational stress, PTSD, parenting enhancement and guidance, attachment and nurturing repair, parent/child interaction, general life transitions and overall helping individuals feel heard and seen while they adapt to the busy and ever-changing world they live in.
Alongside her therapeutic practice, Danielle holds an Adjunct Professor faculty position through Lakeland University, a private Liberal Arts University, serving in the Master of Arts, Clinical Mental Health Counseling program. She finds joy in teaching and learning alongside her graduate students. Danielle additionally hosts a trauma consultation on a monthly basis for mental health professionals.
In her free time she enjoys cooking, gardening, reading, yoga, traveling and spending time with her family.
Emily CottonMSW, LCSW
Emily Cotton MSW, LCSWShe/Her/Hers Licensed Clinical Social Worker
Bachelor of Arts degree - Lewis and Clark College Portland, OR
Master's degree in Social Work - University of Utah, Salt Lake City
Emily has worked in the mental health field for over twenty years and gained clinical experience working in day treatment, hospital, jail, in-home family therapy, wilderness therapy and school-based outpatient therapy before joining the Collaborative team. Emily uses a trauma-informed mindset in her approach to help people with histories of physical, emotional and sexual abuse. She draws upon family systems theory to guide her work, and she incorporates cognitive-behavioral, mindfulness and strength-based techniques. Emily is an EMDRIA-trained certified EMDR therapist (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) and continues to enhance her therapeutic skills with advanced EMDR trainings and consultations. Emily loves to incorporate humor into her work and strongly believes that the therapy experience ought to be down-to-earth and enjoyable. She welcomes people of all gender and sexual identities with open arms. Emily is passionate about yoga and gardening.
McKala McWilliams-NehringMSW, LCSW, PMH-C
McKala McWilliams-Nehring MSW, LCSW, PMH-CShe/Her/Hers Licensed Clinical Social Worker
Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology - St. Cloud State University
Master's degree in Clinical Social Work - University of St. Thomas/College of St. Catherine
McKala enjoys working alongside clients to help individuals and families function to their fullest potential. Building relationships and trust are at the heart of McKala’s therapeutic practice, and she believes everyone has unique and resilient qualities that can be tapped into, especially during difficult times in life. She strives to create a safe, therapeutic environment, where clients feel accepted and understood. McKala has several areas of specialized training focused on trauma informed care, play therapy, and maternal mental health. She is passionate about providing services to individuals throughout the life span (ages 3 and older).
McKala completed training in Trauma Focused-Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TFCBT) through The Southern Regional Children's Advocacy Center, Duke University learning collaborative, and is also trained in Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR).
McKala is certified in perinatal health (PMH-C) provides specialized therapeutic care for mothers and fathers during the perinatal and postpartum period. She works to provide support and address symptoms ranging from adjustment to life changes to mood and anxiety disorders (and everything in between), in an empathetic and compassionate way.
McKala has experience using prescriptive play therapy techniques to help engage children in therapy in a way that makes sense to them. She has experience collaborating with parents and other providers to create the best treatment plan to help cultivate success and healing.
McKala utilizes an eclectic, client-centered approach to work with individuals experiencing anxiety, depression, parenting challenges, life-transitions/adjustment, grief/loss, aging and a variety of other life changes.
McKala loves living in the Chippewa Valley with her family. She enjoys spending time with family and friends, and is active in her church and community. She enjoys creating memories every chance she gets through traveling, crafting, taking pictures, snuggling her dog, gardening, and enjoying a good cup of coffee. She wants you to know, "You are not alone...Healing is possible."
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