Meet Our Counselors

Angela Cowan, MSW, LICSW

Angela (she/her) is the Program Manager for the Counseling Team at JFCS. She received a master’s in social work from the University of Kansas and has worked in the mental health field for 10 years. Angela works with individuals experiencing severe and persistent mental illness, anxiety, depression, life transitions, grief/loss, and diagnosis of a rare disease.

Angela believes that you are the expert in your own life, and she views her role as one who collaborates with and supports you on your journey. She uses mindfulness to provide a safe space to explore the relationship between thoughts and emotions, life’s challenges, and traumatic experiences. Angela is trained in Cognitive Behavior Therapy and Dialectical Behavior Therapy.

In her free time Angela enjoys writing, knitting, running, and spending time with her husband and her dog.

Becca Hotchkiss, MSW, LICSW

All of us are faced with experiences in life that are scary, hard, with which we could use some help. Using warmth, gentleness, and humor, Becca’s (she/her) goal as a therapist is to create a safe, healing relationship to join you in exploring the parts of yourself and your journey that might feel scary to do alone. Her approach is grounded in attachment theory and how the family system you grow up in shapes your beliefs about yourself and the world around you. She looks forward to working with you in defining for yourself who you are and reshaping beliefs that no longer serve you. Becca has experience working with people across their lifespan – from working with toddlers in early childhood therapy and preschool day treatment, to school-age children and teens impacted by foster care, and supporting adults in navigating the anxiety and challenge that comes with life changes. 

Becca is a Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker and holds both a bachelor’s and master’s degree in social work. When she is not at work, you can find her watching too much TV and doing her best to pet all the cats she can (especially her cat, Zeke). 

Jill Kozberg, LP

Jill (she/her) is a Licensed Psychologist and Director of Mental Health and Senior Services at JFCS. She has a master’s degree in counseling psychology from the University of Minnesota, and has been a therapist for over 25 years. Jill works with individuals, couples, and families. Her areas of special interest include anxiety, depression, trauma, grief and loss, relationship and marriage enrichment, communication, and life transitions.

Jill believes that everyone has their own answers, and works collaboratively with her clients to offer support, feedback and perspective. She also facilitates communication and the expression of needs, expectations, and feelings. Many people have experienced traumas and losses from which they are trying to heal, in order to move forward in their lives. Jill believes that the therapeutic relationship provides the foundation upon which the rest of the work will take place. 

Mark Kaufman,MSW, LICSW

Mark (he/him) has always been interested in how people think, and this ultimately has led him to working with people in therapy. He loves walking with people through problem solving and self-discovery, and believes in the importance of collaboration in finding healing, personal growth, and solving problems. Mark uses this perspective with his clients as they navigate the challenges that led them to therapy. Mark and his clients explore how previous problems were dealt with and how that problem-solving process applies to current challenges; how thoughts impact feelings; and examines new and old experiences and the emotions surrounding them, integrating mindfulness and behavioral strategies.

Mark works with adults with anxiety, depression, personality disorders, trauma, severe mental illness, chronic illnesses, and couples. He has a lot of experience working with people who have a family member with a severe mental illness. He has a master’s degree in social work from University of St. Thomas and St. Catherine University. Before providing therapy, he worked with adults with Severe and Persistent Mental Illness (SPMI).

Mark loves riding and working on two-wheeled machines (with both pedals and engines), hiking, and hanging out with his wife, kids, dogs, and chickens. 

Michel Rousseau, MSW, LICSW

Michel (he/him) takes an “informal,” conversational approach in order to create a non-judgmental space where clients can discuss experiences and process emotions with the goal of reaching a new level of insight. He respects the experience of his clients and understands the extent to which trauma can complicate how a person sees themselves and their place within the world. Michel leads with compassion, a listening ear, and a respectful dose of humor. He works with adults who are experiencing grief/loss, anxiety, depression, and life transitions (involving the loss of a loved one, troubling medical news, or any life circumstance that requires finding a “new normal”).

Michel received a master’s of social work from the University of St. Thomas/St. Catherine’s University. He is also trained in Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) from the EMDR Institute.

When not meeting with clients, you can find Michel out snowboarding (he’s one of those unique people that love winter), reading comic books, or searching for the next cooking recipe to try out in the kitchen.

Natalie Oleson, MSW, LICSW

Natalie (she/her) is an empathetic, friendly, compassionate, and skilled clinician. She often uses humor in her practice. Clients say they appreciate her laid-back and grounded approach to therapy. Natalie does not believe she has all the answers for you, but rather that her job is to be with you on the journey.

She enjoys working with people struggling with anxiety and/or depression, who are trying to set boundaries in their relationships, and/or need a safe space to feel their feelings, and discuss their life. Natalie specializes in working with both children and adults (ages 5+) to help ease suffering and improve overall functioning. She has a master’s degree in social work from St. Thomas. 

Natalie is an avid reader, coffee drinker, podcast listener, and animal lover (cats specifically, but she like dogs too). 

Ruth Paley, MSSW, LICSW  

Ruth (she/her) works with clients dealing with trauma associated with grief and loss. She also has training and expertise in the area of trauma transmission to the children and grandchildren of Holocaust survivors and provides workshops on this topic in a variety of settings. Ruth values working with those who are ready to engage in a therapeutic relationship to deal with their concerns and issues.

Ruth is a master’s level social worker degree with 40 years of experience in clinical mental health services. She has been on staff at Jewish Family and Children’s Service of Minneapolis since 2000.

In her spare time, you can find Ruth enjoying yoga, dancing, and theater. She is an avid reader and values spending time with family and friends.

Samantha Shepherd, MSW, LICSW

Samantha (she/her) is a compassionate therapist that supports clients in building on their strengths and recognizing their resiliency. She works to create a warm, open space for folks to show up as they are. During sessions, she enjoys supporting folks in deconstructing unhelpful narratives and creating a life aligned with their values. Along with this, she supports integrating mindfulness and mind-body practices, including Walk + Talk therapy, into sessions with clients. Many of her clients value the creativity, curiosity, and humor she brings into therapy sessions.

Samantha received her master’s of social work from the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities. Prior to that, she received her bachelor of music in piano pedagogy from the University of Wisconsin, Eau Claire. Sam also has completed a master’s certificate in holistic health studies through St. Catherine’s University.

When not at work, Samantha enjoys being outdoors, trying local coffee shops, and spending time with her partner and their pets.

> Curious to learn more about Walk + Talk therapy?
> Learn more about SPACE Therapy

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