Meet The Team
PRIYANKA RAO, PSYD, LP
Chief Clinical Director
Priyanka Rao is the Chief Clinical Director for Associates in Psychiatry and Psychology. She is a Licensed Psychologist who provides individual therapy for adults and couples therapy. She specializes in working with interpersonal difficulties, trauma, identity development, couples work, anxiety, and depression. She particularly enjoys working with young adults, those struggling within their relationships, and people hoping to explore and understand unique aspects of their identities. Priyanka believes that therapy should be a supportive, rewarding, and at times challenging experience to help clients grow in the ways they want to, and she works collaboratively with clients to help them determine their treatment goals and ensure they are getting their needs met. Priyanka’s therapeutic style is direct, challenging, and supportive, with a healthy dose of humor.
MELANIE HEU, LCSW, LADC
Licensed Clinical Social Worker and Licensed Alcohol and Drug Counselor
Melanie Heu is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and Licensed Alcohol Drug Counselor. She believes that an honest and healthy therapeutic relationship between clinician and client sets the foundation for successful therapy and will prioritize trust when working with individuals to overcome life challenges.
Melanie has years of experience working with adolescent, adults, couples, and families that struggle with an array of issues such as, self-esteem, identity, relationships, complex trauma, and addiction. Prior to joining Associates in Psychiatry and Psychology, she spent much of her career serving immigrants and refugees as well as individuals and families involved in the criminal justice system.
Melanie is trained in the application of the Adaptive Internal Relationship (AIR) Network Model. This is a neuro-developmental, competency -based model that is primarily orientated towards giving people the freedom to engage fully with themselves and in relationships with others. She is also trained in Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) founded by Dr. Francine Shapiro. EMDR is a psychotherapy that enables people to heal from the symptoms and emotional distress that are the result of disturbing life experiences. Her approach to addressing all forms of addiction follows the teachings of Dr. Howard Wetsman’s Neurobiology of Addiction. Melanie helps recovering addicts understand the disease of addiction and explore their capacity for change.
In addition to her work as a clinical therapist, Melanie is an Adjunct Professor at St. Catherine’s University where she teaches a class on Addiction and Recovery: Families and Diversity. She is also a member of the National Advisory Group on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusivity for the National Association of Addiction Treatment Providers (NAATP).
Besides her dedication to work, Melanie partakes in variety of regular physical and creative activities to enhance focus and to keep grounded. She absolutely loves hiking, dancing, Jiu Jitsu and learning to speak another language. Melanie is currently bi-lingual and fluent in English and Hmong.
JESSICA FARUQ, MA, LPCC
Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor
Jessica has been working in the mental health field for 23 years in a variety of settings. She began working with children diagnosed with ASD and their families in her undergraduate internship in 2000 which turned into a long-term position providing opportunities to work with children, adolescents, young adults, and their families. These experiences propelled Jessica to pursue further educational and professional growth opportunities. Jessica's professional interests are focused on conceptualizing intervention systemically and discovering ways to use relational, client centered, applied behavioral analysis, and cognitive behavioral theories and tools to help teach, strengthen, and generalize skills across important settings. Jessica is dedicated to conceptualizing clients individually and holistically; supporting the development of healthy durable skills and positive change. She has psychotherapy experience with children, adolescents, and adults of diverse racial, ethnic, class, gender and sexual identities. She approaches therapeutic relationships collaboratively to support positive change. Jessica's expertise include: autism, ADHD, anxiety, depression, PTSD, life transitions, relationships, children, adolescents, young adults, and family conflict. Jessica has extensive experience with facilitating groups and curriculum development.
SCOTT GRANDT, MSW, LICSW
Licensed Clinical Social Worker
Scott is a Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker who provides therapy to adults and teens, particularly with issues related to anxiety, depression, crisis, boundaries, relationship problems, and grief/loss. He believes in meeting people where they are at in their mental health journey. Scott primarily uses Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and skills from Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) to help give individuals the skills needed to cope and thrive. Scott graduated from St. Olaf College with a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology/Anthropology and Russian Area Studies. He went on to get his Masters in Social Work from the joint program at the University of St. Thomas and St. Catherine University. Scott's most recent experience comes from working in an intensive outpatient setting, particularly with an Adapted DBT IOP group.
Outside of work, Scott enjoys engaging in a number of hobbies including playing board and video games, reading fantasy/science-fiction books, watching the latest Marvel/DC/Star Wars films, spending time with his cats, and participating in a percussion music group.
JUIHSIEN KAO, PHD, LP
Licensed Psychologist, PHD
Juihsien is a licensed psychologist who provides individual therapy to adults (18+). Juihsien understands that it takes courage to seek therapy and she strives to create a supportive, trusting, safe space for clients to explore their struggles and challenges with her. Juihsien also understands that clients need more than empathetic listening in therapy to get “un-stuck” in life and to make the changes they desire to have. She believes in the importance of a strong scientific/theoretical foundation for change to occur in therapy and she draws interventions from the following therapy modalities: Person-Centered Therapy, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT), Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), Mindfulness, and Psychodynamic Therapy. Juihsien works with a wide range of psychological issues. Some of her special interests include trauma/PTSD, depression, anxiety, ADHD, family of origin issues, and identity issues. It is her hope that clients find therapy to be a rewarding experience where they receive the compassion, empowerment and tools/strategies to make meaningful changes in their life.
Outside of work, Juihsien enjoys spending time with her family, playing the piano, working out, playing table tennis and being close to the nature.
LAURA BETH GATZKE
Pre-Licensure Mental Health Therapist
Laura Beth is a pre-licensure mental health therapist who discovered her love of mental health therapy while working as a hospital chaplain. She graduated from Northern State University in Aberdeen, South Dakota in 2019 after spending time in South Dakota doing advocacy work for the LGBTQ community as a minister. Grateful to be back in her home state of Minnesota, Laura Beth has worked in a variety of settings including hospital, residential care, and outpatient therapy. She sees adults for individual therapy and has experience working with clients who are dealing with depression, anxiety, grief and loss, life changes, and stress management. She very much believes healing comes from being heard and that we all have the power to retell and reshape our stories. Reaching out for help and resources is a strength and Laura Beth enjoys meeting with people who are unsure about therapy or their next steps.
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