Meet The Team

Rochester, MN



Owner, Psychologist

Dr. Merchant is a passionate practitioner with a sub-specialization in forensic psychology. Frank utilizes cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) for adult and adolescents with emotional, behavioral, and adjustment problems such as trauma, anxiety, stress, depression, and relationship problems.



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.




Dr. Gupta has been in practice for over 30 years. He works with a wide range of patients, 18+ and Geriatric, for their psychiatric needs. Dr. Gupta is currently accepting new patients in the Rochester and the Faribault office. He accepts most major insurance.



Licensed Clinical Social Worker / Therapist

Kathryn ("Katie") brings over 30 years of experience to APP. Katie works with clients across the age spectrum (6+ years and up). In addition to individual and group psychotherapy, her specialties include: play therapy, couples, and family therapy. Areas of interest include: depression (particularly with seasonal components S.A.D.), life transitions (adolescence to young adulthood, divorce, etc.), PTSD, stress management, grief and loss. Research interests include: the correlation between attachment and PTSD; depression in children; and the influence of fathers on adult development in their children.



Certified Therapy Dog

Libby is the 4 year old Samoyed who succeeded Katie’s TDI certified therapy dog, Lexi. Lexi crossed – over this spring after 10 years of loving and supporting clients. Given the sadness experienced by those who knew Lexi, Katie knew there had to be a therapeutic successor. Then she met Libby, also a former show dog. The connection was immediate. While Libby is new to her “office” life, she is affectionate, bright and inquisitive. She loves people, is fearless and tunes in to clients very quickly. She and Katie are a great team. Libby is a welcomed addition to APP.


Daniel Carlson, PsyD LP

Licensed Psychologist

Dr. Carlson completes psychological evaluations and testing on individuals age six through elderly adult.  The primary issues he evaluates include neurocognitive disorders (dementia), intellectual disabilities, learning disorders, autism, AD/HD, substance use disorders, and mental health conditions such as depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, and schizophrenia.  He has been a psychologist for over 30 years and has worked in schools, community mental health centers, prisons, and private practice settings.



Board Certified Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner

Deanna Collins is a Board Certified Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner.  She is passionate about providing quality, compassionate, and comprehensive mental health services to adolescents and adults.  Along with conventional medicine, she incorporates a holistic approach to identify biological and psychosocial issues affecting clients in order to help patients achieve their individual goals.  She also works with those suffering with substance use disorders, using medication assisted treatment options. 



Licensed Clinical Social Worker, Master's Level

Katie Connolly is a Licensed Independent Social Worker who provides therapy to adults and adolescents working through various issues such as; anxiety, depression, crisis, grief/loss, and relationship problems.  Katie uses Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and solution focused therapy with adults and adolescents to overcome the obstacles they are facing in their personal or professional lives. Katie graduated from University of Northern Iowa with a Bachelor of Arts in Social Work going on to graduate from Salisbury University with a Masters in Social Work. Katie has experience working with both younger and older populations with her most recent experience being in an inpatient hospital setting working with patients coming in from the community experiencing a crisis with their health or with chronic illnesses. Katie utilizes her experience with different individuals to tailor a treatment plan and goals that match the individuals, working to empower and enrich their lives moving forward.


Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist

Laura is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. She received her graduate degree from Bethel Seminary in St. Paul, MN. She began her career as an in-home therapist working with children and their families. She works with children, adolescents, and adults providing individual, couple, and family therapy. Laura has experience in the areas of family therapy, premarital and marital counseling, stress management, anxiety, depression, trauma, grief, and behavioral disorders.  Laura is certified in the Prepare and Enrich Inventories that focus on premarital and marital relationships.  

Sheila Dunn, MSN, APRN, PMHNP

Licensed Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner

Sheila Dunn is a Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner who has 6+ years of critical care experience working in an Intensive Care Unit. It is there, where she discovered an interest in psychiatry and realized just how underserved the mental health population is. Her compassion for others and interest in psychiatry is what prompted her pursue her degree as a nurse practitioner. Sheila provides psychotherapy as well as medication management. She has a firm belief that psychotherapy is just as important as medication management in order to maximize recovery of mental health disorders. “Psychotherapy is rehab for your brain”. Just as a patient who has suffered from a heart attack is highly recommended to participate in cardiac rehab along with medications to maximize recovery, a patient who suffers from a mental health condition is highly recommended to participate in psychotherapy in addition to medications to maximize recovery. Sheila is accepting new clients ages 6+ with a wide range of mental health conditions including (but not limited to) depression, anxiety, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and adjustment disorders.



Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner

Bobbi Jo Durst is a Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner who started her nursing career over 20 years ago in the military and has worked most of her career in Emergency care, and mental health. Now, as a Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner, Bobbi sees people of all ages with various mental health needs. Most recently she has been working more with children, group homes, and with clients who have alcohol and other substance abuse disorders. Bobbi resides on a Dairy Farm in Wisconsin with her husband and her 6 children.

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Licensed Clinical Social Worker

Connie has been a Licensed Clinical Social Worker for over 20 years and has enjoyed working with adults, children and families in several mental health settings including inpatient, day treatment, outpatient clinics, and schools.  She most recently worked to develop a School-Linked Mental Health Therapy program in a local district and provided therapy, mental health education, and support to students, parents, staff and the surrounding community.  She has experience in stress management, anxiety, depression, trauma, ADD, ASD, parenting issues, and adjustment disorders.  Connie uses a variety of therapy models and techniques, tailoring her approach to the client’s needs.  Her particular area of interest focuses on helping clients gain knowledge of how the mind works and the neurobiology of worry, fear and anxiety, using a CBT framework, incorporating mindfulness, to meet their desired goals.  Connie received her Master of Social Work degree from New York University and has received Wellness Coaching and Attention and Interpretation Therapy training at the Mayo School of Health Sciences.  Currently accepting clients 18 and over.


Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist

Kelsey Kitzmann is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist who provides
therapy to adolescents (ages 12+), adults, couples, and families. 
Kelsey treats a wide range of issues including: anxiety, depression,
trauma, relationship issues, behavioral issues, parenting issues,
grief/loss, LGBTQ issues, women's issues, and life transitions.  Kelsey
has a Master of Science degree from Iowa State University in Marriage
and Family therapy and a Bachelor of Science degree from the University
of Wisconsin-La Crosse in psychology.  Kelsey joined APP in 2013 and
previously worked as a therapist for an adoption and foster care agency
providing in-home therapy to children and their families.  Kelsey uses a
variety of therapy models and styles to customize the therapy experience
to her client's individual needs, preferences, and goals.



Licensed Psychologist

Kristi has been a Licensed Psychologist since 1996 providing therapy to adults, couples, and children from a cognitive-behavioral perspective. She also specializes in providing psychological assessments and testing for children and adults. She has special interest in ADHD, stress management, and anxiety disorders including panic, phobias, OCD, and social anxiety. Kristi has also been teaching in the graduate program at St. Mary's University since 2008.



Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist

Becky has been licensed and in practice since 1998. She enjoys working with individuals, couples, families, children, and adolescents. She has experience helping individuals overcome the effects of trauma (past and present), depression, anxiety, as well as anger management. Becky helps couples achieve better communications and thereby have increasingly deeper and more satisfying relationships. She also enjoys helping parents develop positive parenting skills and strategies. Becky has extensive training and experience working with children and adolescents in all areas that affect their lives from domestic violence, addiction, physical and sexual abuse, divorce, ADHD, behavior, and school issues. Becky has worked with children in foster care, as well as with foster parents and parents working for reunification. She also has experience working with adoptive families and children. 

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Associates in Psychiatry and Psychology

Rochester                                           Plymouth

Tel: 507-288-8544                             Tel: 763-550-9005

3101 Superior Drive Northwest, Rochester, MN 55901

12805 Highway 55, Suite 211, Plymouth, MN 55441

4325 W Woodman St, Ste 200, Pequot Lakes, MN 56472

422 Heritage Place, Faribault, MN 55021

Faribault                                              Pequot Lakes

Tel: 507-333-5044                              Tel: 763-550-9005