Therapists and Support Staff

JustUs Behavioral Health offers counseling and therapy services for LGBTQIA+ people, people living with HIV, and/or people from communities who have historically and currently face barriers to behavioral health support including communities of color and substance-using communities. We offer individual, group, relationship, and family therapy.

Rick Laska, LICSW, CST Director of Clinical Services

Rick Laska, LICSW, CST

Director of Clinical Services

he/him/his

I am a Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker (LICSW #23383) and psychotherapist, with a focus on issues related to human sexuality. I am a Certified Sex Therapist (CST) and focus on issues related to human sexuality, including, but not limited to: Sexual functioning, sexual trauma, sexual identity, sexual behaviors, arousal concerns, desire discrepancy in relationships, issues with orgasm, and issues with sexual pain.

I work from a psychodynamic, trauma-informed, relational perspective. I primarily use Accelerated Experiential Dynamic Psychotherapy (AEDP and AEDPfC (for couples)) and I incorporate mindfulness, Imago, and behavioral therapies (CBT and DBT). I also work from a risk-reduction perspective, meaning I work with people who are current or former substance users.

My professional areas of interest include, but are not limited to: working with sexual trauma, LGBTQIAA2S people, mindful and tantric sex, individuals struggling with sexuality and substance use disorders, and issues related to non-mainstream sexualities such as kink, BDSM, and non-monogamy.

In addition to offering therapy, I provide supervision for therapists-in-training.  If I am unable to work with you, there are clinical interns and non-independently licensed practitioners who provide care under my license. These therapists share an interest in the types of therapy I do, and we work together to ensure they are engaging in best-practices.

Ultimately in my work, I strive to hear the ways my clients' issues interact with their individual stories and assist them in finding the relationships they want in their lives, with themselves and with others.

Christy Rushfeldt, LICSW, LADC Clinical Supervisor

Christy Rushfeldt, LICSW, LADC

Clinical Supervisor

she/her/hers

I am a Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker and Licensed Alcohol and Drug Counselor. I work from a trauma-informed, harm reduction perspective. Research and experience indicate a strong link between trauma and coping behaviors that can make life more complicated.

I specialize in working with people with a history of trauma or adversity. I use a variety of approaches in therapy, based on individual needs and preferences as one size does not fit all. Some of these approaches include: Interpersonal therapy, CBT, DBT, EMDR, and Narrative Therapy.

In addition to offering therapy, I provide supervision for therapists-in-training.  If I am unable to work with you, there are clinical interns and non-independently licensed practitioners who provide care under my license. These therapists share an interest in the types of therapy I do, and we work together to ensure they are engaging in best-practices.

When it comes to therapy, the relationship is the priority. I believe people are resilient and utilize a strengths-based approach that seeks to affirm and build on personal resources. Let's work together to identify and address patterns that are stealing your joy.

Brenda Clark

Brenda Clark, BS, CNAP

Director of Finance

she/her/hers

Brenda brings a wealth of expertise with particular strength in areas such as financial reporting systems, revenue & expense management, and both financial strategy and long-term budgetary oversight.  

Brenda Clark obtained her Bachelor of Science in both Business Administration and Human Resource Management from Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota.  She also holds the CNAP – Certified Nonprofit Accounting Professional designation with the FMA Institute. She has worked with both non-profit and for-profit entities with budgets ranging from $500K to $28M, offering financial leadership across multiple industries and causes.

In addition to her executive career, Brenda has served on several Boards of Directors, including the Boards of Mixed Blood Theatre and the Alliance for Women in Radio & TV.  Away from the office, Brenda enjoys time spent with her family & friends, growing milkweed for the monarchs and painting passionately.

Leah Bonine, LGSW Psychotherapist

Leah Bonine, LGSW

Psychotherapist

she/her/hers

I am a Licensed Graduate Social Worker (LGSW #56080) trained in CBT, DBT and AEDP. I work from a trauma-informed, harm reduction, sex positive, attachment-based lens. I specialize in working with individuals from diverse backgrounds, particularly the LGBTQ+ community. I am currently accepting new adult clients for individual and/or couples (including poly/non-monogamy) therapy.

Reaching out for help, understanding, compassion, and accepting that help can be overwhelming. I will be there to assist you in developing a deeper understanding of your inner world while tapping into your strengths. You are the expert in your life, and that is why I don’t believe in a one size fits all approach. Together in an open and honest relationship, we will tailor an approach that best fits your needs and guides you to a deeper understanding of your past, your patterns and how you can change and create healthier, more adaptive skills and relationships in the future.

My areas of professional interest include: anxiety, depression, trauma, chronic illness, chronic pain, sexuality, gender expression, gender identity, chemical dependency/substance use.

Tricia Hendren, LGSW Psychotherapist

Tricia Hendren, LGSW

Psychotherapist

she/her/hers

I help people to alleviate suffering so that they can live more fulfilling and joyful lives. I work with clients to address issues including PTSD, depression, anxiety, relationship difficulties and grief & loss. I specialize in working with people from marginalized communities, especially LGBTQIAA2S clients.

I use a relational and trauma-informed approach in therapy. Additionally, I draw from a range of therapeutic techniques, including: mindfulness, CBT and DBT. I have specialized training in EMDR, Motivational Interviewing and transgender mental health.

I bring my full self to our work, so I will draw from my lived experience as well as my clinical training. I have worked with clients in both hospital and office settings and have been consistently amazed by the strength and resilience of all my clients.

I believe it is an honor to do this work. And I believe that change is always possible. I look forward to helping you make the changes you want to make in our time together.

Danielle Kasprzak, LGSW Psychotherapist

Danielle Kasprzak, LGSW

Psychotherapist

she/her/hers

I am a Licensed Graduate Social Worker (LGSW #25521) and contract psychotherapist at JustUs Health. I specialize in providing a safer and affirming space for individuals from marginalized groups, including the LGBTQ, non-monogamous, and kink communities, people of color (BIPOC), and undocumented individuals. Using a gentle, collaborative, and in-depth style, I help my clients learn to tolerate uncomfortable feelings, identify hidden patterns, and develop a greater sense of inner calmness and confidence.

I have experience working with a wide range of issues, including anxiety, depression, PTSD and other forms of trauma, grief and loss, gender identity exploration, sexuality concerns, and relationship struggles. I also have extensive experience working with people in academia, including graduate students, adjunct faculty, early career scholars, and tenured professors. The majority of my practice is reserved for individuals interested in long-term, in-depth psychotherapy, and I meet with my clients a minimum of once per week. Meeting regularly and frequently helps us get to know one another and also allows you greater space to explore your internal world.

My work is strongly influenced by both contemporary psychoanalytic theory and intersectional feminist theory. Psychoanalytic psychotherapy focuses on increasing self-understanding and deepening insight into emotional issues and conflicts. Intersectional feminist theory offers a fuller understanding of systems of oppression, especially the myriad intersections of white supremacy, misogyny, homophobia, classism, and more.

What does that look like in practice? You’ll come in and talk about what’s on your mind. I prioritize talking about our relationship as a way to understand how you relate to others. I listen carefully to your story and help you make sense of your life and the systems of oppression in which you live. I believe people can heal deep emotional wounds through developing a trusting relationship with a therapist. My goal is to provide support and guidance on your journey toward healing.

Aaron Spiegel-Emms, Psychotherapist

Aaron Spiegel-Emms

Psychotherapist

they/them/theirs

I have a multicultural clinical practice and a Master of Social Work from Augsburg University in Minneapolis, MN. I love to take an integrated approach to working with people and seeing people in the context of all aspects of their lives. As a queer, nonbinary transgender person I am passionate about intersectional social justice and working towards a world in which everyone is treated with respect and dignity. 

I use a strengths-based, person-centered, risk-reduction, and trauma-informed lens in the work that I do. I believe you are the expert on your own life experiences. I enjoy working with people from all backgrounds, however, I specialize in working with LGBTQIA+ people, people with co-occurring disorders, and persons living with HIV. I believe that the ways in which we have survived have been beautiful unique adaptations to traumatic events, but they may not be the ways in which we want to continue to live. I will use multiple approaches, as I believe that the best approach is based on an individual’s specific needs and desires. 

In the work that we do together, I want to affirm your strengths and find new ways to approach areas where you are seeking help in your life. I believe that you are resilient and already have many tools for success. I believe that therapy is a collaboration between us to uncover those strengths, identify patterns, and develop new strategies where they may be needed in your life. I want to work together to reach your goals and help you to live a passionate and authentic life.