Each of our therapists has had extensive training and several years of experience. They grow to know you personally and care about you. You are valuable and they want to see you experience progress and fulfillment in your life. They provide “coaching” and “counseling” to help you realize your goals.


Carol Horsager – MEd, LMFT, SEP, EFT
Hackensack, MN | Wadena, MN

Carol is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, with specializations in couple’s therapy (EFT) and trauma therapy (SEP).
Carol earned her Master of Education degree in Parent Education and Family Relations from the University of Minnesota. For some years she worked in the educational setting helping children and parents while also raising a family. She later continued her education at Bethel Seminary and St. Cloud State University. She received her Post Graduate Certification in Marriage and Family Therapy in 2010.

Carol specializes in family relationships at all life stages. She helps people who struggle with childhood trauma, anxiety, attachment disorders, marriage and parenting conflicts, sibling dysfunction and grief. She primarily draws from such therapeutic approaches as: Emotionally Focused Therapy, Internal Family Systems, Somatic Experiencing and Systemic Therapy. Which therapeutic approach is used depends upon the presenting issues, family members involved and what each session may require.

Carol is a systemic therapist with an attachment focus. Her work as an EFT (Emotionally Focused Therapy) therapist fits well with her belief that good relationships are crucial to achieving optimum health. She is trained in EFT with couples and families (EFFT).

She is also a Somatic Experiencing Practitioner. She is trained in working with clients by regulating their nervous systems and reducing the effects of trauma through calming the nervous system and releasing the trauma held in the body. “The body holds the score” is the underlying premise of Somatic work.
EFT is her preferred therapy to use with couples as she assists them in developing a less conflicted pattern of interaction while also feeling a higher degree of connection. She seeks to meet clients where they are at, while exploring with them where they would like to be and walking with them as they overcome whatever obstacles are getting in the way of getting there.

She sees clients in the Bemidji, Hackensack and Wadena offices. Additionally, she is available for on-line sessions.


Kate Friesner – LMFT, EMDR
Remer, MN

Kate is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, specializing in couple’s work, trauma-informed therapy, adolescent distress, attachment issues, adoption, mood disorders, family dynamics, grief, relationships, parenting skills, anxiety, depression, women’s issues,  spirituality, emotion regulation, and other life stressors. She completed her undergraduate degrees in Psychology and Sociology at Houghton College in upstate New York and returned to Minnesota to earn her Master of Arts in Marriage and Family Therapy at Bethel Seminary in St. Paul. She is trained in Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) and is a Prepare/Enrich facilitator. She has worked primarily with children and their families in clinical, home, or school settings and adolescents in residential, clinical, and school settings, dealing with depression, anxiety, recovery from past abuse and trauma, adoption, and parenting issues. Kate is especially interested in attachment and narrative therapy and the way our sense of belonging and connectedness affect the stories we live by, influencing all of our relationships starting at birth and echoing into our adult relationships. She is grateful for the opportunity to share in the stories of people’s lives and help them identify and succeed in the improvements they wish to make in their ongoing stories.

Kate enjoys cross country skiing, hiking, camping, and most other outdoor activities, particularly if she is participating in them with her family.


Shannon Kempf – LICSW
Hackensack, MN | Wadena, MN

Shannon is a Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker (LICSW). She began working in the mental health field in 1991, went on to earn her master’s degree in social work (MSW) from the University of Minnesota-Duluth, and has been independently licensed since 2010. She feels that she truly lives the classic saying “if you find a career you love, then you’ll never work a day in your life” as she is passionate about the work she does. Her favorite therapeutic modality is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), but she has been trained and certified in several other modalities, such as: Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT), Equine Assisted Psychotherapy, CBT for trauma, Duluth Model for Domestic Violence, Early Neutral Evaluation, Solomon’s Surrogates, Family Group Decision Making, etc.

Shannon has experience working in multiple fields dealing with a multitude of prevalent societal issues such as correctional settings, probation/parole, inpatient residential treatment for chemical dependency which specialized in mothers with a history of intravenous (IV) use, group homes, ARMHS, PCA supervision, IRTS, Serious and Persistent, Codependency, Anger Management, etc. She also finds that one of her specific passions is supporting people who have had difficult pasts and have problems and diagnoses that other counselors often find too demanding to properly interact with. Shannon has found that she is skilled with working with Personality Disorders (Antisocial Personality, Narcissistic Personality, Borderline Personality, or Histrionic Personality Disorder).


Molly Slovnik, LICSW
Remer, MN

Molly received her Masters of Social Work through Boise State University in 2018 and is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker. She has an undergraduate degree in Disability Studies, Art, and Spanish through the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities. Molly has additional specialized training in play therapy and parts therapy as related to Internal Family Systems (IFS). Molly has worked for 17 years in social services, beginning by supporting children and families impacted by disability and mental health.

Her professional work has included both providing direct care to individuals as well as case management to support clients in managing and accessing services as related to disability and mental health. Since 2019 she has provided clinical services to children, young adults, and families who are impacted by trauma and looking to effectively manage their mental health. Additionally, Molly has a passion for wild spaces and outdoor education. She has guided youth and families in outdoor wilderness areas both formally and informally since 2013, after completing outdoor education and leadership training through North Carolina Outward Bound.

Molly believes in a holistic and strengths based approach, using a variety of modalities to support the individual or family in their therapeutic work. She utilizes Play Therapy, parts work, as related to Internal Family Systems, narrative therapy, mindfulness based practices, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), attachment theory, and systems theory to inform her practice.

Our Therapists

Rachal Cross – MSW, LGSW
Wadena, MN | Hackensack, MN

Rachal is a licensed graduate social worker at both our Wadena and Hackensack
offices. From an early age, she was deemed a “peacemaker” at school and among her friends because she was able to listen to both sides of an argument or issue and always helped to find a productive resolution for all involved. Rachal realized in high school that she wanted to work in the mental health field because she had a passion for helping others become the best versions of themselves that they want to be.

Rachal is an alumna of the University of Minnesota-Duluth and graduated
magna cum laude with a Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) degree in 2022. She earned her Master of Social Work (MSW) degree in 2023. During her education, Rachal had the opportunity to intern in the chemical dependency field and helped people who are in recovery. She also interned in a mental health setting where she was exposed and
interacted with multiple therapeutic modalities including but not limited to Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT), and Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR). She is working towards becoming a play therapist and has an interest in gaining education and experience on how to facilitate marriage counseling.

Rachal believes in a holistic and strengths based approach to therapy, using a variety of modalities to support the individual or family in their therapeutic work. She utilizes narrative therapy, mindfulness based practices, and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), to inform her practice.


Our Therapists

Christine Desmond – BA



Anna Hale – Administrative Assistant
Anna Hale, founder of Wealth Worthy Woman INC is a stand for women who share her same vision to expand the Kingdom of God here on earth. Her God given purpose is to support women in understanding their worth and identity in Christ in order to create abundance in all areas of life.

Anna is the intake coordinator and office administrator for Birch Lake Counseling.

Anna is a mother, author, speaker, financial instructor, coach, investor, and most importantly a daughter of the KING.

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