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 | Crosslake, MN | Wadena, MN

Carol earned her Master of Education degree in Parent Education and Family Relations from the University of Minnesota. She worked as a Preschool Teacher and Child Care Instructor and then took time off to raise her two daughters. Carol also worked as a Paraprofessional with Minnewaska Area Schools attending to students with special educational needs. She served as a Consumer Counselor working with developmentally disabled adults through Prairie Community Services and Storge Residential Treatment Homes. Carol took classes at Bethel Theological Seminary and earned her Post-Graduated Certificate in Marriage and Family Therapy from St. Cloud State University. She worked with children and their families in the home setting as a Mental Health Practitioner through the Professional Family Based Division of Nystrom & Associates. While at Nystroms, she also worked with couples, families and children on an outpatient basis. Carol has specialized training and interest in anxiety, trauma, depression, adoption and attachment concerns as well as marriage and family relationship issues. Carol is trained in Somatic Experiencing and Emotional Focused Therapy.

Carol loves spending time with her family on their hobby farm and also likes camping, relaxing at their cabin, motorcycling with her husband and caring for the family pets. She also enjoys gardening, hiking, reading, sewing, quilting and playing violin.


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 | Crosslake, MN

Bio coming soon…


Darren DeVries – MA, LMFT
Crosslake, Hackensack & Wadena, MN

Darren received his Bachelor’s Degree in Theology from Dordt University and a Master’s Degree in Marriage and Family Therapy from Sioux Falls Seminary in 2010. He is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and specializes in couple’s therapy, personality disorders, mood disorders, family dynamics, parenting skills, post-traumatic stress, anxiety, depression, male issues, relationships, spirituality, emotion regulation, stage of life concerns, and other life stressors. He is trained in DBT therapy, Prolonged Exposure Therapy, and is a Prepare/Enrich facilitator. Darren is also a member of the Focus on the Family Christian Counselors Network.

Darren uses an eclectic approach in therapy which customizes treatment to the client’s needs. This may contain modalities such as solution focused therapy, experiential therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, strategic therapy, family systems, and dialectical behavioral therapy. He looks at the greater picture of who and what else may be involved with symptomatic behavior or thoughts. This may include highlighting strengths and encouraging greater use of past attempted solutions, or by acknowledging growth areas and focusing on new ways of thinking and/or behaving.

Prior to working at Birch Lake Counseling, Darren has worked many years as an outpatient therapist, DBT therapist, supervisor, and in-home practitioner. He enjoys spending time with his family, working outside on various projects, aviation, flying stunt kites, actively participating in his local church, and eating spicy food.

Our Therapists

Jenny Cushing – BS

Clinical Therapist in Training


Molly Slovnik, LICSW
Remerk, MN | Crosslake, 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

Christine Desmond – BA

Contact Us

We're not around right now. But you can send us an email and we'll get back to you, asap.

Not readable? Change text. captcha txt

Start typing and press Enter to search