Get To Know Youth Services Staff Members
Sean Fields, MA is a therapist with Youth Services and the Men’s Program at DAP. In Youth Services, Sean provides individual and group therapy to children and adolescents who have witnessed and/or experienced domestic abuse. In the Men’s Program, Sean facilitates men’s therapy groups. He is a co-facilitator for the exciting new program, Change Step, providing domestic violence counseling to the veteran population. In pursuit of his graduate degree, Sean has worked with disadvantaged adolescent girls and boys providing assessment services and individual and family therapy. Sean takes an integrated approach to his work with clients; he combines systems, psychodynamic, and person-centered frameworks. Sean explores with clients their interpersonal relationships and history of significant events both within and outside of their family. Sean believes that valuing a client’s unique experience of the world provides the foundation that is essential to their work together. In addition to Sean’s work at DAP, he provides financial counseling services to families in financial distress.
Melodee Gilbertson, MA is a therapist with Youth Services at Domestic Abuse Project. She received a BA in Sociology and Psychology from Lee University in Cleveland, Tennessee. Melodee received a Masters Degree in Clinical Psychology from Argosy University, Twin Cities. She is currently a Doctoral Candidate at Argosy University, Twin Cities, and is working towards her Psy. D. in Clinical Psychology. In the pursuit of her doctoral degree, Melodee worked at the University of Minnesota doing neuropsychological assessments for children and adolescents. At Domestic Abuse Project she does group and individual therapy with children and adolescents who have witnessed and/or experienced domestic violence. Melodee employs a client-centered approach when working with children and adolescents, believes that they possess the resilience to overcome the obstacles in their lives, and works with them to foster that resilience.
Andrew John, PsyD received his doctorate in Counseling Psychology from the University of St. Thomas. He is the Associate Director of Therapy Services and has also been a therapist at Domestic Abuse Project (DAP) for 10 years. Andrew provides individual and group therapy for children and adolescents who have witnessed domestic violence, women who are victims/survivors of domestic violence, men who have been abusive in their intimate relationships, and therapy for couples after they complete primary group services. Andrew also trains professionals, speaks locally, and is a strong advocate for families that have experienced abuse, both through crafting public policy and increasing public awareness. In therapy, Andrew combines psychodynamic (gaining insight through discussing early relationships), cognitive behavioral (developing core beliefs that promote healthy behaviors), and systems (looking at roles within a family) theories and skills. In addition to his work at DAP, Andrew is an adjunct professor in the Master’s and Doctoral Psychology Programs at St. Mary’s University and Argosy University. He believes strongly in each family’s ability to heal and that a compassionate, supportive, and non-judgmental approach is essential to this process.
Angela Lewis-Dmello, MSW, LGSW is the Supervisor of Youth Services and a Men’s Therapist at Domestic Abuse Project. She received a BA in Global Studies and a Masters Degree in Social Work from the University of Minnesota. At Domestic Abuse Project she does group and individual therapy with children and adolescents who have witnessed domestic violence and with adolescent and adult men who use abusive behaviors. Angela previously worked as an attachment researcher at the U of MN Program in Human Sexuality, on a study funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), completing clinical interviews with adolescent male sex offenders. Angela takes a strengths-based, interpersonal/attachment, and ecological (person-in-environment) approach to the work she does at DAP. She believes that children and adolescents know what they need to heal from their experiences of trauma and encourages their healing and growth through an authentic relationship with a supportive adult in therapy.
Sarah Lockhart, MSW, LGSW received her Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work from Luther College and her Master’s Degree in Social Work from the University of Minnesota. At Domestic Abuse Project, Sarah provides individual and group therapy services for children and adolescents who have witnessed domestic violence. Prior to coming to DAP, Sarah provided crisis intervention services and in-home skills based therapy services to youth and their families. Sarah takes a cognitive-behavioral, strengths-based, and developmental approach to her work in therapy with children and adolescents. Sarah uses her understanding of each child’s unique developmental needs to identify their core beliefs and harness their strengths to promote healing. Sarah believes that the foundation of therapy is a trusting relationship between a client and their therapist, and that growth comes through empowering youth to use their internal resources to heal. In addition to Sarah’s work at DAP, she provides therapy services to children and adolescents at Fraser Child and Family Center.
Amy Parsons is a therapist in the Youth Services Program at Domestic Abuse Project (DAP). Amy will graduate with a Masters of Social Work and Masters of Public Health dual degree from the University of Minnesota as well as a Certificate in Trauma Studies in the spring of 2013. At DAP, Amy does group and individual therapy with children and adolescents who have witnessed and/or experienced family violence, as well as with women who’ve experienced partner violence in DAP’s Women’s Program. Amy’s previous experience includes working with adults living with HIV and children with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Amy is fluent in Spanish and has 6 years of experience working with Latino families in community agency settings, both locally in MN and in Latin America. In her work, Amy focuses on creating a safe space that allows clients to explore the impact of past and current relationships and accompanying thoughts, behaviors, and feelings. Amy believes that each child possesses unique strengths and feels honored to accompany them in their healing process.
Valentina Strong, PhD received her doctorate in Clinical Psychology from the California School of Professional Psychology in Los Angeles. She is a therapist in the youth and women’s programs at Domestic Abuse Project, and has worked for many years in a variety of non-profit social service and community mental health agencies in California and Minnesota. Valentina provides individual and group therapy services for children and adolescents at DAP who have experienced or witnessed domestic violence, as well as adolescent males who have started using abuse in their interpersonal relationships. She also provides intake services at DAP for women who have experienced abuse from intimate partners, coordinates DAP’s First Call services, and provides education on domestic abuse issues in local schools and community agencies. In therapy, Valentina uses primarily a family systems, attachment, and developmental approach to working with clients. She believes children and adolescents know a lot more than they are given credit for about their own needs and solutions and benefit most from a genuine, caring, and consistent relationship that encourages them to use their strengths for fostering growth.