Our Team

Therapists

Mark Sandberg, MSW, LCSW

I am a relationship-focused therapist with a reverence for hearing others’ stories; utilizing skills and resources to help them achieve their goals. My favorite activities include time spent outdoors year-round, playing games, music and reading. I enjoy being a resource for parents struggling to understand and connect with their child. I am certified as a Positive Discipline Educator (parenting), CBT for Insomnia Clinician and I have specialized training or interests in ADHD, Mindful Self-Compassion, Motivational Interviewing, Interpersonal Neurobiology, and the mind-body connection.

Prudence Tippins, MFTT

Prudence began her career as an educator and soon moved to training teachers in the areas of fostering family resiliency, community collaboration, and promoting effective intergroup communication. Her systemic view of individual, family, and societal issues led her to study Couples and Family Therapy at the University of Oregon. She has since worked with a variety of populations, including adults, high school and college students, young children, families, couples seeking to better their relationships, and women in transition. Her work is influenced by the philosophies of Internal Family Systems Theory, Experiential Therapy, and Emotionally-Focused Couples Therapy, and she is trained in Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) and neurofeedback technologies, as well as trauma healing. Prudence’s fierce dedication to her clients has led them to say they feel understood, respected, and supported for who they are and who they desire to become.

Tracey Benton, LCSW

Tracey Benton is a licensed clinical social worker with over 20 years of social work experience with children, teens, and adults. Tracey has practiced in a variety of settings including emergency room, psychiatric in-patient hospital, residential treatment and private practice. However, she currently enjoys the versatility of supporting kids and families in their own environments; helping with various types of issues such as developmental trauma, anxiety, depression and relationship conflict. She especially enjoys work with girls and women. Her work is influenced by Bessel van Der Kolk, Trauma-Focused CBT, PCIT, and Play Therapy techniques. Tracey also uses Positive Parenting Solutions workbooks and videos to support her parenting education program.

Chris Ruder, LMFT

I started Trailhead (formerly Driftless Counseling) to pursue my passion for outdoor Adventure Therapy and In-Home Family Therapy after years of experience in Alaska and Northern WI. I work to help family members connect with each other and with themselves through adventure. With younger clients I use canoeing, carpentry (yes, with power tools), exercise, board games, and outdoor play in sessions. I am trained as a Marriage and Family Therapist with a certification in Internal Family Systems (IFS). Email Chris

Jeana LeJeune, LPC, CSW

Jeana has 12+ years of experience working as a social worker serving high-risk juveniles, women and teens with high-risk pregnancies, adoption, grief and loss, and infertility, and the elderly. Jeana uses solution-focused therapy, CBT, and Internal Family Systems Therapy with individuals. Jeana is person-centered and enjoys meeting clients where they are at, while helping them identify where they wish to go next. She especially enjoys working with teens and young adults, family systems, and people on the Autism spectrum.

Anthony Shay, Ed.D., LPC, CRC, SAC

Anthony has years of experience helping people children and adults move towards recovery. With past experience teaching at the university level, directing Vocational Rehabilitation services in this area, and more, Anthony is well equipped to help clients achieve success. He also operates Shay Rehabilitation & Psychological Services in Westby. Driftless Counseling is fortunate to connect Anthony with clients wanting to increase independence, build skills, and face life transitions.

Shannon Stolarick, MSW, APSW

Shannon Stolarick is enthusiastic about providing adventure-based therapy to children and teens. Shannon has extensive involvement as a facilitator of group and individual growth in nontraditional outdoor settings like ropes courses and climbing towers. Shannon utilizes experiential learning techniques to help client’s improve their self-concept, learn to trust themselves and others, and become effective communicators. She enjoys paddling, hiking, and cross-country skiing.

Erin Miess, MSW, APSW

Erin Miess is an Advanced Practice Social Worker with over 17 years of experience working with children, youth, adults and families in different roles. Erin has worked in direct practice, supervisory positions and has helped implement system-level changes. She uses a trauma-informed and strength-based approach in her work. Erin has experience using a variety of individual treatment modalities, including Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Motivational Interviewing, and Solutions-Focused Therapy. She is also skilled at facilitating group therapy sessions and family team meetings. Erin is a strong advocate for strengthening families, allowing individuals to have a voice in planning and developing family support networks. Erin believes that engagement with people is the key to helping them heal from trauma and empowering them to make positive changes in their lives. Erin is working towards becoming a Licensed Clinical Social Worker.

Grady Keding, LPC-IT, SAC-IT

Grady is passionate about the outdoors and the therapeutic energy that simply being outside brings. Grady has worked with children and teens being a gymnastics coach for over 8 years, and has been providing Lifespan Therapy for the last 2 years. Grady drives from a person centered approach and enjoys utilizing the feminist theory, CBT, and solution-focused counseling. All of Grady’s work comes from a trauma informed background, reinforcing her clients through big and small successes. Grady enjoys hiking, outdoor survival (building fires and shelters), cross-country skiing, snowboarding, tennis, kayaking, extreme sports, and helping our youth grow and learn about themselves and what they are capable of through adventure.

KYLE EGERDAL, MS, LPC-IT

Kyle is a relationship-focused therapist who works primarily in interpersonal process and is also experienced in family systems work, couples therapy, CBT, and parent management training. He has pedaled bicycles more than a third of the way around the world and is intimately familiar with the empowerment and connection to others the outdoors can bring. Kyle has worked at a day treatment center for adolescents where he not only conducted group therapy but joined clients in adventurous, therapeutic activities such as art or escape rooms. He has also worked at a community mental health clinic serving people of all ages, genders, races, sexualities, and abilities, practicing his belief that all humans are worthy of love and unconditional positive regard no matter their histories or identities.

Mentors

Rice Spann, BA

Rice has worked with youth in many different capacities over the past decades, including working as a licensed high school teacher, archery instructor, ice-fishing leader, soccer coach, and leader of a home-schooling cooperative. Rice is able to quickly convey unconditional positive regard when first meeting clients, and help bring out the best in them through doing activities they enjoy and feel proud of. Rice is able to connect with youth through community based and outdoor based activities.

Jason Thimmesch, BA

In addition to being an organic farmer, Jason has spent many years as a counselor, job coach, and environmental educator. Jason has worked with both adults and youth in a variety of settings, from serving teachers, family, and youth in Chicago’s underserved communities, to helping at-risk youth manifest a vision of growing and selling produce at the farmer’s market in Dubuque, Iowa. Jason is patient and encourages the balance of hard work, rest, humor, and emotional connection.

Heather Hoene, BS

Earning a Bachelor’s Degree in Clinical Psychology with more than 6 years of experience managing, developingand implementing both Intensive and Non-Intensive based therapies as well as home based programs for clientsalongside licensed professionals, it is my true diligence and integrity to assist each individual to their idealquality of life through the policies and procedures of the designated services acquired.

Federico Escobar-Merodio, BS

I am passionate about communication, emotional awareness and community building. I have experience working on occupational therapy farms helping youth connect to themselves, nature and the land through working in gardens and with animals, as well as working with children and teenagers as an environmental educator. I love the outdoors and truly believe in its power to help us connect to ourselves and nature, and especially enjoy guiding others on meditative Land-Art activities, beekeeping, outdoors games and bird watching. I am working on my MSW at UIUC.

Jess Krueger, BA

I have a bachelors degree in Sociology with a concentration in peace and conflict and gender studies. I’m forever curious about human nature and how to restore and cultivate belonging and connection. My approach to working with children and teens is to practice healthy communication and to encourage self and community awareness. My favorite pastimes include being outdoors, gardening, food preservation and creating art.

Drew Shonka, BA

Throughout life, working with people has been Drew’s passion. From coaching to crisis intervention, with teaching and service along the way. Activities that he enjoys include photography, making art, playing guitar, hiking, canoeing, skating, and skiing. Most favored are any activities that involve problem-solving and creativity. For the past three years, Drew has led groups of high school and college students in hurricane/disaster relief and poverty abatement in Puerto Rico, Texas, North Carolina, and Mississippi.

Jade Hudson, MS (MFT Student)

Jade is currently completing her second master’s degree at UW- Stout, Marriage and Family Program. Prior to starting this program, she received her Master’s in Therapeutic Recreation from UW-La Crosse and became a Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist. She has experience working with people who have disabilities, such as individuals with Autism and Down Syndrome, as well as clients who have a variety of gender, sexual and relational orientations. Through her experience and interests, Jade has developed a passion for using expressive arts and adventure-based therapies to support clients in their journeys to obtaining their highest quality of life.

Jim Ruder, BA

Jim worked for over 30 years in public education, including 15 years as a special education teacher. Jim enjoys connecting with youth and helping them to re-engaged and integrate into their communities. Jim incorporates activity and movement into most of his sessions, and has confidence and skills to work with clients with challenging behavioral issues.

Bill Townsley, BS

Bill has over 20 years of experience working with youth and families, and works as an asparagus farmer on the side. Bill is Driftless Counseling’s expert fisherman, and connects well with kids and their parents–even when those families are struggling the most. Clients with Bill report feeling heard, respected, and seen as complete and whole people.

Craig Minowa, BS

Craig has his degree in Environmental Science and Education. He taught in the Twin Cities elementary school systems for two years before moving on to environmental education in the nonprofit sector for more than ten years. He is best known for his work in therapeutic music creating what National Public Radio called “music as medicine” which has received rave reviews from media outlets nationwide including the New York Times, Rollingstone Magazine and The Wall Street Journal. As a Certified Therapeutic Mentor, he specializes in helping clients to understand and process grief, to connect with the outdoors, and to tap into their best and most creative self through music.

Bill Spear, BS

Bill Spear is a sincere community member that believes that nature is our greatest teacher. He has experience working with elderly folks with dementia, working as a job coach for folks needing support, and as a medical assistant with a family care practice and emergency room care. He feels most supported when sharing time with animals, canoeing on the beautiful rivers of Southwest Wisconsin, and when playing and listening to music with friends and family.

Rebecca Rand, BA, MS

Rebecca joins Trailhead after 7 years of teaching and mentoring students at a residential boarding school in Northern Wisconsin. Rebecca’s passion is helping young people develop confidence and character through outdoor education and immersive experiences in nature. Rebecca believes deeply that connection to local landscapes can inspire stronger human relationships and community building. Rebecca is also a certified yoga instructor and enjoys sharing the benefits of mindfulness and whole-body health with young learners. Rebecca’s a deep listener who finds joy in helping people develop positive visions for their future.