2023-2024 Action Plan

Video Overview

MEET THE TEAM

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Lorraine Zwingel, Ph.D., LAPC, NCC

I am a Licensed Associate Professional Counselor in North Dakota. I have my Masters’ degree in School Counseling and a Ph.D. in Counselor Education and Supervision. I have 15 years of school counseling experience at both the elementary and secondary level. I was also a Mental Health Rehab Therapist, in which I provided intensive in-home services to families as well as individual counseling.  Most recently, I held the role of Assistant Professor in the Counseling Department at University of Alaska Fairbanks and am currently an adjunct instructor at Sacred Heart University. My work focuses primarily on working with adolescents and teenagers, helping them navigate the challenges of the developmental years. I enjoy helping others identify and work on trauma, shame, resiliency, self-compassion, and self-care. I don’t believe there is a one size fits all approach to therapy and I will do my best to meet everyone where they are throughout the therapy process. I am trained in the following evidence-based practices: Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavior Therapy (TF-CBT), Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT), Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT), and Prolonged Exposure (PE). I have also been trained in PRePare Crisis Intervention & Recovery Curriculum, Trauma Sensitive Schools, Restorative Practices, Question Persuade Refer (Suicide Prevention) and the Nurtured Heart Approach. In my personal life, I enjoy reading, spending time with family, being outdoors and taxiing my 4 children. 

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Melissa Lacher, M.Ed., LAPC

Hello! My name is Melissa, and I graduated from NDSU in 2018 with an M.Ed. in Counselor Education in two specialization areas: school counseling and clinical mental health counseling. I have experience as both a clinical mental health counselor and a school counselor and have received training in several evidence-based trauma interventions. My main area of focus has been children who have experienced trauma. My clinical work focuses on helping children understand their unique perspectives and insights into their experiences, regulate their own emotions, and cultivate positive self-esteem while working through challenging situations. Collaboration is a cornerstone of my approach, as I believe that working together with clients and their support systems fosters the most effective healing and growth and for treating the whole child. For my own wellness, I read thrillers and play with my two dogs, Kimber and Dozier. I also enjoy creating art with my stepdaughter and spending time lounging on the couch with my fiancé.  

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Laura Sokolofsky, M. Ed., NCC, LPC

 My previous 25-year career experience included work for FPS as an elementary educator, school counselor at Jefferson Elementary, and middle school counselor at Horizon Middle School in Moorhead Public Schools. Other professional roles include; a community parent educator with NDSU Ext. for the Love and Logic Way and have been an adjunct graduate professor for counselor education at MSUM, U Mary, and NDSU. I have created and provided mental health professional development training modules with HOPE for Educators.  I am a ND trauma trainer, a Restorative Practices facilitator, and have been a PBIS and MTSS team school leader and more. I have a passion for teaching and learning with educators. I am trained in BSFT, CBT, TF- CBT, Person Centered Therapy, Grief interventions, and will continue my training in psychopathology at MSUM.  I most recently achieved my National Board Certification in counseling and my ND LPCLicensed Professional Counselor credential  I am excited to be a part of this innovative pioneer experience with West Fargo Schools as a mental health therapist. This team is striving to collaborate and create a school-based mental health support response to meet the ever-growing needs and challenges that today’s learners (and educators) face.  

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Kelsey Altendorf, LMSW

I graduated from the University of St. Thomas with my Master of Clinical Social Work degree in 2022. I previously worked as a mental health therapist in a pediatric outpatient mental health clinic. I am trained in TF-CBT (trauma focused cognitive behavioral therapy). I have worked with children with ADHD, anxiety, depression, autism, behavior concerns, trauma, and family/life stressors. My approach to therapy is client centered, play, and strengths based. I want to help learners see the best in themselves by meeting each learner where they are and empowering them through the therapeutic process. It brings me joy and excites me seeing each learner make progress towards their goals. In my personal life I enjoy spending time with my friends and family, spoiling all my nieces and nephews, and reading on my porch.  

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RaeAnn Elijah, LCSW

My name is RaeAnn Elijah. I graduated with my Masters in Social Work from UND in 2016. I began working as a family based mental health therapist at The Village Family Service Center and moved into an outpatient clinical role as I worked towards my clinical licensure. I worked there for just shy of 8 years. I am trained in TFCBT (trauma focused cognitive behavioral therapy, CPP (Child- Parent Psychotherapy- working with children under the age of 5 who have experienced trauma), and I have specific training in working with kids in foster care or who have been adopted. I was a foster parent for almost 8 years so working with the kids in these groups is a passion. I enjoy working with all ages and aim to strengthen internal and external supports to maximize confidence and connection. Watching my clients achieve small successes is what drives my work and excites me for each interaction I am lucky to be a part of. In my personal life, I enjoy spending time with my family, tending to our farm animals, crafting, and enjoying summer at the lake. 

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