Therapist opens office in Pine River
OakHeart Therapy joins the growing Pine River medical community.
The Pine River community in 2020-2021 not only gained a state-of-the-art health clinic and a dermatology practice, but also a therapist to help treat mind traumas.
Therapist Angela Jedinak, owner of OakHeart Therapy in Pine River and Fifty Lakes, recently brought her roughly 10 years of experience in the field to Pine River. Her business is in the former Artisan's Corner building on the corner of Barclay Avenue and Third Street.
Jedinak is a licensed independent social worker and registered play therapist. She's had a private practice for four years, but she opened her location in Pine River in 2021.
" Play therapy allows a child to express through their language. We can't expect a three, four, five or even sometimes a 10, 12 or 13-year-old to sit in a chair like we would with an adult and talk. They express themselves through art or experiential play, like real life play or doll houses, police, ambulances. They can tell about their trauma in a way that isn't so direct. "
— Angela Jedinak.
Before becoming a therapist, Jedinak was a veterinary technician. After eight years in that field she returned to school and followed the advice she had been receiving since high school.
"The guidance counselors always said, 'Angie, you need to be a counselor,' and I thought they were crazy," Jedinak said. "I went back to school for social work and my mentor in bachelor level social work told me I really needed to do my masters."
She did a residential internship at the Wilder Foundation in the Twin Cities where she worked with children between ages 6 and 12.
"They came from extreme, broken family systems with lots of trauma," Jedinak said.
Jedinak then went to graduate school in a combined program between St. Catherine and St. Thomas universities in St. Paul. Since then she has been serving the field in various capacities before moving to Fifty Lakes in June and renting office space in the former Artisan's Corner building more recently.
As a therapist with experience and training in family therapy, Jedinak has been well-received by the professional community especially.
"In rural populations, they don't have as many resources or don't necessarily have clinicians that see families and children," Jedinak said. "That tends to be a harder population to find folks (to work with). I've always worked with children and families. County personnel and other folks serving people in different ways were just excited to have someone that sees children and families as well as individuals."
Jedinak doesn't typically do couple's counseling, but does provide her services for adults and children, though she has approximately 200 hours of additional training in play therapy, a tool that is more aimed toward children.
"Play therapy allows a child to express through their language," Jedinak said. "We can't expect a 3-, 4-, 5- or even sometimes a 10-, 12- or 13-year-old to sit in a chair like we would with an adult and talk. They express themselves through art or experiential play, like real life play or doll houses, police, ambulances. They can tell about their trauma in a way that isn't so direct."
" The general public doesn't know about this, but they should. It's called co-regulation. We do it as adults. We find partners or spouses or friends that can co-regulate us when we're having a crappy day. That's even more true for children."
— Angela Jedinak.
Demonstrating with toys, she said, allows some of her younger patients to express themselves in ways that might otherwise be difficult for them, though play therapy can also help them open up in more ways in time.
In addition to play therapy, another of her tools for all age of clients is called "brainspotting," which a pamphlet at her office describes as a "powerful, mindfulness based brain/body focused treatment that works by identifying, processing and releasing stored neuropsychological trauma."
Jedinak said her training for family therapy has been put to good use, as many of her patients are young children or families.
"Typically most families and parents or guardians or foster care should be involved," Jedinak said. "They are little and the kids go back home or back to a place with that parent or family."
She said over time she received feedback from families of her younger clients saying that they needed the tools to help, so she likes to incorporate families in therapy so they can help strengthen one another.
"The general public doesn't know about this, but they should," Jedinak said. "It's called co-regulation. We do it as adults. We find partners or spouses or friends that can co-regulate us when we're having a crappy day. That's even more true for children. That doesn't mean we're permissive or passive in our parenting. It means we regulate first then maybe move to disciplinary stuff that still has to happen later."
Jedinak said trauma is the source of most patients in therapy. Trauma can come in many forms, including post-traumatic stress disorder, adjustment type disorders, attachment disruption disorders and others.
Jedinak gets a fair amount of traffic from referrals from insurance companies. She also receives referrals from the county health systems, including some mandated therapy. Otherwise, she has never really advertised. Many of her patients come from word-of-mouth from colleagues, other health professionals and other patients.
Jedinak wouldn't mind eventually practicing with another therapist. It would allow them to stagger shifts to provide more open hours, but it would also provide a necessary support structure for successful therapy.
"I have rural colleagues that I do Zoom consultations with," Jedinak said. "You should never practice alone. You should be in consultation with other therapists. Think about doctors. They consult with each other. I think I'll go so far as to say it's irresponsible to practice alone."
She's excited to be available for the community.
"Bringing brainspotting and play therapy to a rural community is kind of exciting," Jedinak said.
Travis Grimler is a staff writer for the Pineandlakes Echo Journal weekly newspaper in Pequot Lakes/Pine River. He may be reached at 218-855-5853 or email@example.com.