We Were Made to be More
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Counselors & Therapists

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Christi Brandenstein

MAC, LPC, NCC
Executive Director
14 yrs clinical experience

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For the last thirteen years, I’ve had the privilege of walking with people through the difficult places in their life. My work started in Nashville, TN, where I began my career helping children and families in crisis begin addressing the patterns that kept them in crisis. I earned a Masters in Counseling in 1998, and was Licensed as a Professional Counselor in 2002. Over the years, I have counseled individuals, couples, children and adolescents with a wide variety of mental health concerns, relationship challenges, parenting difficulties and spiritual struggles. I have additional training in sexual trauma, personality disorders, and EMDR.

I have a special interest in helping children find ways to communicate their stories, thus I pursued specific training in the area of child-centered play therapy. Recently, CrossRoads invited me to put together a therapeutic playroom, giving children the tools they need to communicate their inner world.

In addition to my individual work with adults, children, and teens, I facilitate Wounded Heart groups at our South City office, where I serve as team leader.

Four years ago, my family moved to St. Louis, where my husband completed an M.Div. at Covenant Seminary. Soon after, CrossRoads offered me the chance to lead a satellite office in South City, where our family lives, plays, and worships. It has been a dream come true to bring the quality counseling offered by CrossRoads to my own community.

While I take great satisfaction in my work, my greatest thrill is sharing life with my husband, Mike, and nurturing our three lively daughters, Zoe, Mia, and Evi.

You can find the paperwork you need to fill out initially here.
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Ashley Lare Watson

MAC, LPC
12 yrs clinical experience

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My passion for helping others has grown out of my own journey to find laughter and love in the midst of pain and brokenness. As a licensed professional counselor, I am honored to help others sort through their own stories and to see them emerge with freedom and confidence.

My clients tell stories that are unique in detail but common in heartbreak, borne of abuse, painful relationships, and misused sexuality. Often, my work is with couples—two individuals suffering betrayal, anger, hurt, and, despite it all, and often miraculously, a desire to connect. As an approved EMDR practitioner, I also have the distinct privilege of offering accelerated, healing therapy, particularly for clients experiencing the aftermath of trauma.

I moved to St. Louis in 2000 to pursue my Master of Arts in Counseling at Covenant Seminary. Eleven years later, I find myself loving this wild calling to journey with the brave men, women, and teens who walk through my office door. I also enjoy training other therapists and leading CrossRoads as Associate Director. I’m passionate about doing good therapy, offering both genuine care and gentle challenge. I’ve never seen healing without both. When I’m not counseling, my joys include spending time with my husband, Pete, my son, Nathan, and my daughter Abby. I’m also a sucker for animals, especially ones with kissable faces.

My phone extension is 13.

You can find the paperwork you need to fill out initially here.
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Robert Gordon

PhD, LMFT
29 yrs clinical experience

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I’ve sat in the same chair for twenty-seven years.

My professional journey began in 1982. A quick stop at Covenant Theological Seminary led to studies in beautiful, downtown Saint Louis University where I earned two degrees, a Masters degree in Educational Counseling, and a Ph.D. in Marriage & Family Therapy.

Along the way I picked up a Missouri license as a Family & Marriage Therapist (MLFT), built a large private practice, found a dear partner (Doug Samsel, M.A.), and grew a non-profit organization called CrossRoads Christian Counseling, the business that thinks like a mission.

Twenty-seven years in this chair, but the journey feels fresh, this desire to be more. I live with the love of my life, and continue to learn about the hearts of our children, aged 17 and 21. We live in suburbia with a cat, a dog, and an occasional squirrel in the garage. Chesterfield Presbyterian (PCA) is our church home.


I specialize in marital issues, extreme marital issues, family dilemmas, parenting teens, leadership & problem-solving, sexual abuse, Asperger’s in adults, and working with church workers. I meet with clients in St. Louis, not-St.-Louis (using Skype), and occasionally travel overseas to assist missionaries. I enjoy recreating myself, and seeing the bent made straight.

I write as a professional outlet (http:/mission2family@wordpress.com), and periodically surrender myself to new counseling projects, recently founding an Asperger’s Light Group, and Mission2Family, an international mini-mission.

You can reach me at the office at extension 11.

You can find the paperwork you need to fill out initially here.
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Steve Dalbey

MAC, LPC
5 yrs clinical experience

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I was born in Pittsburgh, PA and grew up as a pastors son. My family moved a number of times over the years and I was greatly impacted by a handful of mentors and youth leaders that really took the time to invest in me. This allowed me to begin to understand both the glory and the brokenness in my story. I developed a passion for youth ministry and went on to get a B.A. in Student Ministry at Geneva College. I have been working full time as the Director of Middle School ministry at Central Presbyterian Church for the past 7 years and have a combined total of 13 years in the field. I also served as a Sgt. in the USMC for 8 years enlisting right after high school and eventually went on to also obtain a MA in Counseling from Covenant Theological Seminary in 2008. I have a heart to work primarily with adolescents and young adults who are wrestling with spiritual or relationship issues, anxiety, OCD, physical or sexual abuse, and other forms of interpersonal trauma and grief. With the recent rise in mental health needs by our Armed forces, I also hope to begin working with Military members and their families, as I have experienced first hand some of the challenges that come with being a part of the Armed forces. I am married to my wife of 7 years Katrina, and we have 2 year old son with a daughter on the way.

You can find the paperwork you need to fill out initially here.
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Chad Frizzell

MAC, PLPC
2 yrs clinical experience

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My wife and I moved to St. Louis in 1998 so I could begin a career in business and to begin our family. The call to seminary came shortly thereafter while I was working in the securities industry and slowly but surely I graduated from Covenant Theological Seminary in 2012 with a Masters of Arts in Counseling and came on staff at Crossroads upon graduation.

It’s a privilege to work under the supervision of Doug Samsel, and it’s an honor to serve my clients. I have experience in working with couples in the midst of significant conflict and don’t feel as if they are understood by the one they are supposed to trust the most (I have extensive experience when finances are the main source of conflict), parents who are striving to raise their rapidly changing children, individuals who feel their past abuse prevents them from experiencing real intimacy, and especially dedicated professionals who are worn out because they want to remain competitive in their career, sacrificial with their spouses, gentle and instructive with their children, and involved with their church – and don’t understand how all this is possible. It has been uniquely rewarding to watch my clients shift from confusion and hopelessness to clarity and hope when they experience grace and restoration in relationships.

My wife Julie and I live in Kirkwood with our three children: Mary, Emma, and Denver. We enjoy all things St. Louis - food, culture, and especially the people.

Feel free to call me at extension 35.

You can find the paperwork you need to fill out initially here.
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Heather Bauer

MAC, LPC
5 yrs clinical experience

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I grew up in a tight-knit town outside Kansas City. After completing my Master’s Degree in Counseling from the University of Missouri, I married my husband Kevin and moved to St Louis. I worked as a therapist and assistant director of a maternity home until beginning our family.

I have found in my own journey and in walking alongside others that pain is a powerful agent in our lives. Whether that pain comes from abandonment, abuse, unfulfilled dreams or a loss of a loved one, it can be a place to deepen our understanding of who we are, where we’ve been and where we want to go. I especially have a passion to help others understand their own story and how it relates to their present lives. I work with men and women who have experienced abuse and broken relationships, anxiety and depression. I enjoy working with couples and older adolescents.

At Crossroads, I coordinate the Made for More groups and have been trained in EMDR, a technique that is effective in decreasing intensity of emotions that individuals experience after trauma.
In my free time, I love being with my husband and kids, having a good conversation with a friend over a cup of coffee, running and playing the piano.

You can find the paperwork you need to fill out initially here.
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Joel Chappeau

MAC, LPC
3 yrs clinical experience

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I first encountered CrossRoads Counseling in the nineties when feeling stuck in a challenging relationship. Little did I know that one day, I would have the privilege of sitting on the other side of the coffee table, across from individuals who likewise are looking for somebody to walk beside them through their pain and confusion.
After working in marketing for nearly a decade, I received a Master in Counseling from Covenant Seminary. I have learned that there is hope in the midst of brokenness and that joy can grow out of pain. Many of my clients come longing for connection with their spouses, with their children, with their parents, without knowing how to give or receive what they really need. My desire is to meet my clients where they are and to provide a safe environment where they feel understood and have the freedom to pursue change. In such an environment, they can begin to work through the fear, shame, and hurt that prevent them from healthy connections with others, with themselves, and with God. We are made for relationships. I delight in the work of reconciliation.
In addition to working with individuals and couples, I co-lead men’s groups that explore issues related to parenting, relationships, sexuality, betrayal, and trauma.
I live with my wife and son in the Tower Grove neighborhood. As a family we love anything that involves the outdoors and/or good food.
I am excited to be working with clients at both CrossRoads locations (South City and West County). You can reach me at my office extension 26.

You can find the paperwork you need to fill out initially here.
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Marianne Burke

MAC, LPC
6 yrs clinical experence

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Loss and brokenness in my life opened me to hear God’s calling, and leave a teaching career to complete a Masters in Counseling in 2007 from Covenant Theological Seminary. Since then I have worked as a professional counselor with individuals, couples, and families experiencing abuse, identity issues, anxiety, depression, grief, divorce, adultery, and personality disorders. In an effort to expand my knowledge and skills to better serve my clients, I also become a Certified Christian Conciliator in 2010 through Peacemaker Ministries, enabling me to work with couples, families, and organizations seeking reconciliation and restoration of both personal and professional relationships. In addition, I have taken advanced training in Sexual Abuse and Trauma, EMDR, Dialectical Behavior Therapy, Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy, and Domestic Violence to help those struggling with relational brokenness and trauma.

My life’s journey has taken me from rural Texas to Europe and Africa and back, but I have lived in St. Louis, MO, since 1986, where I have had the joy and challenge of raising two children who are now in their twenties. I have been an active member of Central Presbyterian Church since 1998, and over the years have been involved in the Next Chapter Divorce Recovery ministry, Stephen Ministry, women’s ministry, Sunday School Education, choir, and several small groups. I served as a volunteer counselor for Thrive and for Operation Homefront, and currently counsel at the Creve Coeur office as well at churches in Hermann and Owensville, MO.

In the past I have conducted workshops on Peacemaking, led small groups, and been a speaker for women’s retreats. I look forward to offering counseling and educational services both at our office locations and by invitation at churches and other organizations in and around St. Louis. I can be reached at Ext. 22.

You can find the paperwork you need to fill out initially here.
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Tracie Wallace

MAC, LPC
2 yrs clinical experience

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I grew up in San Antonio, home of the best Mexican food outside of Mexico. I studied Education in college, yet ultimately decided to take my learning overseas and received an education of an entirely different sort.

Before moving to Saint Louis to pursue a counseling degree, I spent 14 years involved with a Christian ministry, mostly in China. During those years, I became convinced that all people, no matter what temperament or language they speak, no matter their gifts, skills, or background, must travel a challenging path through the heart if they desire to experience authentic freedom and joy. As I have unpacked both the heartache and glory in my own story, I experience great joy in cheering on others who desire to do the same.

During my counseling program, I developed a deeper interest in childhood and adult attachment, marriage and family issues, and how relationships develop and go wrong. I enjoy working with dating and married couples, single women, mothers, children, missionaries, those from other cultures, as well as those who have known pregnancy and infant loss, medical stress, depression, anxiety, grief, relationship trauma and abuse.

My husband and I live in Manchester with our two daughters, Kathryn and Ellie. I enjoy hiking, camping, and beautiful scenery (especially the mountains!); meeting friends for coffee and heart-conversations; creative and reflective writing; reading great children’s literature with my girls… and I’m learning to play the drums!

I would consider it a great honor to walk alongside you, wherever you are in your journey.

You can find the paperwork you need to fill out initially here.
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David Koch

MA, LPC, NBCC
7 yrs clinical experience

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My path to being counselor has been filled with unexpected turns and God’s upheaval of my plans. Born and raised in St. Louis, I attended a local Christian high school before studying science and music at Washington University. During this time, I became disenfranchised with the church and walked away from my faith during a period of significant depression. Out of this period of searching and the fruitful work with a local counselor, I felt drawn to pursue an unexpected interest in counseling.
After getting a Master’s degree in Counseling from Lindenwood University, I took the first job offered me working with heroin and opiate addicts at a local clinic. Though I did not realize it at the time, this job both began a career working with people struggling with addiction and exposed my own addictions. I have had the privilege and challenge to walk alongside individuals and families in a variety of secular settings, working to initiate the road to recovery that is so often littered with significant loss and conflict. My passions also include work with young adults, those struggling with anxiety and Bipolar, men experiencing sexual brokenness, and the toll these take on loved ones. My desire is to help renew the heart and mind in the context of a gospel-centered therapy relationship. With all of these, I feel that no depth of struggle or ugliness of addiction can disqualify one from receiving grace.
I see clients part-time at CrossRoads while continuing my full-time employment at a local psychiatric hospital where I facilitate group therapy programs for both addiction and mental health recovery. My wife and I live with our two boys in the Central West End. We attend a church locally where I have had the opportunity to serve as a deacon to our church body and our local community.
You can reach me at office extension 25.

You can find the paperwork you need to fill out initially here.
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Sam Schlepphorst

MAC, PLPC
3 yrs clinical experience

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St. Louis has been my home now for three years, though I grew up in the beautiful state of Michigan. In college, I studied Psychology at the University of Michigan. Through college classes, friends, and mentors, I also discovered my passion to help hurting people find life in the midst of suffering.
My interest in counseling led me to pursue further training at Covenant Seminary, from which I recently graduated with a Masters in Counseling. I am delighted to continue working as a Counselor in Training under the supervision of Ashley Lare Watson. I especially enjoy working with adolescents and young adults who are struggling with anxiety, depression or grief, self-identity, relational issues, and pain from being abused. I also enjoy working with couples who need help working through issues of communication, trust, and pain.
I believe counseling is a process of growth and healing. It is hard work, but it leads to greater self- understanding, freedom, and wholeness. It is such a privilege to be a part of that process.
Outside of work, I love spending time with my husband, Steve, and exploring different restaurants around St. Louis. I also love reading, cooking, running, and having good conversations with friends and family.

You can find the paperwork you need to fill out initially here.
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Kathy Karrigan

PhD, LPC

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We all know that pain and suffering are a part of the journey of life, and that it is often in the relationships with those we love most that the deepest pain and suffering occurs. Through my own life’s journey, I have grown spiritually and been strengthened through the counseling process. I have deep compassion for adolescents, couples, and families that are in conflict, discord, and distress. I understand the pain and accept without judgment the shame people experience when relationships go awry. I also enjoy working with women experiencing times of transition, and those struggling with relational, or spiritual issues.
My love for this work is rooted in my own life’s journey of working with families. I have spent more than 30 years in education as a teacher, learning specialist, educational consultant, and counselor, and have worked in a variety of settings. The past twenty years of my career has been spent helping families understand their child who might be struggling academically, behaviorally, or emotionally and helping parents and families reduce conflict.
While Kathy takes great joy in her work, her greatest thrill is sharing life with her husband Steve. Steve and Kathy have three adult children – Megan, Brad, and Mallory, and one grandson, Jameson, who keeps them very busy! They also enjoy their five pound Yorkie, Jack Bauer.

You can find the paperwork you need to fill out initially here.
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Sara Coker

MAC, PLPC

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Originally from the Texas Gulf Coast, my heart longs for the blistering heat and Cajun food of my youth. I am known to nurse a pot of gumbo during the winter while howling to Janis Joplin. I am a St. Louis transplant. For the eight years I've lived in St. Louis, my work has brought me to neighborhoods outside of my own. From taking masters coursework in Creve Coeur to being a high school teacher in North City to making candy in Maplewood, I have anticipated the day when work and home would
intersect. At Crossroads South City, my internship places me minutes from my Dutchtown home.
As an intern with CrossRoads, my hope is to create space for healing. I believe healing occurs when we deeply seek what is good and gain an appetite for it. I am eager to gain experience with couples, groups, and young adults. I expect my particular interest to surface as I grow, but I anticipate seeking additional training in dialectical behavior therapy and Allender's Wounded Heart material.
Beyond my passion for good counseling, I have great fun building a life with my husband, Ehren. Our dogs and I enjoy watching him restore our home, an elegant beast from the 1890s. Ehren enjoys watching me play on the trapeze at Bumbershoot Aerial Arts, where I am an assistant coach. We are learning to give and receive grace at City Church in Soulard.

You can find the paperwork you need to fill out initially here.
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Margaret Kuenzle

MAC, PLPC

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Born and raised in St. Louis, I am a big fan of the Cardinals, Ted Drewes, and Forest Park. I left the beautiful Midwest to go to college at the University of South Carolina where I received a bachelor’s degree in Psychology. Upon my return to St. Louis, I was able to explore various aspects of psychology by working both in the Personality Psychology lab at Washington University and at Mercy Ministries, a rehabilitation facility for women. During this time, I sensed the Lord calling me to counseling and, specifically, to help bring hope and healing to the wounds and struggles of others. I pursued the Master of Arts in Counseling at Covenant Theological Seminary and did my counseling internship at CrossRoads. In addition, I have worked as a nanny for a family of seven children ages 5 to 15 for the past four years. Always an adventure, they have taught me more than I thought possible about love, service, and sacrifice. I am thankful to be on staff at CrossRoads, where I have the opportunity to walk alongside people through their tragedies and their triumphs. God is writing a tremendous story with each of our lives. No matter what your story looks like right now, it would be an honor to walk with you.

You can find the paperwork you need to fill out initially here.
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Patty Roosevelt

MAC, PLPC

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For seven years I taught some very “special” children. Through this experience I learned that each life, no matter how weakened and broken, has great value and has strengths on which to build. I have personally struggled with physical pain, loss, grief, and the lasting effects of family dysfunction. I have served children and their families for several years by teaching in both mainstream and special education in southern Illinois schools and by serving in a variety of capacities in my church, Hope Christian Church near Columbia, IL. A few years ago I felt led to leave my teaching career to pursue a career in counseling. I believe that my past experiences have better equipped me to serve children and adults as a counseling intern at CrossRoads Counseling in South City.

My husband, Jerry, and I live outside Waterloo, IL. We continue to learn more about ourselves and each other as we relate to our growing family. (Between our son and his wife, and our daughter and her husband, we have five grandsons, 7 and under!) We celebrate their development, especially any progress that we see in our four year old grandson who has autism.
We surprised our kids a few years ago when we purchased a Harley. We continue to surprise them as we occasionally zoom away (for short periods of time) leaving our two Cairn terriers and unfinished home projects behind us.

I would be honored if you could trust me to be your fellow-traveler on the road toward a healthier, more abundant life.

Patty can be reached at extension 39.

You can find the paperwork you need to fill out initially here.
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Gina Birkemeier

MAC, PLPC

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Although I have lived in other parts of the country, St. Louis has always been home in my heart. I am a mother of five and a grandmother of two. My passion for walking with people through challenging times was born out of my own journey through the realities of trauma, neglect and abuse. I understand first- hand the pain we experience through broken relationships as well as the pain from our own choices rooted in shame and fear. My path to becoming a professional counselor began with working in a variety of pastoral and lay counseling roles for over a decade, culminating in the pursuit of a counseling degree from Covenant Seminary.
Along that journey, I realized many things. One thing of great importance being the need to work with people in a holistic way, taking care to understand that physical, emotional, mental and spiritual well- being all work together. As a result I became certified as a PFT and was educated in fitness and nutrition to better help my clients. My education also led me to pursue a certificate in Advanced Counseling for Trauma from the Allender Center. Most recently, I accepted the privilege of being on the Leadership Team at the Faithful Brain Institute, which is devoted to helping people grasp the relationship between neuroscience, brain development tools and a faith rooted in Christ to achieve a more full life.
Whether you are facing relational difficulties, grief, intense challenges or simply processing through changes in your life, I believe health and healing come as much from constructing the truth about who we are and who God is as it comes from deconstructing the lies we’ve believed about ourselves that lead to sorrow and shame. It is both my belief and personal experience that we can achieve growth as well as healing on our journey. I will work with you at the pace you need to help achieve your goals and the healing and growth you desire.

You can find the paperwork you need to fill out initially here.

Interns

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Brenda Stewart

Intern

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Seeking counsel and entering into a therapeutic process is courageous! I consider it an honor and a privilege to work with you in counseling. You are a valuable individual and deserve to experience wellness mentally, emotionally, spiritually and physically. I believe that deep healing occurs in the context of a safe and supportive environment. My goal is to provide authentic connection that helps you feel validated and understood in order to then explore areas in need of healing.
It is through my own healing journey that God increased my passion to walk alongside others in theirs. I treat individuals holistically and utilize evidence-based approaches throughout the course of therapy. I will work together with you toward mutually established goals and seek to achieve the best possible results for you to experience wellness in each area of life.
I have special interest in helping those processing trauma and grief, attachment wounds, those dealing with eating and body image issues, self-harm, and those dealing with anxiety and depression.
I am currently completing my Master’s in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Regent University. For leisure I enjoy time with friends and family, playing with my puppy Samson, and being outdoors in God’s creation, especially at the beach in Florida!
I look forward to speaking with you!
Brenda Stewart, B.S., Currently obtaining M.A.