The idea for our treatment center started out as a seed in 2009 when Brenda Velissaris noticed a huge gap in the levels of care offered to people struggling with an eating disorder. Though the seed was planted it did not evolve into much until Brenda and Kate Yonke met at a community meeting in 2013. The two introduced themselves to each other and within minutes the seed began to germinate and Evolve began to grow. In less than a year, Kate and Brenda created a center for eating disorders that fills in the treatment gap here in the Fox Valley. Kate provides the nutritional and dietetic knowledge while Brenda provides the mental health/therapeutic knowledge. Together, Brenda and Kate and their treatment team offer a comprehensive treatment approach to eating disorders.
Shawna Krienitz MSAT, LPC, ATR
I began my journey in the field of counseling upon entering Mount Mary University’s esteemed art therapy graduate program in 2010. While there, I was given the opportunity to put theory to practice and worked with adults suffering from dual diagnoses in a hospital and residential setting. After graduating in 2013, I continued to work with adolescents and adults suffering from a wide array of diagnoses in both a residential and private practice setting. In the fall of 2014, I joined the team at Evolve.
I am a counselor and registered art therapist who has experience working with those suffering from eating disorders, anxiety disorders, depression, trauma, self-harm, body image issues and adjustment disorders. My theoretical approach to therapy is integrative, drawing from various schools of thought. I will add an experiential component to the treatment plan based on the relevance to the topic at hand and the preference of the client involved. It has also been my privilege to facilitate art based groups for adolescents and adults on the topic of body image.
I have a service dog named Buck, who comes to work with me, and has declared himself the official greeter. While he is not intended as a therapy dog for my clients, his kind and gentle nature are felt by all. I genuinely care about my clients’ wellbeing and want to help them to a place of physical and emotional wellbeing.
Nichole Baumgartner LPC-IT
Licensed Professional Counselor-IT and IOP Manager
I earned my Master’s Degree in Mindfulness-Based Transpersonal Counseling Psychology from Naropa University in Boulder, Colorado in May of 2016. Along with traditional counseling training, I received extensive training in mindfulness and meditation, which I have learned can be a powerful tool in the therapeutic setting. I employ an integrative approach to therapy and use a variety of modalities to help fit each client’s individual needs. My training ranges from experiential Gestalt techniques, mindfulness, and play therapy to evidence-based CBT, DBT, and ACT. I whole-heartedly believe that my clients have the innate ability to heal; I’m there to help guide them and help them find and unlock that strength within themselves and that helps set the stage for each piece of work I do.
I am a Licensed Professional Counselor In Training (LPC-IT) and specialize in working with eating disorders. I received my training spending over a year working for the Eating Disorder Center of Denver where I worked in both Partial Hospitalization and Intensive Outpatient levels of care. During my time there a spark grew into a flame and it became apparent that helping this population is meant to be my life’s work. I am passionate about exploring body image issues, grief, losses, and traumas that play a role, and helping my clients find their paths to recovery so that they can live the happy, healthy lives that they deserve. I also have experience and interest working with those struggling with anxiety, depression, trauma, and borderline personality disorder.
In addition to being a psychotherapist here at Evolve, I also manage our Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) for adolescents. Our IOP program uses a bio-psycho-social treatment model in order to get to the root of each client’s eating disorder and move towards recovery. We use a variety of techniques including psychotherapy, expressive therapy (art, dance, yoga), therapeutic groups, CBT, ACT, and DBT. For more information on our programming, please feel free to contact me anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Kaite Olund , Office Assistant
I am currently earning my Master’s Degree in Mental Health Counseling from UW-Oshkosh. My interest in counseling began in high school when I discovered To Write Love on Her Arms, an non-profit organization dedicated to reducing the stigma surrounding mental health issues and to instilling the hope that recovery is possible. Along with my personal experiences with counseling, I was inspired to pursue counseling as a career as a way of “paying it forward;” I know how difficult it is to struggle with mental health issues, and I want to help others in their own journeys through those dark places. My professional interests include depression, anxiety, eating disorders, self-harm, and suicide prevention, especially with children and adolescents. Ultimately, I would like to become a crisis counselor working with an organization like TWLOHA.
When I am not busy with school or work, I am most likely reading comic books, attending a concert, or out catching Pokemon.
Becky Schmechel RDN, CD
My interest in nutrition was sparked during my high school years when my mom became
quite sick.ﾠ I saw the crucial benefits of having a Registered Dietitian be involved in her
multi-disciplinary treatment team.ﾠ At the same time, I was already fascinated with the
science behind when we put food into our mouths what happens to it.
Becoming a Registered Dietitian seemed like a great fit for me. Over the past 15 years, as I continued to have opportunities to develop as a practitioner, I was really intrigued with the psychology behind eating and the behavior of eating, the counseling aspect.ﾠ This has led me, in the past five years, to focus primarily in the areas of food and body image issues while serving in a variety of settings-community, eating disorder-partial hospital program, eating disorder-intensive outpatient, and eating disorder-outpatient and private practice (www.HopeNutritionConsulting.com). I specialize in: chronic or yo-yo dieting, compulsive overeating, disordered eating, eating disorders, emotional eating, exercise addiction/resistance, food and weight preoccupation, food fears/anxieties/avoidances, restriction, and weight cycling.
I am a nationally registered dietitian (RD) and a state certified dietitian (CD).ﾠ I am also a
Certified Intuitive Eating Counselor (www.intuitiveeating.com) and a member of the
Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and the Wisconsin Dietetic Association.
Some things that I enjoy outside of nutrition consulting are: ﾠspending quality time with
family and friends, being outdoors (when it is warm outside :)) running, walking, coaching
volleyball, playing sports, baking, trying new recipes, knitting, and reading.
I would consider it an honor and privilege to help you findﾠhope and live free!
Kate Yonke RDN, CD, CEDRD
I have been a nationally registered and state certified dietitian for nearly a decade. My passion for health began with my degree in Exercise Science from the University of MN Duluth. I quickly realized exercise and nutrition are very powerful when blended together and decided to go back to school for nutrition at the University of MN Twin Cities. After graduating I worked in a variety of environments with a variety of populations and kept coming back to the community and outpatient education setting. For the past 8 years I have focused on community and outpatient education and nutrition counseling with a special focus in eating disorders. I am currently working towards my certification in eating disorders. This certification is only awarded to those dietitians that have met the standards for advanced expertise and proficiency in the field of eating disorders.
When I am not enjoying my work and helping others life their best life I enjoy my family, friends, and anything the gets me active and outdoors.
There is no greater joy than seeing a smiling face of one that you helped achieve what seemed to be impossible to be (I’m)possible. As your personal dietitiannutritionist
I would be honored to help bring your best life a few steps closer to you.
“Health is a relationship between you and your body. If you don’t take care of your body, where are you going to live?” ~ Unknown
I am a member of the following professional organizations:
• The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND)
• Wisconsin Dietetic Association (WDA)
• Nutrition Entrepreneurs Dietetic Practice Group (NEDPG)
• Sports, Cardiovascular and Wellness Nutrition Dietetic Practice Group (SCAN)
To learn more about Kate and her business,
Tru-U Nutition Counseling, click here:
Alicia Jennerjohn RD, CD
Alicia is a Nationally Registered and State Certified Dietitian with a passion for food, nutrition and education. She has worked with eating disorders for the majority of the past three years, as well as facilitated an Eating Disorder Support Group. Beyond that, Alicia’s experience includes; pre/postnatal, Celiac Disease, weight loss, Kidney Disease, Prader-Willi, hyperlipidemia, acid reflux, food allergies/sensitivities and diabetes. Most areas of Medical Nutrition Therapy all start with the basics of healthy eating.
Alicia understands that changing eating habits is difficult and sometimes downright scary. She is dedicated to helping clients create eating habits that fit their individual lifestyle, while also meeting nutritional needs. This world is flooded with misinformation of what good nutrition is and Alicia is committed to filter through the fads, crash diets and quick fixes. Her strategy is to focus on research based information, and educate clients so they feel empowered and confident to make smart choices. There is no “magic pill” to eating healthy and Alicia is looking forward to being a part of your support team. Together, you will be on your way to putting health and happiness first.
She completed her Bachelor of Science, majoring in Dietetics at the University of Wisconsin - Stevens Point. From there, completed her Dietetic Internship through the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay.
To learn more about how Alicia can help you achieve your nutrition goals, contact her today.
Michelle Norville MA, LPC (LICENSED PROFESSIONAL COUNSELOR)
Michelle is a Licensed Professional Counselor that specializes in the treatment
of eating disorders. She received her training at Rogers Memorial Hospital’s
Residential Eating Disorder Center where she worked for 8 years. As a native of
the Fox Valley, she relocated back to the area 5 years ago and continued her
work with eating disorders on an outpatient basis. Michelle is dedicated to
helping clients overcome the obstacles standing in the way of their recovery.
She uses a cognitive-behavioral approach in her treatment of eating disorders,
while incorporating other treatment modalities based on the individual needs of
the client. Michelle believes that the treatment of eating disorders requires a
collaborative effort, so she works diligently and closely with her colleagues and
other treatment providers in the community to ensure her clients are getting the
best treatment possible through a team-based approach. In addition to her work
with eating disorders, Michelle also specializes in treating anxiety, OCD,
trauma/PTSD, grief, anger, depression and other mood disorders. She has
experience providing individual, group, family and couples counseling to both
adolescents and adults. Her strong desire to help others is what drives her to do
this work. She loves being able to help facilitate the change process in her
clients and enjoys watching them grow. Michelle recognizes and admires her
client’s courage, strength, and determination in admitting they need help and
works hard to develop a strong therapeutic relationship to provide them with a
safe and trusting environment to do the hard work they need to do.
Brenda Velissaris MSE, LPC, NCC, CEDS
I am an integrative psychotherapist, who has been counseling for 11 years. My love of counseling started at an early age and over time my passion to help people and my love of learning morphed into establishing a private practice/healing center in 2009 that offers individual counseling, group counseling, and workshops. Most recently I have partnered with Kate, a dietician, to create Evolve an Eating Disorder Healing Center.
I specialize in Anxiety disorders (generalized anxiety, social anxiety, panic disorder, phobias and OCD), Eating Disorders, Self-esteem and Body Image issues, and Trauma/Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
My counseling style is integrative; taking from several theories of therapy to provide you with the "best fit" treatment for your lifestyle and personality. I am certified in EMDR and Level II trained in Brainspotting. Currently, I am working on my Eating Disorder Specialist Certification, a certification which is only awarded to practitioners who have extensively contributed to the Eating disorder Community.
I am a Wife, Mother, Sister, Teacher, Friend, and Mentor, who cares about the mental and emotional state of people. I want everyone to live their best life!!!!! I have dedicated my life to make sure that everyone has the opportunity to be renewed, have harmony, reclaim their strength and be joyful.
Professional Activities & Memberships:
Member of American Counseling Association
Member of EMDRIA (An International EMDR Association)
Member of National Board of Certified Counselors
Member of NEDA (National Eating Disorder Association)
Member of IAEDP (International Eating Disorder Professionals Foundation)
To learn more about Brenda and her business,
Saris Counseling, click here:
Learn More about Brenda
MSE, LPC, NCC, CEDS
RDN, CD, CEDRD
MSAT, LPC, ATR
Buck is a 4 year old golden retriever from Custom Canines in Madison, WI. Buck's main job description is to provide medical assistance to his handler should she need it. He underwent two years of intense and specialized training to be able to detect the biochemical changes that occur in the body prior to a seizure and provide the needed support. However, since his arrival at Evolve, he has quickly become a favorite amongst the clients. Buck's calm, sensitive nature and loving heart make him a wonderful asset to the treatment team. Buck truly loves coming to Evolve and meeting new and old friends. In fact, he usually has to be bribed to leave! Buck's favorite spots at Evolve are the doorway to Shawna's office and on top of the air conditioning duct on the floor in her office. When he is happy and content (which is usually when someone is petting his head) he will actually purr like a cat! When he is not at work, he enjoys rolling in the grass, chewing on his favorite bone, playing fetch and cuddling in bed.
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