As an integrative psychologist, Dr. Mary incorporates experiential mind-body therapies, mindfulness, and neuroscience insight into her compassionate clinical work. She developed and runs SpiritWoods in Stillwater, MN offering experiential, research-based ecotherapy in a nature setting for individuals, couples and groups. Whether via Telehealth or distanced in-person at her nature immersion studio, Dr. Mary’s services have evolved to meet you safely where you are.
Specific areas of expertise include anxiety management, trauma recovery, chronic illness, interpersonal effectiveness, couples communication, conflict regulation, and family relationship repair.
In addition to specializing in mindfulness-based therapies, she trains other clinicians interested in enhancing their clinical skills. Dr. Freitag teaches graduate students in the field of psychology, engages in research to further the understanding of what makes mental health treatments most effective, and collaborates with other professionals in various disciplines to help provide a whole-health approach in the treatment of patients and their families.
After receiving her doctorate in clinical psychology, Dr. Mary held positions as staff psychologist and Assistant Professor in the University of Minnesota Medical School, Department of Psychiatry, and as adjunct faculty with St. Thomas University Graduate School of Psychology. She opened Integrative Psychological Services, P.A. in 2005 as a licensed Clinical Psychologist and Supervisor in private practice. Today, she continues her private practice incorporating ecotherapy at the newly developed SpiritWoods Wellness Center.
At SpiritWoods, Dr. Mary’s therapeutic services for individuals, couples, families and groups teach daily practices that improve quality of life.
In August 2007, Dr. Freitag received her dharma name, Healing Tenderness of the Heart, from Thich Nhat Hanh, after completing The Five Mindfulness Trainings.
Thich Nhat Hanh, a renowned Vietnamese Zen Buddhist monk, teacher, author, poet, and peace activist, was nominated by Nobel laureate Martin Luther King, Jr. for the Nobel Peace Prize in 1967. He was awarded the Courage of Conscience award in 1991 and has been featured in many films, including The Power of Forgiveness showcased at the Dawn Breakers International Film Festival.
Thich Nhat Hanh lived in the Plum Village Monastery in the Dordogne region in the South of France, where Dr. Freitag gave a presentation on the topic of Mindfulness and Cognitive Psychotherapy on June 4, 2011.
Clinical Social Worker, Jessie Cylkowski strives to create an environment where you can express yourself without fear of judgement. The goal is to understand your experience and work to see things in a new light in order to bring a renewed sense of hope. Establishing a strong toolbox of coping skills along with raised awareness of what brought you into therapy can bring a stronger sense of empowerment for positive change. Jessie believes everyone has the ability to navigate what life throws at us and make meaning from those challenges. “Difficult roads often lead to beautiful destinations. The best is yet to come.” ― Zig Ziglar
Jessie has 25 years experience and has worked with a diverse population including teens and adults in diverse settings. She has worked in a county mental health center, inpatient hospital, homeless shelter and primary care clinic setting providing individual therapy. She is also trained in treating trauma through processing sensations. Jessie completed her degree in social work at the University of Minnesota in 2005 and is licensed in both Minnesota and Wisconsin.
Jessie believes in providing a friendly, knowledgeable, understanding, caring, supportive, and comforting environment. Therapy is a place to build a therapeutic connection—offering comfort that your world and feelings are real. It is Jessie’s goal to help you feel heard and understood.
Rachael Huyck is both a social worker in palliative care/hospice and a yoga teacher and trainer. She earned her Master’s in Social Work from the University of Minnesota in 1997 has worked over the years across very diverse settings with children and adults, with a focus on healing from trauma and losses. She sees her role as a practitioner as walking along side persons; supporting, educating and advocating, as people navigate the challenges, losses and what matter’s most in their lives.
Rachael started practicing yoga over 30 years ago after years of competitive sports, in order to deal with pain and her own anxiety. After 1000 hours of teaching and continued study she earned her E-RYT, and began teaching yoga teachers as well. As a teacher she has sought to assist others in understanding and experiencing the myriad of benefits and joys of engaging Mind, Body and Spirit. She has taught students of all ages and abilities to use movement, breath, and mindfulness to support mental health, addiction recovery and injury/chronic pain.
Rachael values the inherent uniqueness of each person– careful to support each student’s physical needs and spiritual beliefs. You can most often find Rachael outside on the water swimming, paddleboarding, hiking or gardening; in the kitchen cooking and eating something delicious; creating art or devouring books. Rachael loves her husband, 2 adult sons, 2 cats, a dog and 6 nieces.
Jenny Marsh currently works in international development. She is a Registered Nurse with a Master of Science in Mental Health Nursing, and holds a Doctorate in both clinical and health psychology.
During the pandemic, Jenny reconnected with her childhood love of nature and art. Through nature journaling classes, she improved her observational skills while drawing, allowing her to cope with stress and isolation brought on by COVID19.
Jenny believes that we were all meant to love the outdoors — to notice the seasons, to embrace the fresh air, sunshine, rain, snow, and stars, and to observe and value other creatures. “Journaling about nature will help you see more clearly, listen more deeply, notice relationships and patterns, discover beauty, and find comfort and connection with others and the natural world.”
Jenny is the daughter of a Master Gardener who sent her to “Bird Camp” every summer for six years, and the granddaughter and great-granddaughter of three wise and wonderful women who taught her to pay attention to what the present moment brings. Jenny recently launched two remarkable young adult children and lives with her sweetheart in the sunny, snowy San Juan Mountains of Southwest Colorado.
In 2006, Pat successfully completed the requirements for licensure as a Marriage and Family Therapist. This, she added to licensure as an Alcohol and Drug Counselor since 1998, resulting in complimentary dual licensure.
Pat pursued graduate school for Marriage and Family Therapy to expand her opportunities for working with people. She was always drawn to, interested in, developing long term relationships with those who were working toward greater contentment and joy in relationships and daily life, and now had the knowledge and training to do so. Walking with and tending to those in a change process has been both meaningful and rich.
In 2007, Pat opened Sound Mind – Therapy and Consultation Services – an independent practice. She works from a partnership/collaborative, strength-based model that is grounded in a holistic perspective considering the implications to physical, mental, and spiritual health. Areas of specialty include Life-Cycle Transitions, Relationship Enhancement, and Addiction/Recovery. Other areas of experience include mood management, stress reduction, and skill building to improve physical, mental, and spiritual health.
Ken Epstein is a photographer and retired physicist. Growing up in New Jersey, he was captivated by the natural beauty of the Atlantic seashore and developed his artistic sense on sketchpad and canvas. His attachment to nature transferred to the lakes, prairies, and woodlands of Minnesota and found expression through the digital camera.