Hi.  My name is Jennifer Haagenson.  I am a Clinical Mental Health Counselor intern in Idaho.

I believe that who you choose as a therapist is important as the therapist is someone who will join you on your journey.  I want to tell you a little about my journey so you can know more about who I am, how I practice, and why I decided to become a therapist.

Life as a child…

I spent a lot of time as a child doing things children commonly do.  I colored pictures, played games, argued with my sisters, and went to school.  I also grew up in the country so I spent a lot of time outdoors riding horses, taking care of farm animals, and riding my bike.  Life wasn’t all sunshine and roses, though.  My dad was diagnosed with cancer when I was 4.  Over the next 12 years, while I was doing the things children commonly do, I also spent time sitting in the hospital and doctors’ offices, sometimes unsure of what the outcome of cancer would be for my dad.  At 16, my dad died.  That shocked my world.  Somehow, I put one foot in front of the other and kept on going, but life wasn’t as carefree as it had been before that.  A few years later, my mom remarried a great guy, but tragically only 3 years after their marriage, he died in an electrical accident.  Once again, I and my family put one foot in front of the other and kept on going.

Although these were hard challenges that I wouldn’t wish on anyone, they also were a gift as they helped develop in me a deep compassion and care for people and for the journey people have been on and are currently on.

Life as an adult…

About the same time my step-father passed away, I graduated with a degree in theology and also married a wonderful man who became a pastor in Pennsylvania.  I spent the next 16 years as a pastor’s wife and during that time also worked in different capacities as was needed in

the settings my husband and I pastored in.  I journeyed with people navigating parenting challenges, loosing loved ones, starting relationships, ending relationships, and also those struggling with depression or anxiety. I also did a lot of conflict management and assisted people navigating through sticky situations.

The Why…

Just like life as a child wasn’t all sunshine and roses, life as an adult has not been either.  A few years back, my family and I sought out a counselor for some challenges my family was going through. It took us a couple of tries before we found the counselor that was the best fit for us.  I also experienced and worked through my own bout of depression and anxiety and learned to manage both in my own personal counseling. Those experiences began to reawaken a desire within me to pursue a counseling degree.

Early on in my time as a pastor’s wife, I saw marriages falling apart all around me and wanted to learn the skills to help more effectively. And, after working through my own challenges, and experiencing the struggle of finding a good therapist myself, I decided I wanted to gain the education needed to be able to better help people walking through all kinds of challenging times in their lives.

Becoming a Counselor…

In 2020, right before COVID embarked upon the world, I began pursuing a Clinical Mental Health Counseling degree from Capella University.  I completed my coursework through the lockdown, COVID and homeschooling my kids. Finally, last fall, it was time to start seeing clients and applying all I was learning. Since beginning my internship I have journeyed with people in the therapy office as they have navigated through various emotional challenges and situations.  I have worked with children as young as 7, with teens, young adults, parents, families, couples, and individuals.  I have assisted with supporting people preparing for marriage or transitioning to a new job or stage of life as well as those struggling with anger, marital conflict, divorce reactions, parenting challenges, anxiety, and depression.

I am now in the final months of my internship and I’m finishing up the last of my supervised hours before I graduate and get my counseling license.

My Philosophy and Clientele…

I believe healing can best be found within the context of a supporting and authentic relationship in which the client feels safe to explore hurt, guilt, shame, or whatever else they may be experiencing and in which they can find hope for the future.

I ENJOY and am open to working with a variety of ages and needs. I do especially enjoy marriage counseling, family counseling, and working with kids and teens.  I have completed levels 1 and 2 of Gottman training (a well researched and successful approach to couples counseling) and I really do see growth in marriages with those who stick with therapy and commit to the process.

My faith….

Having a relationship with God really forms the basis of who I am.  With my background in pastoring, I am willing and able to offer counseling services from a spiritual perspective.  However, I also believe in the freedom of choice and respect each individual’s choice of whether or not to include spiritual topics in counseling. The needs and desires of the client are always respected.

No matter who you are, where you have been, or what you have done…you have a safe space with me to process through it!

Tackling the Difficult…

If there was one thing that I would say people will remember about me after working with me, it would be that I really care.  I’m down to earth and unpretentious but I care deeply for people and honor where they are at in their life and what has brought them to that point. In my office, you will find a safe place for navigating whatever challenge you may be facing.

You can also know, the work I am asking you to do, I also do myself.  If I’m struggling in parenting, I recognize it

and address it.  If my marriage is having difficulty, I face it and work through it.  I have also learned and am still learning not to let fear control me by confronting my fears.  I am not afraid of tackling difficult situations.  I’m willing to work on my own difficult stuff and I’m also willing to help you walk through whatever challenges you may be facing.

Out of the Office…

When I’m not in the office, I am shredding the slopes on my snowboard, downhill mountain biking at Bogus, smashing the wiffle ball on the pickleball court, or hanging out with my husband, my 15 year old son and my 13 year old daughter.   As I strongly believe in continuing my own journey of growth, I may also be facing my own fears or working through my own struggles.  Currently, I am addressing my fear of heights, hoping to work up to skydiving or hiking Angel’s landing in the fall.