Ulrich sets up counseling services office in downtown Marshall

Photo by Karin Elton Sabrina Ulrich, a licensed independent clinical social worker providing therapy to individuals and families, sits by Brandi, who has passed her behavioral training tests to become a therapy dog. Brandi has a calming influence to most clients, but if anyone is allergic or dislikes dogs, she stays home.

MARSHALL — Providing coping strategies and skills in a “calm and quiet” atmosphere, Sabrina Ulrich, a licensed independent clinical social worker, has opened an office on Main Street which caters to children and their families.

Ulrich, who is originally from Pipestone, has a long history of working with children of all ages.

After receiving her bachelor’s degree in social work from Southwest Minnesota State University, she completed a clinical internship at Southeastern Behavioral Health in Sioux Falls, S.D., providing therapy to children, adolescents, and their families in Sioux Falls and Salem, S.D. She then worked in the Marshall community for years first as a school-based social worker and family educator for Southwest Health and Human Services in the Marshall Public Schools and then as a school social worker for the Marshall Public Schools.

In September, Ulrich opened her own office on Main Street to provide therapy to individuals and families.

“I provide counseling to children and their families,” she said. “I am also passionate about working with adolescents and women and I have a special interest in working with LBGTQ concerns.”

She has a master’s degree in clinical social work from the University of St. Thomas and St. Catherine University in St. Paul.

“My background in clinical social work enhances my ability to work with a variety of clients with a wide array of concerns,” she said.

Ulrich sometimes uses her canine sidekick, Brandi, to work with her as a therapy dog. Brandi is a rescue from the Pine Ridge reservation in South Dakota via the Tracy Area Animal Rescue. After going through training successfully, Brandi has proven to be a “great addition” to her work, Ulrich said.

“She provides a calming atmosphere and unconditional love. She’s great with kids. Parents have enjoyed her too. Brandi and I have been a certified therapy dog team with the Alliance of Therapy Dogs since August of 2015.”

Ulrich said the dog stays home if anyone has an allergy or fear/dislike of dogs.

She also has toys for children including fidgets for play therapy.

Ulrich said the initial visit is a “getting to know you” session.

“That’s a time for questions and concerns,” she said. “We talk about goals and skills and work out a strategy.”

She teaches mindfulness, being present as a way to deal with anxiety, depression or grief. She also teaches relaxation techniques as well as deep breathing and visualization.

Ulrich said she is seeing a lot of symptoms as the result of social pressures on the family. The family environment affects children — divorce, incarcerated parents, substance abuse, witnessing domestic abuse, all has an adverse effect.

“Most of our families are doing the best they can, but there is a lot of anxiety out there, adjusting to divorce, changes,” Ulrich said.

For more information, visit her website at sabrinaulrichcounseling.com

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