Holly Birkeland


Due to impending retirement Dec, 2023, I am not taking new clients.

Holly Birkeland

Holly Birkeland

Holly’s perspective

Holly’s background

Contact information

Fees and Hours

Holly’s Perspective

I specialize in couples counseling because I am intrigued by how we get stuck in cycles that make us wonder about whether we matter to our partner. To know that we have an intense emotional connection to the person we choose to be with-the deep belief that we matter- I think is paramount to what an enduring, intimate relationship is about.

I work with couples of all ages, but those that move me and challenge me the most are in the second half of their lives. Consider all of the challenges occurring during this time, from child rearing and  launching to becoming empty nesters, to helping elderly parents, to worries about money and being able to plan for retirement, to fighting over the same issues without resolution, to sex drive differences or other physical changes, to just plain growing apart. Sadly, this is often a time when marital satisfaction decreases, when busy couples can lose sight of the importance of nurturing their relationship. By the time retirement happens, so many couples take stock of their relationship and struggle with the question, do I matter to you?

In therapy, we can explore and identify the cycle that hurts, lean into the discomfort of those deeper emotions, and work on altering those that keep getting you stuck. Like any change you attempt, it takes work and it can be difficult, but it is very satisfying to have worked with so many couples who change how they relate and find a closer connection and more satisfaction with new patterns designed to nurture their relationship.

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Holly’s Background

My work with you is influenced by the science of attachment; which in couples work honors the importance of how our nervous systems cope with our felt sense of knowing whether or not we have safe emotional access to our partners. You can see how important this is here!

I have advanced training in Emotionally Focused Therapy, an experiential type of therapy based on attachment theory that is effective in reducing distress for couples.

I also have advanced training in Gottman Method Couples Therapy  in which I can draw upon the 40 plus years of research on couples from the Gottman Institute.  I also make use of principles of other therapeutic models, as well as clinical hypnosis that invite you to create insight and self-awareness in your efforts to create a secure bond with your partner.  My style is friendly, collaborative, empathic, and non-judgmental.


I have enjoyed 40 years of marriage and have three adult children and a daughter-in-law. My husband and I adore spending time with our children when we can, but we’ve also embraced and thrived as “empty nesters”  in what I consider the very important second half of marriage! I enjoy reading literary fiction, -in fact you may find me recommending a book of fiction to you if you are a reader! I also love being outdoors; walking, biking, kayaking and playing a little recreational tennis or my new love, pickle ball!

Education/Professional Associations

My Master’s degree in Marriage and Family Therapy is from St. Mary’s University; my undergraduate degree in journalism is from the University of Minnesota. I have had careers in television news and advertising, contributing to my understanding of busy career lives, career fulfillment, and transition.



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Contact information

I work with people of various ethnicities, cultures, and sexual orientation. I’d be honored to hear your story and explore your goals. Please contact me for a free thirty-minute consultation, which is a good opportunity to see if we’re a good fit before we begin working together. You can also contact me by phone at 952-806-0016.
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Holly’s fees and hours

I am available for daytime appointments Mondays and Fridays from 10:00-4:30 and afternoon/early evening appointments on Wednesdays and Thursdays from 1:00-7:00. Sessions may be one hour and forty minutes or fifty minutes depending on need and scheduling availability. See Holly’s updated fees.


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