About Us
Family Counseling Center
For Scheduling Call:  (763) 682-5420
Family Counseling Center Staff

Alex Macalena, M.S.
Licensed Psychologist 

Mark Pederson, M.S.
Licensed Psychologist
Mary Marty, M.S.
Licensed Psychologist
Alex Macalena, a Licensed Psychologist, graduated with a Masters of Science degree and Post Masters degree (School Psychology/Child Psychology) from Saint John's University in Queens, New York.  He has been licensed to practice Psychology in the State of Minnesota since 1983.  After working as a Licensed School Psychologist for the Buffalo, Delano, and Rockford school districts, Alex opened Family Counseling Center in 1984.  Alex has extensive training and experience helping children, adolescents, and adults.  He also enjoys working with couples and families.  Some of his special interests include depression, parenting and issues associated with grief and loss.  
Mark Pederson, a Licensed Psychologist, received his B.A. degree from Wheaton College in Illinois, and his Masters of Science degree from Saint Cloud State University. Mark joined the Family Counseling Center in 1988. Mark specializes in working with adults, children and adolescents, both individually and as a family unit. He also does ADD/ADHD evaluations, anger management assessments, adoption assessments and gastric by-pass surgery psychological consultations. In addition to private practice, Mark enjoys teaching as an adjunct professor at Northwestern College in Roseville, Minnesota.
Mary Marty, a Licensed Psychologist, received her Masters of Science from Saint Cloud State University.  She is a member of the American Association of Christian Counselors.  She enjoys working with children, adolescents, and adults, both male and female.  Her practice includes individuals, couples, and family therapy.  Her interests include depression, anxiety, trauma care, anger management, adjustment issues, parenting, communication, and conflict resolution skills.

Stacy VanCura, M.S.
Licensed  Professional Clinical Counselor
National Certified Counselor
Stacy VanCura holds a Master of Science in Counseling Psychology. She is a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor and a National Certified Counselor specializing in treating post traumatic stress, anxieties, depression, life adjustments, and complex trauma.  

Stacy is certified in Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing therapy (EMDR), an AIR Network Provider along with being an ART (Accelerated Resolution Therapy) therapist. 

She has experience working with children, adolescents, and adults. 
Stacy draws from various therapies in order to treat the whole person. She approaches treatment in a collaborative manner in order for healing to take place. A save environment is provided that includes empathy and respect for the client to process and reach resolution and healing. Stacy enjoys integrating spirituality into therapy if the client desires. 
David Schmitt MSW
Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker
David A. Schmitt, a Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker, graduated with a Masters of Social Work degree from Brigham Young University in 1988. He has been licensed to practice psychotherapy in the State of Minnesota since 1991. David is a goal directed, solution focused, results oriented psychotherapist with a brief-time-limited emphasis. David has over twenty-seven years experience working in a variety of settings including inpatient psychiatric work, chemical dependency outpatient rehabilitation and outpatient mental health. Much of David’s career has been devoted to the work of mandated domestic/anger issues (this is not domestic prevention programming) in terms of understanding, controlling, and managing the emotion of anger through the use of proven anger management techniques. David sees many clients with a variety of issues, including, but not limited to: depression, anxiety, bipolar, schizophrenia, and stress related adjustment reaction. Dave joined the Family Counseling Center in 2001.

April Murch, M.A.
Clinic Administrator
​April Murch holds a Master's Degree in Counseling Psychology from Bethel University.  She joined Family Counseling Center in 2000.  April manages the behind the scenes elements of the practice including working with insurance companies, billing claims, and enabling the office to function effectively and efficiently.  Additionally, she assists clients with insurance and billing concerns.
Office Assistant
LuAnn joined the Family Counseling Center in 2006.  She handles front desk responsibilities and works to make our clients feel welcome.
Jay Wistrom, a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor and a Licensed Alcohol and Drug Counselor, graduated with a Masters of Addiction Counseling from the Hazelden Graduate School of Addiction Studies.  Jay joined the Family Counseling Center in 2013.  He enjoys working with adults, adolescents, and children, both individually or as a family.  Jay appreciates the opportunity to come alongside those struggling with anxiety, depression, difficult life transitions, relationships, trauma, addiction, and spiritual issues. Jay has a special interest in utilizing brain map (qEEG) guided neurotherapy, a form of behavior therapy that combines operant conditioning with real-time measurement of the brains neuronal electrical activity, to teach clients how to better regulate brain functioning. Jay is trained in attention deficit (ADD/ADHD) assessment, evaluation, and therapy.
Jay Wistrom, M.A. 
Licensed Alcohol and Drug Counselor
Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor
Michelle Beeman, M.A. 
Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor
Michelle Beeman, a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor, received her B.A. degree from the College of Saint Benedict/Saint John’s University and her Masters of Arts in Counseling Psychology from the University of Saint Thomas. She is a member of the American Association of Christian Counselors.

 Michelle has also practiced in Nebraska. She has 14 years of counseling experience and has worked in human resources. Her background includes working with adolescents, college students, and adults. Her interests include personal growth and identity, adjustment, depression, anxiety, spiritual growth, life transitions, relationship struggles, and stress management. She especially loves working with those in the helping professions, college students, individuals suffering from grief and loss, and those who are trying to grow in their careers or who are struggling with workplace dynamics.
Stacia Wakefield, M.S.
Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor
Stacia Wakefield, a mental health counselor, obtained her Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Minnesota and her Masters of Science degree from Capella University. She joined the Family Counseling Center in 2014.  Stacia uses a collaborative and holistic approach in counseling clients of all ages and strives to utilize clients' natural strengths and abilities to overcome life's challenges.  She enjoys helping clients who are struggling with depression, anxiety, relationship difficulties, and adjusting to life's transitions.  Stacia has completed advanced training in hypnosis and neuro-linguistic programming.

Stacia is certified in Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing therapy (EMDR) as well as being a Certified Clinical Trauma Professional (CCTP). Stacia is also trained in Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT).
Lewis Sego, M.A.
Licensed Marital and Family Therapist
Lewis joined Family Counseling Center in 2014, and has experience in working with children, adolescents, couples and families. He holds a MA in Marriage and Family Therapy from Argosy University. His emphasis is in bio-psychology and spirituality or the influence of the mind/body/spiritual connection on thought and mood, and resultant impact on relationships.  

He counts it a privilege to come along side individuals, couples and families who are struggling with challenges in their relationships. He has experience in working with troubled teenagers and their families.

In working with people suffering from depression and bipolar disorder, Lewis utilizes a collaborative approach and cognitive behavioral therapy. In his work with people with anxiety and panic attacks he uses Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) skills training and mindfulness tools. He enjoys working with couples in all stages of their relationship recognizing that we can all benefit from relational skills training. He is certified in Prepare & Enrich program as well as utilizing John Gottman’s marriage research and Emotionally Focused Therapy to provide premarital counseling, and is useful in improving communication with difficulties arising from child rearing, teen challenges, career changes, empty nest and end of life issues. He is trained in attention deficit (ADD/ADHD) diagnosis, evaluation, and therapy.

Office Assistant
Nancy joined Family Counseling in 2015. She helps clients at the front desk with their scheduling needs.
AJ (Jess) Nowak,  MSW
Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker
AJ (Jess) Nowak, a Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker, graduated from Minnesota State University, Mankato with his Masters of Social Work. He enjoys working with individuals, couples, and families.

 Some of his special interests include working with individuals and families in regards to mental health concerns related to anxiety, depression, interpersonal conflict, and adjustment issues. He uses a strengths based framework, utilizing a combination of cognitive behavioral therapy, solutions-focused therapy, and a client centered approach. This framework allows him to come along side clients and empower them within the context of their personal and interpersonal lives.
​Jennifer Cepress attended the University of North Dakota and St. Cloud State University and received a bachelor’s degree in psychology. She holds a master’s degree in counseling psychology and has worked in several different settings such as a residential treatment center, employee assistance program, child custody mediation, home-based family counseling, a private counseling center and recently started at the Family Counseling Center in Buffalo in June 2022. She prefers Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and is also certified in Trauma Therapy. She enjoys working with couples and individuals of all ages experiencing depression, anxiety, trauma, ADHD, PTSD, parenting, chronic stress, life changes and many other changes and offers Christian counseling (if requested). She has spent many years working in a corporate setting, and specializes in career, work, school & college challenges. Jennifer knows how difficult life can be and her approach is to meet you where you are and to offer support by moving at your own pace whether that be more quickly or letting things unfold more slowly. Different therapies and styles work for different people, and she believes it is truly a collaboration customized to support you. 

Jennifer Cepress, M.A.
Staff Therapist