Thomas Ellis, MA, LMFT

As a marriage and family therapist with a special focus on complicated grief and trauma, Tom is also a clinical supervisor, consultant, writer and trainer. He was born and raised in Hastings Minnesota. He is a graduate of the University of St. Thomas, the University of Minnesota and St. Mary’s University of Minnesota where he earned a master’s degree in Counseling Psychology.

He has also completed a certification & licensure in Marriage and Family Therapy. His greatest passion is spending quality time with his two daughters. Tom’s father died in 1986 following ten years of a disability related to a brain tumor. His life experiences and compassion for others is what brought him to this work. Tom was Executive Director of Center for Grief, Loss and Transition for 14 years beginning in 1996. His focus has been in working with individuals and families who have experienced a traumatic loss. Tom was also a 2nd generation Funeral Director. He is a musician, a gardener, enjoys traveling and being outdoors. Tom has a keen interest in the family dynamic within the counseling setting and society.

Tom is a member of the American Association of Marriage & Family Therapy, and received the Distinguished Service Award from the MN Association of Marriage and Family Therapy. He is the author of This Thing Called Grief: New Understandings of Loss.


Gayle Sherman Crandell, MA, LPCC

Gayle has been privileged to work with people living with and affected by life-challenging illness, grief and transition for over 30 years. She is a therapist, professional trainer and clinical supervisor. Since 2011, Gayle has facilitated a group for women living with metastatic breast cancer. She has presented at countless conferences and workshops nationally on the emotional needs of people at the end of life, caregiver grief, resilience among professionals and talking with young people about death.

Gayle’s approach to counseling is deeply impacted by her travel to Thailand, Spain, Bali, Kyoto, Australia, Singapore, and Western Europe, and having lived on both coasts before landing in the middle of the country (which she loves!) She is a political news "junkie" loves to garden without gloves, and cocoon at home with really good coffee. She lives in Minneapolis with her spouse of 25+ years and rescue dog, Joey -an old scruffy terrier who accompanies her to work each day. She loves her time with her adult kids who are peppered throughout the east coast, west coast, and old south.

Prior to Crocus Hill Counseling Center, Gayle was a therapist and program director at Center for Grief, Loss and Transition for over ten years. In Washington, DC, Gayle was in private practice working extensively with people living with HIV and cancer, and education director for Planned Parenthood of Metropolitan Washington and the St. Francis Center. She was part of a team who began LAYN, a homeless youth program in Hollywood, coordinated programs and provided counseling for the LA Response Center for survivors of sexual assault and worked with several former cult members at the California Institute for Women. Gayle contributed a chapter entitled "The Grieving Caregiver" to the book Caring for the HIV/AIDS Caregiver, and is an ADEC certified Thanatologist.


Mitchel Paulson, MS, LPC

Mitchel is a Licensed Professional Counselor, Licensed School Counselor, and Minnesota Board of Behavioral Health & Therapy Approved Supervisor for LPCC and LPC licensees and applicants. He graduated with a Master's Degree in Counseling Education from Winona State University and has been in practice at Crocus Hill Counseling Center since 2015. Mitchel's practice involves individual psychotherapy for adolescents and adults presenting with a variety of concerns, including anxiety, depression, grief/trauma, suicidal ideation/self-harm, addiction, and more. Mitchel also provides family and couples therapy services for families struggling with issues including divorce, communication problems, transition concerns, and family dysfunction. He also works as a School Counselor at a local metro high school.

Mitchel motivates others to discover personal growth and change in ways that feel comfortable and relaxed. Be creative, explore, draw all over the page. There are no constraints when it comes to therapy, wherever you are is the perfect place to start.

A recipient of the Minnesota Jaycees 2014 Ten Outstanding Young Minnesotans Award, Mitchel is a lifelong learner, a fan of tattoos and music, a firm believer in the healing power of relationships, a disability rights advocate, and genuinely interested in teaching and practicing the powerful, positive impacts of therapy.



Kendra has had the honor of supporting others in healing and growth for over 10 years, in a variety of therapeutic settings. As a relational therapist, she is passionate about working with teens, individuals, couples, and families. Kendra specializes in supporting those who have been touched by adoption, grief, loss, trauma, and hurt from religion, as well as people who desire increased connection, to explore personal identity, and to find an authentic belief system or spirituality. She creates an open and inviting space for others to engage in deep introspective reflection that helps foster creativity, authenticity, and expansion. Kendra leans on depth-oriented, attachment, and existential therapies, and utilizes play, experiential interventions, creativity, as well as insight and awareness to help forster healing. 

As a lover of nature, Kendra enjoys spending time outdoors in all four Minnesota seasons. A musician, potter, climber, and aspiring gardener, she believes in the healing power of time outside, creating, and authentic conversation. Kendra loves experiencing new places and learning as much as she can, through books and lived experience. Kendra found her way to the Twin Cities by way of North Dakota, Chicago, and Denver, and currently lives in Saint Paul with her husband and dog, Roo. Prior to joining Crocus Hill Counseling Center, Kendra worked at Macalester College as a Mental Health Counselor, was the Director of Student Services at the Denver Family Institute, supported clients in her private practice and at the PASS Center (Post Adoption Support Services) in Denver, and provided in-home family therapy with Maple Star Colorado.

Kendra is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, a Nationally Certified Counselor, and a member of the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy. She holds a Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling, a Post-Graduate Certificate in Marriage and Family Therapy, and a Bachelor of Arts in Family Studies. Kendra has completed advanced trainings related to adoption, attachment, trauma, and theology, including Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy (DDP), and Trust Based Relational Interventions (TBRI). She has had the opportunity to speak on topics related to adoption, attachment, trauma, parenting, and interpersonal stress, as well as travel to China with the nonprofit Adopteen (a division of Chinese Children Adoption International) in 2017 and 2018 for service trips to local orphanages. 



Lillian was born and raised in the Pacific Northwest until life took her to Saint Paul in 2018. She graduated in 2017 from Seattle Pacific University with a Master of Science in Marriage and Family Therapy. 

Lillian was initially drawn to therapy work because of her passion for working with children and adolescents. She studied developmental psychology in her undergraduate years and spent most of her summers working with kids of all ages in many different settings: horseback riding lessons, summer camps, coaching sports, tutoring and so on. Lillian has a great respect for how children learn, grow and adapt to challenges. Marriage and family therapy was a natural next step because it provided an opportunity to support families who are going through difficult circumstances that affect their children’s mental health. Lillian also appreciates family work due to her time spent living in the more collectivist cultures of Chile and Argentina.

Over time, Lillian has expanded her practice and now enjoys seeing people of all ages, including adults and couples. She has come to an even greater appreciation of how we never stop developing and growing as people; this does not change when we turn 18. In addition, many of us have things to work through that happened when we were young and have stuck with us over the years, continuing to influence our present experience of the world. Lillian has a special interest in the following areas of therapy work: trauma, grief, anxiety, parenting issues, athletes, sexuality/sexual health, mindfulness practices, and individuals and families affected by medical illnesses.

In her free time, Lillian plays ultimate frisbee competitively and practices yoga. She also enjoys playing nerdy board games and trying all of the restaurants she possibly can in the Twin Cities.