Kristen Schmidt-Shay (she/her), MSW, LICSW, Outpatient Clinic and DBT Director

Clinic-Based Therapy Services

DBT Therapy

Outpatient Clinic Director

I enjoy working with a wide range of people and situations. I have a strong interest in working with people who have a history of trauma and mood disorders. I use a variety of techniques especially tailored to the individual including Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), EMDR, and exposure therapy, as well as mindfulness and cognitive techniques (CBT). I use Cognitive Behavioral Strategies in my work in helping clients reach their personal goals related to anxiety, depression and other mood and behavioral disorders.

I work from a place of non-judgment and like to balance the validation of a person’s emotions and experiences with also helping to motivate them for change. Ultimately my primary focus is to assist the individual with meeting their goals and help them develop the life and relationships they are seeking.

In my free time, I enjoy Yoga, reading, and drinking coffee!

Dialectical Behavior Therapy

ACP’s DBT program adheres to the Linehan model of DBT, is certified by MN DHS. Our clients meet with their individual therapist for one hour a week and attend a two-hour weekly skills group for at least 26 weeks. Unlike traditional group psychotherapy which focuses on processing experiences and feelings, DBT groups focus on learning four sets of important skills: mindfulness, distress tolerance, emotional regulation, and interpersonal effectiveness. DBT is a very effective treatment for multiple conditions including borderline personality disorder, depression, PTSD, impulsivity, eating disorders, and some forms of anxiety.

Approach to Supervision

I see supervision as a place to learn new skills, review current client situations and process feelings and thoughts related to the supervisee’s work as a therapist.  Supervision generally appears to have an arc where initially the supervisee may need or desire more direction and concrete assistance and then it morphs into more philosophical and treatment ideas and questions and finally becomes a place where the supervisee is often talking about how they feel competent and knowledgeable and are ready for more independence in their work.  Ideally, supervision is a safe place to explore questions, concerns and talk about fears or mistakes. Being a supervisor means working together with newer clinicians and exploring how different ideas, theories and experiences shape us as therapists.  We use ourselves as the primary tool of therapy and helping a clinician see themselves as having the knowledge and ability to impact others is always very rewarding. I also learn so much from my time spent with supervisees!

Telehealth Services

To expand and improve our care options for clients, ACP offers Telehealth (phone or video) appointments. Telehealth uses phone or video conferencing to connect you with highly qualified and experienced providers in real-time from the comfort and convenience of your own home or office. Before your telehealth appointment, you will receive details for how you will connect with your provider. If you will be connecting via phone, the provider will plan to call you at your scheduled appointment time. Please be ready to take the call and also check that your phone allows calls from blocked numbers (accessible within your phone settings). If you will be connecting via video conference, your provider will email you an invite to join the appointment. Please call our office to learn more about ACP’s telehealth services and to schedule an appointment.

Areas of Specialty

  • Adult and Adolescent Psychotherapy
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Women’s Issues
  • Personality Disorders
  • Individual DBT Therapy for Adults and Adolescents
  • Serious and Persistent Mental Illness
  • Cognitive Behavior Therapy
  • EMDR

Licensures / Titles

  • Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker (LICSW)
  • Mental Health Professional
  • DBT-Linehan Board of Certification, Certified DBT Clinician™


  • Master of Social Work (MSW) – St. Catherine University/University of St. Thomas
  • Bachelor of Arts (BA) – University of Minnesota, Duluth
  • Intensive Training in Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT)
  • DBT certification with the State of Minnesota
  • Intensive Training in EMDR
  • Post-training supervision for EMDR

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