Dr. Anna Quistad | PsyD
Sometimes life has a way of throwing us curve balls, even when we seem to know what to expect. In a sudden job loss or a catastrophic event, such as a trauma or passing of a loved one, people from all walks of life are subject to feeling overwhelmed or a sense of losing control. When you experience specific stressors, you may also be feeling like no one understands you. That can feel very lonely. There can also be felt stigma of being labeled as broken or disordered because your lack of being able to “pick yourself up by your bootstraps” emotionally. Instead I want you to be seen for who you truly are, not a label!
If you’ve ever become emotionally activated and can’t place the trigger or reason why, know you are not alone. You may also not understand why you react to triggers, resulting in feeling numb and disconnected. This can happen even if you’re simply going through a normal life change. Change has a way of derailing our ability to cope, and you may find yourself utilizing more unhealthy or maladaptive coping to deal with your circumstances. This can include behavior such as emotional or restrictive eating, isolation, self-injury or low self-esteem, substance misuse, and many ways people naturally resort to in order to feel better. The thing about maladaptive coping though is that you’ll end up feeling ‘better’ in addition to learning patterns that also make you feel unwell.
In working together in therapy, we will explore how both your strengths and challenges can be used to deal with any present difficulties. If there’s something getting in the way of your overall experience of greater health and wholeness, we’re going to explore and move through it. My desire is to collaborate with you in an empowering way that leads to find your own voice, builds resiliency, and leaves you feeling in control over your choices in life. Together we can muddle through these struggles and navigate towards a life filled with joy and a new way of being healthy alive.
Sources of strength and resilience can often be found within your cultural and relational context. There is a lot of beauty in living in a country rooted in having a vast range of diversity in age, race, gender, culture and ethnicity. Unfortunately, minority discrimination and majority privilege often goes unheard. The opportunity to learn from the values, beliefs, and practices from a variety of national, racial, religious, and sexual identity groups is endless. Diversity is strength, so the more we can pinpoint your unique experience the more you will impact what surrounds you. I have particular interest in working with diverse populations, as they are often most misunderstood, under-resourced, and in need of advocacy and support. My approach in therapy is to openly discuss diversity and cultural differences with others, and to do so out of an understanding of your unique story and experience.
Because I have experienced the guiding compassion of others in my life, my approach to therapy often reflects my passion for seeing people grow and change. I find joy walking alongside others as they journey toward a life of renewed direction. I believe there is no circumstance beyond redemption or transformation if the person is willing to do the hard work that is necessary for their unique journey. I hold the distinct challenges people face in high regard, as I have profound respect for human suffering. Adversities and life complexities may often best be understood as they are held in tension, or in paradox. Joy and suffering. Growth and pain. Love and loss. The experience of suffering often brings a more authentic life where both the joy and pain are actively shared with others, particularly in a counseling relationship.
Reach out to me today and we can begin working together for your benefit and health. I would love to talk with you. My hope is to truly listen and understand whatever it is that brings you to therapy at this time, so you can maximize your life.
Therapeutic Orientation & Technique:
Emotionally Focused Therapy
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
Dialectical Behavioral Therapy
Dr. Quistad’s Areas of Specialty & Background
Grief & Loss
Religious Identity & Spirituality
Depression & Anxiety
Trauma & Dissociation
Psy.D in Clinical Psychology, Wheaton College, Wheaton, IL
M.A. in Clinical Psychology, Wheaton College, Wheaton, IL
B.A. in Psychology, University of Northwestern, St. Paul Saint Paul, MN
“I have seen so many different therapists over the years, but working with Dr. Q I have finally been able to maintain sobriety and work on past trauma in a meaningful way. I feel like I finally understand why I do what I do and that is empowering.”
“My struggle with guilt and shame was so debilitating that I found myself in self-destructive patterns, but now I can practice self-compassion and be gracious with myself. Dr. Quistad’s warm and gentle approach to therapy helped me realize I deserve compassion and care.”
“I started with Dr. Quistad during a time I was struck by fear and not knowing how I was going to move forward. She helped me gain a sense of courage and autonomy that helped me get un-stuck.”
“I’d like to take a moment to say how important our regular meetings have been in my grieving process. I’m feeling more like myself all the time, and find I am looking forward to the future once again. Thank you for your continued kindness and walking through the struggle with me.”
Articles by Dr. Quistad
Dr. Anna Quistad (called Dr. Q around these parts), joins Optimum Joy founder Alexandra Hoerr to discuss the complexities of religious abuse and spiritual manipulation in church contexts. Dr. Quistad focused her doctoral dissertation on the complex trauma which...
Growing up with a mother as a pastoral care minister who now works as a hospice chaplain, I have heard endless stories about loss, grief, and suffering. She has described grief to be like the natural disaster of a tornado, whether large or small, it changes the...