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Jennifer A. Barajas, MS, LPC

Jennifer Barajas holds a Master of Science and is a Licensed Professional Counselor.  She is currently pursuing a PhD in Organization and Industrial Psychology. Jennifer started her career in counseling by interning for the YWCA (victim services/domestic violence and rape crisis counseling) and Handlon Correctional Facility (sex offender psychotherapy). She worked in three counties and developed a women’s sex offender outpatient program. After that, she worked in a Family Engagement Therapy (FET) program as a FET therapist. Jennifer worked with women and children who were addicted to substances and at high risk of losing custody of their children due to their substance use.

Jennifer had some personal issues with her daughter’s illness and a debilitating accident, taking time off and then working part-time in solution-focused counseling for colleges/universities and county CMHs across the US. Eventually, Jennifer went into private practice and worked virtually with people from all over the world in mental health and addiction counseling. After five years in private practice, she worked for the Gun Lake Tribe as their Behavioral Health Clinical Manager.

As the Clinical Manager at Sanford Behavioral Health, Jennifer is responsible for eating disorders and primary mental health programming. She says every day is different. Jennifer sees people who are struggling every day, and she and the clinical team walk alongside them and positively impact their lives. Jennifer’s goal is to empower Sanford’s clients to take back their lives and flourish in the lives that they deserve.

In her free time, Jennifer loves to be outside kayaking, swimming, gardening, and spending quality time with her friends and family.

Jennifer says, “The liars believe the liars, meaning that if we keep lying to ourselves about our eating disorder, substance use, and our mental health, that is the narrative we believe. We must confront how we bully and belittle ourselves, how we tell ourselves a narrative that makes us feel horrible about ourselves. If we tell ourselves a different narrative, we will soon believe that one. Let us start to paint a narrative where we can be kind to ourselves, compassionate to ourselves, and allow ourselves to heal from trauma.”