Stronghold Counseling Services, Inc.

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Connie Birgen Ed.S.


I am grateful and blessed to have joined the team at Stronghold Counseling Services. I am native to southeastern South Dakota, growing up on a farm by Beresford. I settled in Vermillion after college to work for the University of South Dakota for 28 years.

My education background includes a BS in elementary education, MA and Ed.S. in mental health counseling and counselor education from the University of South Dakota. I was called to serve as a counselor later in my career and the change has been a joyful gift.

I am a Licensed Professional Counselor, Licensed Addiction Counselor, and Qualified Mental Health Professional for the State of South Dakota. I focus on goal oriented and strengths-based therapy with a cognitive behavioral approach. I have been trained in prolonged exposure therapy to address issues related to trauma. I am competent and experienced in working with anxiety, depression, communication issues, parenting, relationship issues, social anxiety, sexual abuse, and substance use disorders. I have facilitated a bereavement support group for survivors of suicide. I would available to provide educational workshops and trainings on topics that include time management, stress management, parenting and other topics.

In my practice, I have seen the healing power of God’s love, mercy, and forgiveness. As He has promised, He will provide for us. I work to provide a safe, caring environment fostering love and acceptance of self so His transforming grace can be received.


Connie Birgen Ed.S.