Kate Ernstrom



Executive Director

My experience with Wildflower has genuinely changed my life for the better, and Kate has helped me get on the path to become the best version of myself.

Recent Posts

I am the Executive Director of Wildflower. I provide vital leadership and strategic direction for the organization, overseeing all aspects of our operations to ensure we fulfill our mission with excellence and integrity. Leading with authenticity, empathy, and compassion, I foster a culture of collaboration, innovation, and growth within our team. I am deeply committed to empowering our staff to deliver high-quality, client-centered care grounded in evidence-based practices.

In this role, I am responsible for the strategic growth, leadership, and overall management of all Wildflower operations. I collaborate closely with co-owners and other members of the management and administrative team to shape Wildflower’s growth strategy, conduct needs assessments, and recommend and implement new programming and policies. I am dedicated to supporting diversity, engaging in ongoing professional development, and fostering a passion for improving mental health within the Wildflower community and beyond.

Drawing upon my extensive experience in both clinical practice and leadership roles, I guide our team in navigating complex challenges and opportunities in the mental healthcare landscape. I prioritize open communication, mentorship, and professional development to support the growth and success of every team member. I develop strategic initiatives to expand our services, reach new populations, and enhance our impact on the communities we serve. I advocate for inclusivity, diversity, and equity in all aspects of our work, ensuring that Wildflower remains a welcoming and affirming space for clients and staff alike.

As a clinician and leader, I am deeply passionate about the clinical work we do at Wildflower and am committed to creating a safe, inclusive, and inspiring environment that is grounded in evidence-based and ethical practices and fosters positive change. I approach therapy with an emphasis on understanding and honoring each individual’s unique story while centering our shared humanity and desire for growth, connection, and joy.

In addition to my leadership responsibilities, I continue to actively engage in clinical practice. Drawing from a variety of clinical approaches centered on research-backed care, somatic-based mind-body connection, cultural competency and humility, integrity, and self-compassion, I work with individuals and couples at all stages of life. My primary focus lies on addressing concerns related to mood and anxiety, as well as reproductive and sexual health. I firmly believe that providing evidence-based reproductive and sexual health care is a matter of social justice. I emphasize the here and now, using humor to connect while creating a safe and validating therapeutic space to explore vulnerable topics. Celebrating the diversity of sexual identity and expression is a central focus of Wildflower’s practice; LGBTQIA+, Queer, Trans, Gender Non-Conforming, gender-expansive, non-monogamous, kink, BDSM, and polyamorous clients are welcomed.

I obtained my bachelor’s degree in psychology and feminist, gender, and sexuality studies from Cornell University and later obtained my master’s degree in clinical social work from Loyola University, Chicago. I am a Perinatal Mental Health Certified Clinician and an AASECT Certified Sex Therapist, with extensive training in treating perinatal and reproductive mental health issues, sexual health, mood and anxiety disorders, as well as trauma and complex trauma reactions through evidence-based practices. I often present on topics related to reproductive and sexual health, and am dedicated to ongoing professional growth and development regularly seeking ongoing training, consultation, and reading relevant literature.

  • IL LCSW License Number: 149018053
  • CO LCSW License Number: 09929536
  • Type 1 NPI Number: 1568710424
  • Accepts: Lyra, self-pay and out-of-network clients

Selected Training & Affiliation

  • AASECT Certified Sex Therapist (CST)
  • Sexual Health Certification from University of Michigan
  • Perinatal Mental Health Certified Clinician (PMH-C)
  • Dialectical Behavior Therapy Trainings
  • Radically Open Dialectical Behavior Therapy Training
  • Acceptance and Commitment Therapy Training
  • Exposure Response Prevention Training
  • Gottman Method Couples Therapy, Level 1 and 2
  • Highly-Sensitive Person (HSP) Knowledgeable Therapist
  • EMDR Basic Training

Presentations & Facilitated Trainings

  • The Flexible Roadmap: Developing an Accurate Diagnosis, Case Conceptualization, Treatment Plans and the Importance of Effective Treatment Coordination
  • Severe Symptoms and Suicidality: Assessing and Addressing Worsening Psychiatric Symptoms
  • Radically Open DBT: An Introduction for Psychotherapists
  • The First Session (and Beyond): Comprehensive Mental Health Evaluation and Initial Client Engagement Strategies
  • Pregnancy and Postpartum Mental Health: What Psychotherapists Should Know
  • Introduction to Sexuality and Sexual Health: What Psychotherapists Should Know
  • Attending to the Therapist: Compassion Fatigue, Burnout, and Impostor Syndrome
  • The Times, They Are A-Changin’: Transitions in Adolescents

Key Beliefs

  • Emotions are messengers; let’s lean in and hear what they have to tell us.
  • We are all doing the best we can with the knowledge and skills we have right now, and we can always work to learn more, and do better.
  • You got this! I’m right here with you. We can do this one day at a time, one foot in front of the other.

More About Me

  • I am a dedicated life long learner, and am passionate about personal and educational growth and development.
  • I am the mom to two small boys, and find my lived experiences as their mom has helped me thrive as a human and as a therapist, and shaped the person I am today.
  • I adore gardening, nature, and the great outdoors.