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About our Counseling Services

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We are here to support and empower you through life's difficult moments.  We want to help you achieve your goals and find ways to be well, whether that means needing a little support and community through our groups, psycho education and/or therapy sessions. We have experience working with individuals, families and groups from all stages of life.  We have extensive experience working with victims and survivors of trauma as well as those coping from mental health concerns or any other life stressors. 

About our Fitness Services

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We want to help you reach your fitness and health goals.  Whether you want to lose weight, gain strength, improve your athletic performance, prepare for tryouts or just stay active and get healthy, we are on your side! We offer individual and group training, classes, as well as team building and wellness seminars. 

Mission Statement


To provide individuals in any stage of life the opportunity to achieve their wellness goals and thrive both physically and mentally through holistic support and services. 

About Us

Heather St. Peter, MSW, LCSW

Adult & Youth Therapist/Owner

Heather is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and received her MSW from Washington University in St. Louis.  She has 16 years of experience working with youth and adults. She has worked in a school based setting, inpatient mental health, home based family therapy, and residential and outreach services.  She has extensive experience working with trauma and specializes in working with school aged children. In addition, Heather began playing competitive sports at the age of 5.  She was a two sport collegiate athlete and has extensive knowledge and experience working with athletes in a mental health as well as training/coaching capacity. Heather is available for counseling with children, adults, couples and families. 

Katie Kessler, MSW, LCSW 

Trauma Therapist/Owner

Katie is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and received her MSW from UMSL.  She has 11 years of experience in the field.  She has experience working with children, teens, adults and older adults. She has worked in home based care, inpatient mental health as well as residential and outpatient settings.  She has extensive experience with survivors of trauma including domestic violence and sexual assault. Katie offers evening and weekend appointments.

Shera Baker, BSW, CYT-200

Practice Manager/Trauma Informed Yoga Teacher/Owner

Shera received her BSW from UMSL and has dedicated her career to helping ensure her clients have felt empowered and understood. She has 15 years of experience experience in school ​settings, residential programs, outreach services, and behavioral health organizations. Shera is a Registered Yoga Teacher through the Yoga Alliance and specializes in Trauma Informed Yoga. With over 7 years of experience working directly with sexual assault and domestic violence survivors, she wants to continue to dedicate her work to those who are working towards a more peaceful existence after surviving trauma of any form. She is also the go to person for any life balance services, intake or billing questions.

Ben Oskroba, BA, NSCA-CPT

Personal Trainer/Owner

Ben is a Certified Personal Trainer and earned his Bachelors degree in Criminal Justice.  Ben began playing competitive sports at the age of 3. He played Division 1 hockey at Northeastern University and University of Connecticut. Ben is currently in his sixth season of playing minor league professional hockey for the Peoria Rivermen.  He obtained his personal training certification through the National Strength and Conditioning Association and works with children and adults.  In addition, Ben has been trained on the effects of trauma and how to create an environment that allows survivors to feel comfortable.  This training allows him to work closely with our trauma therapists to provide specialized training services to our counseling clients.   Through his lifelong training, competing, and other athletic endeavors, he has gained a wealth of knowledge in the training field that will allow him to help you reach your fitness and wellness goals whatever they may be.  

Nicki Pondrom, MSW


Nicki has been with Side by Side during her master's level internship and we are proud to welcome her on as a Master's Level counselor. Nicki received her degree from UMSL and is working towards licensure under supervisor Heather St. Peter. She brings with her a wealth of knowledge and concentration in children's and family issues. 

Alyson Miller, LMSW


Alyson, who received her MSW from Washington University in St. Louis,  also completed her master's level internship with Side by Side and we are thrilled that she is staying on with us to keep offering services to our clients. Alyson is working towards full licensure under supervisor Heather St. Peter and she works with couples, families, and individuals of all ages. Alyson is also the lead on our Mindful Movement in Nature program, which promotes holistic wellbeing through combining therapeutic skills and practices with the positive mental effects of movement and the natural world.

We are a teaching facility!

We partner with local universities to offer practicums, or internships, to bachelor's and master's level social work students who are here to gain clinical experience. They are able to offer services including supportive counseling and groups at a reduced fee, and are supervised both here at Side by Side as well as by their instructors.  We have had students from UMSL, Washington University, and Missouri Baptist University social work programs.  We feel it is important to have a supportive environment for students to learn and craft skills, as well as to be able to offer affordable counseling services to the community.




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