About Wellness Matters

Stay safe AND get the support you need!

Wellness Matters is able provide therapy totally on-line! Like many medical clinics, you will be given access to our easy to use Client Portal for transmitting paperwork and messages. If you choose to do your therapy session on your computer, there is no software to download! And, if you choose to use your smart phone, there is a free App for downloading.

Our on-line tele-medicine platform is HIPPA compliant and are covered by insurance at the same level as in-office visits. Wellness Matters accepts most insurances, including Sanford, BCBS, Health Partners, Prime West, MA, and more – see “Payment” tab for more information.

Why Choose Wellness Matters?

“Wellness encompasses a healthy body, a sound mind, and a tranquil spirit. Enjoy the journey as you strive for wellness” – Laurette Gagnon Beaulieu

As “Health Therapists,” we provide an integrative wholistic approach to support you in maximizing your mental, emotional, physical, spiritual, and relationship health.  We cater to people who value their privacy.

Location, location, location!

We offer a uniquely confidential, comfortable counseling experience. Our location was purposefully chosen with convenience and privacy in mind. We are centrally located in downtown Park Rapids, MN. Our convenient location between Arvig Communications and the Armory on Hwy 71 is combined with a discrete entrance on the west/back side of the building.  This unique feature allows you to park anywhere downtown, if you prefer anonymity, or in front of our entrance off the alley, if convenience is most important.

Your privacy matters to us!

Wellness Matters was designed with your desire for privacy in mind. We do tele-Health, tele-medicine, e-health, virtual-health,  or whatever you want to call having an appointment via smart phone, tablet or computer!  If you have one of those devices and use e-mail, we can connect with clients all over the state of Minnesota.

Wellness Matters LLC has a robust, HIPPA-compliant electronic health care record system which allows remote, electronic completion of all necessary documents. We can communicate via encrypted, HIPPA- compliant e-mail.  Both clients and clinicians can upload and securely share documents.  At the time of the appointment, clients “connect” with their therapist through one’s e-mail with each session having a unique link.

For face-to-face services, you don’t have to worry about entering a bustling lobby full of people.  We are a small clinic that will not expand beyond our present two office configuration.  To further maximize privacy, we have “off set appointment times” (i.e., one therapist starts appointments “on the hour” and other “on the half hour”) in order to limit the number of people in the lobby.  All currently recommended Covid-precautions are followed for in-person services.

About Wellness Matters - wiating room
Wellness Matters Waiting Room
Wellness Matters Office
Wellness Matters Office
Wellness Matters office
Wellness Matters office

A comfortable, counseling experience!

From the moment that you enter our small clinic, you will notice the calm…and the quiet.  We encourage you to sit back and relax.  We have a self-serve beverage center that features coffee, tea, cider and hot chocolate.  Need to hydrate?  Use our water cooler to re-fill your water bottle.  Free wi-fi and a USB wall-charger add to your convenience and allow you to leave the bustle of the outside world outside of the clinic.

Waiting Room
Waiting Room
Convenience matters!

Wellness Matters recognizes how busy life is and how difficult it can be to get support at a time and in a way that meets your individual needs.

  • We strive to see new clients within one week of first contact. This may be facilitated by providing your email address to Rita or Sandy so that you can complete intake documents in the Client Portal prior to the first appointment.
  • “Recurring appointments” (i.e., appointments consistently on the same day at the same time) are available to clients who consistently attend scheduled appointments without any late cancels or “no shows”.
  • Evening and Saturday appointments may be available for people needing to work around a non-flexible work schedule or who are traveling.
  • “On-line” appointments are available!  Please see the “On-line” tab for more information.

Wellness Matters Providers

Rita Anderson, Wellness Health Founder
Rita Anderson, Wellness Matters Founder

Rita Anderson, MA

Owner/Founder of Wellness Matters LLC

Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor

Licensed Alcohol and Drug Counselor

Do you feel stuck?

Do you feel like you have lost yourself?  Have you been taking care of everyone else to the neglect of self?  Are you lonely and unfulfilled despite the appearance of the opposite?  Are the choices of your parent, partner, or child “driving you crazy”? Are you ashamed or afraid of your health condition being out of control?  Are you tired of knowing what to do but unable to “just do it”?

I take a practical approach to therapy.  I quickly “separate the wheat from the chaff” to quickly identify key concerns that can be targeted for immediate improvement.  I am proficient in coping skill development for improving health and happiness.  I help “pull back the curtain” of family dynamics and assist in identifying choice points for new ways of responding to create new outcomes.

My specialties include:

  • chronic pain management
  • weight management (which includes pre- and post-bariatric surgery, weight loss, anorexia and bulimia)
  • wellness coaching (which includes managing chronic conditions that are worsened by stress such as: heart disease, asthma, obesity, diabetes, depression, anxiety and gastrointestinal problems)
  • substance abuse, gambling and co-dependency struggles

In my life, I have personally experienced family dynamics which include a blended family, physical disability, poverty, substance misuse, co-dependency, loss of both parents, and loss of a family member due to an impaired driver.  I have also experienced shift work (9 years), stressful working conditions (i.e., adult corrections), living out of state, relocation after retirement, and starting a new career.

I graduated from Clarissa High School and received my B.A. in Justice Studies from the University of Alaska – Fairbanks in 1986.  Following a 20-year career with the Alaska Department of Corrections, my husband and I returned to MN.  I obtained my Masters degree in Addiction Studies: Advanced Practice in 2014 from the Hazelden Graduate School which afforded me the opportunity to become dual-licensed as a Licensed Alcohol and Drug Counselor (LADC) in 2014 and a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor (LPCC) in 2017.  I am a board certified LADC Supervisor and am a board certified LPCC Supervisor.  In 2019, I opened a small, private clinic offering mental health therapy and substance abuse counseling in a convenient, confidential, and comfortable setting to optimize health, healing, and happiness.

Tap here to call Wellness Matters LLC for more information (218) 616-1276

Tap here to request an appointment online

“Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.”  World Health Organization

Sandy Espe, MA


Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor Candidate

Sandy Espe, Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor Candidate
Sandy Espe, Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor Candidate
Do you struggle with the stress of day-to-day living?

Are your relationships with friends, co-workers, and family members not as satisfying as they could be? Are you dissatisfied at work? Would it be helpful to talk to someone about your faith but don’t want to necessarily talk with a pastor or priest?

I take an integrated approach to therapy, using the latest techniques to work with clients to improve overall wellness. Whether you are meeting with me as an individual, part of a couple, or part of a family, we will work together to establish goals that will lead to desired, achievable results. Because faith is an important part of my own life and I, too, struggle with the brokenness of being human, I sought professional schooling that would afford me the privilege to serve people with faith issues.

My specialties include:

  • career advancement
  • couples and family counseling and parenting support
  • spiritual counseling

Having grown up in rural North Dakota, I earned a B.A. in Business Education and English in the mid-1980s. I have over 30 years of experience working with students at all levels—elementary, middle school, high school, college, and adult education.  I taught courses in business education and English and served as a career counselor and a school counselor.  I earned a Masters degree in Career and Vocational Education from the University of North Dakota and facilitated the Parents Forever class offered through the NDSU Extension Service for over 25 years. After our youngest daughter graduated from high school, I pursued Masters degree in clinical counseling.

With experience as a Certified Global Career Counselor, I am knowledgeable and experiences at providing Career Coaching to people of all ages.  I personally understand both the process and challenge of changing careers.  My approach is to gather information from a variety of career resources to help you make decisions about your future. For those in transition to retirement, my approach is to assist in finding other ways to find purpose in life beyond earning a paycheck.

As a trained Parents Forever™  provider with 25+ years of experience, I supported parents who were married and seeking divorce or never married but were then separating.  I know the impact on children both from my Parents Forever™ training, as well as from my own experience of divorce and re-marriage.

I use a non-judgmental, empathetic approach and think of each person as an important child of God.  My Masters program included specific education and training to be able to counsel you as you work through your struggles or issues related to faith or spirituality.   As a Christian, I also have had issues related to feeling broken.  I believe that God has provided opportunities throughout my life to serve others and I am humbled when able to do so.  

The Wellness Matters Vision, Mission, Values and Culture


     “Health is a state of body.  Wellness is a state of being.”  J. Stanford

Wellness Matters Staff
To support an integrative approach for improving the overall health and wellness of our clients and ourselves.


To optimize wellness in people who:

  • want anonymity when accessing services
  • prefer services be delivered in a convenient manner (i.e., in-office, in-home or on-line)
  • are struggling adjusting to or effectively managing parenting, illness, chronic medical conditions, medical diagnoses, work problems, relationship problems, spiritual conflict, caregiver burnout, or death of a loved one
  • “know what to do” but struggle with implementing health supporting behaviors

  “The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.”  Lao Tzu

Core Values and Culture:

Wellness Matters staff replace the “therapist as the expert” mentality with the “client as the expert” and work collaboratively with clients and their support system toward improved health and wellness.

Request an appointment online

Social Media and Internet Guidelines

This section outlines Wellness Matters’ practices related to the use of Internet and Social Media.

  • We believe that it is important that clients and prospective clients know how Wellness Matters staff conduct ourselves as mental health professionals while using the Internet and Social Media.
  • These guidelines are in place in order to promote protection of client confidentiality.
  • These guidelines help to protect our therapeutic relationships with clients so that they remain intact and in accordance with ethical guidelines.

If you have any questions about our Internet and Social Media guidelines, we encourage you to bring them up when we meet. As new technology develops and the Internet changes, there may be times when we need to update these guidelines. If we do so, we will notify clients of any changes.

Social Media Guidelines for Wellness MattersFriending

Wellness Matters staff do not accept friend or contact requests from current or former clients on any social networking site (Facebook, Google Plus, LinkedIn, etc.) as outlined by the American Counseling Association guidelines.


You are welcome to view our Facebook pages and read or share posted articles; however, we do not accept clients as fans of our Facebook pages. We believe having clients as Facebook fans creates a greater likelihood of compromised client confidentiality, and we feel it is best to be explicit to all who may view our list of fans to know that they will not find client names on that list.


We may publish a blog on our website. We have no expectation that clients will want to or need to follow the blog.


Please note that we will not follow clients on twitter feeds. We may follow other health professionals on Twitter.  If there are things from your online life that you wish to share with us, please bring them into our sessions where we can view and explore them together during the therapy session.


We recommend against using SMS (mobile phone text messaging) or messaging on social networking sites such as Twitter, Facebook, Google Plus, or LinkedIn to contact Wellness Matters staff as these sites are not secure and we may not read these messages in a timely fashion.


If you choose to communicate with Wellness Matters staff by email, please be aware that all emails are retained in the logs of Internet service providers. While it is unlikely that someone will be looking at these logs, they are, in theory, available to be read by the system administrator(s) of the Internet service provider. You should also know that any emails received from clients and any responses become a part of the client legal medical record.