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College mental health,

Learn our story and meet our team!
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Our Mission

Provide college students a safe, supportive space in which they receive quality and consistent mental health care that is highly accessible, affordable, specialized, and culturally sensitive.

“We love serving students! It is our passion and our life’s work. There is nothing more fulfilling to us than to see students thrive in the face of adversity and develop into even more amazing versions of themselves. We feel so excited and privileged to have served so many students and cannot wait to watch them grow into tomorrow’s leaders!”

Founded in 2014

Founded in 2014 by psychologists and prior college counselors, Dr. Keith Higginbotham and Dr. Brett Donnelly, Acacia Counseling and Wellness began in response to a great need for outpatient mental health services in university communities.

Expanded to two states

Brett and Keith saw first hand that the student demand for mental health services was increasing rapidly and how difficult it was to find long term treatment options that are accessible, affordable, and specialized to students. They opened in both California and Minnesota.

Looking forward

Acacia was formed to tear down barriers and advocate for students in their search for better outpatient mental health care. Today, Acacia is the leading provider of outpatient, college student mental health in seven cities across California and Minnesota

Our Core Values

Our values are mirrored within every Acacia team member from the minute you walk in the door.


We care about the students we serve and it shows in the quality of care Acacia students receive.


The work we do is very serious but it’s important for us to laugh, smile, and have fun when we can!


Different identities allow us to provide a more enriching environment and find more creative solutions.

A more inclusive environment is a more loving environment. At Acacia, we want to feel the same safety and warmth as we do in our own homes. We do everything we can to ensure anyone walking through our doors feel the same way


Acacia works to open new clinics, expand services, and promote personal and professional growth.


We know that no one can do it by themselves and it takes a community to do great things.

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Dr. Keith Higginbotham

Co-Founder & CEO
View More: http://redmonddigitalmedia.pass.us/acacia

Dr. Brett Donnelly

Co-Founder & CVO

Jess Rodriguez

Chief Business Officer
View More: http://redmonddigitalmedia.pass.us/acaciacounseling

Dr. Robbyn Jackson

Chief Operations Officer

Our Board of Advisors

Saji Gunawardane

Principal Attorney | US Business Counsel

Jim Smith

Business Mentor, Retired Business Owner | SCORE

Greg Pfeuffer

Certified Public Accountant | Mueller Prost

Jay Johnson

Entrepreneur, Angel Investor, CEO/Owner| Small Lot Wine

Golnaz Agahi

Owner | SocialWise Consulting

Drew Melendres

Chief Client Servicer | Ardeo Education Services

Carl Schwab

Transformative & Strategy | West Monroe Partners

Steve Boschken

Business Mentor, Business Owner | Boschken Properties


Blake Olson

Sales & Leasing Tenant Rep | Avison Young (AY)


Jonathan Larsen

Principal & Management Dir. Tenant Rep | Avison Young (AY)


HE/HIM/HIS | #PSY26572

Co-founder & chief executive officer (ceo)


I’m a co-founder and co-owner of Acacia and wear several hats including Chief Financial Officer, HIPAA Security Officer, contracts and leasing lead, construction management, and therapist. I helped start Acacia in 2014 to address the growing need to help UC Santa Barbara students connect with a qualified, affordable, and accessible therapist to meet their long-term needs for mental health treatment. I love being part of helping more and more students get the support they need and at the same time providing a fun, supportive, and rewarding work environment for our staff. When I’m not working, I enjoy being outdoors--hiking, biking, climbing, riding my motorcycle, or just hanging out at a local coffee shop.

What is your favorite children's story?

I actually have 2 books that I remember well from my early childhood--Curious George and The Little Engine that Could. I really connected with George’s curious mind and penchant for new adventures. As for the Little Engine, well I think I felt inspired by the courage and determination of this little character with such a giant heart.

What, in your opinion, is the most amazing animal?

The dog. We have so much to learn from their simplicity, ability to forgive, loyalty, and unconditional love.

dr. brett donnelly
he/him/his | #PSY26685/#LP6331

co-founder & chief visionary officer (cvo)


I'm originally from a small town in Wisconsin called Lake Geneva. Growing up, my family struggled with addiction and other mental health issues. We also were low-income and, as a first generation college student, I had a hard time finding the appropriate therapy services while I was in school. Services were either unaffordable or inaccessible, or both! I will never forget when I finally found a therapist who helped me work through a trauma I experienced while in college. It was life altering! It was through this personal therapeutic journey that I became passionate about college student mental health. It's what gives me the passion to work with young adults everyday and help them through their journey. I feel so excited every day that I continue to work at Acacia. I feel inspired by the students we serve and continue to feel motivated to remove mental health barriers for college students. Currently, I feel thrilled about our work in the telehealth arena as we can reach even more students than ever before!

If you had one extra hour of free time a day how would you use it?

I would definitely spend it outside! Although this might be challenging in the winter as I live in Minneapolis. During my free hour I would walk through the park to Lake Nokomis with my wife, Stefanie, and our dog Coda. We would all go paddle boarding with a cooler and music on us at all times! Coda loves the water and enjoys pulling us on the board (or tipping us over when he tries to get up on the board). After our time on the lake, time to head straight to Sandcastle for some food in the sun. That sounds like a perfect way to spend my extra hour - or more likely 90 minutes.

What’s your favorite car that you’ve owned?

Just last year I purchased a Tesla Model 3. I have to say that it is not only my favorite car, but the best purchase I have ever made (other than my house I suppose). Keep in mind, I LOVE to go on long road trips. There is nothing better than going out with my brothers, friends, or family and touring the country. I have already had the chance to take the Tesla, or "Elle" as we affectionately refer to her as, to the East Coast and the West Coast. My brother and I went on a college football road trip (I am a lifelong Wisconsin Badgers fan) last November and ended up going to Penn State, Gettysburg, Fredrick, Anapolis, Baltimore, DC, Roanoke, and finally West Lafayette. Then, Stefanie, Coda and I took a road trip to our favorite place last winter...California! It was so nice to put the car on auto pilot and cruise. Not paying for gas in an additional bonus! We have already made so many memories in Elle and can't wait for so many more!

Dr. Robbyn Jackson
she/her/hers | #PSY21576

Chief operating officer (COO)


I am a Clinical Psychologist of over 20 years, and the Lead Director for Acacia Counseling & Wellness. I oversee all of the Acacia offices by working closely with the directors to provide excellent mental health services to university and college communities. I play a significant role in the development of new locations and I strive to ensure that each office is filled with passionate, competent and diverse therapists. My favorite thing about working at Acacia is the people! We create teams of therapists and staff who enjoy coming to work each day, not only because they are eager to work with students, but also because they are part of a committed team that values mental health, as well as fun and laughter.

Prior to being the Lead, I was the Director of the original Acacia in Isla Vista, California which serves the UC Santa Barbara community. As an alumnus of UCSB, this was a special honor! I am also very proud to be the first therapist chosen by the owners to work for Acacia in 2015. I love spending time with my partner and sons, Max and Chase, as well as my family-of-friends, who bring me joy and realness.

where are you from and how did you get to acacia?

I am originally from a small town in Texas called Aransas Pass. My journey to Acacia started as a trainee at Northwestern University’s Counseling and Psychological Services, and then took me to DePaul University where I did my post-doc and became a senior staff psychologist. I later realized how these experiences shaped my career and passion to work with emerging adults.

What is something interesting about you?

Some interesting (or not so interesting) things about me are that I figured out the hard way that axe throwing is not as easy as it looks! In Texas, we grew up with archery and target-shooting, so I naturally assumed that I would impress my colleagues when we signed up to go axe throwing...Not so much! Another little-known fact about me is that I surf, and while I do not shred...I do LOVE to surf! I wish all of my dreams could be of me catching waves.