Child & Adolescent Counseling Services

children teens 2

Children

More and more often children are facing obstacles they aren’t equipped to handle or mental health disorders that make their life and the lives of those around them very challenging. Child therapy meets children where they are and gives them the missing tools they need, in a practical and meaningful way for their age, in order to increase their overall functioning. Play therapy, art therapy, and behavioral management are therapeutic measures often geared towards children.

Most therapists will see children age 7 and up, but a couple of our therapists will work with children as young as 3. You can view a list of therapist's that work with children below.

Teens

Teens today face a wide variety of different obstacles, from social media to chaotic schedules to split households, that often have a big impact on their mental health and overall well-being. Therapy for teens centers around creating a partnership with the individual and giving them the tools and coping mechanisms needed to navigate their current and future life. Therapy is also a safe space where teens have the opportunity to openly share whatever they may be facing and have a trained professional come alongside them to support positive decision-making, self-discovery, and overall healthy well-being.

Art Therapy

Art therapy utilizes creative expression in a therapeutic context that leads to self-discovery, understanding, and healing; it allows individuals to use their creativity to explore their feelings, better manage behaviors, reduce stress, improve mood, teach social skills, lower anxiety, and increase self-esteem. Art therapy, often in combination with other therapeutic approaches such as cognitive therapy, is used to treat a vast number of different mental disorders and has proven to be an effective therapeutic intervention with positive improvements to overall well-being- independent of artistic ability. All different art media can be utilized, and every session is tailored to the individual client's needs and goals.

Play Therapy

Play Therapy is a specialized form of therapy that incorporates techniques specific to children, typically ages 3 to 12, in order to connect them with their feelings, thoughts, and actions in a way that can result in therapeutic improvements. Children, especially younger children, often do not have the capacity to fully articulate their problems or process through them. Play therapy gives children the space the uncover underlying issues and learn coping mechanisms to handle or redirect behavior.

Narrative Therapy

Narrative therapy is a form of therapy that emphasises stories. These are the stories we tell ourselves about ourselves, others, and the world around us. Our lives are made up of multiple stories about how we see situations and ourselves in those situations. These stories, in turn, influence how we view ourselves, others, and the world around us. In essence, narrative therapy helps to provide empowerment and a sense of control over one's life by helping clients challenge stories and build alternative ones.

ADD/ADHD & Autism

ADD, ADHD, and Autism are neurodevelopmental disorders that develop with children as they age. Specific therapeutic tools can be used in the context of said development to work on the areas of communication, socialization, behavior, thought process, executive functioning, and more that often accompany a neurodevelopmental diagnosis. ADD, ADHD, and Autism look different in different stages of life, so therapy meets individuals where they are and works on specific goals that go beyond simply treating a diagnosis and begin to work on real improvements for the individual.

Eating Disorders

Eating disorders, namely anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, and binge eating disorder, affect millions of individuals and can be incredibly difficult to combat. Therapy for eating disorders provides a safe space for the direct inspection of current functioning and underlying factors contributing to the disorder and its maintenance. Sessions mainly focus on the individual but may also include the family due to the nature of the disorder and the need for a strong support system. Our certified nutritionist, Linda, may also accompany therapy sessions to assist in creating practical ways to maintain healthy boundaries in relation to eating and client overall wellbeing.

Behavior analysis and management

Behavior Analysis is founded on the concepts of learning theory and is guided by the idea that behavior is a motivated construct that can be changed or prevented. Children and teens with disorders that heavily impact behavior such as autism, ADHD, Down syndrome, and ODD can have improved symptomatology through the use of behavioral principles. Behavior Analysis and Management look a bit different in the counseling setting and may incorporate individual sessions, parent or caregiver training sessions, or family sessions depending on the individual and the behaviors being displayed.

Child & Teen Counselors

Kelly can help with: play therapy, neurodevelopmental disorders, twice exceptional (2E) and gifted, School & education, Divorce support for children and family. 

Kelly has 25 years of experience working in public education as a teacher, instructional coach, and consultant with children, teens, and families. She holds a Master of Arts in Education and a Master of Science in Counseling; she has her Temp LMHC and is working towards full licensure.

Kelly utilizes many different therapeutic modalities ranging from Cognitive Behavioral Therapy to play-based therapy based on your individual needs. Additionally, she has training in Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing (EMDR). EMDR is designed to heal stressful and traumatic life experiences by decreasing the strong emotions associated with those experiences.

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DeAnne can help with: Play therapy, music therapy, narrative therapy, neurodevelopmental disorders, eating disorders, and behavior management. 

DeAnne has a B.A in Psychology and an MA in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. She has her Temp LMHC and is working towards full licensure.

DeAnne works under the umbrella of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, utilizing REBT, EFT, Family Systems, and Motivational Interviewing. She is a certified SYMBIS facilitator for pre-marital couples and is currently working toward Gottman marriage certification.

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Brook can help with: play therapy, art therapy, narrative therapy, Neurodevelopmental disorders, eating disorders, behavior analysis and management (ABA), and School/education issues.

Brooklynn has a Bachelor of Science in Psychology and is pursuing her master’s degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling and a graduate degree in Applied Behavioral Analysis which she is set to finish this year. Brooklynn has experience working at a behavioral analysis clinic for kids with neurodevelopmental disorders such as Autism. She also spent 5 years in Columbia in the mission field working with kids, youth, and adults facing extreme trauma; she is bilingual.

Brooklynn sees people of all stages and ages though her focus is mainly on children, adolescents, marriage and family therapy, and trauma therapy. She will see children as young as 3 years of age and individuals with special needs including but not limited to autism, down syndrome, and genetic disorders. If an individual is nonverbal, she will provide parent training sessions to the parents so they can implement practices at home.

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Elena can help with Art Therapy, coping skills, and behavior management.

Elena has a Masters of Arts degree in Counseling and Art therapy. She is a registered art therapist and licensed mental health counselor. Elena’s approach is holistic, trauma-informed, and incorporates art therapy, mindfulness, cognitive behavioral, client-centered, and strengths-based models.

Elena’s goal is always to provide a safe and supportive environment for her clients to explore their behaviors, thoughts, and emotions, and feel empowered to move toward growth, change, and healing.

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Bekah can help with: Play therapy, narrative therapy, neurodevelopmental disorders, and eating disorders.

Bekah has a Bachelors in Family services, a Master of Arts degree in Counseling, and has her Temp LMHC and is working towards full licensure. She is also a certified clinical mental health counselor.

Bekah has had a lifelong passion to bring hope and healing to those around her through a faith-based approach to counseling, using Biblical truths and principles as a guide for counseling. She desires to meet clients where they are at and walk alongside them in their counseling journey. Her faith is a huge part of who she is, and she loves bringing the truth of God’s word into sessions with clients who are open to it. Bekah believes that counseling is a collaborative effort where it takes both the counselor and the client working together to reach the client’s goals. She hopes to equip her clients with the tools they need to create balance and health in their lives.

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Sarah is pursuing her Masters in Clinical Mental Health Counseling and received her Bachelors in Ministry Leadership with a concentration in Women's Ministry. She has experience working in shelters for homeless women and their children as well as international missions. She also works at Assault Care Center Extending Shelter and Support (ACCESS) in Ames- responding and advocating for the needs of sexual assault and domestic violence victims. 

She is a certified victim counselor with training in trauma-informed care, crisis intervention, various types of abuse, the civil and criminal justice systems, and more as it relates to sexual and domestic abuse.

Sarah specifically works with children, teen girls, and individual adults. Her professional areas of interest include: trauma, mothering and women's issues, life adjustment, anxiety, and self-worth. 

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Stephanie's clinical experience includes working with adolescent, adult individuals, and couples utilizing a faith-based approach coupled with the therapeutic models of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Motivational Interviewing, and Solution-focused practices. 

Stephanie utilizes individualized treatment plans to meet each client where they are at including the areas of depression and anxiety, PTSD, addictions and recovery, relational conflict, grief and loss, emotional regulation, and difficult life changes/transitions.

Stephanie only sees patients via telehealth.

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Emilie works with teens and has experience helping with ADD/ADHD and Eating Disorders.

Emilie has a Master’s Degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling, a Bachelor’s Degree in Christian Counseling, and is  currently pursuing her Ph.D at Drake University. Before joining the team at New Life, she had experience working with youth on probation, youth under the care of DHS, marriage and family therapy, eating disorders, homeless families, and working in various ministry positions.

Emilie utilizes many forms of therapy to help fit her client’s needs such as Cognitive Behavior Therapy, Motivational Interviewing, Family Systems Approaches and EMDR. EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing) is a therapy designed to heal traumatic and stressful life experiences by decreasing the distressing emotions connected to those experiences.

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Heather’s clinical area of focus is working with adolescent and adult clients dealing with depression, anxiety, relational conflict, grief and loss, postpartum depression, and life transitions. Her approach is to help you learn ways to deal with present circumstances, gain insight from your past, as well as hope for the future. She likes to assess you holistically and work with you to balance all areas of your life: spiritually, relationally, physically, nutritionally, mentally, and emotionally.

Heather has a Master of Arts degree in Community counseling and School Counseling with an undergraduate degree in Psychology. She uses an eclectic approach to counseling including various interventions from (CBT) Cognitive Behavioral, (DBT) Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, and (TBRI) Trust Based Relational therapy. She also has an interest in how nutrition and gut health affect mental health. Heather is currently pursuing and learning more about nutritional and integrative medicine for mental health professionals. She only offers sessions through Telehealth as an online therapist for New Life Counseling.

Heather only sees patients via telehealth.

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Erik has 20 years of experience in the behavioral health field working with individuals, adolescents, and families. He has a Master of Arts degree in Counseling.

He strives to adapt his therapeutic approach to the needs of the people he is serving, primarily using a cognitive-behavioral approach and some trauma approaches. He strives to give hope and help others recognize their ability to draw on their faith and strengths to overcome adversity.

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Mike has a degree in Church Education, and a master’s degree in Counseling. He has his Temp LMHC and is working towards full mental health counseling licensure. Mike serviced as a youth minister for 15 years and has spent the last 10 serving youth and families in a social work capacity, providing in-home behavioral health services in addition to leading and training staff.

Mike is passionate about supporting people in their growth of awareness and acknowledgment, leading to changes in thinking and living.

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Meg holds a Master of Arts degree in Counseling Education and a Bachelor of Music in Music Therapy. She is also a Gottman Certified therapist for couples counseling. She provides therapy for individuals, couples, and adolescents and takes an interpersonal, client-centered, and collaborative approach to counseling.

 

Her experience includes inpatient and outpatient care for adults and children in a psychiatric setting, music therapy in a rehabilitation hospital, in-home counseling as part of a hospice team, bereavement counseling/management, and a special interest in emotional issues of individuals who have suffered from strokes, traumatic brain injuries, and other physical traumas.

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