Author Archives: Terri Speirs

Training the next generation of mental health counselors

Training the next generation of mental health counselors

By Terri Speirs, Director of Community Relations

October 14, 2019 – The Des Moines Pastoral Counseling Center is pleased to welcome two new graduate practicum students for the 2019-2020 academic year. Erin Moskal is a graduate student in the clinical mental health program at Drake University. Emily Yen is a graduate student in the social work program at the University of Iowa. Erin and Emily form the latest cohort in a unique professional formation program that offers an intensive, structured group training experience.

“We are thrilled to welcome Erin and Emily,” said Dr. Christine Dietz, who directs the training program and is also a licensed clinical social worker and spiritual director at the Center. “The training program adds another layer of richness to the Center’s culture of learning as we all learn from one other.”

The Center’s Graduate Training Program was founded in 1980 to help address a mental health workforce need in the state of Iowa, and since then has graduated more than 125 mental health providers with an expanded knowledge base.

But the program isn’t for the faint of heart! The students are embedded into the very heart of the Center’s work through the following expectations:
• Ten-hour orientation process prior to beginning their placements.
• One-hour weekly of individual supervision and 1 hour of group supervision.
• One to two hours weekly of group case discussions with Center clinical staff.
• Required to present all intakes to supervisory staff.
• Required to present at least one case conference to the entire body of clinical staff.
• Required to participate in three didactic seminars (becoming a therapist, trauma-informed counseling, and LGBTQ-affirmative counseling) as well as , an assessment seminar and an integrative seminar.

“The Center takes seriously a responsibility to do our part to prepare the next generation of counselors,” said Jim Hayes, executive director. “With Iowa being in almost last place in terms of mental health workforce availability, we are extremely grateful to our donors who make it possible to offer our unique training program to graduate students seeking a rigorous educational experience.”

The Center’s training program has earned a reputation as one of very best, and one-of-a-kind in terms of the quality and depth of the learning. The Center invests more than $50,000 annually into the program. It is only possible due to the Center’s broad-base of community support as the students do not pay tuition, and their respective academic institutions do not reimburse the Center for the costs associated with the training.

For more information about the Center’s training program: https://dmpcc.org/our-services/clinical-education-training/frequently-asked-questions-graduate-psychotherapy-training/

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The Des Moines Pastoral Counseling Center is a nonprofit organization with a mission to walk with people through counseling and education to find hope and healing, and live a fulfilling life. Annually, the Center serves more than 2,600 individuals through holistic mental health counseling and other clinical services (including nearly 700 children and adolescents). Additionally, the Center serves more than 2,400 individuals annually through mental health education and training services.

Thank you to our 2020 Women Helping Women co-chairs!

Thank you to our 2020 Women Helping Women co-chairs!

By Terri Speirs, Director of Community Relations

October 14, 2019 – The Des Moines Pastoral Counseling Center (the Center) is pleased to announce the three co-chairs for the 22nd annual Women Helping Women luncheon: Stephanie Asklof, Anne Rothe and Whitney Warne. For the next nine months, the three community leaders will engage Greater Des Moines to raise more than $200,000 and host more than 600 guests at the event, slated for May 15, 2020 at the Embassy Suites downtown. Funds will be used to support mental health counseling, education, trainings and other services that impact women, children and families who are uninsured or underinsured.

The co-chairs bring tremendous leadership and life experience to their role, and are motivated to serve in unique ways.

Stephanie Asklov, a realtor at Berkshire Hathaway First Realty, remembers the children and families she met in her 33 years of working as a school teacher and administrator: “My time spent with the Des Moines schools opened my eyes to the need for providing timely, effective counseling services for students and families. Often, families were faced with long waits for help, or with prohibitive costs, and sometimes those challenges seemed insurmountable.

“Through the Des Moines Pastoral Counseling Center, and the funds we’re able to raise through the Women Helping Women luncheon, families have one more option, one more hand reaching out to help.”

Anne Roth, strategic initiatives specialist at Iowa Business Council, sees the big picture of opportunities for the community: “The need for sliding scale counseling services is critical to our region. In evaluating where I can be most effective with my time and resources, I look to the Des Moines Pastoral Counseling Center as they have the history, the expertise, the leadership and the foundation to carry out the mission, which is to bring hope and healing to persons of all ages through counseling and education.

“In particular, the Women Helping Women luncheon strikes a chord with me because of its special allocation to the services dedicated to young, adolescent and adult women in our area. The need is great and lifting up populations that would not typically be able to afford services is a critically important role. We can all take steps to make sure our community is welcoming and thriving, volunteering and giving to this mission is one way I hope to do so.”

Whitney Warne, owner of Ivory House Photography and co-owner of Brand Launch and the #dsmhummingbird charm, shares her talents as a community builder: “I am honored to co-chair the 2020 Women Helping Women luncheon. I am passionate about supporting women and children’s mental health and love the mission of the center to provide quality support for all who walk through their doors.”

Whitney is looking forward to bringing her social media marketing skills to the team and getting the message of the Des Moines Pastoral Counseling Center out to the masses.

22 Years of Women Helping Women
Since 1999, the annual event has raised more than $1 million for women who experience violence, poverty, trauma, depression, anxiety, abuse and other issues that can be addressed through counseling, and education.

Laurie Sloterdyk, Director of Development

“Our mission of hope and healing is deeply rooted in a community that cares,” said Laurie Sloterdyk, the Center’s director of development. “We are so grateful that Stephanie, Anne and Whitney have stepped up in a big way to lead an effort so more women and families in our community may access critical services.”

The Center is one of few providers in Greater Des Moines who serve people from all income levels, including those from low-income households who are underinsured or uninsured – with thanks to generous community support. Seventy percent of the Center’s clients who need subsidized services are women. The WHW fund not only provides critical assistance to women and families, but it also frees up other client assistance funds to serve all people based on need alone.

To access photos and a review of the 2019 luncheon: www.dmpcc.org/WHW

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The Des Moines Pastoral Counseling Center is a nonprofit organization with a mission to walk with people through counseling and education to find hope and healing, and live a fulfilling life. Annually, the Center serves more than 2,600 individuals through holistic mental health counseling and other clinical services (including nearly 700 children and adolescents). Additionally, the Center serves more than 2,400 individuals annually through mental health education and training services.

A culture of learning, August – September 2019

September 16, 2019 – One of the Center’s operating principles is cultivating a culture of learning. Who are the students? We all are! Staff, clients, board, community. The following photos offer a small snapshot into recent opportunities for professional growth, which we believe translates to better service to our clients.

Teaching

Three of the Center’s team of ten psychologists, Dr. Scott Young, Dr. Shannon Welch-Groves, and Dr. Eva Christiansen, present at the Center’s board of directors, answering many questions including: What exactly does a psychologist do?

Training

One Iowa provides LGBTQ Safe Zone designation training to the Center’s clinicians and administrators. This training was made possible through a generosity of a Center donor.

Consulting

Dr. Geoffrey Hills, psychiatrist, provides a consultation to the Center’s staff on the neurology of dementia and care for clients. The Center’s psychiatry team presents to the staff on a monthly basis.

Thank you Carol!

Carol Leonard

12 years of excellence, hope and healing

September 17, 2019 – Chances are, if you called the Des Moines Pastoral Counseling Center at some point in the past 12 years, you talked with Carol Leonard. Serving for 12 years at the Center, Carol has been the primary “listening ear” to clients and potential clients as they make their first, brave step to literally call for help by scheduling an appointment. As the Center’s intake coordinator / credentialing coordinator, Carol has served the Center with professionalism, compassion and a lot of plain old hard work.

Carol has made a decision to retire and last week our staff bid Carol heartfelt thanks with words, gifts, and — of course — cake.

We know that Carol meant a lot to many of our guests. If you would like to offer your word of thanks to Carol and wish her well on her retirement, cards or letters may be sent to:

Carol Leonard

c/o The Des Moines Pastoral Counseling Center

8553 Urbandale Ave.

Urbandale, IA 50322

 

 

News Release

For Immediate Release

For more information contact
Terri Speirs, director of community relations
515-251-6670 or email tspeirs@dmpcc.org

The Des Moines Pastoral Counseling Center is awarded $5,000 grant from West Bancorporation Foundation

Geoffrey Gade, West Bank vice president; Jim Hayes, executive director, Des Moines Pastoral Counseling Center; and Laurie Betts Sloterdyk, director of development, Des Moines Pastoral Counseling Center

September 16, 2019, Des Moines, IA – The Des Moines Pastoral Counseling Center (the Center) has been awarded $5,000 from West Bank’s charitable foundation, West Bancorporation Foundation. This funding supports a three-year project to increase administrative efficiencies and client satisfaction through technology upgrades. The project is a one-time, multifaceted equipment and software boost that will annually benefit more than 2,600 children, adolescents and adults in who need high quality mental health services — and 2,400 individuals who need mental health training and education.

“West Bank has been a proud supporter of the Des Moines Pastoral Counseling Center and the good work they do for many years,” said Geoffrey Gade, West Bank vice president, who also serves on the Center’s board finance committee. “The Center fills a need in our community and helps make Greater Des Moines a better place to live.”

“West Bank’s charitable foundation is proud to be a long-time supporter of the Des Moines Pastoral Counseling Center and its mission to improve the lives of Central Iowans through its comprehensive counseling and education services,” said Jill Thompson Hansen, senior vice president/human resources and executive director, West Bancorporation Foundation. “We value our partnership and always know that our funding, whether to directly benefit those services or to support capital investments that create efficiencies and expand capacity, will be put to good use.”

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Since 1972 the Center has offered unique mind-body-spirit approaches to processing difficult life challenges such as depression, anxiety, trauma, grief, addiction, suicide and other issues. Clients may address their concerns through a variety of techniques at the Center including counseling, psychiatry, spiritual direction, renewal opportunities and educational classes.

“Our clinicians are trained to walk alongside clients through dark times with compassion and skill,” said the Center’s executive director Jim Hayes. “We are tremendously grateful to West Bank for this critical support to our administrative infrastructure that enables us to provide holistic, innovative and effective services.”

“Thank you to West Bank for this generous gift that will benefit the whole community,” said Laurie Betts Sloterdyk, the Center’s director of development. “As a nonprofit organization we are deeply grateful to our steadfast donors who help us make our services not only excellent, but also accessible to the underinsured and uninsured.”

The Center is one of few providers in Greater Des Moines who serves people from all income levels, including those from low-income households who are underinsured or uninsured. This is only possible through generous community support. #

The Des Moines Pastoral Counseling Center is a nonprofit organization with a mission to bring understanding, hope and healing to people of all ages through counseling and education. Annually, the Center serves more than 2,600 individuals through holistic counseling and other clinical services (including nearly 700 children and adolescents). Additionally, the Center serves more than 2,400 individuals annually through education and training services.

Media Release – The Des Moines Pastoral Counseling Center announces staff growth and changes

For Immediate Release

For more information contact Terri Speirs, Director of Community Relations, 515-251-6670 or email tspeirs@dmpcc.org

The Des Moines Pastoral Counseling Center announces staff growth and changes

Laurie Betts Sloterdyk, Director of Development

July 31, 2019, Des Moines, IA – The Des Moines Pastoral Counseling Center (the Center) has hired Laurie Betts Sloterdyk as the director of development, as of July 8, 2019. Terri Mork Speirs has been promoted to director of community relations. The two will collaborate to grow the Center’s donor base, communicate hope and healing, create partnerships, and advance the mission of mental health counseling and education in Central Iowa.

“Joining the Center’s staff offers me a way to be a force for good in a city I love,” said Sloterdyk. “The Center’s commitments to excellence and access are important to me. I can’t wait to help community members channel goodwill in ways that are meaningful to their values.”

“We are excited to move boldly forward with Laurie on staff,” said Jim Hayes, the Center’s executive director. “Laurie’s tremendous competence with events and donor relations is exactly what the Center needs right now to reach our next level of innovation in serving the community. I am grateful to our amazing donor base who make our mission possible, and to our board of directors for their visionary leadership.”

Terri Mork Speirs, Director of Community Relations

“I am thrilled to welcome Laurie to the team,” said Speirs, who has been with the Center since 2015. “For years Laurie has volunteered with our flourishing annual spring luncheon, Women Helping Women, lending her considerable skills for the cause. It is my privilege to join together with such a pro as Laurie to further engage stakeholders for the greater common good.”

Sloterdyk and Speirs bring a combined 47-plus years of nonprofit experience to the Center, an interesting fit to mark the Center’s growth and changes in its 47 years of operation. Founded in 1972, the Center opened its doors with a staff of one counselor. Today, the Center serves a diverse client base through a multidisciplinary staff of 30 clinicians plus a team of steadfast administrators and support staff. The Center was founded on the ideal of providing high quality mental health services to clients from all walks of life, including those from low-income households who are underinsured – a pursuit made possible through a dedicated and generous donor base. #

The Des Moines Pastoral Counseling Center is a nonprofit organization with a mission to bring understanding, hope and healing to people of all ages through counseling and education. Annually, the Center serves more than 2,600 individuals through holistic counseling and other clinical services (including nearly 700 children and adolescents). Additionally, the Center serves more than 2,400 individuals annually through education and training services.

Look for the helpers

click image to read more from Jim’s blog

July 2019

“When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news,” Mister Rogers said to his television neighbors, “my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.’”

Can you tell I recently caught the documentary about Fred Rogers? It was telling that they offered the quote above toward the end of the film—wanting to make sure that was the message left on the viewer’s mind.

I have been doing a series on generosity and gratitude in my reflections this year and the message to “look for the helpers” certainly fits. When Rogers offered this sentiment, he directed his message to children. From a child’s eye, they ought to look for “grown ups” who might help them when challenged with difficult situations.

The Center is fortunate to have “helpers” on many levels. Certainly the clinicians and staff who work with COOL (Children Overcoming Obstacles of Life) who directly serve kids in need of help. As with all of our counselors, the work is challenging but incredibly rewarding as we support clients on the path to healing and renewed hope.

This month I’d like to highlight a different kind of helping: those who work on our development team. We are celebrating a new hire in that department, Laurie Sloterdyk. Laurie comes to us with a wealth of fundraising experience and is well known in the philanthropic community of Des Moines. As the Director of Development, she’ll be working with Terri Speirs, who has been promoted to Director of Community Relations.  Many others on our team, but especially Allison Peet and Paige Kennedy support these efforts. So much of this work is relational and, dare I say, helpful.

As one who has spent years working in development, I firmly believe that this relational work is all about helping. Certainly, our generous donors are helping our clients by sharing with us the precious resources of time, talent and treasure. Without our donors, we could not live out this important mission. What isn’t noticed or discussed as often is how contributing to the Center also helps those who give. Much of our time in relating to donors is listening to their life stories and considering how they want to make a difference with their gifts. Philanthropy is really about discerning purpose and directing that energy into mutually beneficial efforts. Generosity and gratitude are all about building community and experiencing the fullness of life. Keep this in mind should you receive a call from Terri, Laurie or me.

I am grateful to be surrounded by such a talented staff and supporters who help—and are helped—by sharing in our mission of hope and healing.

Jim

Media Release – The Des Moines Pastoral Counseling Center is awarded $45,000 from Prairie Meadows

For Immediate Release

For more information contact
Terri Speirs, Director of Community Relations
515 – 251-6670 or email tspeirs@dmpcc.org

The Des Moines Pastoral Counseling Center is awarded $45,000 from Prairie Meadows for technology updates and innovation

July 9, 2019, Des Moines, IA – The Des Moines Pastoral Counseling Center (the Center) has been awarded a $45,000 Prairie Meadows Community Betterment grant. Funding will provide critical medical technology upgrades for the Center’s 30-clinician-strong practice to maintain HIPAA compliance and ensure data security. Funds will also launch a new initiative at the Center, integrating digital tablets to assess therapeutic metrics and increase client satisfaction. The project is expected to be completed in early 2020.

James E. Hayes, D. Min., M. Div., Executive Director, Des Moines Pastoral Counseling Center

“Thank you to Prairie Meadows for this tremendous boost for our clients and counselors,” said Jim Hayes, the Center’s Executive Director. “Thousands of individuals in Central Iowa will benefit from this generosity.”

Every single person in Iowa is affected by mental health issues. Whether episodic depression, complex trauma or chronic anxiety – psychological concerns are serious and can be life threatening. The needs impact families, businesses, schools and our entire community. However Iowa ranks among the lowest in the nation for providing adequate access to mental health services.

People from all walks of life choose the Center to help manage their mental health needs, although the Center is one of the few metro providers serving individuals who are uninsured or underinsured. As a nonprofit organization, 100 percent of the Center’s board and staff donate resources to support the Center’s mission.

Hayes continued: “The needs in Iowa are great and yet there is hope. I am so proud of the excellence that our clinicians bring on a daily basis. Our long-standing partnership with Prairie Meadows further strengthens our ability to serve the community with innovation and integrity.”

“At Prairie Meadows, we are dedicated to transforming the lives of those living in Central Iowa. We are proud and excited to support this and many other projects in our community,” said Julie Stewart, Prairie Meadows’ Director of Community Relations.

To date, Prairie Meadows has given $1.8 billion to the state of Iowa, with more than $803 million remaining right here in Polk County.

Founded in 1972, the Des Moines Pastoral Counseling Center is a nonprofit organization with a mission to bring understanding, hope and healing to people of all ages through counseling and education. The Center serves more than 2,600 individuals annually through holistic counseling and other clinical services (including nearly 700 children and adolescents). Additionally, the Center serves more than 2,400 individuals through education and training services. #

Breakout workshop topics and presenters

Morning breakout option 1: Examination of male psychology through superhero representations

Presenter: Dr. Mark Poeppe, Psy.D. / Licensed Psychologist / Des Moines Pastoral Counseling Center

Dr. Mark Poeppe, Psy.D., will be presenting on an examination of male psychology through an inspection of superhero representations in popular media.

Dr. Mark Poeppe

Mark Poeppe, Psy.D., is a licensed psychologist. Mark received his Bachelor’s of Science from the University of Iowa and his Master’s of Science and Doctorate of Clinical Psychology from the Wisconsin School of Professional Psychology. Mark provides psychotherapy to children, adolescents, and adults. He has special interest in the treatment of depression, anxiety, other mood-related difficulties, life transitions, chronic pain or illness, OCD, high-functioning Autism Spectrum Disorder, ADHD, severe and persistent mental illness, and working with adolescents and young adults. Mark approaches treatment through a multitheoretical lens that primarily incorporates cognitive-behavior therapy, dialectical behavior therapy, motivational interviewing and mindfulness techniques. In addition to therapy, Mark provides psychological assessment for all ages and neuropsychological assessment for adolescents, adults, and older adults.

Morning breakout option 2: topic tba

Presenter: Ken L. Cheyne, M.D. / Pediatrician / Blank Children’s Adolescent Clinic

Dr. Ken Cheyne

Afternoon breakout option 1: Postpartum mental health issues as they pertain to men

Presenter: Christine Young, L.I.S.W. P.M.H.-C. / Outpatient Mental Health Therapist / Broadlawns Medical Center

Christine will be presenting on postpartum mental health issues as they pertain to men, both directly, and as partners to women who experience postpartum issues.

Christine Young, LISW, PMH-C

Christine Young, LISW, PMH-C earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology from Augustana College and a Masters of Social Work degree from Saint Ambrose University. She is a Licensed Independent Social Worker. Prior to joining Broadlawns she worked with adults at a Mental Health Clinic in Urbandale and with children/adolescents in an urban school setting.  She specializes in Eye Motion Desensitization Reprocessing (EMDR) therapy, Interpersonal Therapy, Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy, Family Therapy, Postpartum Depression, Anxiety, OCD and Mindfulness.

 

 

Afternoon breakout option 2: Understanding pain as it relates to men’s mental and physical health

Presenter: Nick Maiers, P.T., D.P.T., CSMT, TPS 

Dr. Nick Maiers

Dr. Nick Maiers is Assistant Professor, Doctor of Physical Therapy Program at Des Moines University.