Clinical Staff for Children and Adolescents/C.O.O.L.

How to make an appointment

Carol Leonard, Intake Coordinator

Your first step in making an appointment is to consult with Carol Leonard, our fabulous intake coordinator. Carol, or another trained staff member, will ask you a few questions to determine a good fit for you and one of our expert clinicians.

To contact Carol, please email or telephone: 515-274-4006, ext. 108.

Douglas Aupperle, Ph.D.

Doug Aupperle is a licensed psychologist. He received his B.A. in psychology from Creighton University in Omaha, and his M.A. and Ph.D. in clinical child psychology from DePaul University in Chicago.  Doug provides psychotherapy and psychological assessment/testing to children and adolescents. He has special interests in the areas of anxiety, attention disorders, Bowen Family Systems therapy, child sexual abuse, E.M.D.R. (eye movement desensitization and reprocessing), working with LGBT youth and parents, stress and coping in children, and trauma. He is a member of the EMDR International Association

Richard H. Douglass, L.I.S.W.

Richard Douglass is a licensed independent social worker. He holds a master of social work degree from the University of Iowa. Richard provides counseling to couples and to individuals, both adults and adolescents. He has a special interest in ADHD, depression, anxiety, and behavioral problems.


Rhonda Haler, M.S.

Rhonda is a licensed psychologist with an M.S. in psychology from Drake University. She brings more than 30 years of clinical experience. Rhonda provides individual and family therapy to children, adolescents and young adults. Her area of treatment interest include depression and mood issues, anxiety, trauma, attachment and adoption issues, parenting issues, dissociative disorders and EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing).

Kelli Hill, Ph.D.

Kelli Hill, a licensed child psychologist, is the Center’s Director of Clinical Services for children and adult clinical staff. She holds a doctoral degree in clinical psychology with a specialty in child and family from Wayne State University. Kelli provides therapy to toddlers through adolescents, as well as parents and families. She has a special interest in psychological assessment, EMDR, depression, anxiety, trauma, attachment and behavior problems.

Geoffrey Hills, D.O.

Geoffrey Hills, DO is a psychiatrist who attended medical school at Des Moines University and residency at the University of Wisconsin Madison.  His practice includes treatment of adolescents and adults with mood problems, anxiety and thought disorders.  He has particular interest and experience working with the LGBT community and persons living with HIV. Prior to attending medical school, Geoffrey received a B.A. in music at Vassar College and worked for several years as a violinist, composer, music engraver and editor in New York City.  He is an unapologetic science fiction and fantasy geek.

Alicia Krpan, t.L.M.H.C.

Alicia Kpran is a bilingual mental health counselor. She provides counseling to children, adolescents and adults with diverse emotional concerns. Her areas of interest are centered toward multicultural barriers such as intergenerational conflict, acculturation, anxiety, depression, life transitions, social skills and other key aspects that a client’s culture, identity, ethnicity, race, gender brings to the counseling process. Alicia (a LEE see a) received her B.S. in Psychology from Universidad Pontificia Bolivariana in Colombia and her Masters in Counseling Psychology from the University of Calgary in Canada. She successfully completed her graduate practicum year at the Des Moines Pastoral Counseling Center.

Susan Koehler, P.A.-C.

Susan Koehler, P.A.-C, brings almost 20 years of experience as a psychiatry physician assistant.  Susan is a graduate of Des Moines University and the University of Minnesota.  She has been awarded the NCCPA Certificate of Added Qualifications in Psychiatry.  Susan’s general psychiatry practice includes treatment of children, adolescents, and adults with mood disorders such as depression and bipolar disorder, anxiety disorders, attention disorders, and thought disorders.  She sees male and female patients of all ages and has a special interest in women’s health psychiatry. An initial appointment with Susan will include a thorough evaluation and specific treatment recommendations. Follow-up appointments will monitor for therapeutic response and medication side effects, with goals of symptom remission, continued stability, and relapse prevention.

Greg Lengel, Ph.D.

Greg Lengel is a Post-Doctoral Clinical Psychology Fellow. He received his Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from Oklahoma State University. Greg provides psychotherapy to adults and adolescents, as well as psychological and neuropsychological testing for all ages. He utilizes a collaborative approach that is firmly rooted in the integration of evidence-based practices. Greg has special interest in interventions for depressive disorders, anxiety disorders, nonsuicidal self-injury, suicide prevention, emotion dysregulation, personality disorders, and eating disorders. In addition to his position at the Des Moines Pastoral Counseling Center, Greg is an Assistant Professor of Psychology at Drake University, and he is a member of the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies, the International Society for the Study of Self-Injury, and several other professional organizations.

Alison Li, L.I.S.W.

Alison Li, L.I.S.W., is a licensed independent social worker and holds a Master of Social Work degree from the University of Michigan. Alison provides therapy for adults, adolescents, children and families.  She specializes in treating anxiety and mood disorders (including depressive disorders, generalized anxiety disorder, social phobia, and obsessive-compulsive disorder), autism spectrum disorders and adjustment disorders.  Alison also has interest in working with people experiencing life transition issues, including those related to school, relationship and family stressors, as well as sexual and gender identity.  Alison is a member of the National Association of Social Workers.  When not at work, she can be found catering to the needs of a very cute but demanding French bulldog named MacGyver.

Sarah McElhaney, L.M.F.T.

Sarah McElhaney is a licensed marriage and family therapist. She received B.A. degrees in psychology and family services from the University of Northern Iowa, and a M.S. degree in human development from Virginia Tech (COAMFTE accredited). Sarah provides therapy to children and adolescents, as well as parents, families and couples. Her areas of treatment interest include anxiety and depressive disorders, child behavioral issues, parenting and relational issues, self-image, social skills, and couples issues.

Mark Poeppe, Psy.D.

Mark Poeppe is a Post-Doctoral Clinical Psychology Fellow. 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.

Elaina Riley, L.I.S.W.

Elaina Riley is a licensed independent social worker. She holds bachelor of science in psychology and master of social work degrees from the University of Iowa. Elaina provides counseling to children, adolescents, and adults. She has a special interest in trauma, dissociative disorders, and attachment disorders.


Shannon Welch-Groves, Psy.D.

Shannon Welch-Groves is a licensed psychologist. Shannon received her B.A. in psychology from Creighton University, her M.A. in community counseling from the University of Nebraska, and her doctoral degree in counseling psychology from the University of Northern Colorado. Shannon provides counseling to children, adolescents, and adults. She has a special interest in the treatment of mood and anxiety disorders, parenting issues, child behavior problems, and individuals experiencing life transitions.

Scott Young, Ph.D.

Scott Young, Psychological Testing Coordinator at the Center, is a licensed psychologist. He earned his Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology at Iowa State University. Scott provides individual, couples, family, and group counseling for clients across the lifespan. He uses a multitheoretical psychotherapy approach to work with a wide variety of presenting concerns, including: stress and adjustment issues, career transitions, existential or spiritual concerns, mood problems, ADHD, anxiety, health/medical issues, anger or behavioral problems, and severe or persistent mental illness. Scott also provides psychological testing for all ages, and neuropsychological testing for adolescents, adults, and older adults. Scott provides organizational consultation to businesses and enjoys providing clinically-focused teaching, consultation, and supervision.