outpatient MENTAL HEALTH THERAPISTS

Call (515) 557-2256 to speak with Hope Hall staff or to schedule an appointment. YESS' main line is also available any time at (515) 282-9377.



 

Sara Swansen, Ph.D.

Dr. Swansen enjoys working with children and families to help them increase their resiliency as they navigate the challenges of childhood and adolescence.  As the Chief Behavioral Health Officer, Dr. Swansen oversees all of YESS’ clinical services, which includes counseling services for youth in shelter as well as outpatient mental health services for youth in the community.

Dr. Swansen received her Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology from Iowa State University. She worked in the Des Moines area as a Child Psychologist serving children and families in an outpatient clinical setting for 12 years prior to joining the team at YESS in 2009.

Areas of expertise: Adolescent mental health, trauma-informed care, mood disorders, behavioral concerns, and teaching parenting skills

   

 

Tina Leaf, LISW

Tina is awesome, fun, and has comfy chairs. As the Counseling Services Director at YESS, Tina oversees the home skill-building services that counselors provide to children and their families. She also provides therapy to individuals ranging in age from preschool to adulthood. Tina helps children experiencing a variety of challenges including childhood trauma, grief and loss, anxiety, depression, and ADHD.

Tina is a Licensed Independent Social Worker who received her Master’s Degree in Social Work from the University of Northern Iowa in 2011. She has received specialized training in trauma-focused cognitive behavioral therapy, dialectal behavior therapy, and mindfulness.

Areas of expertise: Play-based therapy, attachment/trauma focused therapy, and cognitive behavioral therapy

 

 

Jacob Stastny, LISW

Jacob believes that even the largest obstacles can be conquered through empathetic engagement, an open mind, and a little bit of goofiness. As a Mental Health Clinician at YESS, Jacob provides therapy to adults, kids of all ages, and families. He utilizes the strengths of his clients to help them overcome a variety of challenges.

Jacob received both his Bachelor and Master's of Social Work degrees from the University of Iowa with an emphasis in Family Centered Theory and Practice. He joined Team YESS in 2017.

Areas of expertise: trauma-focused therapy, EMDR, court involved adolescents, mood disorders

Alex Piedras, LMHC-T

Alex strives to understand the challenges that individuals and families face and help them find their own solutions. As a part time Mental Health Clinician, he assists each person in recognizing his/her strengths and helps them manage their feelings and thoughts.

Alex received his Master’s Degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Drake University.  He enjoys working with individuals and families struggling to adjust to new situations, especially recent immigrants, as they face issues of anxiety, fear, anger, and sadness.  Alex has worked with several youth on probation. Alex enjoys his time off by spending time with his family and helping the ever-growing Latino community.

Areas of expertise: Juveniles on probation, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Adlerian Therapy, and family therapy

 

 

 

Alli Conrad, LMSW

Alli uses her love of play and a strengths-based perspective to engage with her clients and assist them through the therapy process. As a Mental Health Clinician at YESS, Alli provides therapy to children of all ages, adults, and families and for a variety of situations including trauma, anxiety, depression, and ADHD. She especially enjoys utilizing play-based interventions with youth under the age of 10. Alli is trained in Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR).

Alli received her Master's of Social Work from the University of Northern Iowa with an emphasis in trauma-informed care interventions. Alli has specialized in training in trauma and play-based interventions. She previously worked at YESS in the Blumenthal Crisis Nursery before rejoining Team YESS in 2018.

Areas of expertise: Play-based therapy, trauma-focused therapy, EMDR, mental health and behavioral symptoms related to trauma.

 

 
 

Macy McKendree, LMSW

Macy uses empathy, humor, and some silliness to connect with clients as they work together in the therapy process. Using a strengths perspective, Macy works with clients to understand how their experiences shape them while working to overcome life’s challenges.  As a Mental Health Clinician, she enjoys working with kids of all ages, adults, and families. In her free time, Macy can be found cooking, crocheting, and binge watching almost any show with a laugh track. 

Macy received her Master’s Degree in Social Work from the University of Iowa in 2019. Macy has training in trauma informed care. She joined Team YESS in 2017.

Areas of expertise: Play-based therapy, trauma-focused therapy, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Dialectical Behavior Therapy

   

 

  

 

Melissa Reyerson-Slifer, LMSW

Melissa aims to empower both children and adults in order for them to recognize their inherent potential, harness their individual strengths, and overcome life's challenges. Melissa works with clients using a variety of evidence-based interventions including EMDR, mindfulness, trauma-informed yoga, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), and art interventions. As a mental health clinician at YESS, Melissa provides therapy to children, adults, couples, and families.

Melissa received her Master's Degree in Social Work from the University of Iowa with an emphasis in Family Centered Theory and Practice. Melissa has worked in a variety of settings in the mental health field for over 9 years. She joined Team YESS in 2018. Melissa has received training in EMDR, art-based interventions, and couples counseling. 

Areas of expertise: trauma, anxiety disorders, mood disorders, and life transitions

 

 

 

Jasmin Higgins, LMSW

Jasmin appreciates the opportunity to address all with openness, encouragement, compassion, and genuine connectedness. Jasmin works with clients to identify their resilience and discover tools that can assist them in living their best life! Jasmin enjoys working with adolescents, teens, and young adults to manage life’s ups and downs. so, let’s chat about it!

Jasmin received her Masters of Social Work from Our Lady of the Lake University with an emphasis on Hispanic communities and families in 2019. She has worked with individuals in the Des Moines community in areas of self-sufficiency, sexual assault, and violent crime debriefing. In her spare time when she is not spending time with her own kiddos, she can be found volunteering with various agencies in the Des Moines community.

Areas of expertise: culturally sensitive approach to anxiety-related disorders, depression, and adjustment-related concerns.

   

 

In-home skill-based Counselors (BHIS)

 

  

 

   

 Tanner Whipple

Tanner finds fulfillment in seeing healthy changes in attitudes and behaviors among his clients. As a Behavioral Health Intervention Specialist at YESS, Tanner works with youth and their families to provide valuable life skills and develop positive habits. He has experience working with diverse populations and children with a variety of mental health challenges.

Tanner received his Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from Central College. He has worked with children and families to provide behavioral health intervention services since 2010 and joined the team at YESS in 2014.

 

 

 

Robin Lacquement

Robin has a passion for helping children and adolescents overcome their struggles with new coping and communication skills. As a Behavioral Health Intervention Specialist at YESS, Robin works with youth and their families to provide new skills and reach their goals through individual and family services. She works with youth to build positive relationships and to develop healthy coping skills.

Robin received her Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work from University of Northern Iowa. She has been working with adolescents and families since 2014 and joined Team YESS in August 2017.

 

 

   

 

Madde Burma

Madde has a passion for advocating for children and helping them develop healthy coping mechanisms to become successful in their future. Before becoming a Behavioral Health Intervention Specialist, Madde worked as a Resident Advisor for Team YESS. Bringing in her skills from working in the shelter, Madde will help children and families develop healthy relationships through skill learning and modeling. Madde’s background is with adolescents coping with mental illnesses like anxiety, depression, PTSD, and complex trauma.

Madde received her Bachelor’s Degree in Neuroscience from Wartburg College. She has been working with children and families since 2015 and joined Team YESS in June 2017.

 

   

 

Abbey Tiecke

Abbey strives to engage with her clients in an efficient, empowering and fun way. As a Behavioral Health Intervention Specialist, Abbey works with families and children to help find success and positivity in each and every day through reinforcement of coping skills and relationship building.

 Abbey joined Team YESS as a Resident Advisor before switching to BHIS. She received her bachelors degree in Interdepartmental Studies from the University of Iowa. She has worked with children and families since 2015 and joined Team YESS in 2017.