In life, we sometimes never know if the choices we make can benefit us or not. Sometimes, the choices that seem wise end up affecting us negatively. Other times, choices that seem sporadic may be able to help us. While we can never truly figure out the choices in life, a counselor based in Ames can help make it clearer. 

Ames’s motto is “Smart Choice.” You want to make the smartest choices in life, and while the choices you make may not be the best at times, you can be able to learn from your mistakes and make a smarter choice in the future. 

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Dr. Edgar Villarreal

Offering therapy in IA
License: PhD
Stress, AnxietyTrauma and abuseGriefSelf esteem
7 years of experience

Are parts of your life weighing you down? Do you sometimes feel powerless against your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors? Have events in your life left you searching for answers and yearning for peace? As your counselor I will help you explore your concerns and regain a sense of balance and control over your life. Together we gain an understanding of these issues and create a plan to address them. You will gain insight and the necessary skills to tackle both current and future challenges. Lets work together to make meaningful changes so you can live a more fulfilling life. Services in Spanish are also available. It takes courage to seek help and support. It takes work to live a fulfilling and happier life and to take the initial steps towards meaningful change. If you are ready to take that step I am here to support and empower you. I look forward to working with you!

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Denise Stutes

Offering therapy in IA
License: LISW
Stress, AnxietyRelationship issuesTrauma and abuseGriefDepression
5 years of experience

Hello, I am a licensed therapist in Iowa. I have over 23 years of experience in the mental health field with the past 5 years as a therapist. Some of my background includes working in; community settings, hospitals, domestic violence shelters and in corrections. I have worked with a wide variety of individuals who have suffered from all kinds of problematic areas in their life including severe physical and mental trauma. I enjoy helping others and I love to see people grow and succeed in their journey of life. My counseling style is compassionate, direct, interactive and sometimes I like to add some humor. I also like to empower others. When you see your own strengths that is when growth takes place. My approach is a combination of family systems, cognitive behavioral, person centered and mindfulness. This is a judgement free zone. I am on your side. I believe we all are unique in our own ways. You are enough just the way you are. It takes courage to reach out and take the first steps towards a change. I am here to support and empower you. I look forward working with you and thank you for the opportunity to do so.

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Jennifer Dougherty

Offering therapy in IA
License: MA, LMHC,NCC, CCTP
Stress, AnxietyRelationship issuesTrauma and abuseGriefDepression
16 years of experience

Welcome! I am a Licensed Mental Health Counselor (LMHC) in the state of Iowa with 15 years of experience. I have worked with clients with a wide range of concerns including depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, personality disorders, communication issues, post-traumatic stress disorder, trauma, social phobias, chronic health issues including chronic pain, self-esteem, gender dysphoria, and marital difficulties. I am board certified as a National Certified Counselor (NCC) and also a Certified Clinical Trauma Professional (CCTP). My therapy style is warm, welcoming, and encouraging, and I attempt to meet clients where they currently are in their life. I have endeavored to educate myself on issues faced by people who are different than me so I can work with a wide variety of populations. My approach utilizes a combination of client-centered, cognitive behavioral, and solution-focused therapy. Ultimately, my goal is to help you get where you want to be, and I will tailor my approach to help you achieve your goals. Taking the first step towards improving your mental health is very brave, and I applaud you for trying it out! I am looking forward to working with you as you travel on this path towards improving your life! I have daytime, evening, and weekend appointments available on a regular basis.

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Marla Hummel

Offering therapy in IA
License: MS,LMHC,CEAP
Stress, AnxietyRelationship issuesGriefSelf esteemDepression
3 years of experience

My name is Marla Hummel. I graduated with a Bachelors in Psychology from the University of Houston and a Masters in Counseling from Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa. I use cognitive behavioral therapy, solution focused therapy, client-centered, and motivational interviewing. I have experience working with individuals struggling with negative self-talk, low self-esteem, depression, mood instability, substance use, irrational thought processes, anxiety, history of trauma, identity development, attachment issues, grief and loss, elder care issues and concerns in dealing with aging parents. I have extensive experience working with the military and their family members and have been a therapist for over 33 years. Included in my experience as a therapist is working with couples and unhealthy relationship dynamics.

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Sara Irwin

Offering therapy in IA
License: MS,LMHP,LADC
Stress, AnxietyAddictionsRelationship issuesTrauma and abuseDepression
14 years of experience

"There is hope, even when your brain tells you there isn't" Hello! I am glad you are here and I look forward to working with you. I am a licensed mental health and addiction therapist in with over 10 years of experience in the field. I graduated from Creighton University in 2008 with a Master's degree in Community Counseling. I have worked with all ages in clinic setting and private practice on various issues including substance abuse, anxiety, trauma, depression, relationship issues, grief, parenting struggles, stress management, and poor impulse control. In addition, I am also trained as a certified Clinical Trauma Professional. My therapeutic style is based on being genuine and understanding with clients. I believe it is essential to actively listen and effectively problem solve with my clients. My therapeutic foundation is a mix of cognitive-behavioral, humanistic, and rational-emotive theories. There are so many benefits from seeking out therapy. It can be the beginning of a powerful change for a person's life. I enjoy helping people reach their goals or resolve what is bothering them. I encourage you to start today to change your life for the better by allowing me to help your through your journey. When I am not working, I stay busy with my family. I have two little guys, so I am always on the go with these two. I also love running, traveling, reading, learning new things, and being outdoors. I am here to help you get unstuck and live your best life!

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Laci Struble

Offering therapy in IA
License: LMHC
Stress, AnxietyAnger managementSelf esteem
6 years of experience

I am a mental health counselor licensed in Iowa with 5 years of experience working as a therapist with both youth and adults. I have experience working with clients who present with a variety of concerns including depression, anxiety, conduct-related concerns, ADHD, attachment concerns, self-esteem issues, trauma, and serious mental health diagnoses. My therapy style is inviting and genuine. I believe everyone deserves to be treated with respect, compassion, unconditional positive regard, and sensitivity. My approach in integrative, meaning I use a variety of therapeutic approaches including cognitive-behavioral, dialectical-behavioral, and client-centered therapy and tailor our sessions based on your unique and specific needs. Seeking therapy can be difficult, but it is a brave and courageous step towards improving your mental health by taking these first steps to a creating a more fulfilling life experience. I am here to guide and support you on that journey. I am looking forward to working with you!

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Candace Delis

Offering therapy in IA
License: LPC
Stress, AnxietyRelationship issuesFamily conflictsBipolar disorderDepression
6 years of experience

I am a Licensed Professional Counselor with a Master of Arts in Community Counseling from Lakeland University and a Bachelor of Science in Sociology from the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point. I work to create a safe, comfortable and accepting environment for my clients. I have previously worked in crisis intervention as well as group therapy settings and like to focus on providing positive support for my clients. I've been told I'm not the "typical" therapist type - I have tattoos and a pretty progressive viewpoint, and I also work really hard to be relatable to my clients. I'm married and have an 18 year old stepson. The rest of my family is made up of 3 rescue dogs, 3 adopted cats, and we recently reached what I call the "livestock level" of quarantine and got chickens and goats. It's a pretty full house. I have worked with adolescents, adults, and couples. I have worked with a wide range of issues, but some of my areas of specialization include: emotional regulation (anger, anxiety), depression, self-esteem building, bipolar disorder, PTSD, grief and loss, assertiveness building, marital issues and relationship building skills. I also have experience with end of life care. My counseling style is interactive, and I believe in treating people as individuals and not labeling them with their mental health issues. You are not your illness, it is only a small part of who you are. I believe in treating people with the same respect, sensitivity, and compassion as I would like to be treated. My approach combines cognitive-behavioral, client-centered, and solution focused counseling. I will do my best to tailor our conversations and treatment plan to meet your unique and specific needs. It takes courage to seek support and take steps towards making a change. Life can throw us curveballs and unexpected circumstances can arise with even the best of planning. If you are ready to take that step I am here to support you and help you find the tools that will help you succeed. I look forward to working with you! My current hours are (all are CST): Mondays 9am-8pm Tuesdays 8am-8pm Wednesdays 8am-8pm Thursdays 8am-8pm Fridays 8am-8pm Saturdays 8am-5pm (These are my Winter hours and will change at the end of May)

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Virginia Jones

Offering therapy in IA
License: LCSW-PIP
Stress, AnxietyAddictionsTrauma and abuseGriefDepression
10 years of experience

Hello! My name is Virginia Jones, I am a licensed mental health counselor in South Dakota and Iowa. My passion is helping others to live a life that is fully satisfying. I have worked with clients from 4 to 90 years of age, with a wide range of concerns including anxiety, depression, life stage, trauma, and addiction issues - to name a few. I have a background in complex trauma therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, dialectical behavior therapy, person-centered therapy, and have gained a deep appreciation for all therapy modalities. I believe in helping clients by first establishing a caring relationship through positive regard and trust. Past clients say that I am warm and approachable. I have had struggles and know it can be difficult to reach out for help. Let’s work together and see if we are a good fit. I am here to support and empower you.

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Monica Meier

Offering therapy in IA
Stress, AnxietyRelationship issuesTrauma and abuseGriefAnger management
12 years of experience

I am licensed in Iowa with 12 years of professional work experience. I have experience in helping clients with stress and anxiety, relationship issues, trauma and abuse, & coping with grief and loss. I work with my clients to create an open and safe environment where thoughts and feelings can be shared without fear of judgment. Taking the first step to seeking a more fulfilling and happier life takes courage. I am here to support you in that process.

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Debra Northcutt

Offering therapy in IA
Stress, AnxietyTrauma and abuseParenting issuesSelf esteemDepression
3 years of experience

I am licensed in Iowa with 3 years of professional work experience. I have experience in helping clients with stress and anxiety, trauma and abuse, parenting issues, & motivation, self esteem, and confidence. I work with my clients to create an open and safe environment where thoughts and feelings can be shared without fear of judgment. Taking the first step to seeking a more fulfilling and happier life takes courage. I am here to support you in that process.

How to find counseling in Ames

Finding the best therapist close by in Ames can feel challenging, but know that once you narrow your search for a counselor serving your area, you can find a therapist in your city that is accepting new clients and fits your goals. Whether you're struggling with depression, anxiety, marriage, family issues, or other emotional challenges, feel proud that you have begun your search to find the mental health care services that work best for you in order to begin your personal journey towards emotional healing.

Understanding the type of therapy you'd like to search for is crucial before finding a therapist or psychologist in Ames. Perhaps you're interested in narrowing your search for a psychotherapist that can offer psychodynamic, cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), talk therapy, provide group therapy, marriage and family therapy for individuals or couples, or couples therapy. Each type of therapy can offer various benefits and address or treat different disorders. If you're still unsure or are new to counseling in Ames, feel free to contact the provider via email to find out which methods they practice.

It is also important to understand that mental health professionals in the United States are accredited to provide care, helping individuals and couples, with a variety of licenses. These include licensed marriage and family therapist (LMFT), licensed clinical social worker (LCSW), and clinical psychologist or doctor of psychology (PsyD). Regardless of their licensure, they are trained to treat individuals and couples counseling, and sometimes children, in any type of therapy. Find a therapist under any of these distinctions and know that the sessions they offer can provide a safe place to heal.

Mental health professionals working through their own in- person therapy practice in Ames or online may assist clients in improving healthy relationships, communication skills, working through life transitions, managing a mood disorder, improving coping skills, or change in negative thinking patterns. They may also provide a safe place and validation for clients experiencing emotional pain. Verified providers can provide licensed marriage and couples therapy, tailor to individual needs, and create a therapeutic relationship as a National Certified Counselor.

There are all kinds of therapists working with clients today across the United States and in the greater Ames area in different types of therapy, including:

  • CBT
  • DBT
  • Substance use therapy
  • Couples therapy

When you're ready to start your search and find therapists, have in mind what type of therapy you'd like your provider to be most experienced with and choose an experienced provider with a practice located near you in the city of Ames, elsewhere in Story, or in the greater state of Iowa.

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

Some other commonly asked questions on therapy with a licensed counselor and BetterHelp serving the Ames area can be found below:

How does the cost of in-person counseling compare to the cost of BetterHelp with a licensed Ames therapist?

The average price of an in-person therapy session in the US is $100 to $200 per hour. These prices may be higher in Ames due to a higher cost of living. The price also depends on the type of provider you are looking for. See the following average prices for various mental health providers without insurance:

  • Counseling with a psychiatrist: $150-$500
  • Counseling with therapists: $100-300
  • Therapy with a psychologist: $100

While many psychologists in Ames may not take health insurance, some in the state of Iowa may work on a sliding scale, meaning they'll factor in your income and charge what you can afford per session. With BetterHelp or clinicians throughout the state of Iowa you can expect significantly more affordable options, with sessions ranging from $65 to $100 per week (billed every four weeks).

How is a licensed therapist on this online therapy platform verified?

Therapists in Ames, Iowa working on BetterHelp are licensed, trained, experienced, and accredited as a doctor of psychology (PhD / PsyD), licensed marriage and family therapists (LMFT), licensed clinical social worker (LCSW / LICSW), or licensed professional counselors (LPC). All of these psychology clinicians have a Masters Degree or a Doctorate Degree in their field of psychology sciences, and follow the APA Code of Ethics. They have been qualified and certified by their state's professional board after successfully completing the necessary education, exams, training and practice with a patient, and extensive experience in a healthcare clinic or treatment centers, in order to become a mental health provider. While their lived experience, expertise, careers, and background vary, they all possess at least 3 years and 1,000 hours of hands-on experience with adult and sometimes teen patients, and have the necessary therapist credentials to provide a safe space for long lasting emotional healing in therapy. 

Please note BetterHelp does not offer or provide care from psychiatrists to prescribe a drug as treatment, or perform psychological assessments.

How does working with a counselor in BetterHelp online therapy sessions work?

BetterHelp clinicians treat clients online across the United States (individuals and couples) through life transitions, inner child exploration, long term depression or anxiety, and more. An online mental health professional, including the therapists in Ames above, can work with young adults, children, adolescents, and adults virtually as an accredited licensed clinical social worker (LCSW) or licensed marriage and family therapist (LMFT). You do not have to commute to a an office as a psychotherapy client.

Through BetterHelp therapy, you can partake in video, phone, or live chat therapy sessions with your licensed therapist. You can work through various symptoms, use the in app journaling feature, and receive worksheets. You'll also find support groups or group therapy lead by a therapist in Ames helping individuals on topics including managing life transitions, symptoms affecting sexual health, behavioral health, coping skills for anxiety or depression, trauma, stress, marriage counseling, and more. 

What mental health issues can psychotherapy address?

BetterHelp's verified Ames therapists specialize and have clinical experience in a wide range of mental health issues and modalities, helping clients to feel better and improve their lives every day. See below for examples.

Specialties on BetterHelp include:

You may also be struggling with relationship problems that could be addressed in couples therapy or with a sex therapist. In that case, you may choose to work with one of BetterHelp's experienced cognitive-behavioral therapists or licensed marriage family therapists (LMFT) who work with clients in relationships. You can also try a Ames therapy provider through BetterHelp's sister platform, ReGain, which is dedicated to couples and spouses worldwide. 

How do I know if online counseling is right for my family?

One of the potentially rewarding aspects of working with a therapist is the validation and active listening they can provide. Your friends and loved ones may also be available to listen, but you may feel that they may lack the skills to provide objective guidance. Counselors are trained to respond to various concerns, symptoms, and mental health conditions.

A psychologist in your city can support you toward a healthier emotional state, regardless of your mental health, life concerns, or healing needs. While supporting individuals in developing healthier habits, another good benefit of therapy is having an understanding, safe space with a non-judgmental party who can support you through challenging experiences.

Many people have sensitive topics that they may feel ashamed to discuss with their friends or partner. A Ames therapist can help you confront these concerns and open up through unique methods of support. There are also many types of therapy, such as art therapy, where you may find you can express yourself through creativity instead of words.

With a lot of people in IA, providers may be booked out with clients. Through the list of profiles above and others within BetterHelp's team, you may be able to find a psychologist within 24 to 48 hours. If you're searching to find a a nearby psychotherapist close to 50011 or the surrounding zip codes, consider others available through the BetterHelp site. No matter if you are seeking help in your area or beyond, online therapy can be a great option.

How should I prepare for my first therapy session with a Ames counselor?

Before seeing your therapist, prep for your session by reading to understand the therapy process. You might write a list of questions you want to ask your psychotherapist, any emotional pain you may feel, and the ways in which you hope to improve. When you attend your session, let them know if you have any concerns about therapy or feel unsure about what to talk about. They may help guide you with open-ended therapeutic questions. The first session will often serve as an intake to get to know you as a person and learn why you're attending therapy.

Should I find a therapist or psychologist if I feel fine? 

Some simply don't feel the need to see a psychologist. However, some people may avoid attending therapy due to stigma or preconceived notions of what therapy entails. Although psychologists often support people with mental health conditions, you do not need a diagnosis or condition to attend therapy. You can discuss grief, relationship concerns, stress, or life changes and ask for general feedback and advice. A Ames licensed clinical social worker may help you gain power over your life and emotions while you navigate day-to-day experiences.

Gaining a new perspective on yourself through various therapies might allow you to improve your self-esteem, work through relationships, and gain a better sense of your mental health goals. The success you may find through therapy can be dependent on your process.

People may also attend therapy for specific motives, such as bullying, an autism diagnosis, a desire to learn mindfulness meditation, personality concerns, trouble with office workers, specific phobias, and many other principles.

Is mental health care and therapy worth it? 

Therapy is effective and has the power to change individuals' lives. Each client is at a different stage of their emotional healing journey in life, as each human can be unique in their personality, expression, skills, and goals. A psychologist can target various symptoms, experiences, and personalities to help you feel your best and put you on the path to healing. Unlike advice from a friend, family, or non-professional, a mental health professional has an understanding of various disorders like ADHD and depression with many hours of experience in treating adults in their practice. For this reason, seeing an evidence based psychologist in Ames, Iowa can be worth it. Over 41 million adults in the US attend therapy services each year, showing it's a popular option and is proven to be effective.

Ames has many clinicians who practice person or client-centered individual therapy in-person and through online therapy to assist clients in their healing journey. If you opt into online therapy, you might also be able to meet with providers all over the United States and change therapists easily at any time. Many people struggling with anxiety and depression, substance abuse, body image issues, and more find therapists that are a good fit for them, feel supported, and gain further insight into their lives through internet-based therapy.

Do therapists judge you in therapy sessions?

The boundaries between you and a therapist are in place to help you and them regarding ethical concerns. Mental health professionals are held by ethical standards through the American Psychological Association (APA) and are not allowed to judge or harm their clients. If you are concerned about sharing details about yourself, feel free to withhold personal information. Their job in the therapeutic relationship is to create a safe place, help you gain a deeper understanding of your mental health, and support you. You might consider changing counselors if you don't feel safe or respected.

Stay up to date with the leading online counseling platform

To stay up to date with BetterHelp's initiatives through their social channels, you can follow them on PinterestLinkedInInstagramTwitter, and Facebook. For mental health tips, check out the BetterHelp YouTube channel.

Take some time today to learn more about the team of therapists at BetterHelp to understand the services available to you clearly. If you are new to therapy or have any questions about the services and terms, please reach out through the contact page or send an email to contact@betterhelp.com.

If you’re ready to sign up for online therapy, consider signing up with a platform like BetterHelp and get matched within 24 to 48 hours.

If you are experiencing a crisis or emergency, don't use this site's online services. If you are in life-threatening danger, call 911. If you require support for a crisis, reach out to the hotlines below:

A woman meets with a therapist online in her home city of Ames.

Below are some of the zip codes served by BetterHelp therapists in Ames:

50010, 50011, 50012, 50013, 50014

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