Our therapists at New Beginnings offer a variety of specialties to meet the needs of our clients. Services include individual therapy for children and adults as well as couples and family counseling. We use a variety of techniques in order to individualize our approach to each person or family. All therapy services are geared towards helping people improve their emotional well being whether coping with a recent event or a long term mental health issue. All therapists at New Beginnings operate from a trauma informed approach.
In addition, therapists at are office are trained to provide the following services:
Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) is an integrative therapeutic approach to aid a client’s ability to process intense emotions. EMDR therapy is an evidenced-based approach to healing trauma and other causes of psychological stress. Through EMDR, clients are provided with education and skills to manage intense emotions, targeted processing of emotional concerns, insight into the effects of the past on the brain’s current processing, and improving the client’s ability to create and maintain a healthier thought process.
An 8-10 session forensic interview for child abuse. Usually requested by RCPC as a follow up to its interview, but can be requested by a parent or caretaker as well. Age: verbal to 5, older if cognitive delays are present, practicality assessed by therapist.
Documented assessment of a child-parent (or child-caretaker) relationship. Assessment identifies indicators for secure attachment between child and parent, as well as indicators of concerns. Report includes interviews with the caretakers, observations of the dyad (or more if a multiple child assessment), and recommendations for interventions to assist the growth of positive mental health. Age of child: 2-5
Expressive Arts Therapy
An approach to therapy that can incorporate writing, drama, movement, painting, and/or music. Clients utilize expressive arts therapy to explore responses, reactions, and insights through pictures, sounds, explorations, and encounters. All ages.
School Based Therapy
New Beginnings provides some school based therapy in the Des Moines, SE Polk, and AGWSR school districts. Please contact NBCS office or your school social worker to determine if New Beginnings provides services in your child’s school.
Lorilei Baker, LMSW
Lorilei Baker graduated from Augustana College in Rock Island, IL with an undergraduate degree in Psychology and Social Work and received her Masters degree in Social Work from the University of Iowa in May of 2017. Lorilei has experience working with young children, adolescents and adults, providing individual, family and couple’s counseling. She is trained in Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) and play therapy and is currently working toward certification in both. Lorilei has over 20 years of experience providing services to individuals with struggles ranging from chronic mental illness, substance abuse, trauma, attachment disruptions, and family violence to services for those with refugee status. She has experience providing training in abuse and assault prevention and healthy relationships to ethnically diverse populations, including multi-lingual groups and individuals.
John Bisenius, LMHC
John is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor. He received his bachelor degrees in Psychology in 2006 from Iowa State University, and a Master of Science in Counseling in 2014 from Drake University. John has experience working with young children, adolescents, and adults providing individual, family, and couple’s counseling. John has 10 years of experience working with children with intellectual and physical disabilities, mental health and behavioral issues in a community/integrated setting as well as experience working with children and families with life-threatening and terminal diagnoses. John can accept clients with Medicaid and the Iowa Wellness Plan and some private insurance, including Blue Cross.
Susin Bredice, LISW
Susin has an undergraduate degrees in Psychology and Art and Design from Iowa State University, and a Master’s degree in Social Work from the University of Iowa. Susin is licensed through the Iowa Social Work Board of Examiners. Susin works with children, adolescents, and adults, providing individual, family, and couples counseling. Susin has been working in the social work field since 2000 and has experience that includes PMIC and residential care, child welfare, attachment, foster care and adoption, couples counseling as well as specific individual mental health issues. Susin accepts Title 19 (Medicaid), Midlands Choice Provider Network (Health Alliance, Co-oportunity Health), Blue Cross, and other private insurance.
Amanda Burgod, LISW
Amanda graduated from Iowa State University with a degree in sociology and psychology. She has also received a Master’s degree in social work from the University of Iowa and is licensed through the Social Work Board of Examiners. Amanda works with adults and teenagers and enjoys helping individuals learn to utilize their own strengths to work through past trauma and current issues. Amanda has over fifteen years of experience in this field and has worked in residential settings, in home counseling, and child welfare services. Amanda is also trained in Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), which can help clients process trauma and negative beliefs about oneself. Amanda accepts Title 19 (Medicaid), Iowa Health and Wellness, Aetna, Blue Cross, Tricare, and some private insurance plans, or private pay clients.
Kelsey Finch, T-LMHC
Kelsey Finch believes that the counseling relationship between the therapist and client is of utmost importance, so she strives to provide a safe, positive, non-judgmental, and understanding environment. Kelsey has a passion for working with individuals in the LGBTQ+ community, couples, families, adolescents, and adults. She is competent in and loves working with diversity, especially religious and cultural diversity. Kelsey received her Master’s of Science in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Drake University. She is trained in Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), a therapeutic approach used to heal past and/or current trauma or other areas of distress. Kelsey accepts Medicaid (Title 19), Blue Cross, UHC, private pay clients, and some other private insurances.
Pam Freeman, LISW
Pam Freeman, MSW, LISW is an independently licensed social worker in the state of Iowa. She earned her B.A. degree in psychology from Central College and a masters degree in social work from the University of Iowa. Pam has extensive experience working with children and families in settings such as schools, shelters and home visitation programs. She provides support through a variety of treatment modalities including TF-CBT (trauma focused cognitive behavioral therapy), CBT, play therapy (client centered and directed), motivational interviewing, Sand Tray therapy for trauma and grief processing, Pam works with children, adults, and families. Pam has experience providing services to individuals who are struggling with anxiety, depression, postpartum depression, trauma, grief and loss. She has training in domestic violence support and has worked with ethnically diverse populations.
Tom Garner, LMHC
Tom is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor. He received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Business Administration in 1973 from Auburn University, and a Master of Education in Counseling in 1993 from University of Montevallo. Tom has worked with children, adolescents, young adults and adults providing individual, family, and couple’s counseling. He has 21 years of experience working with children and adolescents with intellectual disabilities, behavioral conflict and trauma, mental health and oppositional issues in a residential setting. Tom is trained in Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) and Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. He is independently licensed as a mental health counselor.
TaLana Holman, LMHC
TaLana received her Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice in 2009, a Master of Science degree in Psychology with an emphasis in Addiction in 2012, and a second Master of Science degree in Mental Health Counseling in 2014 from Drake University. TaLana has experience working with young children, adolescents, and adults providing individual, family, and couple’s counseling. TaLana has over 10 years of experience working with children and families struggling with behavioral issues and trauma in residential, community, and in-home settings. TaLana has also worked in a domestic violence shelter and has experience with both adolescents and adults in the criminal justice system. TaLana believes that every individual deserves the chance to obtain personal goals and desires and actively works with individuals to meet them where they are and encourage positive growth and development in the way they desire.
Penny Sax, LISW
Penny has undergraduate degrees in Sociology and Human Services from the University of Minnesota, a Master’s degree in Social Work from the University of Iowa, and is licensed as an Independent Social Worker by the Iowa Social Work Board of Examiners. Penny works with individual adults, teenagers, marriage and family clients, and LGBTQ clients. Penny has extensive training in Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder as well as sexual trauma in both the civilian and military population, and twenty years of experience as a probation officer, dealing with adult offenders, Penny accepts Title 19 (Medicaid), Iowa Health and Wellness, Blue Cross, and some private insurance plans, or private pay clients.
Shannon Schmidt, LISW
Shannon is a Licensed Master Social Worker. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in Social Work in 2006 and a Master of Social Work in 2012, both from the University of Iowa. Shannon has experience in early childhood development gained from working with Head Start and a vast understanding of domestic violence from working in the field for seven years. She has experience working with children, adolescents, and adults. Shannon has training in attachment theory, trauma-focused cognitive behavioral therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, and motivational interviewing. Shannon can see clients with Medicaid, Blue Cross, Midlands Choice Provider Network, and some other private insurances.