About Our Providers
A little something about ourselves
Amanda J. Olson MS, LMHC, NCC
Licensed Mental Health Therapist
National Certified Counselor
In my years of experience, I have worked with hundreds of patients from all walks of life. This has provided me with a deep insight and a practical view of the problems the people are facing in their contemporary times, with regards to their professional and personal life. Whether it is depression due to lack of respect and recognition at work, death of a close family member, emotional distress due to separation, relationship concerns, hypersensitivity, obsessive compulsive disorder, hyperactivity, human sexuality, loss of job, or just any other issues that is affecting your mental health negatively my service would be beneficial.
My main approach when working with my clients is a combination of cognitive behavioral therapy with trauma-informed care. This collectively helps in bringing that much-needed mind, body, soul and spirit balance, regardless of what kind of psychological challenges you are facing. I aim to help my clients' revive themselves from the current positions in their lives and channel their negative energy away in a well-coordinated manner. It helps reach the much-needed harmony into their lives and infuses positivity.
Born and raised in Iowa, it only made sense to continue my private practice in Iowa as well. I completed my Master in Science degree in Mental Health Counseling with an emphasis in Crisis and Trauma Interventions from Walden University in 2013. I also hold my Bachelor of Arts Degree in Psychology and Religion with minors in Communication Arts, Women's Studies and Leadership Development from Wartburg College, Iowa in 2008. Through all my years of experience, I have developed a unique combination of interpersonal psychoanalysis, mind-body stimulation and cognitive behavioral techniques, which equips me to diagnose and treat my clients in a detailed manner. It is my goal to be a transitory partner with you on your journey towards healing and self-discovery. However, it is ultimately you who dictates your direction, future and experience.
Certified Therapy Dog
Murphy, CTD a three-year-old black Labrador Retriever, joined with Amanda in May 2016 as a re-careered service dog in training from the Puppy Jake Foundation in Des Moines, Iowa. The Puppy Jake Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonproﬁt organization dedicated to help wounded military veterans with the assistance of well-bred and professionally trained PTSD service dogs.
Since his infancy, Murphy was part of the Puppy Jake training program. Upon hitting his one-year birthday, Murphy had learned may important skills such as basic canine training, temperament testing and other extensive skills required for service animal work. In a few areas, however, Murphy continued to score average than the expected high standards set forth service dog certification. Overall, Murphy’s personality leaned more towards human interaction and play than extensive work and attention. Thus, the Puppy Jake Foundation felt Murphy would be a perfect fit as a therapy dog and they were right! Murphy’s training and loveable personality has been a seamless fit into the mental health therapy field!
If a client meets qualifications for AAT (Animal Assisted Therapy), Murphy is welcome to join in the therapy session with the client. The goal of AAT is to improve a client’s social, emotional or cognitive functioning. Interacting with an animal in a therapy session can enhance a client's experience of therapy and provide a different way to acquire and improve important life skills. Research has shown that individuals who experiencing stress, depression, anxiety, autism-related issues, dementia, mental disorders, chronic diseases and neurological disorders can be effectively treated with the help of an animal.
In Murphy’s spare time he enjoys playing outside, running, chewing on bones, and belly rubs. He also enjoys meeting new people, giving “puppy kisses” and exploring his surroundings. If you happen to see Murphy around, feel free to come up and meet him! He loves to say Hi!
Suzan Loverink, LISW
Licensed Mental Health Counselor
Suzan Loverink holds a Master’s Degree in Rehabilitation Counseling, is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor in Iowa, and a Certified Rehabilitation Counselor.
Specialties: working with children and adolescents with adjustment disorders, anxiety disorders, ADD/ADHD, depression, and trauma issues. As well as adults with trauma issues, depression, anxiety, and personality disorders; further work is also done with couples and families.
Suzan is trained in PCIT (Parent-Child Interaction Therapy), DBT (Dialectical Behavior Therapy), and in EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing for trauma). Suzan also works with children and adolescents in school-based therapy.
Annie Downing LISW, RPT
Licensed Independent Social Worker
Registered Play Therapist
Annie Downing is a native of Northwest Iowa and has been serving children, adults, and families in the area for the past eight years. Annie holds a Masters Degree in Social Work from the University of Northern Iowa. She is a Licensed Independent Social Worker in the state of Iowa and a Registered Play Therapist.
Annie specializes in working with children and adolescents, trauma issues, obsessive-compulsive disorder, phobias, eating disorders, adjustment issues, anxiety, and depression. She is trained in Cognitive Behavioral Play Therapy(CBPT), Adlerian Play Therapy, Parent-Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT), Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), Lifespan Integration Therapy, and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). Annie also has experience working with adults and families with trauma issues, depression, anxiety, and adjustment issues.
Annie sees clients in our satellite office located in Milford, Iowa and provides school-based therapy in the Okoboji School District.
Madison Garst t-LMHC, NCC
Temporary Licensed Mental Health Counselor
National Certified Counselor
Madison Garst is a native of Iowa. Madison holds a Master of Arts degree in Rehabilitation and Mental Health Counseling from the University of Iowa and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology and Human Services from Buena Vista University. Madison has experience working with clients on trauma, sexual assault, self-esteem, adjustment issues, substance abuse, boundary setting, stress management, depression, and anxiety.
In her own words: "It’s an ongoing privilege to empower individuals to overcome personal obstacles from the bumpy chapters of their life. It is my goal to assist clients in bringing about change, healing, growth, and acceptance in their lives. I also believe that knowledge is a powerful transformative tool, which is why I incorporate bibliotherapy and psychoeducation in my therapy sessions along with cognitive behavioral therapy. You will have the autonomy to direct your own treatment because the outcome is in your hands.”
Amy Ondler LMSW
Temporary Licensed Masters Social Worker
Amy Ondler is a native to Northwest Iowa and has been serving children and families in the area for the past ten years. Amy holds a Masters Degree in Social Work from Simmons School of Social Work, as well as a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from Northwestern College.
Amy is trained in Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT), Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT), Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Motivational Interviewing (MI) and Seeking Safety. Amy specializes in working with children and adolescents and also has experience working with families. She has experience working with anxiety, depression, self-esteem, and behavior modification.
Amy see’s clients in our satellite office located in Milford, Iowa and provides school-based therapy in the Estherville School District.