Full Heart Family Therapy
Mary Meyer PhD, LMFT, CSAT
Dr. Mary Meyer is the Owner and Executive Director of Full Heart Family Therapy, and she is a Licensed Marital and Family Therapist in Iowa and Illinois. She is also a Transpersonal Psychologist, qualitative researcher, and writer. She received a Doctor of Philosophy in Psychology from the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology in Palo Alto, CA, and a Master of Family and Consumer Sciences from Iowa State University. She is also an ordained interfaith minister through the Sufi Movement International. She has been a practicing couple and family therapist for over 13 years in a variety of settings.
Dr. Meyer works from a family systems perspective, which emphasizes relationships between people, patterns of interaction, and the context in which they live. She is also very attuned to spiritual issues, including how one relates to their inner world and to life as a whole. She has interest in working with individuals, couples, and families who are facing challenges or who want to explore greater depths of self understanding and enjoy greater meaning and joy in their life.
Dr. Meyer is a Certified Sex Addiction Therapist (CSAT). She completed her two year post-graduate training in sexual addiction and partner trauma from the International Institute for Trauma and Addiction Professionals (IITAP). She is also trained in Imago Relationship Therapy, Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy (EFT), Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), and Developmental and Relational Trauma Therapy (DART).
Laura Housel, MS, LMHC, CYI, CSAT Candidate
Mental Health Art Therapist
(she, her, hers)
Laura Housel earned a master’s degree in art therapy with an emphasis in counseling from Mount Mary University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. She received her undergraduate degree from the University of Iowa in health, leisure, and sports studies with concentration in therapeutic recreation and has been a nationally certified therapeutic recreation specialist for nearly 15 years. Laura is also a certified yoga instructor in yoga therapy with additional training and certification in kundalini yoga. She is training as a Certified Sex Addiction Therapist (CSAT) with the International Institute for Trauma and Addiction Professionals (IITAP).
As an art therapist and yoga instructor, Laura hopes to offer opportunities to explore relationships and the mind/body connection from a trauma-informed perspective that is appropriate, culturally relevant, and that meets the needs of the individual, couple, family, group, or community. Laura has had the opportunity to work and train in a variety of settings including hospitals, residential facilities, private practice, and community groups. She has had the honor to work compassionately alongside clients impacted by cancer, grief and spiritual concerns as well as adults and adolescents impacted by homelessness, trauma, oppression, marginalization, sexual violence and trafficking, mood disorders, eating disorders, personality disorders, body dysmorphia, body image and identity concerns, relationship and intimacy struggles, stress, shame, isolation, addiction and life transitions.
Laura enjoys meeting each client where they are, offering a safe place to be seen and heard. She is LGBTQ friendly. Laura has been an active volunteer, advocating in the community and profession.
Mackenzie Bleeker, LMHC
Mental Health Therapist
Mackenzie holds an independent license as a Mental Health Therapist and a master’s degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. Mackenzie has worked in the mental health and substance use field since 2013. She has experience treating a number of mental health issues, including ADHD, anxiety, depression, relationship issues, personality disorders, and trauma. Mackenzie also works with individuals seeking freedom from addictive and compulsive sexual behavior.
“An unexamined life is not worth living.” -Socrates. Hello! You being on this page tells me you have an interest in examining your life, as something probably isn’t working the way you’d like it to! I use a humanistic therapy approach, specifically existentialism and reality therapy — although these might not mean anything to you now, they will — as I do not believe there is any “privileged” knowledge therapists should have over clients.
If you decide to take this journey with me, I will teach you everything I know with the goal of working myself out of a job! My approach to therapy is peeling back layers upon layers in pursuit of truth, no matter how painful, as truth and taking responsibility are keys to living a meaningful and purposeful existence.
One of my favorite quotes is, “Living safely is dangerous,” – Irvin Yalom; so if you’re ready to dive in to the nitty-gritty / the good, bad, and ugly of your existence, I look forward to venturing into the chaos and messiness of life with you!
Carolyn Hollister, LMSW
Mental Health Therapist
Carolyn Hollister is a Licensed Master Social Worker (LMSW) in the State of Iowa. She received her Master’s degree in Social Work from the University of Iowa and her undergraduate degree in Sociology and Anthropology from Grand Valley State University.
“Whether you are experiencing relationship issues, stress, addiction, anxiety, depression or trauma, I am here to help. Maybe you are struggling with a major life transition and are having overwhelming emotions. Whatever struggle you are experiencing, I provide a safe, open, affirming, and non-judgmental space for you to explore the issues that are causing you distress and holding you back from living with a sense of peace and joy. Lasting healing requires a holistic approach, encompassing all aspects of life to help you achieve balance. I believe that every person has the innate ability to heal with the proper support.
I am trained in Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) therapy and use a variety of trauma informed approaches to tailor treatment to the needs of each client. Most of all I respect that you are the expert on your own life. I will guide and support you in your reconnection with your inner wisdom.
The challenges and stresses of life can seem dark and overwhelming at times. If you are struggling to find joy in your life right now, I would be honored to help light your path to healing.
‘Not all who wander are lost.’ Trust the journey.”
Johnathan Starko, LMSW
Mental Health Therapist
I am a LMSW licensed in the states of Iowa and Mississippi. I graduated with my master’s in social work from the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, California and a Bachelors in Sociology and Women Studies from Cornell College in Mount Vernon, Iowa. As L.R Knost says, “Remember, no matter the problem, kindness is always the right response. When your child is having a problem, stop, listen, then respond to the need, not the behavior. The behavior can be addressed later, after the need has been met, because only then is the door to effective communication truly open.” That is why my focus has always been on children, adolescents, and their family. In 2017 I started my career as a behavior interventionist working with children in a special education classroom where I was able to learn a variety of trauma informed approaches including cognitive behavioral therapy, internal family systems, solution focused therapy, and others. I take a person-centered approach and always try to provide a safe and non-judgmental space for my clients to open-up and learn a variety of skills to be successful in all environments including, but not limited to, grounding, muscle relaxation, and mindfulness. When you can learn to find a way to get you through the difficult moments in life you can accomplish anything. One of my favorite quotes is from Tom Stoppard, “Because children grow up, we think a child’s purpose is to grow up. But a child’s purpose is to be a child.” Helping children and their parents remember this is what I strive to do every day. As a parent myself I must remember this with my own children, so the struggle is real. I am here to help you get through it. When not helping parents with communicating with their children I assist adults, parents and non-parents alike, to cope with struggles whether it be anxiety, depression, basic feelings of being overwhelmed, or a diagnosed MH disorder. The coping skills and trauma informed approaches I mentioned above can be applied to adults as well. I am excited to be joining the Full Heart Family, where I can partake in supervision with Kathy Greer, LISW to obtain my LISW and learn new and exciting approaches I am not yet familiar with. Just remember good mental health is not a destination, it is a process, it’s not about where you are going, but how you get there. Asking for help is not a weakness it’s a strength, and I am glad to be even a small portion of that journey.
Jennifer James, MA, ATR-P, tLMHC
Graduate Counseling Intern
Heather is a student of the Clinical Mental Health Counseling graduate program at Grand View University. Heather is currently a counseling graduate intern under the supervision of Dr. Mary Meyer at Full Heart Family Therapy. Heather completed her Bachelor of Arts degree (B.A.) in Human Services at Grand View University in 2001. Since that time Heather has worked with several populations including children, adolescents, and adults with special needs and elderly clients living in assisted living and long-term care facilities. Heather values Cognitive Behavioral Therapy in addition to other mindfulness practices. She is determined to establish a therapeutic environment with her clients, free from judgment, so they feel safe and empowered, and aims to promote overall wellbeing for her clients.
Krystyna Thompson, MS, LMFT
Revive Therapy Services, LLC
Krystyna Thompson is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT) who enjoys working with couples, individuals, and families on a variety of emotional and relational issues.
Krystyna works with trauma stemming from emotional, physical, and sexual abuse which can lead to Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, panic, anxiety, depression, and relationship concerns. She utilizes a Trauma-Informed Care Perspective when working with trauma-related problems and finds that this viewpoint encourages clients to reach their goals effectively and with compassion.
Furthermore, Krystyna is trained in working with a variety of addictive issues; sexual addiction, substance addiction, and co-occurring problems. She is specifically trained in working with couples and their relationship concerns and helps couples feel happier, more fulfilled, and more joyous in their lives.
Kathy Greer, LISW, CSAT Candidate
Mental Health Therapist
Kathy Greer, LISW, LLC
Kathy Greer is a Licensed Independent Social Worker (LISW) in the State of Iowa. She received her Master’s degree in Social Work from the University of Iowa and her undergraduate degree in Sociology and Social Work from Simpson College.
Kathy has experience treating individuals with a wide variety of mental health issues. Kathy specializes in working with survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault and addiction issues, including sexual addiction, substance abuse, and gambling, as well as co-occurring disorders.
Kathy has specific training in implementing Emotionally Focused Therapy with couples, which utilizes elements of experiential, systemic, and attachment theories, to assist couples in shaping more loving relationships.
Jill Shirley, JD, LMHC, NCC, IADC, CPTT candidate
Mental Health Counselor
JKS Therapy Services, LLC
Working as a psychotherapist is the realization of a lifelong pursuit to find how I may best serve others. The query began more than twenty-five years ago with an internal debate between pursuing a graduate degree in law or psychology. I chose law. However, I learned quickly it was not the right fit and transitioned to developing a career in public relations, marketing, and sales. After overcoming several personal challenges and in mid-career, I found my way back to my youthful passion by obtaining a master’s degree in mental health counseling from Drake University in Des Moines, IA.
While in graduate school I became a certified alcohol and drug Therapist to serve clients with addiction issues. I am in the process of receiving additional training to support partners of individuals who struggle addiction issues, including problematic sexual behaviors. Additional education and training includes: Acceptance Commitment Therapy (ACT), Eye Movement Desensitization & Reprocessing (EMDR), Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT), and Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT). I am continuing education in emotionally focused therapy, attachment theory, psychodynamic theory, and positive psychology. I am receiving supervision in betrayal trauma approaches currently, and will soon be completing training as a Certified Clinical Partner Trauma Specialist.
The foundation of my work with clients is to develop a trusting relationship in which the client feels safe enough to express their most authentic and vulnerable selves. It’s through the safety of a non-judgmental relationship individuals may safely attach and explore how their past experiences and inherent personality traits contribute to what is experienced in the present moment. Together we will explore what is working, what is not, and how to evolve.
In addition to having the appropriate credentials and training, I bring decades of life experience into the therapy room, as well as a nonjudgmental nature and spiritually open attitude. My work is informed by my own 12-step work, yoga, mindfulness practices, and the above-referenced theoretical orientations.
JD, Law, University of Iowa, 1996
MS, Mental Health Counseling, Drake University, 2019
Certifications, and Trainings
ACT, CBT, DBT, EMDR, Positive Psychology, Addiction Counseling
Jennifer Gauerke, LMHC
Mental Health Therapist
LaJendi Counseling, LLC
Every person has the potential for growth and healing. My role as a therapist is to help you remove barriers that prevent growth while nurturing your natural healing instinct, in a non-judgmental space. You are unique, so are your challenges, relationships and goals. While I utilize best practices to ensure success in our work together, I also take you into consideration; supporting your individual life goals, values, and choices. Your personal autonomy will be valued and respected.
Healing from past wounds and trauma is often part of the work I do with clients. With the knowledge and skills I possess, clients are enabled to move out of trauma responses into post traumatic growth. These trauma responses show up in multiple ways and many do not realize they are a result of trauma – feeling overwhelmed by emotions, difficulty sleeping (including nightmares), avoiding conflict, overthinking situations, feeling the urge to flee or fight, use of substances to cope. Healing work begins as I provide information about what trauma is, how affects the brain, how it impacts present emotions and behavior, and the damage it does to self. With this knowledge, clients are empowered by the wisdom of their emotions, understanding themselves in a new way which enables their natural mind body connection to heal. (Without these interventions, many remain stuck in fear, frustration, and loneliness.) The next phase of healing is changing harmful behaviors and ways of thinking, opening the door to post traumatic growth. This could show up as improved and satisfying relationships, greater confidence, more creativity, and moving with more ease through daily life. I received a Mental Health Counseling degree from Drake University, and am fully licensed in the state of Iowa (LMHC) to provide therapy. As a Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor (CADC) I provide support for co-occurring disorders (mental health and addiction). After completing hundreds of hours of group facilitation and education, I achieved the Certified Group Psychotherapist designation by the American Group Psychotherapy Association.
As a Certified Alcohol and Drug Therapist (CADC), I have vast experience in supporting clients in recovery from multiple addictions and co-occurring disorders (mental health and addiction related diagnoses). My goal is to support, encourage, and motivate people engaged in the fight to be free of addiction and the shame which perpetuates it. Providing support through my private practice, I am an effective support for those with mild substance use disorders, or those interested in maintaining their recovery. I also provide much needed support and education to those with loved ones trapped in the painful disease of addiction. Participation in group therapy can aid the healing process. As a Certified Group Psychotherapist (CGP), I facilitate groups that promote connection and growth. Life satisfaction and happiness often greatly increase when we have a sense of belonging and enjoy healthy relationships. Groups provide a place for people to grow together, while learning about themselves and improving
relationship skills. I enjoy being the mother to four and step mother to two, raising a family with my husband. Our blended family means I understand the complexities of divorce and blending families after remarriage. Our family also includes a handsome grey bunny named Gandalf and a large furry dog named Maia.
As a Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor (CADC) in Iowa, I supported clients in both the residential and outpatient programs at House of Mercy in Des Moines from 2015 to 2018. This included facilitating various psychoeducational groups and providing individual counseling, utilizing Solution Focused and Motivational Interviewing techniques. While in private practice at Vida Psychotherapy, I grew as an individual and group therapist, offering groups for recovery from addiction and to support clinicians, which are ongoing. Moving to Full Heart Family Therapy in September 2020 has enabled me to continuing growing as a clinician and finding balance in life. I am constantly learning and have grown from additional trainings in the following areas: ethics, addiction, trauma, disordered eating, grief and loss, telehealth, process groups, mentalization, and mindfulness-based stress reduction.
As I move forward with the knowledge and experience I’ve gained, I actively seek out and participate in activities to improve the community, including presenting about trauma and addiction to professionals at the state and
Alyssa Lambert, CPC-A
Lambert Medical Billing Services, LLC
Hello! My name is Alyssa Lambert. I have been working in the medical billing (specifically mental health and substance abuse) and accounts receivable fields for the past 12 years. I obtained my associates degree majoring in the Medical Office Specialist program in 2011 along with certificates in Medical Billing and Coding and Medical Transcription. In 2018, I obtained my Certified Professional Coder-Apprentice certification through the AAPC. I feel that the more understanding there is about the financial responsibilities related to mental health care, the easier it is to take the steps towards mental health well-being. I am happy to assist with any questions or concerns you may have about insurance, appointment scheduling, and any other matters that relate to the process. If I don’t have the answers, I will do my best to get the answers or point you in the right direction.
Outside of my work with Full Heart Family Therapy, I currently work as a Support Assistant Lead in an Emergency Department as well as run a medical billing business specializing in mental health and substance abuse billing with my husband. We have three children, two dogs, and four cats that all keep us very busy.
Please note that some therapists above own and operate their own independent practice, while serving clients at Full Heart Family Therapy. Please inquire for more information.