Holiday Edition /  12.28.17

Thank you from our staff, all who "bring their hearts to work."

The Center's staff recently collaborated for a "Bring your heart to work" employee giving campaign. Several volunteered to lead the campaign and offered statements on why the Center is important to them. With their permission, we are pleased to share their words with all of you: 

Why is the Center important to me?
Susan A. headshot
Susan Ackelson, L.I.S.W.
Susan Ackelson, L.I.S.W., adult therapist, former clinical director:
"I've been a therapist here for 22 years but before that I was a client myself and I also took classes in the training program. I've benefitted both from receiving services from the Center and by providing services to our clients. That is why supporting DMPCC means so much to me. I've always been proud to be on staff here but today I'm especially proud because I believe we now have the best staff both clinical, support and administrative that we have ever had. I am truly blessed to work with such talented and dedicated colleagues."
Doug_s headshot
Doug Aupperle, Ph.D.
Doug Aupperle, Ph.D., child and adolescent psychologist:
"I'm very grateful to be able to work at a place that welcomes and respects diversity across so many dimensions among both its staff and its clients, but especially with regard to spirituality and LGBTQ identities. I also appreciate the attention and effort toward building and nurturing relationships among staff and doing the challenging work of engaging in respectful dialogue with each  other to bridge our differences. This work is so important to help create an atmosphere that in turn feels welcoming, respectful, and safe for our clients in which healing and growth can then occur. I am honored to part of a place that gets the importance of that!"
Diane_s headshot
Diane McClanahan, M.Div., B.S.N.
Diane McClanahan, M.Div., B.S.N., Director of Leadership and Spiritual Life, spiritual director:
"The Center is important to me because of the unique gifts of all the staff that we bring together to provide holistic care. It is a place where we are encouraged to use those gifts, because they, and we, all matter! We could not do what we do without one another. That's the 'secret sauce!'"

Amy_s headshot
Amy Spangler-Dunning, L.M.H.C., M.Div. 
Amy Spangler-Dunning, L.M.H.C., M.Div., adult therapist:
"Working here at the Center has been such a positive experience. In many ways, the 'spiritual' work we do here (as broadly defined as anyone has need) resonates more with me, at times, than Sunday morning worship services of my faith tradition. Not many places of employment could provide such a thought provoking environment. In addition, the Center's commitment to serving as wide a socio-economic population as possible resonates with my soul, and I am grateful every day for all of my colleagues whose expertise and skill I continue to learn from every day."

From the bottom of all our hearts -- thank you for your support!

2017 marks the Center's 45th year in service, thanks to our wonderful community of donors and clients who entrust us with their resources and lives.

This is hope and healing
a 4-minute video

Our mission is to bring hope and healing to people of all ages through counseling and education.  What does it look like?  At the Center, this is hope and healing. (Be sure to turn your sound on!)

Thank you from Jim Hayes, Executive Director
Jim Hayes head shot
Jim Hayes, Executive Director

Thank you for a wonderful 2017 -- and thank you to everyone who has supported our mission to bring hope and healing to people of all ages through counseling and education. Your generosity means so much. 

Give the gift of hope and healing. 

Will you please help children, adolescents, adults and families who need mental health counseling and education? Thirty five percent of our clients are uninsured or underinsured. We are committed to serving all in need, thanks to your support. Your donation helps bring hope and healing, and saves lives. If you have already donated, thank you.

Donate online now: 


Send a check via postal mail to:

Des Moines Pastoral Counseling Center
8553 Urbandale Avenue
Urbandale, IA 50322

Call with your credit card or a pledge:


Deliver your gift in person to the Center:

We would love to say hello to you in person!

Donate stock:
Designate a portion of your IRA required minimum distribution to the Center:
Set up a recurring gift online.
Give through our Facebook page:

Terri Speirs, Director of Development and Marketing, 515-251-6670,

Tax note:

You may wish to consult your financial planner regarding the implications of the new tax law to charitable donations.  If you plan to itemize for 2017, you may wish to consider making a gift this calendar year to realize the full tax benefit. In addition, it may make sense for you to accelerate some charitable contributions planned for 2018 into 2017 to get a larger income tax charitable deduction this year.

Thoughts for the season

by Christine Dietz, Ph.D., L.I.S.W.

special to the Des Moines Pastoral Counseling Center,  by Billie Wade

10 ways to cope with grief in the holidays

by Jim Hayes, D.Min., M.Div., Executive Director

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Our mission is to bring understanding, hope and healing to people of all ages through counseling and education.
Our key services:  

Des Moines Pastoral Counseling Center is a nonprofit, nonsectarian organization  serving more than 3,700 individuals annually including children, adolescents, adults, couples and families. Although best known for its 45 years of quality, professional mental health therapy, the Center is a multi-faceted organization providing a range of services:
  • Counseling, including specialized services for children and adolescents
  • Psychological testing and assessment
  • Psychiatry (medication management)
  • Training for clinical professionals
  • Leadership and spiritual life programming 
  • Career Coaching
  • Conflict transformation and strategic planning services for congregations, nonprofits and businesses
  • And so much more!   / 515-274-4006