JackMeet Jack.

"I feel comfortable and safe here."

Jack is a brave, bright and kind child on the cusp of his teenage years. Each morning he makes breakfast for his younger siblings and helps them get ready for school. Jack takes on more responsibilities as his mom descends into severe depression. Though Jack is growing into his own maturity, he is too young to understand how physical, sexual and emotional abuse has traumatized his mom. All he knows is she cannot get out of bed. Jack feels a confusing mix of anger, sadness and compassion.
To sort out his complex emotions, Jack meets with a counselor in the Des Moines Pastoral Counseling Center's COOL practice (Children Overcoming the Obstacles of Life). COOL is the Center's specialized counseling approach that integrates play, art and physical movement to help young people communicate their inner life.  
In his therapeutic artwork, Jack creates landscapes of his life before and after his mother's depression. His counselor is trained to help Jack articulate his artistic choices.
"I feel comfortable and safe here," said Jack about his counseling experience. He knows his mom cannot fully provide right now and he does not blame her. He is hopeful his mom will get better.
Thanks to your support, the Center serves more than 4,000 individuals a year, including up to 800 children and adolescents plus their families.
Note: Jack's story is a composite client narrative with identifying factors changed to protect client privacy.  Photo:  Big Stock stock photo

challengeHelp us meet a $2,000 challenge goal on #GivingTuesday, generously given by Starr and Harry Hinrichs.

Starr and Harry Hinrichs
Thank you to Starr and Harry Hinrichs for providing a $2,000 #GivingTuesday challenge goal.

"More than ever, we are convinced that our community needs quality counseling services. Please join us in supporting the Des Moines Pastoral Counseling Center on Giving Tuesday. Together, we can support hope, healing, and understanding."  ~ Starr and Harry Hinrichs 
Will you please give?

thank you
Depression, post-traumatic stress and other psychological challenges are serious yet treatable. Your #GivingTuesday gift will help ensure quality mental health services - and save lives. The following are samples of how your donation can make a positive impact on others:
  • $35 helps provide counseling to a child distressed by domestic violence.
  • $110 provides one counseling session to a family who needs help relating to their addicted loved one.
  • $220 provides two counseling sessions to parents grieving the death of their son or daughter.
  • $550 provides five counseling sessions to an adolescent who is bullied at school.
  • $1,100 provides 10 counseling sessions to a veteran who considers suicide.
therapistsWe are here to help. 

The Des Moines Pastoral Counseling Center provides counseling and education through 26 licensed practitioners including (L-R) Susan Koehler, P.A.-C., psychiatry physician assistant; Dr. Kelli Hill, clinical director and licensed child and adolescent psychologist; and Dr. Geoffrey Hills, psychiatrist.

Why are counseling services needed?
Whether episodic depression, post-traumatic stress or chronic mental illness - psychological concerns are serious and can be life threatening.
In Iowa:
  • 15 percent of children (ages 0-17) live under the poverty level. 10 percent of children experience abuse and/or neglect. (1)
  • About 25,000 adolescents aged 12-17 (10.4 percent of all adolescents) experience at least one Major Depressive Episode annually. (3)
  • Approximately 60 percent of adults and 50 percent of children who need mental health treatment do not receive the services needed. (4)
  • Suicide is the second leading cause of death for 15 -- 44 year olds, and the third leading cause of death for 5 - 14 years olds. (2)
The need is great. We have the expertise. Your support is critical to help ensure that those who need counseling may access high quality services.
1. Kids Count 2016
2. Iowa Department of Health
3. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services (SAMHSA), Behavioral Health Barometer, Iowa, 2015, surveys conducted 2010 - 2014

unselfieCreate your "unselfie" for 

An "unselfie" is a way to show your support to your friends and family through social media. It's easy and fun! Here's how you do it:

1. Save the date for #GivingTuesday: November 29, 2016

3. Click, open, and print the flyer below. 

click to launch a printer friendly version for your "unselfie"

4.  Take an "unselfie" or ask someone to photograph you with the flyer (see sample below).

5. On #GivingTuesday, post to your Facebook feed and tag "Des Moines Pastoral Counseling Center" to show your support.

6. Continue to show your support by posting throughout the end of the holiday season.

Thank you!

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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 4,000 individuals annually including children, adolescents, adults, couples and families. Although best known for its 44 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
  • Psychiatric consultation and care
  • Training for clinical professionals
  • Leadership and spiritual life programming 
  • Career Coaching
  • Conflict transformation and strategic planning services for congregations, nonprofits and businesses
 www.dmpcc.org   / 515-274-4006
Yup, that is me in the "unselfie" up there. Please consider creating your own. Let me know if you need help. Thanks so much for your interest!

In gratitude,

Terri Mork Speirs
Director of Marketing and Communications
Interim Director of Development
Des Moines Pastoral Counseling Center