Frequently Asked Questions

Here you’ll find answers to frequently asked questions we receive.

If you do not find the answer to your question, please feel free to contact us. We are here for you.

What is the Mind & Spirit Counseling Center?

The Center is an independent not-for-profit organization, dedicated to providing quality, affordable counseling to adults, adolescents and children, couples and families. The Center’s mission is to bring understanding, hope and healing to persons of all ages through counseling and education. The Center was organized in 1972 and has grown to become one of the largest counseling groups in central Iowa, serving over 2,400 clients annually. Learn our history

The Center also provides educational opportunities for mental health and religious professionals. In addition, the Center offers employee assistance programs and consulting and coaching services to area small businesses and organizations.

What disciplines are represented on the Center staff?

The Center has a highly-credentialed, multidisciplinary staff of more than 25 clinicians that includes psychologists, pastoral counselors, child therapists, mental health counselors, licensed independent social workers, marriage and family therapists, spiritual directors, a career counselor, and counselors who specialize in working with the deaf and hearing-impaired, Spanish-speaking clients, pregnant and postpartum women, and veterans and their families. We have clinicians who are trained in sensorimotor psychotherapy and EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing).

Does the Center provide counseling for children and adolescents?

Yes, the Center has an innovative child and adolescent program called C.O.O.L., Children Overcoming the Obstacles of Life. C.O.O.L. offers a safe and nurturing place within the Center for counseling youth. C.O.O.L. has a staff of six counselors with many years of experience. C.O.O.L. creates a nurturing environment to facilitate the natural growth and healing potential of youth, ages 2-20+. C.O.O.L. staff provide a variety of services to children and their families including individual counseling, parent training, testing of children, and seminars or presentations within the community.

What issues do clients bring to the Center?

People seek counseling for depression, anxiety, grief, anger, marital or family conflict, past or current abuse, chronic/terminal illness, and parenting issues. Some individuals come to the Center to explore career issues, others to heal the ruptures in their mind-body-spirit connections.

Parents bring their children to the Center’s child and adolescent program, C.O.O.L., with a variety of presenting concerns including coping with divorce or the death of a loved one, chronic illness, developmental delays, separation anxiety, school phobia, poor progress in school, sibling rivalry, depression, temper tantrums, low self-esteem, behavioral disorders like ADHD, or developmental disorders like autism or Autism Spectrum Disorder … life stuff!

What is the Center’s fee structure?

The standard 45-minute fee is $140 and a 60-minute counseling session is $195. However, the amount a client pays is determined by the counselor and client during the initial appointment. That amount depends on the availability of health insurance coverage, the level of the client’s gross income, and the number of people living on that income.

Will health insurance cover the cost of my counseling?

Some insurance plans provide mental health benefits depending on the issue for which you are seeking counseling. We recommend that you call your insurance company to determine if your counseling will be partially-covered, fully-covered, or not covered at all by your particular insurance plan. When health insurance does provide mental health benefits, the client is often required to make a co-payment each time you meet with your counselor. If you are not able to use health insurance to pay for your counseling, the Center has a sliding scale for payment.

If I see a counselor, does that mean I have a mental health problem?

People experience a variety of difficulties over the course of a lifetime, and a professional counselor can offer an objective perspective on important issues in their lives. Often times people talk to a counselor when they need to make a difficult decision, cope with a transition, or improve a relationship. So, meeting with a counselor does not necessarily indicate that you have a mental health problem, but rather that you want to chart a more productive and satisfying course in life.

How do I schedule an appointment with a Center counselor?

To make an appointment at the Mind & Spirit Counseling Center, call 515-274-4006 between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday. Explain to the receptionist that you would like to set up an appointment with a counselor. She will ask you several questions to determine how best to address your reasons for seeking professional counseling. The receptionist will also want to know what time of day you are able to come to the Center for counseling.

The receptionist will ask if you plan to use health insurance to partially cover the cost of counseling. If you do not have insurance, she will explain our sliding scale for payment. The receptionist will then tell you the date and time of your first appointment, your counselor’s name, and she will give you directions to our office. The entire process usually takes about five minutes.

When an appointment has been scheduled, an email will be sent to you with a link to set up an account in our Patient Portal. Our initial forms can be accessed there, printed, filled out by you, and brought to your first appointment.

What usually happens during a client’s first counseling appointment?

A new client typically comes fifteen minutes early to the first appointment to fill out paperwork. In the first session, the client tells the counselor what brings him/her to therapy at this time and what goals he/she has for therapy. During the initial sessions, the counselor will want to gain an understanding of how a client’s life story pertains to their current circumstances. Together the client and the counselor develop a plan to address the client’s needs.

Who makes referrals to the Center?

People are referred to the Center from a variety of sources including mental health professionals, managed care companies, former clients, attorneys, physicians, and clergy. However, a referral is not a requirement for counseling, and many people contact the Center on their own, having found us in the phone book, on the internet, or heard about us from a friend.

How does the Center make up the difference between expenses and client fees?

When a client’s circumstances do not allow him or her to pay the full standard fee, the difference between what it costs the Center and what the client can afford to pay is covered by counseling assistance through contributions raised from corporations, foundations, individuals, and churches.

Is the Center a religious organization?

The Center is not a religious or faith-based organization. While the Center was initially organized in 1972 by the First United Methodist Church, the Center became an independent community-based nonprofit provider of counseling and psychotherapy services in 1973.