Internship positions available: 1
We walk with people through counseling and education to find hope and healing, and to live a fulfilling life.
About Our Site
Mind & Spirit Counseling Center (formerly known as the Des Moines Pastoral Counseling Center) walks with people through counseling and education to find hope and healing, and to live a fulfilling life. The Center is a nonprofit clinic committed to providing high-quality and affordable mental health services to adolescents and children, couples and families, adults, and older adults. For over 50 years, the Center has retained its vision of being recognized as the welcoming place for diverse clients seeking inspiration and holistic treatment of mind, body, and spirit.
The Center is made up of a multidisciplinary team of clinicians and serves an estimated 2,400 clients annually. Our current clinical staff includes nine fully-licensed psychologists, three psychiatric providers and one conditional prescribing psychologist, sixteen master’s level counselors and multiple trainees.
Our ongoing commitment to training quality and diverse mental health professionals who help alleviate the workforce shortage in the industry began in 1980 and has expanded to include master’s level practica and internships, a predoctoral psychology internship, postmaster’s residencies, and a postdoctoral psychology fellowship.
Because of our history, size, and status in an underserved and largely rural state, our staff operate as psychology generalists, and we intend to train predoctoral interns to function in a similar role. We hope to balance breadth of training with sufficient depth to allow the intern to begin identifying their own unique passions in clinical work. It is our intention to tailor supervision and support to the unique developmental needs of each predoctoral intern, with the goal to achieve entry-level clinical skills by the end of the internship year. Thus, more time might be spent on modeling, observation, reviewing work samples, and/or co-therapy in the beginning of the training year. As the year and the intern’s development progresses, we would expect that interns be capable of greater autonomy and clinical skill, as evidenced by larger and more complex caseloads, more sophisticated case conceptualizations, and more developed professional identities as ethical psychologists.
Based on the intern’s interests, developmental needs, supervisor input, and Center needs, the intern will be able to construct an experience that may vary from trainee to trainee. However, each intern should anticipate carrying a caseload of individual therapy clients that will grow over the course of the internship year. The caseload may include children, adolescents, adults, and/or older adults, and may include both short and longer-term cases. The intern may also carry couples or families as part of their therapy caseload.
In addition, the intern should plan to complete a number of psychological assessment and testing cases throughout the internship year. Psychological assessment remains a core component and skill of psychologists’ identity, and our faculty will help the intern to bolster their assessment skills wherever the intern may be developmentally. There are a variety of testing cases from which the intern may to choose, including evaluations focused on ASD, ADHD, clergy candidacy, memory, mood disorders, personality, therapeutic assessment, trauma, complex differential diagnosis, etc.
Beyond their therapy and assessment cases, interns may have opportunities to engage in a variety of other learning activities. Some examples could include: consultation with colleagues, outreach presentations, teaching a didactic, spiritually-integrated interventions, learning about administration or nonprofits, health and behavioral interventions, providing supervision, expressive arts therapeutic interventions, etc.
The predoctoral intern will generally spend the lion share of their internship hours at the Center, and should plan to be at the Center Mondays through Fridays. They may have time away from their supervised clinical activities for didactic trainings and for the Center’s Thursday morning consultation offerings. Otherwise, the intern will be physically at the Center for most services, though exceptions may be considered for telehealth or other off-site activities that may arise (e.g., participating in a school meeting, outreach presentation at a local church, etc.).
APPIC Training Experiences
Predoctoral interns at the Center will be exposed to a range of outpatient diagnoses and presenting concerns. Some of the most common reasons clients seek services include (in no particular order): depressive disorders, anxiety disorders, trauma and adjustment issues, OCD, ADHD, ASD, sleep disorders, family or relationship problems, chronic pain or health conditions, etc. While less common, there are also a variety of other concerns and diagnoses that present at the Center, with some examples including: substance use disorders, enuresis, bulimia, binge-eating disorder, anorexia, schizophrenia and other psychotic disorders, bipolar disorder, personality disorders, somatic symptom disorders, neurocognitive disorders, specific learning disorders and intellectual disabilities, dissociative disorders, etc. In short, interns may expect to have some exposure to many of the various DSM disorders.
As Iowa is a rural and underserved state, we see a wide variety of clients from all over Iowa. While we have a good percentage of our clients who have financial barriers and are on Client Assistance Funds or Medicaid, we also have clients who are among the most affluent in the state. We work hard to provide quality care for all our clients. Because of the range of clients we see, the predoctoral intern will be able to work with their supervisor to focus their caseloads on the interns preferences, within the generalist experience of our internship. Thus, the percentage of clients the intern will serve will vary depending on their needs, interests, and the Center’s preferences. The percentages provided, therefore, may not reflect the experience of each intern during their training year.
Site Training Directors
Scott Young, Ph.D./M.S.C.P.
Dr. Young a Conditional Prescribing and Licensed Health Service Psychologist who provides integrated psychotherapy, medication management, and psychological assessment (including basic neuropsychological screening) services to school-age children, adults, older adults, couples, and families. As a psychologist with prescriptive authority, He is truly committed to integrated care that includes the psychological, social, biological, and existential/spiritual aspects that make clients whole people. He uses psychological testing as a stand-alone service, but even more as a tool for refining diagnosis and understanding to inform medication and psychotherapy treatments. He utilizes a multitheoretical psychotherapy approach emphasizing the therapeutic relationship and informed by many perspectives including (but not limited to): Person-Center Therapy, Emotion Focused (individual) and Emotionally-Focused (couples) Therapies, Logotherapy and Existential Psychotherapy, Landreth Child-Centered Play Therapy, Interpersonal Process Psychotherapy, Adlerian Psychotherapy, Brief Psychodynamic Psychotherapy, CBT, DBT, ACT, Ericksonian and Neurolinguistic Programming hypnosis, Multicultural Therapy, Family Systems Therapy, Narrative Therapy, Religiously-Accommodative Psychotherapy, the Psychobiosocial Model, etc. He has been known to say that every strength can be a weakness, and every weakness can be a strength. So his goal is often to use understanding to help clients channel those weaknesses and strengths more effectively in their lives.
After earning his Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology from Iowa State University, Dr. Young completed his postdoctoral residency with the Des Moines Pastoral Counseling Center in 2011. He became independently licensed as a Psychologist and Health Service Provider in Psychology in 2012, and went back to complete a Postdoctoral Master’s of Science in Clinical Psychopharmacology from Fairleigh Dickinson University in 2019. He received his Conditional Prescribing Certificate, which allowed him to begin prescribing psychotropic medications in April of 2022. After an even greater number cups of coffee, he has 12 years of formal college education and an additional three years (so far) of supervised clinical practice and training. He has clinical experience in counseling centers, medical clinics, a community correctional setting, a private practice, community mental health centers, a psychiatric hospital, an adolescent residential treatment facility and school, and skilled nursing facilities. I also have enjoyed teaching and clinical supervision experience at university, clinic, and hospital residency settings. As Director of Psychological Services, he gets to stretch my problem-solving skills to facilitate the good work offered by the Center’s psychologists!
As a person of faith, he truly has a sense of calling in his practice as a conditional prescribing psychologist, and he considers psychotherapy a chance to “do small things with great love”. In fact, he loves psychotherapy so much that he married a clinical social worker! His three daughters probably don’t have much of a chance with two therapists as parents… He is also a nerd, who loves science, fantasy novel, Star Wars, and Star Trek. He tries to be direct with his thoughts and feelings, to be empathic with your thoughts and feelings, and to be able to laugh at our mutual humanity.
Shannon Welch-Groves, Psy.D.
Dr. Welch-Groves is a licensed psychologist who works with people of all ages, individuals and families, to accomplish personal goals. She primarily offers services to clients who may struggle with anxiety disorders, ADHD, autism spectrum and life transitions. Working from a strength-based lens, She helps people identify areas they feel competent and successful in while also identifying areas of growth. She practices from a cognitive behavioral orientation and utilize evidenced-based treatment modalities while also incorporating a warm person-centered style. What this means is that she believes we are all capable of change and growth and learning new skills and new ways of approaching life’s’ challenges. She prefers a collaborative approach where she meets her clients where they are at and supports them in their journey toward health and wellness. She sees the individual as a whole person and feels comfortable discussing topics pertaining to the mind/thoughts and related to the body, and spirit.
Dr. Welch-Groves has had extensive experience working with children, adults and families in various clinical settings. After completing her Master’s in Community Mental Health, she worked as an in-home family therapist providing support to foster families, biological families and children in transition. After working for a couple of years, she realized she wanted to further her education, so she went back to school and worked toward her Doctorate in Counseling Psychology. Her training in her doctoral program, at the University of Northern Colorado, was focused on individual therapy, family counseling and assessment. She has worked in the mental health field for over 20 years and has had advanced training related to the treatment of anxiety disorders in children and adults, ADHD and the autism spectrum. Most recently, she completed training to facilitate Supportive Parenting for Anxious Childhood Emotions (SPACE), a treatment approach that focuses on teaching parents strategies to help their anxious child.
Dr. Welch-Groves genuinely values hearing each person’s life story. She enjoys listening without judgment and then working together to figure out next steps toward growth and healing. She appreciates the process of walking together, offering support and guidance, encouraging, gently prompting, teaching and learning, all at the same time. She understands that this life is often challenging, and she feels that she has some skills and life experiences that can assist others to further develop and grow. When she is not working, she has two wonderful boys that she enjoys immensely. She loves to spend time with her husband and children attending sporting events, going for walks, riding bikes, practicing yoga and being out in nature as much as possible.
Greg Lengel, Ph.D.
Dr. Greg Lengel is a Licensed Psychologist and Health Service Provider in Psychology. He provides psychotherapy to adults and adolescents, as well as psychological and neuropsychological assessments for all ages. He utilizes a collaborative approach that is firmly rooted in the integration of evidence-based practices to address a wide variety of presenting concerns. Dr. Lengel has special interests in interventions for depressive disorders, anxiety disorders, obsessive-compulsive disorder, nonsuicidal self-injury, suicide prevention, emotion dysregulation, personality disorders and eating disorders. Dr. Lengel earned his PhD in Clinical Psychology from Oklahoma State University. In addition to his practice at Mind and Spirit Counseling Center, Dr. Lengel is an Associate Professor in the Department of Psychology and Neuroscience at Drake University, where he teaches several psychology courses as well as maintains an active research program that explores personality-related maladaptive behaviors (e.g., nonsuicidal self-injury), clinical utility, diagnostic classification, as well as personality’s role in psychopathology and problems in living. Additionally, Dr. Lengel is a member of the Iowa Psychological Association, the International Association for the Study of Self-Injury, as well as other professional organizations.
Doug Aupperle, Ph.D.
Dr. Aupperle employs a number of therapy modalities through an Integrative Problem-Centered Therapy framework to address a wide range of issues children and adolescents are facing. These include abuse, attention disorders, anxiety, autism spectrum disorders, depression, emotional regulation, grief/loss, LGBTQ+ issues, stress & coping and trauma. He utilizes spiritually-integrated therapy to the degree that children, teens and their families need and wish to. He also provides psychological testing for children and teens to address a variety of cognitive and emotional questions.
Dr. Aupperle is a licensed psychologist working primarily with children, adolescents and their parents for over 30 years. He received his BA in Psychology from Creighton University in Omaha, followed by his MA and PhD in Clinical Child Psychology from DePaul University in Chicago. He also completed practicum training at the Family Institute of Chicago and an APA-accredited pre-doctoral internship at the Des Moines Child & Adolescent Guidance Center. In addition, He is trained in EMDR trauma therapy and has also undergone considerable training in play therapy and LGBTQ+ affirming counseling over the years.
Dr. Aupperle strives to see the inherent worth and dignity in each person and to discover and build upon their unique gifts and strengths. He wants to really hear and understand the narratives of his clients’ lives that have led them to this particular place and time and help them think about and shape their stories in new ways moving forward. When he is not working, he recharges by engaging with art, music, film and theater. He is also renewed by spending time in nature hiking, biking, paddling and doing photography.
Kelli Hill, Ph.D.
Kelli Hill specializes in assessment and treatment with children and adolescents/young adults and their families. She incorporates play, movement, music and art to facilitate communication as needed as well as cognitive-behavioral therapy, mindfulness, EMDR, and family therapy. She conducts psychological testing to assess ADHD, Autism Spectrum Disorder, Learning Disabilities, Developmental/Intellectual Disabilities, and emotional/personality issues.
Mark Minnear, Ph.D.
After completing seminary and 20 years of pastoral ministry, Mark Minear shifted his vocational path at midlife by completing a PhD in Counseling Psychology from Ball State University in 1997. Working over the years with adults across the life spectrum, he joined the Mind & Spirit Counseling Center in 2012 and is now working at a part-time level, gently tapering down into retirement – not seeking new clients but endeavoring to accommodate returning clients. Over the years, he has provided supervision at a number of levels — Masters level internship and residency for licensure, predoctoral internship and postdoctoral residency for licensure, and over a mental health department in an institution. He has been drawn to the theoretical approaches of logotherapy and mindfulness to address the various psychological issues of depression, anxiety including trauma, loss and grief, transitions and adjustments, and spiritual concerns; and, with an emphasis on spiritual integration, and he also has a background in working with a variety of churches, denominations and faith traditions along with a focus of individual religious leaders in need of support.
Mary Schenkenfelder, Ph.D.
Mary Schenkenfelder graduated from Iowa State University in 2020 with a PhD in Counseling Psychology, and was licensed in Iowa in 2021. Most of her training during her PhD was in university counseling centers, with some emphasis on career counseling. She has since specialized in treating anxiety and trauma in adults using evidence based practices, including EMDR and also provides assessment services for a broad range of presenting concerns for people 8+.
Wade Leuwerke, Ph.D.
Wade Leuwerke is a licensed psychologist who works with adults to improve their mental health in areas of depression, anxiety, relationship issues, life transitions, identity, career change and interpersonal disorders. His therapy approach starts with creating a safe and comfortable working relationship that allows individuals to share their thoughts and feelings without judgment. Dr. Leuwerke works collaboratively with individuals to identify achievable therapy goals and helps individuals identify patterns in their lives that aren’t working well and collaboratively identify different ways of being to achieve desired outcomes.
Life in Des Moines, Iowa
The Des Moines Metro area is a midsized city, with pretty good access around the city and suburbs. As the Center is located in Urbandale, interns may wish to find a residence in the western suburbs if they wish to be close to the Center. While there are bus lines running around the Metro, driving continues to be the most popular mode of transportation. There are a number of public and parochial school systems in the Metro, for interns with children, and many job opportunities for interns with partners. Indeed, Forbes has named Des Moines the best city for business and careers. U.S. New and World Report has also repeatedly ranked Des Moines among the top cities to live affordably.
Annual Pay, Benefits, and Support
Annual Pay: $36,000
Benefits provided at this site:
- The option of participating in the Center’s individual health insurance and dental insurance policies
- 403(b) retirement program
- Two weeks of PTO and will accrue 1 day of sick leave per month
- Time allotted during the internship for attendance at the Iowa Psychological Association Conferences
- Professional liability insurance
- Long-term disability insurance
- Access to short-term disability
- Access to life insurance
- New Years Day
- Memorial Day
- Independence Day
- Labor Day
- Friday after Thanksgiving
- Christmas Day
Please note that available benefits and observed holidays are subject to change. Matched interns will receive full benefit orientations at their site which will go over all benefit information for the training year. More information about the Support and Benefits offered in each of our regions can be found here.
To be considered for an internship at the Center, applicants must meet the following criteria:
- Approval by the applicant’s academic training program, verifying their readiness for internship
- A minimum of three years of an APA-Accredited doctoral program in Clinical or Counseling Psychology
- Have completed their comprehensive exams by the ranking deadline
- Have dissertation proposal be accepted by the doctoral committee prior to the ranking deadline
- A minimum of 300 intervention hours by the time of application
- A minimum of three integrated assessment evaluation reports
- Eligibility to obtain the Iowa provisional psychologist licensure.
Preference will be given to applicants who have greater assessment experience and who will have defended their dissertation by the start of the internship year.
In addition, the Center is not able to financially support Visa sponsorship but welcomes those applicants with Student Visas or who are eligible to work in the United States.
After matching, the aspiring intern would need to agree to a background check, and to sign a confidentiality agreement upon beginning employment.
The Center does not routinely require urinalysis for drug testing, and does not require regular vaccinations (e.g., COVID-19, influenza, etc.). The Center does encourage and support employees to keep current with vaccinations, and traditionally has offered a flu vaccine clinic day.
Intern Selection Process
The selection process for predoctoral internship applicants is a multiple-step review that will involve a group of the training faculty/supervisors, both internship training directors, our executive director, administrative support staff, and other Center staff as appropriate.
- The selection process for predoctoral internship applicants begins with a thorough review of the “written” materials requested (e.g., letter of recommendation, cover letter, case conceptualization, testing report, etc.). The co-directors of the predoctoral internship will complete the first review, then forward applications that appear to be a good fit for our site to the training faculty.
- Those applicants who are considered the best fit for the Center will be asked for an interview.
What would make an intern a poor fit for the Center? Characteristics that may be likely to increase friction for the intern and Center include:
- Having restricted or highly-focused clinical interests
- Possessing few or no areas in which we can help the intern to grow in competence or professionalism
- Seeking training specifically in “Bible-based” counseling
- Having difficulty with direct communication
- Having difficulty being open to cultural or religious differences
- Focus on remuneration as the highest professional priority
What would make an intern a good fit for the Center? Characteristics that are especially appreciated include:
- Intellectual curiosity about clients and clinical work
- Having a genuine desire to learn
- Willingness to be vulnerable and open to feedback
- Being self-motivated/self-starter
- Feeling passion for our mission
- Interest in spiritually-integrated care
- Cultural humility and curiosity
- Community participation
- Willingness to engage in direct communication and “creative interchange”
- Psychological Mindedness
Applicants felt to be an especially good fit for the Center will be invited to participate in a virtual, individual interview of about an hour with our psychology faculty. The purpose of these interviews is to help both the Center and the applicants to discern goodness of fit between what the Center can offer the applicant, and what the applicant can offer the Center. Applicants may expect questions about theoretical orientation and clinical style, questions about training needs and preferences, and some “get to know you” questions among others. Applicants may also wish to prepare questions they would like to ask the faculty, and will be given time in the interview to address those. Applicants who are interested in visiting the Center for a physical tour, may schedule individually with us after the interview have taken place.
During the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency, the Center took rapid action to increase our ability to provide care via telehealth. All clinicians have the technical capacity to provide services amenable to telehealth in that modality, and most are currently practicing in a hybrid manner based on the infection rates. Masks are not currently required, but are provided, and may be required should the circumstances warrant making again. The Center has augmented cleaning supplies, ventilation filtration, and air purifiers available to be used in each office. Many meetings remain either hybrid or virtual.