Aspen Felton, tLMHC
Aspen has been with Life Connections since November 2016, when she began as a BHIS (Behavioral Health Intervention Services) provider. Aspen graduated from Clarke University with her bachelor’s degree in psychology in May of 2016, and graduated with her master’s degree in clinical psychology from Loras College in May of 2019. She then obtained her temporary license from the State of Iowa in Mental Health Counseling (tLMHC).
Aspen has a positive and soothing approach that allows children to feel relaxed and remain focused, even while discussing difficult topics. Aspen incorporates various counseling techniques but prefers to use CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy), play therapy and mindfulness. Clients can always count on Aspen to be positive, motivational, and take a person-centered approach to working with her clients. She works with children in preschool through fifth grade in schools, and completes assessments for BHIS (Behavioral Health Intervention Services).
Bridget Kleitsch, MS, tLMHC
Bridget began her career at Life Connections in August of 2015. She is a Therapy Manager and Licensed Mental Health Therapist (tLMHC) at Life Connections’ Anamosa office and School-Based at Midland Middle/High School. Bridget became a BHIS manager for the Anamosa location in December of 2018 and transitioned to therapy management in March 2020 where her skills are utilized to support the Therapy and BHIS teams and work towards growth in Jones County.
Bridget attended the University of Northern Iowa where she graduated in 2016 with her Bachelor of Arts degree in family services. She also obtained her Master of Science degree in clinical mental health counseling from Walden University in February of 2020.
Bridget has a passion in assisting children and adolescents as well as their families with trauma, attachment, adjustment disorders, relationship disorders, anxiety, depression, mood disturbances, impulse control, and anger management. Bridget utilizes several therapeutic approaches including Cognitive Behavioral, Person Centered, and Solution Focused therapeutic approaches in her work. Bridget also completes BHIS assessments to assist in the growth of in home skill building in Jones County. Bridget strives to establish a strong presence in Anamosa to bridge the gap between the community and mental health services. She actively participates in the Jones County Community Partnership for Protecting Children, Jones County Safe and Healthy Youth Coalition, and Jones County Community Connections teams. In her free time, Bridget enjoys being outdoors and spending time with her family and friends.
Felicia Pope, tLMHC
Felicia started her career at Life Connections in April of 2018. She graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater with a Bachelor of Science degree in psychology, and also majored in art drawing studio. She received her master’s degree in educational psychology from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee with a concentration in community counseling. She is now a tLMHC, temporary Licensed Mental Health Counselor. She is a therapist in our Cedar Rapids and Anamosa locations, and provides tele-therapy for clients in Humboldt, Algona, and Mason City.
Felicia works with adults, teens, and children providing individual therapy. Felicia interned for Spectrum Healthcare, an AODA center in Milwaukee, and was trained in Hypnosis. She also has experience in working with adults with substance abuse issues, which she gained while working at Cedar Rapids Comprehensive Treatment Center. Felicia has worked for Paragon Community Services in Wisconsin which treats adults with traumatic brain injury. She has also worked with adults with developmental concerns. Felicia specializes in treating trauma, depression, anxiety, and survivors of domestic violence. She uses Cognitive Behavioral therapy to help clients overcome their underlying beliefs, EMDR to assist clients who have a history of traumatic experiences, and mindfulness and relaxation exercises to help build coping skills for a variety of mental health issues.
Jackie Lambert LMHC, NCC
Jackie started her career with Life Connections in June of 2017. She has her license in Mental Health Counseling (LMHC) and is a Nationally Certified Counselor (NCC). In her current position, Jackie provides therapy for clients in office settings and at approved schools between Cedar Rapids and Anamosa, and is the Therapy Manager at our Anamosa location.
Jackie received her Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology from Northern Illinois University in 2013. In 2016, she received her Master of Counseling degree from Governors State University in Illinois, specializing in marriage and family counseling.
Jackie works with kids, couples, and families of all ages. She has additional experience with kids that have Autism and learning disabilities. She also works with clients that have anxiety, depression, have experienced trauma, infidelity in a relationship, ADHD, suicidal thoughts, self-harm, bereavement, and adjustment disorders. Jackie utilizes various techniques including: play therapy, psychodynamic therapy, and person-centered therapy.
Mark Wiezorek tLMHC
Mark’s career with Life Connections began in November of 2019. Mark is a Temporary Licensed Mental Health Counselor (tLMHC) in the state of Iowa. He graduated from Coe College with his bachelor of arts in psychology and art. After obtaining his bachelor’s degree, Mark went on to complete his Master of Science degree in art therapy with a concentration in counseling at Mt. Mary University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
Over the past two years, Mark has worked as an in-patient therapist at Psychiatric Medical Institute for Children in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, a highly respected service provider in the area. Mark served as part of a multidisciplinary team whose focus was to provide intensive therapy and support to high-risk and high- acuity children and their families. Mark provided weekly individual and family therapy, as well as occasional group therapy, utilizing modalities such as cognitive behavioral therapy, patient-centered and art therapy.
Mark’s degree in art therapy has allowed him to provide other avenues of expression when traditional talk therapy has not been effective. The primary focus of his work has been on improving the individual’s emotion regulation skills and/or family relationships in order to overcome challenges of everyday life.
Mary McAllister, LMSW
Mary began her career at Life Connections in July of 2020. She is a School-Based Therapist, working within the Western Dubuque Catholic Schools and is based out of Life Connections’ Anamosa office. Mary attended the University of Iowa where she graduated in 2017 with her Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology. She then went on to attend Clarke University to complete her Master of Social Work degree in May of 2020.
Mary works with students in grades K-12 and has a passion in assisting individuals as well as their families with anxiety, depression, adjustment disorders, trauma, impulse control, anger management, relationship disorders, and mood disorders. Mary utilizes various therapeutic techniques including Cognitive Behavioral, Motivational Interviewing, Person Centered, and Brief Psychodynamic Therapy approaches in her services.
Melissa Paulsen LMFT, RPT
CEO of Mental Health
Melissa has been working at Life Connections since October 2014. Melissa is an Independently Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. She provides individual counseling, couples counseling, and family therapy. She also does assessments for Behavioral Health Intervention Services (BHIS). Melissa is Life Connections’ CEO of Mental Health.
Melissa is a member of the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT) and the Association for Play Therapy (APT). Melissa served on the Iowa Association for Play Therapy Board from March 2015 to December 2019. Melissa attended Mount Mercy College where she graduated in 2010 with her Bachelor of Arts in psychology and criminal justice while also minoring in sociology. She received her Master of Arts in marriage and family therapy from Mount Mercy University in 2012. While in college, Melissa interned for the Sixth Judicial District and worked at Tanager Place in the PMIC facilities.
Melissa specializes in adjustment-related stressors, anxiety, depression, grief and loss, self-harm, and trauma. She works with all populations from as young as three-years-old to the elderly. Melissa is certified in Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, is a Registered Play Therapist with over 270 hours of play therapy-specific training, received Level 1 Theraplay training, and is an EMDR Clinician. She completed training in Evidence-Based Assessments.
Melissa also facilitates Mediation Education and Children In The Middle Classes in Jones County. Melissa is on the Wyoming Library Board of Directors (Secretary), Paul Petersen Fitness Center Foundation, Jones County Community Partnerships for Protecting Children (Chair), Jones County Family Council (President), and Jones County Safe & Healthy Youth Coalition (Planning Committee).
Sarah Matus, LMSW
Sarah has been working at Life Connections since September of 2019. Sarah is a Licensed Master of Social Work (LMSW). She provides individual and family counseling. Sarah also offers assessments for Behavioral Health Intervention Services (BHIS).
Sarah graduated from Mount Mercy University in 2018 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in social work. She received her Master of Social Work degree at Clarke University in 2019. While attending college, Sarah interned for The PATHS program in Cedar Rapids, Mount Vernon Middle School, and with Tanager Place’s School – Based Therapy program.
Sarah specializes in treating depression, anxiety, adjustment related stressors, anger management and trauma. Sarah works with all ages ranging from as young as 4 years old to the elderly. She utilizes Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Motivational Interviewing, mindfulness techniques, and takes a strengths-based and person-centered approach. Sarah also utilizes techniques of Adlerian Play Therapy when working with children, and has attended several play therapy trainings. She will collaborate with you to create a treatment plan and identify a combination of therapeutic approaches that will help you achieve your mental health goals.