Counseling and Therapy Team
Most people who seek counseling do so because something in their life is just not quite right. For some, sadness, worry, relationship issues, or life stress feels too big to manage alone. Other people may need additional support moving through a challenging transition in life. Therapy can be many things – support, new ideas, being challenged to grow, or a place to talk without feeling judged.
At Innovative Learning Professionals, we strive to help our clients to learn to live happy, fulfilling, and balanced lives. Our clients come from many different backgrounds and struggle with a multitude of problems ranging from simple to very complex. If you would like extra support, a new perspecive, new skills for your struggles, or further information about our services, please contact us. We would love to hear from you.
“Life isn't about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.”
― George Bernard Shaw
Ph.D., Psychologist, Director of Assessment and Psychological Services.
David obtained his doctorate in psychology from Iowa State University in 1992 after completing his undergraduate work at the University of Notre Dame. He has been working in the field full time area since 1991. He has a strong background in assessment of children, adolescents, and adults including psychological, educational, emotional, cognitive, and perceptual aspects of psychological evaluations and neuropsychological screenings.
He holds a contract with Juvenile Court Services to conduct forensic psychological evaluations, and he supervisors the post-doctoral fellow who provides most of that direct service. In addition to administrative, supervisory, and assessment duties, he provides counseling services primarily to adolescents and adults.
He has a deep desire to maintain a quality standard of assessments, to develop treatment alternatives, and to recognize the need to address learning issues as related to an individual’s functioning as a whole. David serves as the director of assessment and psychological services (including counseling, EEG Neurotherapy, and Cognitive Rehabilitation).
Dusty Baker received his B.S. in Psychology from Drake University in 2008, and his Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology from Iowa State University in 2016.
He works from a humanistic and emotion-focused perspective, and views self-critical beliefs as the core to most concerns that bring people to therapy. Dr. Baker believes approaching their concerns from a non-judgmental perspective with self-compassion allows the client to feel safe in the exploration and incorporation of new perspectives that helps foster personal growth in the client's life. Honoring the client’s unique multicultural identity is also emphasized to better understand how self-critical beliefs developed and how those beliefs can be challenged with respect to each client’s personal and cultural values.
Dr. Baker works with a wide variety of concerns and has special interests in psychological assessment, ADHD, trauma, and vocational concerns. He also enjoys clinical supervision, teaching, and is a firm believer in the power of humor.
SUSAN SMITH HELKENN
Susan joined our practice in 2009 to add neurotherapy to her range of skills and treatment modalities. ILP was a good fit for Susan’s unique range of practical and clinical experiences, having served adults and children in the mental health and medical field for over 15 years. Susan is certified as a Child Life Specialist, holds a Bachelor's degree in Psychology and Sociology-Anthropology from Nebraska Wesleyan University and a Master's in Social Work from the University of Iowa. Clinical interests include adjustment disorder, anxiety, depression, school related problems, relationship issues, grief/loss as well as medical trauma and stress. Susan strives to schedule new clients promptly and is accepting referrals for adults, adolescents, and children.
Joel Greenberg is a recent transplant to Des Moines, having moved here from the San Francisco Bay Area in 2021.
Joel earned a Doctoral Degree in Clinical Psychology from the Wright Institute in Berkeley, CA, and a BA in Psychology at the University of Maryland. For the past 10 years, Joel has worked at Kaiser Permanente, where he served in both Clinical and Administrative roles as the head of Child Psychiatry Services in Marin and southern Sonoma Counties.
Although trained as a Generalist Clinical Psychologist, his work has focused primarily on Individual, Family, and Group Psychotherapy with Children, Teens, Transition Age Youth, and young Adults. He is experienced in the assessment and treatment of a wide range of issues including but not limited to anxiety disorders, depression, ADHD and educational problems, oppositional behaviors, substance use, mood disorders, disruptions within the family system, and life transitions.
While his primary treatment modality tends toward Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), he is trained in a range of evidence-based approaches which can be tailored to meet your individual or family’s needs.