TEAM

Heartland Counseling Services counselors and therapists have been chosen for their unique specialties and reputation in counseling for having high standards of care, strong therapeutic relationships, and positive outcomes with clients.

 
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BEKKI KLODT, T-LMHC

Fairfield Office and Online Counseling
Adolescents and Adults 15 Years +

Bekki views the counseling space as a collaborative environment and integrates multiple therapeutic techniques to give each client a tailored approach based on their goals, identity, background, and experiences. She sees each client as the expert on their own life and believes that counseling is about empowering others to best navigate their unique journeys. She frequently works with clients on topics including overcoming anxiety and depression, exploring identity, healing from trauma, processing grief, and navigating life transitions. She often incorporates multicultural and feminist orientations to provide clients a safe and identity-affirming space. Bekki enjoys utilizing traditional talk therapy and cognitive-behavioral methods, while sometimes incorporating creative methods including EMDR, movement, art, and mindfulness.


Bekki is allied with the LGBTQIA+, BIPOC, sex-positive, and body positivity communities, and is committed to providing a safe and compassionate environment for clients of every background.

Focus Areas: Depression, anxiety, trauma, self-esteem, life balance, sexuality, life stressors, identity exploration, life transitions, grief and loss.

Utilizes integrated lens and incorporates EMDR, CBT, DBT, ACT, strengths-based, and solution-focused techniques.

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ALAINA ELLINGTON, TLMHC, CTMH-A

Fairfield Office and Online Counseling
Adolescents and Adults 15 Years +

Alaina has a passion for helping individuals transform into the person they want to become. She has experience working with individuals overcoming depression, anxiety, trauma, complicated life stressors, relationship difficulties, adjustment issues, and other life stressors. She is an integrative counselor and believes in shaping therapy to fit the needs of each individual served. Alaina is passionate about promoting individuality and autonomy. She believes in the importance of creating a safe atmosphere and takes a person-centered, genuine, and collaborative approach to treatment.

Focus Areas: depression, anxiety, trauma, life stressors, relationship difficulties, adjustment issues

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JULIE ANDERSON, LMHC, CTMH

Online Counseling Only

Wellmark Insurance 

18 Years+

Julie Anderson completed undergraduate studies at Bethel University and received her Master of Arts in Clinical Psychology from Wheaton College Graduate School. Through her career she has worked in a variety of mental health settings as a licensed counselor including community mental health, emergency department on-call, behavioral health hospital settings, higher education, and private practice. A key area of interest and experience is helping those impacted by trauma and complex trauma to navigate their path to recovery. Julie utilizes a caring, person-centered, integrated, and collaborative approach to treatment. In her personal time, Julie enjoys biking, playing with her dog, traveling, and music.

Focus Areas:

Young Adults 18-24

Women

Trauma

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DAVID KIRK, T-LMHC, CYMHS

Storm Lake Office 
Children 12 years+, Adolescents, Adults
Wellmark Insurance Only

David is committed to providing all clients a safe and structured environment for them to explore and become their best selves. David is the Legislative and Public Policy Chair for ACA Iowa and is passionate about advocating for individuals and families in need. His integrated approach to therapy draws on evidence-based practices that match each individual client’s needs.

David is a Certified Youth Mental Health Specialist (CYMHS)

Focus Areas: anxiety, depression, trauma, ADD/ADHD, parent/child conflict, oppositional defiant, and conduct disorder. His work with adults focuses on individuals with anxiety, depression, trauma, life changes, anger management, relationship issues, and parent/child conflict

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GUS RAYMOND, CADC

MENTAL HEALTH COUNSELING INTERN

Storm Lake Office and Online Counseling
Mental Health,Addiction, and Co-Occurring Counseling 
Adolescents and Adults

Gus is a certified drug and alcohol counselor in the state of Iowa with experience in individual and group services as well as experience in Family Treatment Court. Gus received his BA in Psychology from Southern New Hampshire University in 2020 and expects to graduate with a master’s in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Adler University (Chicago) in October 2022.  He is currently under the direct supervision of Dr. Ruscitto while completing his practicum and internship requirements. 

Focus Areas: Addictions/Mental Health Counseling, LGBTQIA+, Gender expansive, Youth, Trauma, Cultural diversity


Gus is very engaged in social justice, community organizing, and collaborative work within diverse communities. One area of additional specialization is the LGBTQIA+ community, especially gender-expansive/explorative individuals and families. He uses a very person-centered, trauma-informed, and strength-based approach in his counseling work.


Gus serves as the Board Chair for One Iowa Action, a legislative advocacy organization, and was selected as a Minority Fellow (Addictions) with the MFP Fellowship program (2021-2022) by the National Board of Certified Counselors, NAADAC, and SAMHSA.

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DAREN JAQUES, TCADC, MENTAL HEALTH COUNSELING INTERN

Storm Lake Office and Online Counseling
Mental Health, Addiction, and Co-Occurring Counseling
Adults 18 years +

Daren is a person-centered counselor who values the quality of the therapist-client relationship above all, and values each person's expertise in their own lives. Before coming to the profession of counseling, Daren served Honorably in the U.S. Army, attaining the rank of Major, earning the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal during ten years of total service (both active and reserve). Daren is under the direct supervision of Dr. Ruscitto.

Focus Areas: depression, anxiety, veterans' issues, and substance abuse. He is also deeply interested in sleep disorders, trauma, canine-assisted therapy, and sports psychology

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ALEX LEFFLER, MENTAL HEALTH COUNSELING INTERN

Storm Lake Office and Online Counseling
Children, Adolescents, Adults, and Families

Alex is passionate about working with others to overcome and heal from their unique issues and life circumstances in order to become the best version of themselves. She uses a person-centered, integrative approach to counseling to help individuals with the challenges that come with everyday life as well as challenges that are present following significant life events.

Alex is currently completing her Master’s Degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling through Upper Iowa University. She is under the direct supervisor of Dr. Ruscitto while completing her practicum and internship experience.

Focus Areas: Trauma, anxiety, depression, behavioral issues, life stressors, and life transitions.