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Brenda Wood-Clark, LMHC, CFTP

Licensed Therapist/Clinical Director

Brenda is a Licensed Mental Health Therapist specializing in individual, couples, group, and family therapy. She is also a Certified Family Trauma Professional who believes that although we are all a product of our past, it should not define our future.

With over 20 years of experience working in mental health in a variety of capacities she specializes in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy.

She is an interactive, solution-focused therapist who believes that assisting the client to create a life that happens by them and not to them, is of utmost importance. Her therapeutic approach is to provide support and practical feedback to help clients effectively address personal life challenges.  She integrates complementary methodologies and techniques to offer a highly personalized approach tailored to each client. With compassion and understanding, Brenda works with each individual to help them build on their strengths and attain the personal growth they are committed to accomplishing.

Brenda graduated from Buena Vista University completing a Bachelor of Arts degree with a double major in Human Services and Psychology and completed a Master of Science degree at Drake University in Mental Health Counseling.

License, Certifications & Awards

  • License for Mental Health Counseling in the State of Iowa
  • Basic I Certification in Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR)
  • Certified Family Trauma Professional (CFTP)

Professional Activities and Memberships

  • Member of the American Counseling Association
  • Member of National Association for Professional Women
  • Member of International Trauma Professionals
  • Credentials and Background approved by Psychology Today
  • Board Member-Camp Hertko Hollow Iowa
Sharaine Conner, LMSW, IADC
Mental Health Therapist/Substance Abuse Counselor

Sharaine is a Licensed Masters Level Social Worker whose area of clinical interest and expertise include: various addictions, co-occurring diagnoses, anxiety, depression, sexual health and human sexuality, brain development and lifespan attachment issues, LGBTQIA+, and interpersonal relationship concerns. Sharaine has worked with clients of all ages and specializes working with individual, couples, group and family therapy. 

Sharaine utilizes CBT, DBT, and motivational interviewing methods, as well as art, music, and narrative therapy. She has a passion for working with those who have substance use disorders as well as their families in order them to understand each other and heal from their experiences. She believes that she in a holistic approach to addiction and mental health and works to build a bridge between the two in the community. Sharaine prides herself on being an eclectic therapist that works to individualize treatment for each person that she works with - no two individuals lives or treatment journeys are alike.


Sharaine completed her Bachelor's degree in Social Work with an emphasis in education at the University of Iowa, and received her Master's degree in Clinical Social Work from the University of New England. 

Professional Activities and Memberships

Offers training on addiction, counseling skills, human relationships, and deaf culture for the Iowa Board of Certification.

National Association of Social Workers (NASW)

Iowa Board of Certification (IBC) Training Committee Member

Iowa Club of Des Moines Board Member

Iowa Mental Health Counselor's Association Member


Mary Pulscher, LMHC, ATR-BC

Licensed Mental Health Therapist/Certified Art Therapist

Mary is a licensed mental health therapist who has over 30 years of experience working in behavioral health. She has special certification in Art Therapy which allow a unique and rewarding therapy environment for her clients. She has worked in community mental health, corrections, and crisis with a variety of individuals to assist them in creating change and balance in their lives.

Mary has a strong interest and experience working in trauma informed care with people of all ages and stages of life. She works with young children by using art as a vehicle to interpret and communicate their needs as well as adults to better understand obstacles that may be inhibiting the change they are seeking in their lives.

Mary's experience is collaborating with clients who have struggled with: PTSD, Anxiety, Depression, ADHD, OCD, and like diagnosis. She is experienced in helping women, men, children, families, couples, and individuals work through difficult times.


Mary holds a Masters Degree in Mental Health Counseling and licensed in the State of Iowa. She is also certified in Art Therapy through the Art Therapy Credentialing Board.

Teresa Gilbert, LISW, SOTP

Mental Health Therapist

Teresa has over 25 years of experience working as a therapist in numerous settings. She has provided case management for those with persistent mental illness, group and inidividual therapy for various mental health issues, in both the community and hospital settings. Teresa has worked within county and state organizations, and correctional settings. She has maintained a private practice in Des Moines for the last ten years and now joins Choices Therapy Services for the next phase of her adventure. Teresa has lengthy experience working with depression, anxiety, co-dependency, bipolar, sex addiction, marital therapy, among many others. She utilizes a cognitive-behavioral approach as well as systems theory and problem solving therapy. 


Susan Tridle, BA

Behavioral Health Intervention Specialist

Mental Health Intern

“We can only see with open eyes, We can only listen with open ears, We can only thing with open minds”  (Author unknown)

Susan has had extensive experience over the past 22 years with individuals of all ages and genders in educational settings, home settings, and facility settings. She has worked with individuals having many diagnoses (singular or multiple) including but not limited to: Intellectual Disabilities, Behavior Disorder, Learning Disabilities, Autism Spectrum Disorder, Angelman’s Syndrome, Cerebral Palsy, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Oppositional Defiant Behavior, Conduct Disorder, Anger Management, and Schizophrenia.  She is currently working toward completion of her Masters degree in Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counseling with a specialization in Substance Abuse.  Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is her specialization along with skill building to replace maladaptive behaviors with socially acceptable behaviors, and using coping skills for anger management.


BA: Community Recreation, Emphasis: Aquatics, BA: Elementary Education, BA: Psychology

MA in Teaching: Special Education

Graduate Student in Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counseling, expected date of graduation: May, 2019

Professional Activities/Memberships:

Graduate Student Member of American Counseling Association

Autism Society of Iowa, member

National Education Association, member

Nodaway Valley Education Association, membership committee co-chairperson

Orient Women’s Club, President, Fundraiser chairperson

Joe Antomori, BS

Mental Health Intern

“No matter what people tell you, words and ideas can change the world. Everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about. Be kind. Always.” – Robin Williams

Joe serves as a military police officer in the United States Army, having completed 15 years of military service, with two tours overseas.  He is currently pursuing his Master of Science degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling with specializations in addictions and crisis, trauma, and disaster.  Joe is an Intern at CTS and will refine his counselor roles and skills as he works toward completion of his program.  Joe is also a volunteer firefighter/EMT cadet with Northern Warren Fire Department.  Additionally, Joe is on a mobile crisis response team with a community mental health agency.  Joe has a special interest in play therapy working with a diverse group of individuals as part of a collaborative process to achieve maximum effectiveness of therapeutic services. 


Graduate student: M.S. Clinical Mental Health Counseling- Anticipated Graduation: May 2019

B.S. Criminal Justice

Professional Activities/Memberships

American Counseling Association- Member

Chi Sigma Iota- Professional Counseling Honor Society- Member

American Red Cross- Disaster Action Team; Damage Assessment

Mobile Crisi

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