Elisa Lyons, MA, LMHC
Owner/Director, Clinical Therapist
"Life can get difficult-- sometimes a little help from a Mental
Health Professional can make things better."
Elisa chose to become a Licensed Mental Health Counselor out of a desire to help children and families of Iowa. As a native of rural Southeast Iowa, she recognized the need to make quality mental health care more accessible to the people of this area. People may not always need this service, but she believes that it is important for all people to have access to mental health services when they are needed. This belief led her to found Iowa Family Counseling in early 2019.
Elisa was awarded her Master’s Degree in Rehabilitation and Mental Health Counseling from the University of Iowa and has continued to receive advanced training and education. Elisa has many years of experience providing behavioral health and mental health counseling services in a variety of settings and with a variety of populations. She has worked with children as young as 3, adolescents, teens, and adults of all ages.
Elisa has a special interest in working with children and adolescents and in treating survivors of trauma and abuse. She also offers a wide variety of treatment plans for individuals experiencing anxiety, depression, anger, grief, or those struggling with the stresses associated with major life changes. She draws from a wide-base of psychotherapeutic techniques in her practice to best serve the needs of each individual client. These techniques include cognitive-behavioral therapy, art/play/sand tray therapy, person-centered therapy, and expressive arts techniques. Elisa has also received training in EMDR (eye movement desensitization and reprocessing) for the treatment of PTSD and other disorders.
Elisa is passionate about helping others. She understands that life can get really difficult to navigate at times. She wants clients to understand that Iowa Family Counseling is here to support you on your journey as you move toward self-discovery and healing.
In her downtime, Elisa is always moving! She loves to travel, spending time with her family and friends, and participating in any outdoor activities that keep her in motion.
P. 641-777-2774 Ext. 01
Maddie Marshall, LMSW
"People start to heal the moment they feel heard."
- Cheryl Richardson
Maddie Marshall joined the Iowa Family Counseling team in late 2020. Proud to call Kalona her hometown, she is happy to be close to family while supporting Iowa Family Counseling’s mission to provide quality mental health care to children, families, and individuals.
Maddie obtained her Master of Social Work degree from the University of Iowa. She has training and experience providing a variety of counseling and support services to diverse clients within schools, community programs, and the juvenile justice system. She is excited to bring her knowledge and expertise to private practice.
Maddie truly appreciates that every individual is unique and strongly believes in taking a person-centered approach when providing counseling services. She is able to draw on a variety of therapeutic models and techniques to help each client meet their individual needs and goals. These include Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT), Dialectal Behavior Therapy (DBT), and Acceptance & Commitment Therapy (ACT), among others.
Maddie has a special interest in helping children, adolescents, and adults who have, or have experienced, anxiety, depression, relationship issues, and trauma. She also welcomes the opportunity to work with any individual interested in improving their general mental health and well-being.
Maddie wants her clients to feel empowered by developing an awareness of their emotions and a language they can use to talk about their feelings and experiences. She is honored to have the opportunity to meet people wherever they are on their mental health journey and to walk alongside them, helping to guide them as needed.
When Maddie is not working, she loves to be out and about. When she can, she loves to travel and spend time with friends and family. She also recharges with regular yoga practice and hanging out with her dog, Scout.
P. 641-777-2774 Ext. 03
Kerstin Marnin, LMSW
"A child's mental health is just as important of their physical health and deserves the same quality of support."
- Kate Middleton
Kerstin Marnin joined the Iowa Family Counseling team in the middle of 2021 out of a desire to serve and support members of her home community in a new capacity. As a native of the Mid-Prairie district, she has always been proud to call this community “home.”
Kerstin’s knowledge, experience, and compassion are truly an asset to Iowa Family Counseling and the families with which she works. Helping children and families has always been the central focus in her career. She comes to Iowa Family Counseling with 12 years of experience working with children and families at St. Luke’s Child Protection Center, followed by work at University of Iowa Stead Family Children’s Hospital.
Kerstin’s desire to help people, especially children and families, has led her educational path from the beginning. She attended University of Northern Iowa as an undergraduate, receiving her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology with a minor in Family Studies. She went on to earn her Master of Social Work degree from St. Ambrose University.
Kerstin has a special interest in working with young children and their families. She loves being able to work one-on-one with these children, but also appreciates that supporting the growth and development of her clients supports growth and development within their families as well. She strongly believes that collaborative, child-centered care is the best way to support children. Kerstin understands the unique needs of her clients and tailors therapeutic techniques to help each individual achieve their goals.
Kerstin appreciates being able to have a proactive role in helping children build their confidence, emotional-awareness, and sense of self. She has a tremendous respect for individuals' resilience and capacity to grow. She is grateful to be able to support people on their personal journeys.
Outside of work, Kerstin recharges by spending time with her children and family. She feels lucky to have family close by for everyday moments and enjoys attending Hawkeye football games with them each fall. She also loves having the opportunity to be involved with her children’s activities, even when she feels like a taxi service! If there were more hours in the day, Kerstin would love to spend more time working with her hands on DIY projects and crafts!
P. 641-777-2774 Ext. 04
Latasha Cardenas, LISW, LCSW
Joining Iowa Family Counseling in the summer of 2021, Latasha brings to our team valuable experience, knowledge, and an empathetic drive to help others.
Latasha’s love of learning and helping others is evident throughout her education. Latasha earned her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Iowa Wesleyan College and was awarded her Masters's of Social Work Degree in 2015.
Additionally, Latasha had the honor of being selected as a Family Trainee in the Iowa Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and Related Disabilities (ILEND) program. This program is an interdisciplinary clinical program with a mission to improve the health of people with disabilities by providing special skills training to future leaders in the fields of healthcare, education, and community disciplines.
Latasha has a passion for neuroscience and understanding the brain. She gets excited to learn about and discuss with others the ways in which the brain and body influence how people feel, pr and express their emotions. Most of all, Latasha appreciates having the opportunity to help others understand themselves better as they work to meet their personal mental health goals.
When Latasha is not working, she is spending time with her husband, kids, and dogs-Hercules and Athena. You might even find them all out camping when there is time! Latasha loves Disney and has a special place in her heart for all things Harry Potter. When she can, she embraces her creative side by crafting and creating epoxy-resin art.
P. 641-777-2774 Ext. 05
Education & Community Outreach
"Start where you are. Use what you have.
Do what you can."
- Arthur Ashe
Sarah came to Iowa Family Counseling with a background in education. She has always viewed her role as a mentor, supporter, and cheerleader to be some of the most important aspects of being an educator. Sarah is happy to use her experience to further Iowa Family Counseling’s mission to serve and support the children and families of Iowa.
Sarah is responsible for collaborating with Iowa Family Counseling’s practitioners to create educational blogs, professional development, community outreach programming, and educational resources. She is also charged with designing our print and promotional materials, press releases, and social media outreach.
Please contact Sarah if you or your organization are interested in hosting educational programming or professional development covering a variety of mental health care topics. We are happy to work with you to develop programming that will fit the needs of your business or organization.
P: 641-777-2774 Ext. 02
Iowa Family Counseling is looking to add licensed therapists that align with our practice’s mission and vision. Available positions may include providing school-based therapy services to area students and families, office-based, virtual/telehealth, or a combination of all.
Preferences for bilingual therapist (English/Spanish) and/or experience and interest in working with couples. Prefer independently licensed therapists, however, provisionally licensed therapists are encouraged to apply!
For more information and/or to apply, please follow the link below: