Elana Aldrich, LMSW
Elana began as a therapist at Life Connections in July of 2013. Elana is a licensed master of social work (LMSW) and is a member of the NASW. She provides individual and group therapy and clinical assessments for children and their families.
Elana attended the University of Iowa where she graduated in 2007 with a double bachelors degree in journalism and communication studies, and a minor in Spanish. Her jobs and life experiences after graduating led her to pursue her Masters in Social Work (MSW). She wanted a career where helping people overcome adversities was the focus. Elana graduated from the University of Iowa with an MSW in 2012. During the program, Elana worked within elementary schools as part of the family resource center team, and also provided Behavioral Health Intervention Services (BHIS) to children and families.
Prior to this position, Elana worked in a corrections facility providing clinical assessments, brief therapy, grief support, and cognitive behavioral therapy. Elana has experience working with a wide variety of individuals seeking help with mental health issues, self-esteem issues, life transitions, trauma and grief. Elana uses a systemic and strengths-based perspective with solution-focused therapy and cognitive behavioral therapy to help people reach their goals.
Tom Asby, LMSW, LPHA
Tom is a recent addition to the Life Connections community, beginning in September 2011. He is a Licensed Master of Social Work (LMSW). He provides individual therapy, group therapy, clinical assessments, and some Behavioral Health Intervention Services (BHIS).
Tom attended Mount Mercy University where he received his Bachelors of Social Work. Directly afterwards, he attended Saint Ambrose University to earn his Master’s degree in Social Work with a concentration in social justice and couples and family therapy. While attending St. Ambrose, Tom worked full-time with the homeless, near homeless, and poverty stricken at a local organization that provided meals, clothing, food pantry and homeless shelter for men.
Since 2010, Tom has worked with the Community Correction Improvement Association, co-facilitating the Batterer’s Education Program (BEP), helping to educate men about more effective communication and changing their thoughts regarding women. Although trained to work with a variety of individuals, Tom enjoys working with children of all ages but specializes in working with individual adults and couples preferring to employ a solution- focused approach. Tom has special interest in working with domestic violence survivors, applying acceptance commitment therapy (ACT).
Jennifer DeVries, Temporary LMHC, NCC
Jennifer has her temporary License of Mental Health Counseling (tLMHC) and is a Nationally Certified Counselor (NCC). She is also a member of the American Counseling Association.
Jennifer graduated from University of Northern Iowa in 2012 with her Master of Arts in Mental Health Counseling. She completed an internship with the Clear Creek Amana School District working with students individually and in groups and at Okerberg and Associates working with families, couples, and individuals. She completed her Master’s course work practicum at Parkersburg High School working with students dealing with a wide variety of life difficulties. While working on her Master’s Jennifer was active on campus organizing diversity panels and developing multimedia projects promoting advocacy for people with mental health issues. Jennifer received her Bachelor of Science in Psychology, Bachelor of Arts in Religious Studies, and a Minor in Human Relations from the University of Iowa in 2009. During her undergraduate Jennifer volunteered with the Rape Victim Advocacy Program answering the state and local crisis lines. Jennifer is trained to work with and welcomes working with a wide range of individuals seeking help with many different difficulties. Some of Jennifer’s areas of interest are working with people seeking help with: grief, identity issues including sexual/gender, body image, career or life transitions, etc, and trauma.
Jennifer is available for clinical assessments and therapy sessions in the Cedar Rapids office Monday through Friday with flexible hours.
Megan Heffernen, LMSW
Megan joined the Life Connections team in October of 2012 as a Licensed Master of Social Work (LMSW) providing assessments and therapy in the Davenport area. While completing assessments, Megan partners with individuals and families in developing goals and determining the type and amount of services appropriate for them. Megan utilizes individualized, strengths-based, and solution-focused interventions to promote healthy mental and behavioral health management.
Megan has flexible work hours and enjoys the diversity of working with individuals and families of varied age, culture, and experiences. In addition to her role at Life Connections, Megan is active in her community by participating in the efforts of various committees, networking with other service providers, and attending informational and educational events. Through these connections, Megan is able to advocate on behalf of youth and families, familiarize herself with the barriers youth and families face, and keep up-to-date in her awareness and knowledge of local resources.
Megan earned bachelor’s degrees in Social Work and Psychology from Loras College in 2008 and obtained her master’s degree in Social Work from St. Ambrose University in 2010.
Lynda Innes, MA, LMHC
My degree is a Master’s in Mental Health Counseling from the University of Northern Iowa with a Bachelor’s in Elementary Education from Mankato State University. I have been licensed as a Mental Health Counselor in the state of Iowa since 1996. I am also licensed as a Professional Counselor and Supervisor in North Carolina.
My experience for the past 19 years has been varied, working with adults, adolescents and children with mental health, substance abuse and family issues. Many of my clients have had a traumatic, abusive history and have not learned adequate skills to cope with their trauma and life stressors. My role as a therapist is to help individuals identify their strengths and move towards reaching their personal life goals. My aim is to achieve a therapeutic relationship where individuals feel safe and have my non judgmental support.
Personal goals include ongoing professional growth with enhancing my skills to help children, adults and families find support and a way to process feelings around challenging life issues. Special interests are trauma, anxiety and depression, grief/loss and divorce issues. I work from a strength based and family systems perspective using various counseling techniques that work best for individual needs.
Julie Johnson, Vice President, MA, NCC, Temporary LMHC, LPHA
Julie is proud to have worked at Life Connections in Marshalltown since January 2012 as a Temporary Licensed Mental Health Counselor (TLMHC) and a Nationally Certified Counselor (NCC). She provides clinical assessments and therapy for clients of all ages. In November of 2012, Julie became the Vice President of Life Connections and oversees the therapy department.
Julie studied mental health counseling at the University of Northern Iowa where she received her masters degree in May of 2011. Julie completed an internship where she provided counseling to children from ages five to eighteen in a Waterloo school setting. Julie simultaneously completed an internship at the Iowa Veterans Home in Marshalltown, where she provided individual counseling services to Veterans as well as co-facilitated and led skill development and support groups. Prior to her current work with Life Connections, Julie provided Behavioral Health Intervention Services at Horizons, A Family Service Alliance where she facilitated skill development for children and adults including but not limited to the following areas: anger management skills, self soothing skills, emotional identification and expression, communication skills, impulse control, establishing and maintaining boundaries, assertive communication skills, frustration tolerance, goal setting and achievement and positive social interaction.
Elisa Lyons, M.A., CRC, Temporary LMHC
Elisa has her temporary License in Mental Health Counseling (tLMHC) and is a Certified Rehabilitation Counselor (CRC). She is also a member of the American Counseling Association (ACA) and the American Rehabilitation Counseling Association (ARCA).
Elisa received both her Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts degrees from the University of Iowa, where she majored in Psychology and graduated with distinction. She received her Master’s Degree in 2013 with her program, Rehabilitation and Mental Health Counseling, being one of the top rehabilitation programs in the nation.
Elisa completed her practicum at Vera French Community Mental Health Center as a schoolbased therapist, providing play therapy for the students within the Davenport School District. Her advanced practicum placement was at Sedlacek Treatment Center through Mercy Hospital, where she provided substance abuse counseling to adults and adolescents, in both an individual and group setting. Elisa completed her internship with Life Connections, where she worked primarily with children and adolescents, providing BHIS and therapy services. While attending the University of Iowa, Elisa gained experience in working with persons with disabilities, providing direct care and support, and running a sibling support group through the Arc of Southeast Iowa.
Elisa utilizes an individualized, strengths based approach and uses techniques from cognitive behavioral, solution focused, and person centered therapies. Elisa is available to provide assessments and therapy to clients of all ages with flexible appointment times.
Jessica McNaul, M.S., Temporary LMHC, NCC
Jessica has her temporary License of Mental Health Counseling (TLMHC) and is a Nationally Certified Counselor (NCC). She is also a member of the Iowa Mental Health Counselors Association and American Counseling Association.
Jessica graduated from Walden University in 2012 with her Master of Science in Mental Health Counseling. During her internship she worked in the community mental health setting; she provided therapy to children and adults. Prior to her current work with Life Connections, Jessica worked in community action with families on establishing strength-based goals. Jessica received her Bachelor of Arts in Social Work from the University of Northern Iowa in 2009. During her undergraduate, Jessica volunteered at Pathways Behavioral Services. Jessica is especially passionate about working with children. She also enjoys working with adolescents and adults. Jessica’s areas of interest include issues related to depression/mood, anxiety, sexual orientation, gender identity, life transitions, and interpersonal relationships.
Ashley Riphagen, M.A., CRC, Temporary LMHC
Ashley has her Temporary License in Mental Health Counseling (TLMHC) and is a Certified Rehabilitation Counselor (CRC). Ashley is also a member of the American Counseling Association (ACA).
Ashley received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology with a minor in Family Studies from the University of Northern Iowa in 2011. In 2013, Ashley received her Master of Arts degree in Rehabilitation and Mental Health Counseling from the University of Iowa.
Ashley completed a practicum with the REACH program at the University of Iowa, which is a two year certificate program for individuals with intellectual disabilities. Ashley also completed a practicum at On With Life, an inpatient brain injury rehabilitation center. She completed her internship at Easter Seals Iowa in the Rural Solutions and Assistive Technology programs working with adults and children with disabilities. While in school, Ashley also worked with individuals with disabilities in residential and employment settings.
Ashley is available to provide clinical assessments and therapy to individuals of all ages with flexible appointment times available.
Naomi Rumbley, LMSW, LPHA
Hello! My name is Naomi Rumbley and I work for Life Connections. Life Connections is a family orientated agency. We provide services throughout the state to individuals and families. Our programs include therapy, skill building, and other family focused services. A goal of ours is to connect to families and form trusting relationships. Services are designed to assist your family in achieving your goals. Through our family focused services, we want to help you and your family build healthy relationships. As member of the Life Connections staff I am committed to providing confidential, positive and family focused services.
I graduated from the University of Iowa with a Master’s Degree in Social work. I received my
under graduate degree in social work at the University of Northern Iowa. I have experience
providing Individual Therapy, Family Therapy and Group Therapy. I have worked in the
community mental health setting, I have experience licensing and supporting foster families and
working with children and adolescents in a residential setting.
I look forward to working with you and appreciate your time, please feel free to contact me at
any time to learn more information about the services that we provide.
Tiffany Zarifkar, LMHC
Tiffany began working for Life Connections in January of 2012. She is Life Connections’ clinical director, a licensed mental health counselor (LMHC) and a Nationally Certified Counselor (NCC). She provides individual therapy, group therapy, clinical assessments (LPHAs), and some Behavioral Health Intervention Services (BHIS) and Family Community Support services (FCS). In addition to her clinical services, Tiffany supervises all therapists working for Life Connections and provides consultation services for BHIS providers.
Tiffany attended Cornell College where she received her B.A., double majoring in Psychology and Sociology. Directly afterwards, she attended the University of Northern Iowa to earn her Master’s degree in Mental Health Counseling. While attending UNI, Tiffany worked full-time providing direct care and support for individuals with mental and physical disabilities.
Prior to working for Life Connections, Tiffany worked for three years at a local mental health agency as a mental health counseling intern and BHIS counselor. Although trained to work with a variety of individuals, Tiffany enjoys working with young children and leading groups. Tiffany has special interest in working with trauma survivors, applying a trauma-focused cognitive behavioral and stengths-based approach.