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Mental Health Therapist - Des Moines

Job Details

Six Avenue Flats - Des Moines, IA
Full Time
$50,000.00 Salary
Up to 25%
Behavioral Health/Therapy

We are YSS!

YSS is seeking a dedicated, compassionate Mental Health Therapist to join our team and we want you to apply for this rewarding position.

As a YSS Therapist, you will play a significant role in supporting youth on their journey towards mental and emotional well-being. You’ll conduct assessments that will allow you to recommend services and activities to support families, reduce the impact of abuse or neglect, prevent family violence, and keep kids from going into foster care or the Juvenile Justice System. You’ll also provide individual, family, and group therapy, helping clients overcome behavioral and/or substance use challenges. Other responsibilities include:
  • Developing therapeutic client relationships and conducting comprehensive client assessments to understand clients' mental health needs, history, and current challenges.
  • Reviewing assessment outcomes and identifying client needs for treatment.
  • Formulating accurate diagnoses based on clinical evaluations.
  • Collaborating with clients and colleagues to develop tailored, comprehensive treatment plans, including realistic and achievable goals for clients' mental health improvement.
  • Advocating for and securing other services and resources and making appropriate referrals as needed for clients. 
  • Providing individual and family therapy sessions to clients using evidence-based therapeutic techniques.
  • Facilitating group therapy sessions to address common themes, promote peer support, and encourage interpersonal growth.
  • Monitoring progress of provided services and adjusting treatment plans, as needed.
  • Maintaining ongoing frequent contact with others associated with the client, as appropriate, be they YSS staff, family members, outside agencies, etc. 
  • Meeting agency established expectations for an average of client services per week/month.
  • Responding effectively to crisis situations, providing support and interventions, as needed, and collaborating with emergency services and other relevant resources.
  • Sharing an “on-call” rotation periodically to support the outpatient clinic after hours and on weekends.
  • Promptly and accurately submitting and maintaining all documentation in compliance with YSS policy, state/federal regulations, accrediting organization requirements. This includes client assessments, treatment plans, progress notes, and discharge summaries, as well as forms, reports, research, data, etc., whether electronic or hard copy.
  • Submitting court testimony when appropriate or required.
  • Engaging in continuing education and professional development to stay informed about the latest research, therapeutic modalities, and mental health trends.
  • Providing training to other departments or within the community as needed.
  • Maintaining licensure to practice in the state of Iowa.

Please note that this description is not intended to be a complete list of the responsibilities required for this position. Duties may change at any time, with or without notice.

What we offer...
We take care of you, so you can take care of others. The benefits we offer to our Therapists include:
  • A team of bright, collaborative, dependable, and fun colleagues
  • An exciting, welcoming workplace
  • A clear, mission-driven purpose to create hope and opportunity by putting kids first
  • Comprehensive administrative support.
  • Employee recognition program
  • Retirement offerings
  • Opportunities for development
  • Programs focused on your personal wellness
  • Discounts on pet insurance for your furry family
  • * Medical, dental, vision, and life insurance
  • * Supplemental accident, critical illness, and hospital indemnity insurance
  • * Accrued paid time off, plus paid time off for holidays, your birthday, and volunteering
  • * Employee Assistance Program
  • * Public Student Loan Forgiveness Program
* available for full-time staff.
For more about how we support our Therapists, please visit

What we ask...

We want to create a world where youth are valued and empowered to stand strong. To do this, we ask our staff to embrace YSS core values - Commitment, Collaboration, Compassion, Innovation, Integrity, and a “Can Do” Spirit.


  • Master’s degree in social work, mental health counseling, marriage, and family therapy, or psychology.
  • A license (LISW, LMFT, LMHC, LMSW) to practice in the State of Iowa, or a temporary license with the intent to seek independent licensure.
  • One (1) year of experience in individual, group, and family therapy.
    • Two (2) years required for independently licensed therapists.
  • Formal training in the field of behavioral health is required.
  • General understanding of the issues facing at-risk youth and their families.
  • Excellent observational, listening, verbal, and writing skills and fluency in English.
  • Ability to travel to schools and clinics within 25 miles of any YSS office location.


  • Knowledge and training in the identification and treatment of behavioral health disorders .
  • Two (2) years of experience working with children and families.
  • Knowledge of principles, methods, and procedures for diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation of physical and mental dysfunctions, and for career counseling and guidance.
  • Proficient with the majority of Microsoft Office applications and basic database use.
  • History of working with youth and families.

The IDEAL candidate will:

  • Have a positive, team-based approach to treatment and working with clients.
  • Be compassionate, patient, and empathetic, with the ability to relate to diverse populations.
  • Demonstrated ability to engage youth and establish rapport in creative ways.
  • Speaks a language(s) in addition to English.
About YSS...
One of Iowa's oldest and largest, youth-serving, nonprofit organizations, YSS's mission is to create hope and opportunity by putting kids first. Our programs impact tens of thousands of youths and families each year. We offer education to build healthy minds and bodies; counseling to overcome life’s challenges; and stability to focus on the future. Our diverse leadership team brings together a wide range of specialties and expertise, all dedicated to our mission.
Headquartered in Ames and located across Iowa, our sites are not cookie-cutter models—we tailor our services to fit the highest needs of each community. And we are still growing. YSS is constructing Ember, a 50-acre recovery campus in Central Iowa that will offer shelter, crisis stabilization, and residential addiction treatment for youth and young adults.
Our goal is to create a continuum of care—together, with programs give youth the tools they need to succeed their entire lives. Work for YSS and you too can have a positive impact in the lives of young people.
Helpful to Know
YSS is an Equal Opportunity Employer committed to fostering a diverse, equitable, and inclusive workplace. We believe that our strength lies in the unique perspectives and backgrounds of our employees. We strive to create an environment where all individuals are treated with respect and have equal opportunities to succeed. Our ongoing efforts to promote diversity and inclusion are central to our mission, and we are dedicated to continuous improvement in these areas.
YSS is a nicotine-free workplace.
YSS’s Hiring Process
Communication with applicants is done primarily via email from our Paycom system. Please check your messages regularly. If you don't see messages in your inbox, please check your spam/junk folder. If you have questions about your application, please email
1. Application - All applicants are required to complete an online application. The application is considered complete when all questions have been answered, all required documents (resume, waivers) have been submitted, and the application has been electronically signed.
2. Assessment – As they are received, applications are reviewed for education, experience, and licensure (if required). If the required qualifications are not met, the application will likely be declined.
3. Interview – Depending on the number of applications received, we may choose to do initial phone interviews. Otherwise, we will move directly to in-person or Zoom interviews.
4. References – Applicants moving forward after their interview are asked to submit three references, which YSS then contacts.
5. Pre-employment Screening – Applicants are required to submit background check waiver forms at the time they apply. YSS conducts a Single Contact Repository (SING) background check on all final candidates. All offers of employment at YSS are contingent upon clear results of the SING. The SING provides authorized organizations online access to Iowa Criminal History and Sex Offender Registry information held by the Department of Public Safety/Division of Criminal Investigation (DCI), Department of Human Services’ (DHS) Central Abuse Registry for Child Abuse (CA) and Dependent Adult Abuse (DAA), as well as Professional License information. YSS also requires a clean driving record for positions that provide transport. Verification will be done through the records of the state that issued the individual’s current license. 
6. Offer – Applicants selected for hire will receive a formal offer of employment via email with instructions of how to reply.
7. New Hire Meeting - The offer email will provide details on how to set up this meeting. You must schedule and attend this meeting before you can begin working or getting paid.