The Rural Psychology Collaborative was founded with the mission to better serve rural Iowans through community-based research and practice. We are committed to increasing access to psychological services for Iowans by working towards these strategic goals:

  • Build sustainable and egalitarian relationships with community partners
  • Provide accessible and high-quality psychological services to underinsured and underserved communities
  • Advocate for the mental health needs and dignity of rural Iowans
  • Train students in culturally competent telepsychology service delivery
  • Engage measurement-base care and ongoing internal monitoring and improvement

Telepsychology Training Clinic

The University of Iowa Telepsychology Training Clinic (TPTC) offers short-term counseling for Iowans who may have limited access to mental health care.  The TPTC aims to serve all Iowans, with a focus on rural communities, underinsured and uninsured people, and those in areas with limited mental healthcare services.  The clinic is housed in the College of Education and is staffed by a doctoral students, pre-licensed psychologists, and licensed psychologists.​

The TPTC is currently transitioning to a ​new clinical model. During this transition, services have been reduced and new referrals are not currently being accepted. We'll post an update when new referrals are being accepted again.

The TPTC provides individual and group counseling and mental health services, career services, and psychoeducation workshops and programs.​

Clients meet with a TPTC counselor using a secure videoconferencing program (internet or cellular service required)  to address concerns like coping with experiences of depression and anxiety, processing grief and loss, navigating conflict and other relationship concerns, and finding support around experiences of discrimination and trauma.  Short-term counseling means that most people meet with a counselor between 5-10 times to focus on specific concerns, rather than engaging in open-ended and on-going counseling.  TPTC counselors can also assist with getting connected to a longer-term counselor in the community when desired and if short-term counseling may not be a good fit.​

The TPTC provides training opportunities in research and clinical practice.​

Future psychologists will be trained through the program to provide culturally competent care for the complex mental and behavioral health needs of Iowa and the nation’s underserved rural populations, including their veteran and Latino subpopulations. Stipends will be provided to CP Ph.D. students in interdisciplinary practicum experiences in rural settings with allied professionals.​

Training will focus on integrated care among health services providers. The foundation for this training project is in the following outstanding programs at the UI: the Ph.D. CP Program, the UI Mobile Clinic), UI Department of Psychiatry, UI College of Public Health, and the VA Hospital in Iowa City. Faculty and staff affiliated with each of the units will provide rigorous teaching and research training to HRSA-supported Ph.D. students to enhance the nation’s capacity for teaching and research in behavioral health interventions, specifically targeting rural populations. ​

Training topics will include Latino immigration trends, cultural health behaviors, health psychology, and challenges to effective service provision and so forth. Through the development of curriculum enhancements, academic support mechanisms, and new and enhanced practicum experiences we will enable students to: 1) provide comprehensive behavioral health service to rural residents; 2) learn comprehensive care strategies for treating underserved populations; and 3) be competitive for pursuing job opportunities in rural areas. ​

Please Pass the Love is committed to increasing school mental health (SMH) supports to improve the quality of life and educational opportunities for children, families, and educators as well as offer culturally responsive comprehensive services and evidence-based supports to school systems. We strive to bridge positive relationships between the educational and mental health communities to more effectively prevent and address mental health issues for our children and adolescents throughout the state of Iowa.

​The Iowa Coalition for Collective Change (ICCC) is a new anti-violence coalition supporting survivor services organizations statewide. ICCC conducts training, certification, technical assistance, research, community education, and policy advocacy in order to learn about the experiences of survivors, support their healing, and improve public policy.

​The University of Iowa Mobile Clinic is an interdisciplinary student organization founded in 2002,  that provides free health screening, prevention, education, and basic health services to under-served populations.

​Student Health and Wellness (SHAW) at Grinnell College offers an integrated model of physical health and mental health services to support the personal and academic success of all Grinnell College students. The TPTC is partnering with SHAW to provide counseling to Grinnell College faculty and staff.

The Robert Young Center for Community Mental Health, an affiliate of UnityPoint Health – Trinity, is a comprehensive community mental health center specializing in mental health, substance abuse and crisis services for children, adolescents and adults in the Quad Cities and Muscatine-area.

Project HOPE

Project HOPE (Healthcare Occupations Preparation and Exploration) is a STEM-based curricular intervention that integrates academic and vocational opportunities designed to connect minority and low socioeconomic middle school students to the health science professions early in their education. HOPE addresses the critical national need to increase diversity in the American healthcare workforce.


Student looking at microscope in lab

Who We Are

The Rural Psychology Collaborative and TPTC are staffed by Counseling Psychology doctoral trainees, postdoctoral scholars, and faculty.​ 

  • We are committed to community engaged research and practice
  • We believe healthcare is a basic human right to which all people should have equal access
  • We believe in the importance of learning with community partners through needs assessments and building meaningful and sustainable relationships
  • We value diversity and work to increase justice and equity for all individuals and communities
  • We believe in holding ourselves to the highest standards of honesty, fairness, and professional ethics and will evaluate our activities and our partnerships based on these same values

Saba Rasheed Ali

Saba Rasheed Ali

Professor, Counseling Psychology

Training Background: PhD in Counseling Psychology, University of Oregon, 2001

Clinical interest: Employment and mental health issues among rural populations, in particular I am interested in how gainful employment (decent work) and mental health are related for those living in rural areas. I am also interested in issues of economic justice and how we can partner with communities to provide more employment opportunities.

Multicultural Interests: My interests include immigrants living in rural areas and community based approaches including working collaboratively to find creative solutions to community mental health issues. I believe that a university has a commitment to larger community and that we have a lot to learn from our community partners.

Dennis (Martin) Kivlighan

Martin Kivlighan

Associate Professor, Counseling Psychology

Training Background: PhD in Counseling Psychology, University of Wisconsin - Madison, 2015

Clinical interests: My clinical interests include individual and group psychotherapy and psychotherapy training and supervision. As a therapist, I work from an interpersonal dynamic approach to help clients strengthen and maintain the relationships in their lives. I strive to create strong, trusting, and genuine relationships with my clients and provide support and challenge within the therapeutic relationship to help clients realize their treatment goals and live more fulfilling lives.

Multicultural interests: As a therapist, I ascribe to the Multicultural Orientation (MCO) Framework to attend to clients’ salient cultural identities and experiences within the therapeutic relationship. I recognize the impact of systems of oppression and power on the lived experiences of many clients, and I am committed to working towards social justice and equity for clients of every race, ethnicity, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, religious/spiritual identity, and ability status.

Charles Bermingham

Charles Bermingham

Clinical Associate Professor, Counseling Psychology

Training Background: PhD in Counseling Psychology, University of Iowa, 2016

Clinical Interest: I believe that therapy is a wonderful space to explore oneself and receive support around any number of stressors, and that space for healing and self-growth should absolutely be available to everyone regardless of location or financial means.

Multicultural interest: Unique mental health needs in rural communities

Isaac Hooley

Postdoctoral Research Scholar, Counseling Psychology​

Training Background: 2020 – University of Iowa, Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology

Clinical Interests:

I admire the bravery and vulnerability that folks bring to therapy, and work hard to match that with my own courage and commitment.  I primarily approach therapy using Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) and Narrative Therapy (NT), which means I work alongside clients as they develop greater flexibility in responding to difficult thoughts and feelings.  Therapy can be focused on building capacity for awareness and self-regulation, exploring the stories you use to make sense of who you are and what you’ve experienced, and using the safe and non-judgmental space of therapy to feel and express things that you might otherwise avoid. 

Clinical interests: Interpersonal and relationship concerns, anxiety, depression, grief and loss, multicultural concerns, navigating life-stage transition, religion and spirituality concerns, and working with survivors of trauma. 

Multicultural Interests:

I value the diversity clients bring to therapy, and strive to approach differences with humility and openness.  I recognize harm caused by oppression and marginalization, and commit to the ongoing work of understanding the impact of my own biases and privilege.  I am particularly interested in experiences and issues for people in rural Iowa, and am committed to advocating for social justice and equity for clients of every race, ethnicity, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, immigration status, socioeconomic status, religious/spiritual identity, and ability status. 

Madeline Hunsicker

Madeline is a second-year doctoral student in the Counseling Psychology program at the University of Iowa. Madeline primarily uses narrative approaches in her psychotherapy work, research, and teaching and explicitly grounds her clinical work in multicultural feminist framework. Madeline has counseling interests in relationship concerns, adjustment, substance use, depression, anxiety, and disordered eating and body related concerns. Madeline has training providing individual and group therapy in community mental health and university counseling center settings.  

Lingguo Meng

Graduate Assistant, Counseling Psychology

I'm the professional development coordinator of the Rural Psychology Collaborative, so my involvement and role centers around preparing and organizing continuing education workshops for clinical practitioners.

I am passionate about the multicultural opportunities that lie within the rural area. Due to the complexity and diversity of rural spaces, it provides opportunities for multicultural awareness and cultural competency enrichment. I believe that engaging and learning with people from a variety of backgrounds encourages collaboration and fosters innovation, thereby benefitting all practitioners.

Through the rural psychology collaborative, I want to provide counseling services directly with rural clients and organize training opportunities for providers.

From the rural psychology collaborative, I want to learn more about different cultures that lie within various rural locations, which allow me to be constantly humble, maintain a comfortable space for rural clients, and become effective in counseling by catch-up opportunities to address cultural concerns.

DorisAnn McGinnis

DorisAnn is a second-year doctoral student and trainee in the Counseling Psychology PhD program at the University of Iowa. DorisAnn currently works within and around a Gestalt orientation in her clinical work and is also interested in multicultural and cognitive ideologies. In terms of clinical populations, She is interested in substance and opioid use disorders, trauma, depression/anxiety, and gender/sexuality subjects. DorisAnn is currently participating in her first year of training at the Telepsychology Training Clinic.  

Yeji Son

Graduate Assistant, Counseling Psychology

I am a graduate assistant for the Rural Psychology Collaborative, so I am conducting telepsychology research to examine the effectiveness of telepsychotherapy compare to the face-to-face psychotherapy session. Also, I am working on developing the website for Rural Psychology Collaborative and Telepsychology training clinic. I hope you like our website.

I am passionate about vocational psychology and counseling in general. I believe people can connect with society, put food on their table for a family, and feel a sense of self-esteem through work. I want that people can obtain all of these aspects in their lives, and I would like to support that through research and psychotherapy intervention.

Through the rural psychology collaborative, I want to promote accessibility to psychotherapy for rural communities and want to provide counseling services.

From the rural psychology collaborative, I want to learn more about rural communities in Iowa. Not surprisingly, getting a doctoral degree takes a long enough time to Iowa becomes a big part of my life. So, I want to be a part of this community, and I always want to be humble and curious about people in rural communities.

Associated Grants

Behavioral Health Workforce Education and Training (HRSA)

The Iowa Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) Behavioral Health Workforce Education and Training (BHWET) program is intended to train future psychologists to treat the complex mental and behavioral health needs of Iowa and the nation’s rural populations. The Integrating Behavioral Health into Rural Medicine project supplements and complements ongoing Counseling Psychology training efforts and provides new field experiences and practicum opportunities for CP doctoral students to provide mental and behavioral health care to underserved populations living in rural areas.

Graduate Psychology Education

The Iowa Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) Graduate Psychology Education (GPE) program is intended to train future psychologists in the Counseling Psychology (CP) program to develop and implement a sustainable training program in telepsychology for opioid use disorder (OUD) and substance use disorder (SUD) prevention and treatment in rural Iowa. 

Contact Us

Questions? Please contact us.