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 accepting referrals for new clients. Please contact or (319) 535-0437 to inquire about services. This email and phone are intended for scheduling purposes only and not monitored at all times.  If you are experiencing an emergency, please call 988, 911, or go to an emergency room immediately.

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. ​

​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 UIHC Department of Addiction Medicine is dedicated to offering care and hope to all people with addiction issues, and providing resources to the general university community, and state of Iowa. Their integrated, multi-disciplinary team of professionals work together to provide flexible and complete care for patients with addiction issues and/or mental health issues.

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. They believe healthcare is a basic human right to which all people should have equal access. The Mobile Clinic builds partnerships, such as the TPTC, to encourage individuals the opportunity to improve their well-being.

The Free Mental Health Clinic Iowa City has a mission to provide transitional mental health care to the bridge the gap for uninsured or underinsured in the state of Iowa as they attempt to find a mental health home. They aim to provide compassionate, prompt psychiatric treatment for those in need. Providers include medical, pharmacy, and social work students led by physicians and other healthcare workers.

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

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.

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

Chelsey Gates
Post Doctoral Research Scholar, Counseling Psychology
Training Background: Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology, University of Iowa, 2023

I view counseling as a collaborative process where your inherent wisdom and strengths can be supported. I strive to recognize how being a human can be challenging and feel totally overwhelming at times. However, I’ve also observed that our difficult emotions can become more manageable when expressed among trusted others. I approach therapy from an emotion-focused, interpersonal lens. This means I aim to understand the way you see yourself and the world around you. I believe these views often influence wellbeing and that expanding them can help us reach your goals.

Clients have shared I provide a blend of warmth and honesty with an appropriate sense of humor. I value the diversity clients bring to therapy and strive to approach differences with humility and openness. I am particularly interested in the experiences and issues for people in rural Iowa and am committed to advocating for equity for all clients.  

My clinical experience includes work with individuals and couples on concerns such as anxiety and depression, grief/loss, trauma, adjustment, and relationship difficulties. I am a graduate of the University of Iowa where I earned my Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology. I also completed an APA accredited pre-doctoral internship at the University of Tennessee – Knoxville’s Student Counseling Center.

Jennie Lipson
Jennie is a first-year doctoral student and trainee in the Counseling Psychology PhD program at the University of Iowa. Jennie is interested in working with people with all kinds of concerns and strives to create a therapy relationship in which clients can explore any aspect of their experience without judgment. Jennie believes high-quality, culturally-sensitive psychotherapy should be affordable and accessible to everyone and is honored to work together with people in rural Iowa as part of the TPTC.

Aubrey McEnroe
Aubrey McEnroe is a second-year doctoral student and trainee in the Counseling Psychology Ph.D. program at the University of Iowa. Her counseling interests include depression, anxiety, substance use, grief and loss, and adjustment difficulties. In Aubrey’s psychotherapy work, she primarily utilizes Person-Centered Therapy (PCT) and is also interested in integrating Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) approaches into her clinical work. Through PCT and ACT, Aubrey values keeping everyone at the center of each session while working alongside them as they develop, grow, and foster greater plasticity in response to their own thoughts and feelings.

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.