Mental Health Matters
Four Oaks therapy services offer specialized, expert care for both in-patient and out-patient clients on their journey to a sound mind. Mental health matters and our team of caring therapists are here to serve.
We are what we think we are. – Socrates
Behavioral Health Services
Four Oaks offers two different Behavioral Health Services—therapy (including individual, family, and group psychotherapy) and skill-building. In the skill-building services, children and families are taught techniques to improve anger management, behaviors, peer/family relationships, communication, problem-solving, social skills, and conflict resolution.
Both programs are offered in outpatient settings as well as in the Four Oaks residential programs.
Functional Family Therapy
FFT is a short-term therapeutic intervention for delinquent youth at risk of institutionalization. Therapists work with the whole family—often in the family’s home—to decrease negativity and dysfunctional patterns of behavior, improve family communication and supportiveness, develop positive behavior change and improve parenting strategies.
Would you like to connect with a therapist or make an appointment?
Meet Our Therapists
Afton Neufeld, LISW
Afton Neufeld is a school-based therapist with a heavy belief in the healing power of the therapeutic relationship. She graduated from the University of Nevada, Reno with a Master’s degree in Social Work. Her approach is interactive, empathetic, and accepting. She sees the therapeutic space as one of partnership and enjoys helping clients build self-esteem, explore their actual needs and wants, and process prior or current life experiences.
Prior to working at Four Oaks, she had experience working in the school system, in higher education, and in a non-profit health center. She recently moved to Iowa from Reno, Nevada, and enjoys exploring the Midwest. You can find Afton walking her dog Daisy, reading, or trying out a new art project in her spare time.
Ann Ghabel, LISW, RN-BC
Ann Ghabel has extensive experience working with children and families. She uses several types of treatments to help children cope with their problems, stresses, and mental health issues. She has worked with young children, grade school children, adolescents, and adults to help her clients improve their general well-being, and comfort, and manage issues causing distress. Areas of special interest include helping parents parent, working with children experiencing the loss of a parent or parents, management of anxiety, mood disorders, and other serious mental illnesses.
Previous experiences include working at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics in the inpatient unit as a nurse for many years. She has done mediation for the sixth judicial district. She taught nursing at Kirkwood College. She received her education at the University of Iowa. She has a BSN from the College of Nursing and an MSW from the school of social work. She has nursing board certification in mental health. Other education included Ericksonian family therapy training at the Erickson Institute which included the use of clinical hypnosis. Her graduate work included training in Adlerian play therapy. She has hand training in the use of cognitive behavioral therapy and dialectical behavior therapy.
Ann was born in Ottawa, Illinois, and resided in Iowa City since attending college. She is married and has successfully parented six children to be loving, functioning adults, who contribute to society.
Chantel Thompson, LISW
Everyone has strengths, even during the most challenging of times! I have a passion for empowering and supporting others. I strive to create a safe environment and strong therapeutic alliance working towards lasting growth and change, no matter the circumstances that brought you into my office.
I attended Buena Vista University in Storm Lake, IA obtaining my Bachelor’s degree in Social Work. I went on to obtain my Master of Social Work degree at the University of Nebraska in Omaha, NE. I am currently a Licensed Independent Social Worker and am also approved as a clinical supervisor in the state of Iowa.
I joined the Four Oaks family in October 2021 as the Clinical Director of the Mental Health Department. In this role, I balance supervising and supporting our therapists and working directly with children and families seeking therapy services. I have been clinically trained in: Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT), Child-Parent Psychotherapy (CPP), Eye-Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) and Theraplay-informed techniques. It is my joy and honor to work alongside children and their families as they work to build resiliency and confidence.
Outside of work, I enjoy spending time with my family, being active outside, attending my children’s activities, baking, watching sports and listening to music.
Jill Vanous, LISWI believe one of the bravest things you can do is begin to understand your own story. My ideal patient is focused upon personal growth and healing. Your past does not have to define your future! As a therapist, I have helped children and families find understanding in seemingly hopeless situations. I have years of experience in a variety of inpatient and outpatient settings and I have training in TF-CBT, EMDR, and Theraplay. I primarily serve children and teens with behavioral and emotional problems stemming from family system issues and trauma. My goal is to help your child and family obtain your definition of happy and healthy. Education:
- Masters of Arts, Social Work, 2003, University of Northern Iowa, Cedar Falls, IA
- Bachelor of Arts, Early Childhood and Elementary Education, 2001, University of Northern Iowa, Cedar Falls, IA
Lydia Frazier, LISW
I specialize in issues related to depression, anxiety, current or past trauma, and the impact of these on your life today. I work primarily with adolescents and young adults. I will always use an eclectic and individualized approach to treatment, drawing from many modalities such as mindfulness, interpersonal, trauma or solution focused, and will adhere to a strengths based model to move you through challenging times. I will use a holistic lens when hearing your “story.” We can explore how family of origin, chemistry, sleep patterns, diet, and movement impact you today, and then create a vision and plan for living the authentic life you crave.
Tammy Welter-Nelson, LISW
I use a strength-based, trauma informed approach in my work with individuals and families. Working together, we identify and practice applying techniques that help them adapt to changes and challenges.
Interventions I use in my practice include traditional talk therapy, EMDR, and techniques learned in Theraplay and play therapy trainings. Specific areas of focus include issues related to adoption, attachment, anxiety, child development, depression, and family conflict. I can also assist parents with the parent-child relationship and discipline issues. In addition, I am an adoption-competent clinician and provide adoption specific training to professionals.
I work with ages 3 years to adults.
Nichole Crawford, tLMHC
Sometimes the weight of life’s pressure can seem too much to bear. You don’t know whether you’re coming or going. In times when you’re feeling this way, having someone to talk to can help you get to feeling like yourself again. Hello, my name is Nichole and I am here for you. With a listening ear and a compassionate heart, together we will dig deep and work alongside each other. Because everyone is different, I use an integrative approach with my clients. This allows me to tailor each session to the client so that they receive the best I have to offer.
I have been counseling clients for only 3 years, but have over 10+ years, experience with advocating and helping others. I have experience working with clients of all ages.
Laura Anderson, LMFT-t
Life can be challenging and seeking help at those times is a sign of resiliency and strength. Having someone to walk through difficult times can be the difference between simply surviving and living life fully.
Laura’s approach is client-centered where strengths are highlighted, hope is instilled, and autonomy is respected. Laura enjoys working with families, children, and individuals to help them heal past wound and create lasting change.
For relaxation and self-care, Laura can be found taking walks, gardening, traveling, and spending time with friends and family.