Sydney Dunn, MS, LMHC

Therapeutic Approach

Choosing to engage with mental health therapy takes a great deal of courage, vulnerability, insight, and readiness to change and I’m proud of each and every person who takes that step. Self-exploration can be difficult and messy, but you are worth the work, and I am honored to be a part of that journey. Whether that is through identifying negative core beliefs that impact decision making, processing past issues in a supportive space, or learning new ways to break old patterns, I work hard to meet each individual person where they are at in the change process with grace and compassion.

Our relationships and experiences shape how we see and understand ourselves and the world around us and having a safe, non-judgmental space where you can explore what is impacting you can play a large role in your healing. I value a strong therapeutic relationship as the foundation of a successful therapy experience and am eager to get to know clients on a deeper level. I utilize a person-centered approach to meet individuals where they are at in the change process and enjoy incorporating aspects of acceptance, dialectical behavioral, cognitive behavioral, and mindful self-compassion.

Clinical Areas of Interest

I am trained as a generalist with some additional training in substance use counseling and trauma. I use a person-centered approach and focus on building a safe therapeutic alliance rooted in vulnerability and unconditional positive regard. I have a passion for working with individuals experiencing anxiety, adjustment to life transitions, identity exploration, eating concerns, and depression. I am especially interested in working with individuals seeking to heal from shame and increase self-compassion and resilience.

Professional Biography

I am a Licensed Mental Health Therapist in the State of Iowa and a Certified Rehabilitation Counselor. I was born and raised in northwest Iowa and earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska. From there, I began working in the field of human services while I obtained my master’s degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling and Rehabilitation Counseling from Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa.
My professional experience includes vocational rehabilitation and supported employment services, substance use evaluation and treatment, play therapy with elementary-aged children, and brief counseling work at Iowa State University Student Counseling Services. While at ISU, I provided individual therapy, workshops, case management, graduate assistant supervision, substance use consultation, and outreach programming.

Personal Hobbies

My hobbies include listening to podcasts; spending time with my husband, our son, and our two corgis; going on road trips; cheering on the Cyclones; and playing board games. I love live music and have a wide variety of music taste (ranging from Taylor Swift to Kenny Chesney to Fleetwood Mac to Fall Out Boy) and have seen many of my favorite artists live in concert. I also love theater and attending plays and musicals in Ames and Des Moines.

3510 Lincoln Way, Suite 300, Ames, IA 50014 | Phone: (515) 292-9251 | Fax: (844) 895-6179 |