Residents of Webster City and surrounding communities now have a new resource but a familiar face to call on when facing tough times.
Lutheran Family Service, a state-wide provider of faith-based counseling services for individuals, couples, families and children, recently announced the placement of a new therapist. Toni Larson, LISW, is now available to see clients by appointment in Webster City each Tuesday and in Fort Dodge on Wednesdays and Thursdays. Larson is a familiar face in Webster City and surrounding areas having most recently worked as a hospice social worker and case manager for the frail elderly.
People seek counseling for a variety of reasons, but many have fears to overcome about seeing a counselor.
Larson notes, "With the pressures in today's world and the many directions we are pulled, sometimes people just need a safe, quiet place to talk." She continued, "With the assistance of the counselor, clients will work to come up with a plan for dealing with whatever issues they bring in to the therapy session." Larson explained that she and the other LFS counselors throughout Iowa work with people to resolve conflicts in their marriages or personal relationships, assist parents with issues concerning their children, depression, anxiety, grief and loneliness. In addition to these situations and helping people with questions about normal life-cycle phases, LFS also helps victims of physical, emotional or sexual abuse and works with all clients to lead a happy, healthy and balanced life.
"At LFS, we approach all counseling sessions with a Christian perspective," said Larson. "This makes us unique, but it doesn't mean we force religion on our clients. It means the Christian values are there and spiritual concerns can be openly addressed."
In addition to the Webster City and Fort Dodge offices, LFS counselors provide services throughout North Central Iowa in Fort Dodge, Iowa Falls, Algona, Waverly and Des Moines. Fees for counseling are based on a sliding scale. Medicare, Medicaid and most insurance plans are also accepted.
LFS is a not-for-profit organization that does not use any government support, but instead partners with individuals, organizations and congregations within the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod to make its services possible. The partnership of St. Paul's Lutheran Church at 1005 Beech Street and its members help to bring this counseling service to Webster City. The members at St. Paul Lutheran have prepared a room in their church building especially for this purpose, with great attention paid to privacy and comfort for those who use the service.
"Our services are available to everyone, regardless of their religious beliefs, church affiliation, or their ability to pay the full cost of counseling," explained Larson. For more information or to make an appointment, call Lutheran Family Service at 800-622-7285 or 515-573-3138.
About Lutheran Family Service:
Founded as a home-finding society for orphaned children in 1901, LFS is a Recognized Service Organization of the Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod (LCMS). It is owned and operated by the 296 LCMS congregations in Iowa. Services are available to all people, regardless of their church membership. Services include individual, couple and family counseling; pregnancy counseling; adoption services; family life education; and support and training for professional church workers.