Dr. Michaela Stenger reopens private practice in Webster City

Dr. Michaela Stenger, LISW, has reopened her private practice in Webster City after a 20 year absence.

Her office is located at 914 Willson Ave., Webster City, and shares space with Dr. Joseph Latella. She can be reached at 1-877-684-3445.

Stenger’s undergraduate degree and first Master’s degree were focused on Cultural Anthropology, Ethnic Studies and traditional Dance with her specialty areas being Native Americans and the Indochinese. Her second Master’s degree was in Clinical Social Work, with an emphasis on aging. Stenger said it was during this time she first provided psychotherapeutic services to individuals in assisted livings and long-term care settings.

She earned her Doctorate degree in Clinical Psychology with an emphasis on aging. Her focus was on assisting “Baby Boomers” as they began the journey down the aging path and discovered they could not do what they had always done in the way they had always done it.

“It was a joint process of helping individuals redefine themselves for the next chapters of their lives,” she said. “This path included all aspects of their lives; minds, bodies and a variety of socioeconomical issues.”

Some examples of Stenger’s work and corroboration with other professionals have included researching and developing brain fitness programs to minds which were becoming more forgetful; sports were a combination of psychological reframing and reevaluation by professionals to learn new ways to participate in the old activities with an aging or disabled body; socially speaking individuals wanted to learn how to continue to be social with new or additional physical, financial and transportation challenges and how to deal with loss of friends, family, identity, independence and a variety of other issues.

For the past two years, Stenger and colleagues from around the world have been researching and hoping to develop diagnostic tools and treatment modalities to provide services to aging veterans who were not diagnosed with PTSD until they became symptomatic with dementia. Stenger has training in how to utilize non-medical or confrontational methods of assisting individuals with dementia, when they began to display troubling behaviors.

“It helps to open one’s mind and think outside the box,” she said.

Stenger will not only have regular office hours but will also provide psychotherapy services to individuals in their homes including assisted living and long-term care. Stenger has added the technology to provide psychotherapy via the computer “ETherapi” or “EPsych” for those who are challenged to attend office appointments, with distance, work, and school or initially for individuals who are psychologically unable to leave their homes. Stenger is on many insurance panels and said she would also negotiate fees to allow as many individuals as possible to receive mental health services. She added she would never refuse service to anyone based on ability to pay.

“I have set up my private practice with office hours, home visits, tele-health and fee schedules, to bring mental health services to those who really want the help,” she said.