Bonnie Riphagen, LMSW, has had a passion for helping others for years. Previously employed with Hospice, Riphagen now focuses her passion on client health at Community and Family Resources (CFR) as a Mental Health Therapist based in Fort Dodge.
Riphagen obtained her master’s degree from the University of Iowa, and is currently working to obtain her EMDR, a type of trauma therapy that helps clients in processing painful memories using bilateral stimulation. Since she started with CFR in June of last year, Riphagen uses her skills she obtained as a bereavement counselor of 11 years to assist her in her daily interactions with her clients. When asked about the occupation change, Riphagen responded, “I was tired of complaining about the lack of resources there are for people who are struggling with mental health, and I decided to do something about it.” Originally from Pella, Riphagen now resides on a small acreage near Jefferson with her husband and miscellaneous farm animals.
Riphagen finds her skills being used most in the Adult Crisis Stabilization Unit, or ACSU. This unit provides immediate shelter, support and care for voluntary individuals experiencing any sort of critical mental health situation, as well as individuals who need a safe and secure environment that is less intensive and restrictive than a hospital. The unit focuses on an interdisciplinary team approach, including mental health therapists, medical staff, counselors, and patient care technicians staffed with CFR, and partners with the client’s family, local community organizations, mental health services, and county social services. Clients are welcome to attend residential substance use treatment, educational and motivational groups, and must attend daily meetings with a mental health therapist who concentrates on a strength-based approach as well as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and mindfulness skills. Riphagen states, “We strive to provide a safe and stabilizing environment for all our clients and ensure that they have the support in place when they discharge.”
Community and Family Resources offers substance abuse, mental health, and problem gambling treatment and prevention services. Counties served by CFR include Boone, Calhoun, Franklin, Hamilton, Hardin, Humboldt, Pocahontas, Story, Webster and Wright. In Fiscal Year 2017, CFR offered treatment services to 3,000 individuals and offered prevention services to schools, businesses, and community groups, reaching 13,000 individuals. For additional information, please visit CFR’s website at www.cfrhelps.org or call 515-576-7261.