Michael Markham, LMSW


"I view therapy through the lens of existential psychology, cognizant of the challenges that arise in life when we are seeking fulfillment or are unhappy with our current meaning and purpose in life. I view our work together as a collaborative effort that recognizes the human capacity for change.

I utilize motivational interviewing, narrative and cognitive behavioral therapies. However, therapy is not a one size fits all experience, and I adapt my approach to fit the needs of the client. My focus is on helping my clients to resolve or reduce the negative impact their problems have on their daily lives so they can live their best life. I believe this can be accomplished by utilizing a client’s existing strengths to create and achieve measurable and attainable therapy goals.

As a lifelong gamer, both of video and tabletop games, I know the importance that games play in my clients' lives. I am emphatically a nerd of many fandoms, and as a therapist I understand the importance of passionate interest in things, and the impact that can have upon our sense of well being and belonging. Moreover, I am a gamer affirmative therapist, and as such I recognize the value and importance of play across the lifespan. I am interested in how gaming shapes your life, rather than pathologizing it and dismissing it as a problem."

Clinical Interests

  • Therapy with children, adolescents, and adults
  • Group and family therapy
  • Work with veterans and active duty soldiers
  • Depression and anxiety
  • Developing resilience
  • Finding ones meaning and purpose in life
  • Short-term collaborative problem solving
  • Challenging traditional views on masculinity
  • Cognitive behavioral theory
  • Narrative play therapy
  • Human capacity for change
  • Importance of play across the life span
  • Struggles with developing a sense of identity
  • Use of non-traditional therapy tools including electronic and table-top board games in therapy.

License, Education and Memberships

  • Licensed Master Social Worker, licensed to practice in the state of Iowa
  • Master of Social Work from The University of Iowa
  • Bachelor's of Social Work from Mount Mercy University
  • United States Army Infantry School, Fort Benning, Georgia

Personal Interests

Michael's personal interests include weight lifting, martial arts, and history (particularly ancient Mediterranean and 18th-20th century American/World history), as well as video and tabletop games. A huge reader and writer, he is a self-identified sci-fi/fantasy geek, and appreciates poetry.

Insurance Accepted

  • UIChoice, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Aetna, Anthem, Health Alliance Medical Plans (HAMP), HealthPartners, Health Smart, Humana/Choice Care, Medical Associates Health Plan (MAHP), Medica Insure, Midlands Choice, TRICARE, UnitedHealthcare, Veterans Affairs Community Care Network (VA CCN)
  • Medicaid: Amerigroup Iowa and Iowa Total Care