What brings Leslie Ross to Newton is a man.
“My high school sweetheart called me and after a year or more of a long-distance relationship. Then I moved out here,” Ross said.
The licensed independent social worker has been living in Newton since December and has just opened her private practice. Her office, which overlooks the square, is located in the Maytag building at 118 First St. N., Suite 404. Ross was in private practice in Colorado for 15 years.
With 25 years of experience in her field, Ross said she enjoys helping other people.
“Ever since I was in high school I knew I liked talking and working with people,” she said. “Once I went off to college and started taking classes and through a guidance counselor at community college, I got clear about what I wanted to do.”
So far Ross said she has enjoyed living in Newton and has found that everyone has been very friendly. She said the winters aren’t much different but that Iowa gives her a chance to garden more.
“Where I lived in Colorado pretty much all you could grow are pine cones,” she said. “I say that jokingly but it’s really the truth.”
One of Ross’s specialities is the treatment of trauma using eye movement desensitization and reprocessing, which requires training and licensure to become certified. Ross said she is the only person in Newton that can perform this type of therapy.
The therapy focuses on using rapid eye movement to reprocess distressing memories that cause post traumatic stress syndrome. Francine Shapiro, who developed the technique, first used it on Vietnam veterans.
Ross herself has experience working with veterans, but said that the EMDR works with childhood trauma too.
“I worked a lot with the military in Colorado Springs,” Ross said. “Most of the time you have to go to the VA and all of that. But I am now a TRICARE or United Healthcare provider for the military.”
Ross has an open house today from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. For anyone who is interested in seeking her services, she is ready to start taking appointments.
Staff writer Dave Hon may be contacted at (641) 792-3121, ext. 425, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.