Mary Helen


We tell ourselves stories in order to live. –Joan Didion

I believe that making sense of life’s challenges is crucial to surviving—and yes, thriving. I consider it a sacred task to sit with people, witnessing their essential dignity and depth of emotion, as they find meaning in hardship and purpose across life’s stages.

I enjoy working with families of all sizes and configurations, with anyone who has ever been a part of a family, with children, and with anyone who has ever been a child. I work to maintain cultural humility and am attentive to the role of race, class, gender, sexuality, and disability status in clients’ experience of life.

A lifelong people-watcher, I got my Bachelors in Anthropology from Smith College in Massachusetts in 2005, then a Masters in the personal essay at the University of Iowa’s Nonfiction Writing Program in 2012. I have now lived in the north for as long as I lived in my home state of South Carolina, but I still secretly love snow. I was an avid line dancer and swing dancer but now mostly ring around the rosie with my daughter.

To schedule an appointment with me, call the Olson MFT Clinic at 319-368-6493.

Clinical Interests

  • Individual Therapy
  • Couples Therapy
  • Family Therapy
  • Play Therapy
  • Parenting
  • LGBTQ+
  • Postpartum Depression/Anxiety
  • Life Adjustment and Transitions
  • Trauma
  • Attachment
  • Body Image

Contact Me



Appointment Availability


10:00 am-9:00 pm


10:00 am-9:00 pm


10:00 am-9:00 pm


10:00 am-9:00 pm


10:00 am-5:00 pm


8:00 am-2:00 pm