Why I’m A Therapist

As far back as I can remember I wanted to help empower people and instill positive change. My favorite stories growing up were always about the underdog—the lonely, orphaned or disabled. I wanted to comfort these characters and help them feel honored and loved. There’s also a tradition of caregiving in my family that guides that desire. My grandfather was a business man who never engaged in a transaction without getting to know the client first. My father was a doctor and my mother was a nurse, and their profound interest in healing others inspired me to follow a similar path.

I’m now a Licensed Independent Social Worker with over 30 years of experience. In my private practice, I specialize in young adult counseling, teen counseling, Christian counseling, counseling for women and life transitions counseling.


How I Got To Where I Am Now

As an undergraduate at Drake University, I often found myself enjoying intimate conversations with friends. Sharing my own story and listening to the stories of others was deeply fulfilling. My fascination with human connection and the human experience further developed as I pursued a Masters in Social Work at Boston College. From there, I thrived working in the field with children, teens and their families. I eventually realized that I truly wanted to work in private practice, and my professional dream materialized when Quad Cities Counseling offered me the opportunity to work with individuals, couples, and families.

My Personal Journey

Everyone travels on a journey throughout their lives that is composed of many twists and turns. Some of those obstacles are wonderful beyond imagination and some bring heavy grief. My own journey has had several twists and turns as well. For example, when my mother turned 75 years old, I realized my longing to become a mother. Having served kids in the foster system for so long, I knew that adolescents who graduate from that system tend to really struggle. I knew I had the resources, both physically and emotionally, to provide care to a child. And so, that desire led me to adopt a child from foster care. My son is a wonderful gift, but I have also discovered many of the challenges of parenting a child with ADHD, especially as a single person. More recently, when I was diagnosed with cancer, I had to face the many challenges that come with living with a chronic health issue while taking care of a child and a career. Adapting to my illness has been a humbling experience, but also a gift in disguise. It challenges me every day to focus deeply on living faithfully and fully.

I know that unexpected circumstances sometimes fall upon all of us that are too big to handle on our own. As a therapist, it is my true passion and honor to support people who are going through a crisis. I’ve experienced trials in my life in which I’ve had to reach out for help. We all have unique challenges, history, and personalities, but I believe no matter what we are going through, connecting with one another in times of need can help us through even the toughest of times. In therapy sessions, you can expect me to be warm, and compassionate and to honor your unique background, beliefs, values, and heritage. People often also find me funny and able to articulate circumstances in a manner that’s both genuine and useful.

Outside the office I enjoy spending time with my son, friends and family, reading, hiking, swimming and attending the theater. I also volunteer on the prayer team at church, and I am available to pray with people or just hang out if they want to talk. Before I adopted my son, I was also involved with children’s ministry, but now I primarily focus on taking care of myself, my son and my private practice.

Meet Denise Aden

If you’re interested in life transitions counseling, teen counseling, young adult counseling, Christian counseling or counseling for anxiety or depression in Bettendorf, IA, please call (563) 213-5100 for a free 30-minute phone consultation. I am happy to discuss any questions you have about my practice, experience and how therapy can address your needs.

Denise Aden has been helping individuals and families heal and find hope for over 30 years. She received her Masters in Social Work from Boston College and graduated magna cum laude with a Bachelor’s in Speech Communication from Drake University. She is a Licensed Independent Social Worker in the state of Iowa and has extensive experience working in schools, adoption agencies, geriatric care and Christian programs. Her private practice is located in Bettendorf, IA where she offers a variety of counseling services to individuals, couples, and families.