Women in Leadership Self Care Panel

Women in Leadership Self Care Panel

More than chocolate and bubble baths, self-care is misunderstood by pop culture.

Like the 2017 Forbes Magazine article title, "Self Care is not an indulgence. It is a discipline." One that many women deprioritize when they need it most. Self Care protects us from burnout, compassion fatigue, and declining mental health.

Join us on May 25 to learn amazing self-care techniques from a panel of eight mental health providers who are all small business owners, MMU alumni, and community advocates from in and around Cedar Rapids! They represent decades of serving the community's mental health needs and supporting women often in their most challenging life moments. Partake in light hors d'oeuvres at 5:30 PM and informational presentations at 6:00 PM.




Tabitha N. Webster, Ph.D., LMFT is the Program Director and faculty at MMU in Marriage and Family Therapy. She is the therapist, supervisor, and owner of SmArt Family Therapy and Wellness, PLLC

She loves working with families, kiddos and youth. She has experience working with childhood trauma, chronic pain, minority families and neurodiversity. She is currently work toward getting certified in Neurofeedback.

I think the most important thing about self-care for women in leadership is being your authentic, unique, bold and quirky selves.

My favorite self-care is eating a fulfilling breakfast while listen to sport talk radio, walking on my treadmill, hot baths, blasting music, kitchen and car dance parties, and all things art and painting.


Dr. Heather Morgan-Sowada, LMFT. She is an Assistant Professor of Marriage and Family Therapy at Mount Mercy University.  Heather owns a private practice in Hiawatha called Resolute Therapy.

Her primary research focus is on Body Dysmorphic Disorder and Trans and non-binary experiences. In 2019 she and fellow MFT, Remi Andrews, started Resolute Rainbows, which provides group psychotherapy for children and teens who identify as trans or gender non-binary, and their parents.

 I think the most important thing about self-care for women in leadership is to listen to your intuition. That little voice inside is really your values talking. We never feel good about our decisions when we work outside of our values. Tune is and listen up, then act accordingly.

My favorite self-care strategy is taking my dog for a walk every single morning. It sounds so cliché, but there is a mountain of research supporting the benefits of a daily walk, being in nature, and spending time caring for an animal. 


Julie Lemon, PhD, LMHC is a therapist/owner in private practice at Cedar Rapids Therapy. 

Julie specializes in mindfulness for couples, and she created the Spiritual Program for Individual and Couple Empowerment. 

She believes the most important thing about self-care for women in leadership is creating space in your life, so your intuitive inner voice can guide your behaviors and choices.

Julie’s favorite self-care is traveling with her husband, Terry.


Sara Tawil, Ph.D., LMHC, is a therapist and the owner of Olive Branch Therapy, LLC.

Some areas of my expertise include traumatic psychological injuries (TPI) and their associated challenges, strained relationships, emotional regulation, and grief and loss.

The most important aspect of self-care for women in leadership is to offer safe and genuine human connection and gentle curiosity in approaching each unique person they assist.

My favorite form of self-care is to focus on the here-and-now and cultivate the ability to attend to my inner balance.


Jess Pladsen, LMFT, RPT-S is an owner, therapist, and supervisor at Prism Therapy Group.

Jess works with individual, couples, and play therapy and specializes in attachment and trauma work.

I think the most important thing about self-care for women in leadership is to create a healthy relationship, realistic expectations, as it nurtures and honors self.

My favorite self-care is to connect in nature and make sure I schedule a lunch break on work days.


Amanda Papakee, LMFT, is a therapist at Meskwaki Tribal Health Center and also in private practice. Amanda enjoys working with people who are in ethical non-monogamous relationships, marginalized groups, and existential crises.

I think the most important thing about self-care for women in leadership is doing what is right for you.

My favorite self-care is doing nothing and being okay with it (typically biting my nails and watching true crime stories). 


Shoshannah Guerrero, MA, LMFT, is Owner and Therapist at DreamWeaver Therapy, PLLC.

Shoshannah is a Certified Clinical Anxiety Treatment Professional supporting individuals, couples, and families, with additional experience and training in grief and loss.

I think the most important thing about self-care for women in leadership is setting limitations on outside expectations. Know your strengths, and your priorities for work, family, and health and focus on those. 

My favorite self care activity indoors is writing letters and cards to send via snail mail. Outdoors my favorite self-care activity is forest bathing. 


Kait Hutson, LMFT (she/her) is a practicing psychotherapist and owner of Elevated Psychotherapy, PLC and the LGBTQ Relationship Center of Iowa, PLC in Iowa City.

She specializes in working with the LGBTQ population, complex trauma, religious trauma, and shame. She offers therapy for individuals, relational systems, and provides group therapy for queer and trans clients. She also works as a consultant for colleagues and Iowa organizations regarding service to the LGBTQ community. Her primary practice modalities include experiential, existential, and language collaborative approaches to psychotherapy.

 I think the most important things about self-care for women in leadership are radical self-love and building community.

My favorite form self-care is engaging in art and arts-based activities... also animals. I love animals!