About the Anxiety and OCD Center Des Moines

About the center

Zach Pacha

The Anxiety and OCD Center of Iowa was established by Zach Pacha, LISW. This was born out of over 12 years of working with anxiety disorders and OCD. A common factor in people not receiving any treatment or evidence based treatment is the public not knowing where to turn. This center was invented to address this by being a beacon for individuals to know where to go for help.

Anxiety Disorders and OCD have treatments that can work to reduce the level of interference in a person’s life, which in turn means less suffering. Our primary mission is providing evidence based treatments and increasing public awareness of these.

About Zach Pacha, LISW

Zach Pacha is a licensed independent social worker (LISW) who has been practicing therapy for over 12 years. Mr. Pacha has a diverse background of working in several different outpatient clinics, including community mental health for 7 years. From these experiences he has learned and continues to strive for excellence in providing the best possible treatment.

He is a dedicated lifelong learner. A two time University of Iowa graduate, with his undergraduate and master’s degrees in social work, Zach has continued with advancing his knowledge and skill through rigorous training. A grant opportunity allowed him to focus specifically on learning Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for the treatment of Anxiety Disorders. The training lasted a total of two years and included reviewing and scoring of numerous recorded sessions for adherence to the CBT model. This training was provided by his mentor, Dr. Scott Temple.

Since this completion in 2011, Zach has taken his own steps to further his expertise by:

  • Becoming a clinical fellow of the Anxiety and Depression Association of America
  • Founding the regional clinic in Des Moines for the National Social Anxiety Center
  • Completion of the International OCD foundation Behavior Therapy Training Institute (BTTI) for the treatment of adult OCD.
  • Earning Diplomate designation of the Academy of Cognitive Therapy
  • Clinical certification in providing Individual Resiliency Training and Family Education Programs for the NAVIGATE model for First Episode Psychosis.

He currently provides individualized therapy on a daily basis to clients. His focus is using evidence based therapies for all Anxiety and OCD related disorders. In addition he provides consultation to professionals, trainings with groups and organizations. He also is involved with the state of Iowa in providing ongoing training and fidelity assistance for three teams in the NAVIGATE model for individuals who experience first episode psychosis.


Academy of Cognitive Therapy (ACT) – Certified Diplomate
Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA) – Clinical Fellow
National Social Anxiety Center (NSAC), Board Member; Regional Clinic Des Moines
International OCD Foundation (IOCDF) - member
Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies (ABCT) – Professional member
National Association of Social Workers (NASW) - VP of Professional Development, Iowa Chapter

About Zach Howard, LMSW

About Zach Howard, LMSW

Zach Howard is a licensed social worker (LMSW) who recently graduated with honors from University of Iowa with a master’s degree in social work. He has spent the last year training under the supervision of Zach Pacha at the Anxiety and OCD Center of Iowa where he became proficient in the treatment of anxiety disorders and OCD, utilizing Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Exposure and Response Prevention.

Before joining the Anxiety and OCD Center of Iowa, Zach spent years working with youth as a treatment counselor at a psychiatric medical institute for children in Iowa where he not only became dedicated to providing evidenced-based treatment to those in need, but also became passionate about providing education and consultation on all matters of mental health.

Since joining the Anxiety and OCD Center of Iowa, Mr. Howard presented for a NASW symposium on OCD and attended national trainings and conferences where he continues to grow his knowledge of anxiety disorders and their treatment. He currently provides individualized therapy to clients of all ages and backgrounds with a focus on OCD and anxiety-related disorders such as Panic, OCD, Phobias, and Social Anxiety.

Zach is a member of the International OCD Foundation (IOCDF) as well as a member of the National Association of Social Workers (NASW) and works at the regional clinic in Des Moines for the National Social Anxiety Center.

About Katie Schickel, LISW

About Zach Howard, LMSW

Katie Schickel is a licensed independent social worker. Katie received her master's degree in social work with a specialization in Trauma-Informed Care in 2018. She utilizes evidence-based treatment including Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Exposure and Response Prevention, and Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing. She is currently receiving advanced training and supervision under Zach Pacha, LISW at the Anxiety and OCD Center of Iowa. Katie has been working in the field for the past five years, prior to joining the Anxiety and OCD Center of Iowa Katie worked as a therapist at a community mental health center, was part of a treatment team specializing in first episode psychosis and worked as a social worker on an in-patient behavioral health unit. She currently provides individualized therapy to adult clients with a focus on Anxiety and OCD Related Disorders.