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Meet Our Psychologists

Taryn Van Gilder-Pierce Ph.D

Dr. Taryn Van Gilder-Pierce

Clinical Psychologist 

Educated in San Diego, California, Dr. Van Gilder-Pierce is a Licensed Clinical Psychologist with a practice based in Yankton, South Dakota. She and her husband, Dr. Pierce, co-founded Psychological Associates of Yankton in 2001. With experience in individual, couples, family, and group settings, her two and a half decades of experience welcomes a wide range of expertise. She has experience and education working with individuals, couples, families, and groups spanning more than two and a half decades. Diagnostic services offered include psychological testing and psychological evaluations to guide treatment. Legally related services include child custody evaluations, competency evaluations, and expert witness testimony. She

works across the lifespan from infancy through elderly, providing therapeutic support that is direct, active, and collaborative to optimize sustainable results. 

Alexandra Pagel Psy.D

Dr. Alexandra Pagel

Clinical Psychologist

After graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in Biology from the University of Minnesota, Morris, Dr. Pagel

earned her Masters of Arts and Doctorate degree in Clinical Psychology from the American School of Professional Psychology, Argosy University, Northern Virginia in 2013 and 2019, respectively. She completed her doctoral internship at Nebraska Health Centers in Lincoln Nebraska. She joined Psychological Associates of Yankton, LLC in 2019 to complete her postdoctoral fellowship where she has continued her employment after its completion in 2020. Dr.Pagel takes special interest in rural behavioral health care and addressing

the unique challenges faced by rural and frontier populations. She enjoys working in a generalized practice providing quality psychotherapy, psychological testing, and psychological evaluations for all ages and multiple psychological concerns. Dr. Pagel utilizes a patient-centered approach, relying on the integration of numerous treatment and evaluation approaches to tailor services to the patient's specific concerns and circumstances. 

William Pierce Ph.D

Dr. William Pierce

Clinical Psychologist

Dr. William Pierce has been a licensed Clinical Psychologist since 1996.  He was a graduate at the University of Oklahoma before completing his Ph.D. in San Diego, CA.  He has experience in both private practice as well as Federal Corrections.  Currently Dr. Pierce is working as the Chief Psychologist at the Federal Prison in Yankton, SD.  In this capacity, he has supervised two Clinical Psychologists and eight Masters level clinicians.  He is responsible for the oversight of a comprehensive residential drug abuse program and oversees all mental health services at the facility.  He has experience with Medication Assisted Treatment.  Additionally, he completes psychological evaluations, conducts intakes, and provides individual/group therapy using cognitive-behavioral approaches.  Dr. Pierce has administrative experience and is skilled at leading groups and organizations to reach desired goals.  Dr. Pierce will be retiring from the Federal Prison in January of 2022 and will begin seeing clients at Psychological Associates of Yankton in March of 2022.  His areas of expertise are substance abuse, competency evaluations, mood disorders, compulsive behaviors, stress and resilience, and working with prison compliance issues (Prison Rape Elimination Act, American Correctional Association, etc.).  Dr. Pierce has over twenty years of Federal Law Enforcement experience and worked with thousands of inmates over his career.  He has extensive experience conducting individual, group, and couples therapy to diverse clients throughout their lifespan.

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