Nevin Alderman, CMHC
Nevin's involvement in residential treatment began in 2001 when he worked as a residential staff supervisor while completing his Bachelor's Degree in Psychology and Early Childhood Development at Southern Utah University. He then went on to complete a Master's Degree in Counseling and Guidance from New Mexico State University. Nevin spent the next several years working in residential treatment with court appointed at-risk youth and their families. He also spent time working in community mental health, assisting victims of abuse and trauma.
Nevin has several specialty areas, including: family relational issues, anxiety, mood disorders, destructive behavior, trauma, attachment and substance abuse. Nevin has a passion for the field of mental health, and a strong belief in the capacity of each individual to grow and overcome life's obstacles. In addition to traditional clinical and administrative work, Nevin has been facilitating parent and family workshops, multi-systemic groups and seminars since 2008. Additionally, Nevin has been invited to address local, regional and national professional therapeutic audiences. New Haven is fortunate for the personality, skill and experience that Nevin shares with employees, students, families, and professionals.
During his spare time, Nevin enjoys spending time with his wife and two children. Nevin also enjoys exercising and participating in outdoor recreation. Nevin hails from Southern Utah, an area of the South-West renowned by outdoor enthusiasts and known for its scenic red rock landscapes.
Rick Biesinger, Psy.D
Research and Assessment
Rick completed his undergraduate work at Brigham Young University and majored in psychology. He then attended graduate school at the Forest Institute in Missouri, where he received his master's and doctorate degrees in clinical psychology. He returned to Utah to complete an internship focusing on therapy with children, adolescents, and adults, as well as administering psychological evaluations. After completing his internship, Dr. Biesinger completed a post-doctorate residency, focusing primarily on the diagnosis and treatment of various psychological difficulties seen in children and adolescents. In addition, he administered a wide variety of psychological evaluations for various agencies, therapists, and courts.
In addition to managing a private practice, Dr. Biesinger conducts all the psychological evaluations at New Haven and is in charge of conducting outcome research to ensure the highest quality of care possible for New Haven residents. Dr. Biesinger enjoys teaching and currently serves as an area chairperson for the University of Phoenix.
He is married and has five children. In his spare time he enjoys golfing and hanging out with his family, not necessarily in that order.
Susan B. Anthony House
Dayna Buxton, LMFT
Assistant Clinical Director
Dayna comes to New Haven with a wealth of experience including therapeutic and administrative roles at two other residential programs. She is originally from Northern Utah where she earned her BA in Family and Human Development from Utah State University. She then went on to the University of Kentucky for her MA in Marriage and Family Therapy. She is a fully Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in the State of Utah. Prior to being a therapist Dayna had over 4 years experience working Adolescents and Young Adults. Dayna enjoys working with youth and can't imagine anything being more rewarding than helping teenagers and their families turn their lives around. With Dayna, people experience a wonderful balance of nurturance and healthy boundaries as they progress through their difficult work.
We love having Dayna as a part of the New Haven family and the expertise she brings to the New Haven team.
Jessica was born and raised near Phoenix Arizona and later moved to Utah to attend Utah Valley University. She joined the New Haven team as a residential staff in 2008 and later worked as a shift supervisor. She has loved the opportunity to connect and support adolescents around the difficult, as well as the beautiful aspects that life has to offer. Jessica believes in the power of experiential interventions and using a relationship-based approach to facilitate hope, healing and growth within individuals and families.
Jessica enjoys music, being outdoors, hiking, snowboarding, and playing volleyball. She especially loves to travel the world, meet new people and learn about new cultures.
While at Utah Valley University she earned her Bachelor’s degree in Behavioral Science, emphasis in Psychology. During her time at UVU she was also a member of their Division 1 Women’s Volleyball team. She had the wonderful opportunity to travel the country and compete against other Universities.
A few years later, Jessica attended Brigham Young University to earn her Master’s degree in Social Work. Prior to returning to New Haven as a therapist, Jessica worked with individuals in an outpatient setting as well as at an adoption agency. She also worked closely with birth mothers who were in the process of placing their child for adoption. Areas that Jessica is passionate about include attachment, mood disorders, addiction and identity work.
Rosa Parks House
Matthew C. Bartlett, M.Ed., LMFT
Assistant Clinical Director and Transition Director
Matt received his master's degree from the University of Oregon in education with a specialty in marriage and family therapy. He spent the past five years working with at-risk youth in residential treatment and providing aftercare services to families across the nation. Prior to coming to New Haven, Matt worked with individual couples and families in an outpatient setting and with adolescents in the juvenile justice system. He has experience working with mood disorders, ADHD, attachment, oppositional defiance, and marital/family relationship issues.
He loves to laugh and believes that humor is an important part of healing difficult family relationships. Matt and his wife have five children enjoy spending time together traveling, camping, golfing, singing, and cooking. Matt also makes amazing wedding cakes as a hobby!
Allison Rencher, LMFT
Allison was raised in the shadows of the Wasatch Mountains, a few minutes north of Salt Lake City, in a bustling family of 6 children. She was raised with the "family first" value and attended more of her sisters’ choir concerts and her brothers’ sporting events than she can count. Family continues to be her priority and the main motivation for her desire to work with families in a clinical setting.
She earned her BS degree in Family and Human Development from Utah State University and loved the campus, faculty, and the mountains so much she returned a few years later to earn her Master's in Marriage and Family Therapy. She still feels that the sunrise on the snow-capped Wellsville Mountains is one of the most breathtaking sites to witness.
Allison joined New Haven in 2008 after working with families, couples and adolescents in outpatient settings. She loves working for New Haven because of the focus on values, relationships and the family. She loves that laughter is a part of New Haven—it reminds her of her own family. Allison strongly believes in taking a family perspective in her therapy approach, even when working with individuals. She enjoys being experiential in therapy and helping the New Haven families to heal. She specializes in anxiety, depression, identity, recovery, and family dynamics.
Allison enjoys photography and uses that passion at New Haven to help the families feel at home and to stay connected. She belongs to a community choir, where she has the chance to sing a wide range of music and develop a talent she has enjoyed for years. Allison loves spending time with her family and is grateful for their love and support.
Brian McElligott, LMFT
Brian grew up overseas in Athens, Greece and moved to Utah when he was 21. He has worked in the residential treatment setting for 14 years. He received his Bachelors Degree from Utah Valley University and received his Masters Degree in Marriage and Family Therapy from Amridge University. Brian has experience working with adolescents, specifically with attachment issues, oppositional behavior, and trauma. Brian has been married for 9 years, loves spending time with his wife, is an avid reader, and loves chess, basketball, and the outdoors. Spend a little time with Brian and you'll enjoy his deep and quick-witted humor.
Eleanor Roosevelt House
Sarah Engler, LCSW
Assistant Clinical Director
Sarah brings more than 11 years of clinical experience and 7 years of leadership experience to New Haven. After earning her B.S. in psychology from Brigham Young University Sarah studied social work and marriage and family therapy during graduate school at the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee where she earned her MSW in 2002. Since completion of her master's degree Sarah has worked in residential treatment programs in various positions including Assistant Clinical Director, Transition Director, Clinical Supervisor for an EAP and has worked as a Clinical Trainer.
Sarah has specialized in work with adolescents and families who are dealing with issues of depression, anxiety, eating disorders, trauma, grief/loss and other relationship challenges. Sarah believes that a crucial component of healing is the depth and health of the connections we experience with others.
Janette Davenport, CMHC
Originally from the Seattle area, Janette first came to Utah to pursue her Bachelor's degree in therapeutic recreation at BYU. After graduation, she returned to Seattle and worked as a therapeutic recreation specialist for a few years and then, as a teacher for troubled students at a private school. After earning her master's degree in counseling psychology and school counseling from Central Washington University, Janette returned to Utah and worked as counselor at a junior high and as a therapist with teens and adults dealing with substance abuse and mental health issues. She has experience with working with individuals that deal with substance abuse, bipolar disorder, attachment, mood and anxiety disorders, ADD/ADHD, Learning disabilities, personality disorders, and self-harm behaviors. She enjoys interacting and building relationships with teenagers and seeing them make positive changes in their lives. Janette tries to stay active by running, hiking, swimming and in the winter, cross country skiing. She recently completed her first triathlon.
Duane Kemp, Ph.D.
Duane was born in the college town of Ithaca, NY where his father completed his Master's Degree, making education of high importance in his family. Duane received his Bachelor's Degree in Psychology from Binghamton University and began his focus on communication, learning processes, and child development. He received his Master's Degree in Psychology from Stony Brook University and chose to complete his pre-doctoral internship in New York City to broaden his skills to include psychiatric emergencies, neuropsychology, and family therapy. While completing his Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology, also at Stony Brook University, Duane worked as Residential Staff for young men with aggressive and self-destructive behavior. After completing his doctoral thesis on interventions based on communication, Duane became Clinical Director at a private institute serving children, young adults and their families.
While working as a Psychologist with other families, unfortunately, tragedy struck his own family in the death of Duane's sister-in-law. With his brother out to sea in the U.S. Navy, Duane raised his niece through her adolescent years. This experience changed his focus to young women and their family systems. Duane worked with private companies serving adolescents and their families, eventually forming his own company to provide several services including week-long retreats for teens and families, telephone coaching, and in-home visits to build family unity. Duane has a passion for the deep and lasting changes that come from close relationship and honest communication.
In his spare time, Duane pursues his excitement for Native American philosophy, ceremony, and wilderness skills. He lives in Spanish Fork with his wife and family making the great outdoors just a short hike away.
Kjrstin Walters, LMFT
Assistant Clinical Director
Kjrstin (KJ) first started working in therapeutic settings at a ropes course while finishing her undergraduate studies in Recreation Management and Youth Leadership. She went on to work as a staff at a wilderness therapy program in southern Utah, where she learned to love working with adolescents. Kjrstin then came to New Haven in 2004 as a residential staff. She worked as a staff while she attended graduate school in Marriage and Family Therapy. She has worked as a therapist at New Haven since 2008. She loves to use experiential therapies to help clients experience change and healing.
Kjrstin loves to spend time with her family; she is married to a fantastic husband and they have two beautiful daughters. She loves the outdoors, especially climbing, cycling and triathlons. She also loves to travel and explore new places, locally and internationally.
Emma Hanks McAdam, LMFT
Emma has always been interested in people, nature, and change--and she learned that the combination is powerful when she began working in wilderness therapy. She believes passionately that when young people, new experiences and good mentors come together, meaningful change can happen. Emma has a BS in Therapeutic Recreation and completed her Masters in Marriage and Family Therapy at Utah State University.
Emma has worked since 2004 with youth and families in various therapeutic settings including a juvenile corrections center, a treatment center for young women with eating disorders and a community shelter for victims of domestic violence and rape. She worked as a therapist at the Utah State University Marriage and Family Therapy Clinic and at Mountain Crest High School helping teens and their families resolve difficulties. Emma has worked in two wilderness therapy programs as Field Instructor, Senior Field Instructor and Transition Camp Coordinator. She's had the opportunity to develop various programs and manuals for staff training and is excited to work as a therapist helping families come together.
Emma uses an experiential, relationship-based approach to help people live more meaningful and value-based lives. She believes in people's ability to undergo a fundamental change of heart due to new experiences. People who have worked closely with Emma say she has a remarkable ability to work with young people.
In her spare time Emma enjoys rock climbing, guitar strumming, and exploring the world with her nieces and nephews. She likes to build things, walk dogs and learn something new every day.
Russ MacKay, ACMHC
Russ grew up outside of Nashville, Tennessee and moved to Utah after falling in love with the state on a white water rafting trip in high school. While finishing his bachelor's in Psychology Russ began working in a respite program with kids and adolescents with severe emotional disorders, and loved the work he did there. Since 2001 he has worked with teens and families in various settings.
Russ has a passion for helping others make positive changes. After working in a residential setting with adolescent girls he decided that he specifically wanted to work as a therapist with this population. After completing graduate work Russ continued to work with teens and their families in Juvenile Justice Service's custody. That love and passion for working with young women and their families is what brought Russ to New Haven.
Russ focuses on internal change, embracing new experiences, healing from trauma, and building positive relationships in his therapeutic approach. He strongly believes that each person has many talents, abilities, and strengths that help them heal and change and he actively tries to help each young lady he works with identify what these are for her. He has years of experience working with adolescents struggling with substance abuse, mood, personality, anxiety, and other disorders.
Some of the many things Russ enjoys in his personal life include: sports, nature, hiking, camping, photography, reading, learning something new each day. Above all, Russ loves spending time with his daughter. His family lives in Provo, Utah, close to all the outdoor activities they enjoy.
Mother Teresa House
Danna Olinick, CMHC
Assistant Clinical Director
Danna is originally from Northern California where she is one of ten children. She came out to Utah and earned her bachelor's degree in psychology from Brigham Young University and her masters in counseling from the University of Phoenix, Provo campus. Danna has worked with adolescents in and out of residential treatment centers and in the community for the last 9 years. Her specialties are sexual abuse and trauma, attachment, self harm, and destructive behaviors. Danna has also worked with at-risk teens with mood disorders and substance abuse issues. She enjoys working with adolescents and their families to rebuild their relationships.
Danna is married and has two children. She and her family enjoy spending time together playing games and gardening.
Scott Lovelace, CMHC
Scott was born and raised in Austin, Texas. Throughout his life, Scott has been able to understand the importance of strong family support and the need for building relationships in order to heal. Life experiences have taught him that compassion and kindness are important motivating attributes. Scott firmly believes that through seemingly small moments, great changes can be brought about, especially with the right support system. His involvement in competitive sports, especially football, taught him the importance of teamwork. Football helped take him to college, where he played while completing his Bachelor’s degree in history. He later completed his Master’s degree in Counseling and Human Development at Hardin-Simmons University.
He began his professional career working as a therapist in Utah at a residential treatment center where he assisted adolescent males and females to overcome challenges associated with substance abuse, sexual abuse, anxiety disorders, depression, communication difficulties and conflict resolution. Over the course of the last seven years, Scott has gained experience and expertise in various therapeutic settings. These experiences include, but are not limited to: working with equine assisted psychotherapy for adults and teens and providing counseling services to military service members and their families in Japan. In addition, Scott served as a director of service provision at a residential treatment center, worked with adolescents in an intensive outpatient clinic and owned his own private practice.
Scott and his wife have three beautiful children. As a family, they enjoy outdoor activities including hunting, fishing, hiking, and any sport Scott can convince his wife is necessary. He enjoys implementing these activities into therapy sessions with the families he has the privilege of working with.
Jeff S. Finch, LCSW
Jeff comes to you with a spirit of compassion and is highly motivated toward healing homes, hearts and families. Most of Jeff's early years were spent on a large dairy, where he worked hard for the necessities of life; planting, harvesting, and being grateful for the little things in life. He has worked with adolescents for over 20 years in a variety of settings, starting in 1989 as a home parent for a boy's ranch. In February 2003 while working as a mental health associate in rural Alaska, he was asked to be the only full time certified chemical dependency counselor in that community. He reports, "I was fairly new at the substance abuse field but went to work to help those individuals in our community to fight their addictions and, in many cases to save their lives." He went to graduate school in order to become more effective in treating dual diagnoses. Jeff specializes in trauma, recovery, depression, and family work. He is skilled at getting to the core of what is driving negative behaviors and belief systems. He uses a nurturing approach and is appropriately quick to build a bond and a therapeutic alliance with the girls and families he works with. His nurturing approach allows him to be firm and to hold solid boundaries which are necessary with the adolescents we work with. The girls respect the boundaries more because of the nurturing approach. Jeff appreciates the team approach taken at New Haven and believes in the power of the group process. He is grateful to work with a dedicated group of individuals where the extraordinary can and does happen.
Jeff reports that he has achieved most of his occupational and educational goals; a masters degree in social work at BYU, being an Alaska commercial salmon fisherman, being a corporate president, being a general contractor, having a family business, teaching, administrating, counseling, managing and facilitating. In his opinion; it is better to build lives instead of houses; and better to be a fisherman of mankind than to fish. He loves to spend time with his family. Jeff and his wife, Deborah, have been married for close to a quarter of a century. They enjoy doing many different and varied family activities with their children, including being in the great outdoors. Jeff has many wonderful life experiences that he brings to the table at New Haven which gives him a unique perspective.
Karolee Koller, LCSW
Karolee completed her bachelor's degree at Brigham Young University and then went on to complete a Master of Social Work degree from Colorado State University. During school, much of her research focused on the animal-human bond and the uses of animal-assisted therapy in various human service areas. Karolee's experience with using companion animal and equine assisted therapy is extensive and she is often accompanied to work by her own therapy dog "Jessi." Although much of Karolee's early schooling was focused on medical and veterinary science, she changed her focus to social work because she believed strongly in the idea that true health is not just physical, but also includes spiritual and emotional peace.
Karolee's clinical practice has included work with sex offenders, trauma survivors, eating disorders, and self-harm. She has a special interest in helping young women empower themselves and have the courage to follow their own hearts. Outside of work, Karolee enjoys hiking, working with horses, and sheep herding with her border collies. She also spends quite a bit of time vacuuming up pet hair. ☺
Substance Abuse Counselor, SUDC
Born and raised in Delta, Utah; Emilee grew up with the motto of "The family that plays together, stays together!" Her and her family enjoyed frequent family vacations and believed that quality time helped them stay connected as a family. Between dance recitals, motorcycle races, and camping trips her family was almost never bored. Emilee remains passionate about spending quality time with her friends and family camping, ATV riding, and spending time outdoors.
Emilee is a graduate of Utah Valley University's Substance Use Disorder Counseling program, and licensed by the State of Utah. Prior to becoming the SUDC, she became a part of the New Haven family in 2011 as a residential staff, and later an assistant supervisor.
Passion fueled by the experiences of close family and friends suffering from addiction, Emilee brings with her a deep understanding and experience of the addiction cycle, the individual struggle, and effective treatment of those experiencing a wide array of substance dependencies. Her counseling philosophy emphasizes the importance of family dynamics, focusing energies on developing healthy family relationships, as well as identifying and specializing treatment based on the unique factors of each girls' recovery. With her approach she is able to break down every aspect of each girl’s addiction and help them create a personalized plan for recovery and a strong relapse prevention plan.
Melissa Sprague, TRS, CTRS
Recreational Therapist Coordinator
Melissa graduated from Brigham Young University in 1991 with a B.S. degree in Therapeutic Recreation and a minor in psychology. She completed an internship at the Utah State Hospital and started her career at a residential treatment facility for teens where she worked for over 12 years treating adolescents with anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, oppositional defiant disorder, and substance abuse issues. Melissa also worked for several years at a facility that specializes in treating women and girls for eating disorders. She utilizes a variety of experiential interventions and expressive arts in group, family, and individual recreation therapy.
Melissa is a certified RAD Instructor, a trained Ropes Course Facilitator, Licensed River Guide and an Emergency Responder Instructor for the American Red Cross. She enjoys being outside and spending time with her family. She is active in her community teaching first aid and CPR classes, safety education classes to elementary children and self defense classes for women. Melissa loves helping women and children to feel more empowered.
Karen McElligott, TRS, CTRS,
Karen graduated from BYU with a Bachelor's Degree in Therapeutic Recreation. She did her internship at the Gathering Place, Women's Shelter, and New Haven and then went on to become Nationally Certified. She worked for several years at a facility with a focus on the arts and has extensive experience with using art, sand play therapy and a variety of experiential interventions. Karen has worked closely with clients with attachment, personality, eating, depression, and anxiety disorders. Karen has worked with several populations, but feels a special connection to the girls and their families at New Haven as she believes in taking a systemic approach when addressing any therapeutic issues. Karen has been in the field for 12 years and feels blessed to have a job that she loves.
Karen enjoys animals, playing games, reading, spending time with her husband and anything outdoors.
Janine Rockwell, TRS, CTRS
Janine got her start at a privately-owned challenge course in 2005. The clients she worked with for that company included several youth treatment centers, three adult addiction rehab centers, a company that specializes in treating sex offenders and a company that specializes in treating eating disorders. She was also involved in building over a dozen challenge courses in the state of Utah.
She received a BS in Recreation Management from Brigham Young University in 2006 with a minor in psychology. In 2009 she went back to BYU to change her BS to Recreation Therapy. She loves recreation therapy because she can challenge students and families in a fun way and has seen the positive impact these challenges have on the participants. Her specialty is the challenge course, but she also loves any type of experiential activity that provides a physical or emotional challenge.
Janine's passions include anything that can be done in the mountains. She loves to rock climb, hike, and camp, and often takes her teenage nieces on these adventures with her.