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 I am most 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.
Brad Rentfro, CMHC
Brad was born in a small town in Illinois and later moved to Utah with his family at the age of 9. He struggled with self-esteem as a child but was able to build his confidence through hard work in school and athletics. Brad played sports year round in high school as he participated in football, wrestling and track and won state championships in football and track. As a teenager, Brad was introduced to the field of residential treatment as his sister was placed in several treatment centers that were unable to help over the span of 5 years. “I know what families are going through as they send their daughters away for help, not knowing how it will turn out. I admire their courage and love for their daughters.”
Brad attended Weber State University for a year, majoring in their pre-med program before moving to France for 2 years. During his service there he developed a deep love for people and their lives. Upon returning to the United States he enrolled at the University of Utah majoring in Psychology with a minor in French. Upon graduating he took a job in business at O. C. Tanner in Salt Lake City. After 6 years there he became restless, feeling like this wasn’t what he was meant to do with his life. He left and eventually found his way to a residential treatment center and loved working with teenagers but disliked the philosophy of the program, which was based on fear as a catalyst for change. Brad went back to school to get his Master's Degree in Counseling at the University of Phoenix. While studying there he found New Haven, which he was very excited to see matched his own beliefs about how change happens. He immediately applied and was hired at New Haven in 2001.
Brad is very motivated to help families who have been affected by sexual abuse, self-harm, eating disorders, depression, personality disorders, OCD, and attachment issues. He has presented at several regional and national conferences of therapists and educational consultants on the topic of neuroscience and the treatment of trauma. He has also been featured as a guest on a local talk radio program to discuss trauma and trauma treatment.
Brad was married in 1988 and has 2 sons and 2 daughters. Brad loves being with his wife and children and watching his boys play football and wrestle. In 2002 Brad and his wife undertook the building of their own home in Saratoga Springs, Utah to be closer to New Haven.
Listen to Brad's Sound Advice.
Brian McElligott, Licensed Associate MFT
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
Kevin Randall, LMFT
Assistant Clinical Director
Kevin is originally from Nebraska; as one of twelve children he has always recognized and appreciated the value of family. Kevin completed his undergraduate degrees at the University of Utah and then received his master's degree at the University of Nebraska. Over the past several years Kevin has provided therapy for at-risk adolescents and their families, crisis counseling and treatment for suicidal individuals, and individual and marital therapy. Kevin has been foundationally trained in DBT. He recently traveled throughout the country providing aftercare to families who were bringing their teens home from wilderness and residential placements. He has experience working with mood disorders, oppositional defiant disorder, and marital and family relationship issues. Kevin has been married for nearly fifteen years and enjoys spending time with his wife and five children.
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, Licensed Associate MFT
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.
Jenny Taylor, CMHC
Jenny is a Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor who was fortunate enough to find her passion in the field working with adolescents and their families over 7 years ago. While obtaining her bachelor’s degree from the University of Utah in Family and Human Development, she became certified as a Substance Abuse Counselor. While pursuing her Master’s Degree at the University of Phoenix to become a therapist, she worked full time as a substance abuse counselor supporting adults, women and their children in several Residential Addiction Recovery Programs. She has also worked as a residential therapeutic provider with adolescents and their families since 2005.
Jenny's specialty areas include: substance abuse issues, anxiety, mood disorders, oppositional defiance, identity issues, grief, self-esteem, parent-child relational issues and family therapy. Jenny believes in the healing power of experiential activities and uses them religiously in her therapeutic work. Jenny also embraces the healing power of unconditional love and acceptance. She believes whole-heartedly that we are all doing our best in the moment with the information and knowledge we posses, and that as we gain more information and knowledge our best expands. She feels strongly in the intrinsic goodness of others, and that students and families are not defined by struggles and/or choices but rather by the wisdom, knowledge and adaptation that can be gleaned from such.
Jenny moved around a lot growing up but spent the majority of her childhood in Northern California. Jenny loves what Utah has to offer with outdoor recreation opportunities and enjoys spending time with her family camping, hiking, fishing, and exploring the wonders of Utah. One of her favorite days of the week is Sunday when all of her family is able to gather together for Sunday dinner and board games. Jenny has four children, two boys and two girls, and the welcomed addition of one granddaughter.
Emma Hanks, Licensed Associate MFT
Emma Hanks 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.
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.
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.