Solstice West had the honor of promoting Clinical Director Jane Peterson MSW, LCSW, to the position of Executive Director in early 2023. Jane stepped into this role with a focus on mindfulness, healthy childhood development, and a relationally driven therapeutic focus. She has been serving as the Clinical Director since June of 2021 after joining as a Primary Therapist in 2019. Her previous experience at Solstice West gives her a strong clinical foundation to inform her role as Executive Director.
Jane finds it especially rewarding to take the time to understand people for who they are as individuals, helping them learn how to successfully integrate into society in a way that feels comfortable and authentic to themselves. She is drawn to working with individuals who consider or describe themselves as ‘different’ or find it difficult to relate to others.
Jane came to Solstice West with the intention of diving back into the residential treatment where it is possible to build meaningful, long-term relationships with students. She feels that the teamwork and camaraderie of both staff and students at Solstice West is one of the most fulfilling parts of Jane’s job. She loves that her day-to-day doesn’t feel like work because she is constantly learning and expanding her view of the world.
Jane received her Master’s degree in Social Work from the University of Utah and has been on the faculty of her alma mater. She has over 30 years of experience working with children, adolescents, and their families at all levels of care including residential, day treatment, IOP, and outpatient services. She has developed and managed programs, directed treatment teams, and supervised students. During this time she provided extensive clinical care for children, adolescents, and families. Jane has treated a variety of diagnoses including mood disorders, anxiety disorders, complicated grief, Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), Oppositional defiant disorder (ODD), Autism spectrum disorder (ASD), and attachment issues.
Jane is trained in both Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) and Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) and uses many approaches in her practice including Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), developmental approaches, systems theory, trauma-focused CBT, Theory of Mind, and attachment-based therapies. She has also included animal-assisted therapy to help clients with attachment issues. Jane has experience running many types of therapy groups including mindfulness, psychotherapeutic, and psychoeducational groups. She emphasizes mindfulness practice to promote emotional regulation, as becoming and staying healthy requires an approach that is inclusive of both mind and body. Most importantly, Jane emphasizes a strength-based, relationship approach with clients.
She views relationships as one of the most important foundations of therapy and successful treatment, as strong relationships and support systems lead to lasting change in adolescents. Jane believes that every family member plays an integral part in the family system, and is a strong advocate for family work that parallels clients’ therapeutic process.
Jane has been married for 31 years and has raised two children. In her free time, she enjoys reading, cooking, traveling, walking her dog, and spending time with her family.
Jane on what’s she excited about at Solstice West:
“I’m excited to further our relational approach to treatment and continue to work on our collaborative problem-solving model that is bolstered by our daily mindfulness practices which allow our clients to practice emotional regulation. We hope that our clients can come away with a deeper connection to themselves and an understanding of their values so that they can graduate with a strong sense of self and live their best, healthy life with an acceptance of who they are.
I’m extremely proud of the Solstice West team and all that we have accomplished. It’s an incredibly tight team that problem-solves together. We’re able to be honest and supportive while challenging each other. Our academics truly sets us apart. Our Academic Director Angela Johnson has elevated her department, making it possible for our students to recover credits and sometimes even graduate early after they return to a more traditional school setting. We find it crucial for our students to be able to go out in the world successfully, so they are guided to find their passions and strengths.”
Jane has made many great strides since stepping into the role of Executive Director and we look forward to her seeing her continued dedication and the positive impact it has on the lives of students and families at Solstice West.