• Residential Treatment Program for Teens 14-17

Meet The Team

Executive Director, Founding Partner

Keoni Anderson, MS, ASUDC

Keoni has a Masters Degree in Psychology, and is an Advanced Substance Use Disorder Counselor for the state of Utah. He has worked with adolescents for over 17 years and is experienced with many different skills for helping teens with addiction problems. Keoni has presented at several professional conferences about the many different approaches available for addiction treatment.
Keoni has been married for 25 years, and has one daughter and one son. He is fluent in the Spanish language and enjoys movies, fishing, hunting, singing, writing songs, and playing guitar.

Psychiatrist

Kirk Simon, MD

Dr. Simon is a triple board certified psychiatrist in the areas of pediatrics, child/adolescent and adult psychiatry. He completed his undergraduate degree at Creighton University, then attended the Medical College of Wisconsin and the University of Utah. Dr. Simon has presented on topics including eating disorders, somatization disorders and difficult diagnoses in patients and families. In 2003, Dr. Simon was honored as nominee of the year. In 2005 and 2012, he was awarded teacher of the year by the triple board and child psychiatry residents. He approaches students in a holistic, strength based manner to foster greater resiliency. Although he used to enjoy mountain biking, snowboarding, hiking and photography, his time has now been replaced with raising two little boys.

Admissions Director

Jenn McMurry

Jenn has over 16 years of experience working in residential programs—serving positions as a human resource director, as well as operations director. Her vast experience in the field, along with her exceptional relational skills, make her a great fit as our director of admissions. Jenn loves the warm family feel at Solstice and the relational approach we take with our students. Most of all, Jenn enjoys spending time with the families from the beginning (through all of the difficult emotions) to seeing healing unfold, and their child reach completion of their Solstice journey. Outside of Solstice, Jenn enjoys spending time with her daughter and son, along with her fur & feathered children.

Adventure Therapy Director

Stacey Rosenberg, BS

Stacey graduated from Boston University with a BS in Secondary Math Education. She has worked with adolescents in the outdoor and residential therapeutic program industry for the past 16 years. She believes that the outdoors provide a setting for individuals to discover their true strengths. She has lead trips in a variety of settings and found the power of nature as a building block to personal growth. Stacey is leading the way for our Solstice girls to get outside more with an understanding that they will become stronger in mind and body through each experience. Stacey both works and plays outside and especially enjoys skiing, mountain biking, and whitewater rafting.

Director of Business Development

Julie Sheppard

Julie is new to both Solstice West and the residential treatment industry. She came from a large medical corporation where she worked for over 16 years and focused on Customer Service, Marketing & Sales. Julie was drawn to Solstice because of the warm, small, nurturing family environment it provides and is excited to be part of something so special.

Julie has been married for 16 years, has two teenage boys as well as a dog, Bruno that is very much part of the family. Julie likes to work hard but play harder. She loves spending time with her family & friends, traveling, biking and being outdoors. She loves going to the mountains with her boys to camp, ride four-wheelers or hike with her friends as often as possible.

Operations Director

Angie Michaelson

Angie worked in insurance for fifteen years, before selling her business and staying home to raise her family. She has been married to her husband for 22 years and they have three wonderful children. Angie has been with Solstice since 2013, and is currently in Human Resources. She loves Solstice and the environment that it provides for its staff, residents, and families. Angie enjoys spending her spare time watching her son play football, camping with her family, sewing, and reading true crime novels.

Academic Director

Jamie Murphy

Jamie is originally from north Georgia, but has spent most of her life in Utah. She graduated from Southern Utah University with a B.S. in Biology and a minor in Chemistry. After tutoring and substitute teaching at an RTC, she decided to obtain her secondary teaching license. Jamie has been teaching at RTC’s for 10+ years and loves the treatment setting. Working at an RTC allows her to do more than just stand in front of a class and teach science. She loves being involved in the whole treatment of the students and getting to know each one of them. Jamie loves spending time with her husband and three kids, ages 6, 12 and 16. Her hobbies include crochet, hanging out with her farm animals, and watching as much Atlanta Braves baseball as she can!

Admissions Counselor

Kim Peterson, BS

Kim has a Bachelors of Science degree in Political Science & Criminal Justice with an emphasis in Corrections from Weber State University. She has been employed at Solstice since February 2011 as a Mentor and is now the Winter Team Director. She has traveled extensively around the world and has enjoyed calling various destinations home. This has given her the ability to empathize with the young ladies who may be at times homesick for home and family. Her hobbies include reading, writing, and socializing with friends and family.

Clinical Director, Primary Therapist

Jaime Palmer, MSW, LCSW

Jaime has enjoyed working with adolescents and their families for over 15 years. She believes in a therapeutic holistic approach that focuses on mind, body and spiritual healing. Jaime values and understands the importance of the therapeutic relationship. She recognizes that clients often forget what is said, but they will always remember how you made them feel. Jaime has had extensive training and experience in treating trauma, self harm, eating disorders and anxiety. Jamie received her Master’s degree in social work from the University of Southern California. She is EMDR trained and has completed the first year of Somatic Experiencing and level one of TRM (Trauma Resiliency Model). She is also certified in trauma focused cognitive behavioral therapy (TF-CBT).  Jaime is passionate about being in the moment while living life to the fullest. She finds balance by spending time with her family, traveling and being outdoors mountain biking or hiking.

RN

Ayla Granger, RN

Ayla received her bachelor’s degree from Montana State University.  She is certified in maternal/newborn health and is a licensed sexual assault nurse examiner.  She started her career in the ICU, and later transitioned to specialize in women’s health.  Having worked in both rural Montana, and big city Phoenix, she has enjoyed the happy medium Utah has provided.  In each company she has worked for, she has taken a leadership role and enjoys teaching and encouraging others to be their very best.  Ayla is a fun-loving person who believes in integrated care.  She and her husband Scott, have two boys, Maxwell and Magyver, and two fur babies, Mazee and Mogul.  In her free time you can find her in the mountains with her family. She is a lover of adventure, whether its hiking, camping, biking, boating, or skiing, true peace comes from nature.

Psychiatrist

Kirk Simon, MD

Dr. Simon is a triple board certified psychiatrist in the areas of pediatrics, child/adolescent and adult psychiatry. He completed his undergraduate degree at Creighton University, then attended the Medical College of Wisconsin and the University of Utah. Dr. Simon has presented on topics including eating disorders, somatization disorders and difficult diagnoses in patients and families. In 2003, Dr. Simon was honored as nominee of the year. In 2005 and 2012, he was awarded teacher of the year by the triple board and child psychiatry residents. He approaches students in a holistic, strength based manner to foster greater resiliency. Although he used to enjoy mountain biking, snowboarding, hiking and photography, his time has now been replaced with raising two little boys.

Clinical Director, Primary Therapist

Jaime Palmer, MSW, LCSW

Jaime has enjoyed working with adolescents and their families for over 15 years. She believes in a therapeutic holistic approach that focuses on mind, body and spiritual healing. Jaime values and understands the importance of the therapeutic relationship. She recognizes that clients often forget what is said, but they will always remember how you made them feel. Jaime has had extensive training and experience in treating trauma, self harm, eating disorders and anxiety. Jamie received her Master’s degree in social work from the University of Southern California. She is EMDR trained and has completed the first year of Somatic Experiencing and level one of TRM (Trauma Resiliency Model). She is also certified in trauma focused cognitive behavioral therapy (TF-CBT).  Jaime is passionate about being in the moment while living life to the fullest. She finds balance by spending time with her family, traveling and being outdoors mountain biking or hiking.

Addictions Program Director

Rod Russell, MS, SUDC

Rod has extensive background in working with adolescents in educational and residential treatment settings. He spent seven years in Asia, teaching at the American Village International Institute, working as an Education Director for the largest private language school in Taiwan, and acting as an English Advisor for the Kaohsiung City Secondary Education System. He received several awards for his teaching methods and service to education. Before taking over as Solstice’s Addiction Program Director, Rod worked as the Residential Director, a Team Manager, Substance Abuse Counselor, and Program Director. Drawing on his clinical knowledge, milieu management skills, and pedagogic background, Rod has affected a climate for change for troubled adolescents.

Rod loves to vacation in Barbados, where he met his Bajan wife. Rod and his wife were “promoted” to grandparents in June 2016 and September 2018. They consider it to be one of their best promotions. His family consists of his wife, two sons, his daughter and son-in-law, and grandchildren, Tatum and Tayla.  Maximus, the family cat, is still an active part of the family. Max tends to spend a lot of time outside when Tatum is visiting, as Tatum hasn’t learned the fine art of petting animals the correct way. Rod loves spending time with his family, swimming in the Caribbean Sea, and reading mysteries and westerns.

Primary Therapist

TJ Rowden, PhD, CMHC

TJ received his M.S. in Marriage and Family Therapy from Brigham Young University and his Ph.D. from Texas Tech University. He began his clinical work with individuals, couples, and families in 2000, and has since practiced in various residential and private settings. From these experiences, TJ’s interest in serving both youth and their families grew and emphasizes four areas of focus while engaged in helping efforts with those he serves:  (1) principle-guided prevention & intervention, (2) character strengths and virtues, (3) the inevitability of “relationship” in daily living – the “what” and “how” of it, and (4) the reality that clients are the gatekeepers of change and true heroes in their own success stories!

With an eye on these areas when working with others, Tj has come to firmly believe that addressing our “problems” ultimately involves drawing on our strengths and the best that lies within us and our relationships!  He has found that these strengths most often need to be reclaimed from struggle or developed from weakness as youth and families engage in their own healing process.  With this background, TJ maintains ongoing interest and professional development related to Involved Fathering and Post-traumatic Growth literature and interventions.  As a clinician, he is informed by Contextual Family Therapy (CFT), Family Systems and Ecology, and Arbinger’s attention to increasingly seeing others as people as valid as one’s self versus as objects to be resisted, used, or disregarded.  In all of this, Tj continually looks for opportunities for “less talk, more action” by way of creative and experiential intervention efforts (i.e. equine, adventure, athletic, etc.).

Originally from Arizona, TJ is the oldest of four siblings, and is married to Becky. He is a proud “Daddy” to Haylea, James, Sterling, and Ellie. TJ’s personal interests and hobbies include many things – a sort of “Jack of all Trades, Master-enough of Those I Want To Be.”  A sample of current interests and activities includes: fly tying and fishing, camping, various sports (his own and with his kids), cycling (both road and mountain), reading, and spending quality time with his wife, family, & friends.  Tj also actively serves his local community via faith and intervention opportunities to ensure involvement and impact close to home.

Primary Therapist & Equine Assisted Therapy Director

Eliza Hitz, M.Ed, LPC, MS, CMHC, EAP

Eliza started her career as a teacher, adviser, and coach at a private school in Virginia.  While completing a Masters in Education at Harvard, she decided to shift her professional focus to psychotherapy.  She received a Masters in Science in Mental Health Counseling at the University of Vermont and moved to Utah.  She has experience working as a therapist in community agencies, RTC’s, and in private practice.  Eliza also has extensive experience in the field of Equine Assisted Psychotherapy (EAP)—writing curriculum for and facilitating many individual and group EAP sessions.  Her certifications come from extensive training with Greg Kersten (Founder of EAP) and the O.K. Corral Series. Most recently, she has been trained in Trauma Focused Equine Assisted Therapy (TF-EAP), which focuses on emotional regulation, healthy boundary setting, and open communication within the horse-human relationship.  Eliza has found that this experiential learning is a profoundly effective adjunct to talk therapy, as horses give honest and immediate feedback about a person’s way of being.  These interactions provide tremendous opportunities for greater insight orientation, prosocial skill development, and enhanced self-esteem.  Eliza is also certified in Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), a research-based trauma therapy.

Primary Therapist

Blake Taylor, MCoun, CMHC

Blake began working in the residential treatment industry in 1987. He has experience working in juvenile detention, college counseling, and county mental health. He has also taught parenting classes in the community since 2004. Blake completed his undergraduate studies in psychology at Weber State, and attended graduate school at Idaho State and B.Y.U. In addition to his experience, Blake brings warmth and humor to the therapeutic setting. He enjoys the updates he gets from former clients, many of whom are raising children of their own now. Originally from Ogden, Utah, Blake is now living in Syracuse with his wife and three children. In his free time, he enjoys spending time with his family, collecting old books, reading, and messing with his computer.

Primary Therapist

Jeff Lavallee, M.MFT, LMFT

Jeff is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist who has over twenty years experience. Jeff can attribute much of his success in working with adolescents and their families to his decades in the field of psychotherapy. His dedication to this field provides him a rich background from which to draw in working with adolescents and their families. Jeff’s specialties lie in the area of trauma, addiction, along with working with girls who struggle with depression, anxiety, bipolar and borderline personality traits. He utilizes an eclectic philosophy of life and therapy which includes Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT), Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) and Experiential therapy. Additionally, Jeff conducts Art & Music therapy groups on a weekly basis. Raised in Utah, Jeff attended Weber State University where he double majored in Social Work and Child and Family studies. He attended the University of Bridgeport in CT, where he earned a Masters Degree in Marriage and Family Therapy in 1992. Jeff is the father of one son. He is very active in urban hiking and biking, and enjoys Moab as much as NYC.

Primary Therapist

Misty Rosier, CMHC, SUDC

Misty has been working in the adolescent residential treatment industry since 2000. Misty is licensed as both a Clinical Mental Health Counselor and a Substance Abuse Disorder Counselor. Misty has expertise in working with students with a variety of issues including grief and loss, attachment and relationship struggles, oppositional defiance, and addictions including video games and social media, and bullying. Misty feels strongly in the importance of developing a positive sense of self-worth as well as learning the importance of developing healthy relationships to help in aiding a positive sense of self. Misty is married with two beautiful children and loves antiquing, working out, reading, and attending concerts.

Primary Therapist, Transition Specialist

Lanae Kimber, MS, CMHC

Lanae received a bachelor’s degree from the University of Utah in Psychology and Interpersonal Communication and later went on to obtain her Masters degree in mental health counseling from the University of Phoenix. She has worked with adolescents with a variety of clinical issues including; anxiety, depression, ADHD, substance abuse, autism spectrum disorders, attachment disorders, oppositional defiant disorder and emotional dysregulation. She has worked with adolescent girls for over 6 years in therapeutic settings. Lanae believes that the greatest therapeutic benefit is gained by working with the family as a whole. She specializes in working with families during the transition from residential treatment back to home or to the next step in their lives. She enjoys helping adolescents gain skills for independence and self reliance. Growing up in Utah has given Lanae a genuine love for the mountains and the outdoors. She enjoys running, hiking, skiing, boating, yoga and anything else outdoors!

Primary Therapist

Kim England, MBA, MS, CMHC

For the past 15 years, Kim has worked with a diverse population in both in-patient and out-patient therapeutic settings. She specializes in the treatment of anxiety, attachment, trauma, depression, LGBTQ issues, and relationship struggles. Kim is certified in and utilizes Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) and finds the approach effective as it allows the element of choice as well as the availability of insight not often found in traditional therapeutic approaches. Kim also has a strong background and training in Trauma Focused Equine Assisted Psychotherapy (TF-EAP), as well as in Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT). Kim began working for Solstice RTC as a Mentor in 2008 while continuing on with her education and level of experience. Kim graduated from the University of Utah in 2004 with a Bachelor’s degree in both History and Political Science. She later returned to school graduate from the University of Phoenix with a Master’s degree in Clinical Mental Health. This past year, she completed a second Master’s degree in Business Administration from The University of Nevada.
Outside of Solstice, Kim loves working with her Arabian horses and enjoys being outdoors whether it be fly fishing, hiking, or camping.

Primary Therapist

Jane Peterson, MSW, LCSW

Jane received her Master’s degree in social work from the University of Utah. She has over 30 years of experience working with children, adolescents and their families in all levels of care including residential, day treatment, IOP and outpatient. She has developed and managed programs in addition to directing treatment teams and supervising students, and is on the faculty at the University of Utah College of Social Work. She has also provided extensive clinical care during this time treating children, adolescents and providing family therapy. Jane has treated a variety of diagnoses including mood disorders, anxiety disorders, complicated grief, PTSD, ADHD, ODD, ASD and attachment issues. She is trained in DBT and EMDR and uses many approaches in her practice including CBT, developmental approaches, systems theory, trauma focused CBT, Theory of Mind and attachment based therapies. Animal assisted therapy has also been a part of her work with clients to help with attachment issues. Additionally, she has experience running many types of therapy groups including mindfulness, psychotherapeutic and psychoeducational ones. She emphasizes mindfulness practice to promote emotional regulation, as becoming and staying healthy requires a mind/body approach. Most importantly, she emphasizes a strength-based, relationship approach with clients. She has been married for 27 years, raised two children, enjoys reading, cooking, traveling, walking her dog and spending time with family.

Adventure Therapy Director

Stacey Rosenberg, BS

Stacey graduated from Boston University with a BS in Secondary Math Education. She has worked with adolescents in the outdoor and residential therapeutic program industry for the past 16 years. She believes that the outdoors provide a setting for individuals to discover their true strengths. She has lead trips in a variety of settings and found the power of nature as a building block to personal growth. Stacey is leading the way for our Solstice girls to get outside more with an understanding that they will become stronger in mind and body through each experience. Stacey both works and plays outside and especially enjoys skiing, mountain biking, and whitewater rafting.

Adventure Therapy Specialist

Erik Yost, MS

Erik has a Masters of Science in Experiential Education. He is a Certified Wilderness First Responder. Erik has been involved with outdoor recreational leadership and programming for 20 years, with 16 years of experience specific to therapeutic wilderness programming and residential therapeutic programs. Erik’s areas of competencies include alpine skiing, whitewater rafting, rock climbing and rappelling, mountain and road biking, fly-fishing and wilderness travel. Erik believes that outdoor pursuits provide a combination of perceived risk and real challenge that creates opportunities for personal growth. Erik’s passion for his work stems from personal experiences in the out-of-doors, which taught him self confidence, leadership and allowed him to develop a varied set of social skills. Throughout Erik’s experiences with youth in recreational activities he has witnessed these same lessons unfold for many individuals.

Academic Director

Jamie Murphy

Jamie is originally from north Georgia, but has spent most of her life in Utah. She graduated from Southern Utah University with a B.S. in Biology and a minor in Chemistry. After tutoring and substitute teaching at an RTC, she decided to obtain her secondary teaching license. Jamie has been teaching at RTC’s for 10+ years and loves the treatment setting. Working at an RTC allows her to do more than just stand in front of a class and teach science. She loves being involved in the whole treatment of the students and getting to know each one of them. Jamie loves spending time with her husband and three kids, ages 6, 12 and 16. Her hobbies include crochet, hanging out with her farm animals, and watching as much Atlanta Braves baseball as she can!

Special Education Director

Angela Johnson

Angela Johnson graduated from Southern Utah University with a Bachelors in Special Education and Physical Education. Angela has been working with as a teacher in treatment centers since March 2013 and has a passion for working with students that struggle with executive functioning skills and confidence in school. She has been working at Solstice as the Special Education Teacher since November 2015 and teaches Executive Functioning and Study Strategies.

Angela specializes in teaching executive functioning skills and works one on one each week with her students to figure out what they need to work on specifically in school and to see if students need more one on one support in their other classes. She loves to motivate and push her students to reach their full potential and to be better individuals in school and in their lives.

Art Teacher

Nate Pack

Nate grew up in Portland, Oregon and came out to Utah State University to complete his Bachelors Degree in Fine Art.  He has since gone back to earn his Masters Degree in Education.  He has experience working with youth at a variety of residential treatment facilities for the past 15 years.  As a working artist, Nate feels that his students pay better attention to him concerning the subject matter.  He sells his paintings at shows and venues with commissions from clients across the country.  His work can be seen at natepack.com. Besides creating – Nate loves spending time with his wife and 8 kids, playing basketball and going to shows.

English Teacher

Evans Tanner

Evans Tanner joined Fernwood Academy and Solstice in 2018. He appreciates the skill with which his co-teachers individualize instruction to motivate and keep students accountable. He loves the themes and life-lessons embedded in canonical literature as well as in quality contemporary pieces. Some favorites include The Merchant of Venice and Fahrenheit 451. He also values the power that can be yoked in speeches and writing that uses the 6 Traits of Writing well. He particularly enjoys musicals (Wicked, The Pirate Queen), science fiction (Dune), and fantasy (R. A. Salvatore, David Eddings, C.S. Lewis).

Evans grew up in Tucson, Arizona where he learned to love desert hikes, chess, racquetball, and Star Trek. For college, Evans first enrolled in hospitality management: think airports and conference centers. Then he decided that he loved literature more, and he took out a Bachelor’s in English Education from Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff, Arizona. Subsequently, he taught in the Phoenix area for a year before moving to Utah in 2010.

In Utah, Evans has worked as an executive assistant, assessment director, and English teacher. In 2017, he began attending Weber State University to complete an MBA, which he hopes to complete in May of 2019. Evans is married and has three children.

Math Teacher

Ashley Wade

Ashley has a bachelor’s degree in Chemistry from Weber State University and a master’s degree in Forensic Science from the University of Florida. Before switching to education, Ashley worked as a research chemist in the polymer science industry. She has a passion for encouraging young women to pursue education and careers in STEM fields and loves showing how science, arts, and mathematics overlap in the real-world.

Ashley played bassoon throughout college and currently sings and plays guitar. She and her husband enjoy travelling, trying new things, hiking, camping, doing anything outdoors, and spending time with their families.

Psychiatrist

Kirk Simon, MD

Dr. Simon is a triple board certified psychiatrist in the areas of pediatrics, child/adolescent and adult psychiatry. He completed his undergraduate degree at Creighton University, then attended the Medical College of Wisconsin and the University of Utah. Dr. Simon has presented on topics including eating disorders, somatization disorders and difficult diagnoses in patients and families. In 2003, Dr. Simon was honored as nominee of the year. In 2005 and 2012, he was awarded teacher of the year by the triple board and child psychiatry residents. He approaches students in a holistic, strength based manner to foster greater resiliency. Although he used to enjoy mountain biking, snowboarding, hiking and photography, his time has now been replaced with raising two little boys.

RN

Ayla Granger, RN

Ayla received her bachelor’s degree from Montana State University.  She is certified in maternal/newborn health and is a licensed sexual assault nurse examiner.  She started her career in the ICU, and later transitioned to specialize in women’s health.  Having worked in both rural Montana, and big city Phoenix, she has enjoyed the happy medium Utah has provided.  In each company she has worked for, she has taken a leadership role and enjoys teaching and encouraging others to be their very best.  Ayla is a fun-loving person who believes in integrated care.  She and her husband Scott, have two boys, Maxwell and Magyver, and two fur babies, Mazee and Mogul.  In her free time you can find her in the mountains with her family. She is a lover of adventure, whether its hiking, camping, biking, boating, or skiing, true peace comes from nature.

Autumn Team Director

Brittany Harms, BS

Brittany has a Bachelor’s of Science in Athletic Training from Weber State University. She played basketball for Western Wyoming Community College. She enjoys participating in many sports and loves reading. Growing up Brittany’s family often fostered state children and this is where her desire to help other began.

Spring Team Director

MaKenzee Townsend, BS

Makenzee has a Bachelors of Science degree in Psychology & Sociology with a Certificate in Diversity & Criminology from the University of Utah. She has had the opportunity to present at high schools relative to mental health issues and community resources that are available to support individuals and their families. Her hobbies include boating, swimming, hiking, and anything that can be done and completed in a Utah summer season.

Winter Team Director

Tori Nebeker, BS

Tori has a Bachelors of Science degree in Criminal Justice from Southern Utah University and a Bachelors of Science degree in Psychology from Weber State University. She always knew she wanted to help others in her career, but it was working with adults with disabilities and at-risk youths while at college where she found a love for helping people and wanted to become a part of that process. In her free time, Tori enjoys reading, hiking, crocheting, and attending live theatre.

Summer Team Director

Amanda Sevigny, BS

Amanda grew up in York, Maine before moving to Utah in 2014 to pursue a degree in Psychology and Outdoor Education and Leadership at Westminster College. She completed her degree in 2018. Beginning her career at Solstice West in 2016, Amanda started as part of the Adventure Therapy Team leading skiing, climbing, and outdoor adventure programs. She fostered a love for experiential therapy and believes it is the key for finding passions and healing. Amanda is a Wilderness First Responder. Outside of Solstice, Amanda enjoys skiing, snowboarding, climbing, biking and is an avid New England sports fan. She loves spending time with family, friends and her bearded dragon, Stanley.