Karen Myers

Education

Bachelor of Science in Family Sciences: Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah
Master of Science in Marriage and Family Therapy Intern: Northcentral University, Scottsdale, Arizona

Work Experience

MFTI, Diamond Ranch Academy
MFTI, Center for Couples and Families: St. George

Interests

I grew up in a family of 8 children on a mini farm of sorts in the Bay Area of California where we raised chickens, rabbits, ponies, and horses. I spent my free time riding ponies, playing softball, cheerleading, and dancing. As a result, I feel right at home here at Diamond Ranch!
I am the proud mom of 4 amazing adolescent daughters. Together we enjoy many outdoor activities that usually include some combination of sunshine, water, and sand…whitewater rafting, boating, wakeboarding, wake surfing, hiking, backpacking, rock climbing, stand-up paddleboarding, surfing, and laying out on the beach. We will make the occasional exception to go skiing or snowboarding, but only when the sun is shining! Living in Southern Utah for the last 13 years has made all of this possible.
I am an eclectic artist of sorts…I love upcycling furniture, woodworking, building with power tools, spray painting, painting, drawing, watercolor, and interior design. I have a voracious appetite for learning and growth and as a result, I am an avid reader and lover of great literature.

Comments on DRA

I am grateful to be a part of Diamond Ranch Academy, where our students receive personalized attention in a structured setting from an entire team of empathetic professionals all working toward the same goal: assisting them in their unique journeys of learning and emotional self-discovery to bring about a positive change that results in healing past and developing healthy future relationships. I am honored to work with our amazing youth, be a part of, and witness the most amazing transformations!

Paubla Thomson

Education

General Education: LDS Business College, Salt Lake City, Utah
Bachelors of Science in Social Work: Weber State University, Ogden, Utah
Master of Social Work: Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah
EMDR Certified: EMDR Consulting, St. George, Utah

Work Experience

Therapist, Diamond Ranch Academy.
Development Counselor Intern, Deseret Industries.
Master of Social Work Intern, Wasatch Mental Health.
Social Work Intern, McKay Dee Hospital, Psychiatric Unit.

Interests

I’m originally from Cali, Colombia. People from Cali are very well known for their passion for salsa dancing and I’m not the exception to the rule. Dancing to me is a way of expression and the antidote to stress. I also enjoy reading. During the cold winters in Salt Lake, there was nothing more relaxing than to sit by the fireplace and emerge myself in a Paulo Cohelo’s book. Another major interest is my family. Since most of the members of my family still live in Colombia and I don’t get to see them often, I make sure I give them excellent quality time by phone and internet.

Comments on DRA

I recently graduated from Brigham Young University with a Master’s in Social Work. Through the program, I developed a profound interest for the human development stages and the physical and emotional changes that take place particularly during the adolescent years. Generally speaking, teens experience vulnerability and they tend to protect themselves by acting in a defiant manner that confuses adults. The program at DRA not only assist its students with this unique stage-transition, but with any other challenges that the students might be facing. When I visited DRA for the first time, I couldn’t help noticing the warm and positive interaction between the staff members and the students. Consequently, it was easy for me to conclude that the students have a strong support system in the academy. I can’t wait to be part of DRA’s team and to grow as a professional by helping the students overcome the challenges that are interfering with their ability to succeed in many aspects of their life.

Jared Jensen

Education

Masters of Arts, Marriage and Family Therapy, Argosy University – College of Psychology and Behavioral Science
Bachelors of Science, Interpersonal Communications, University of Utah
Associates of Science, Salt Lake Community College

Work Experience

Primary Therapist, Second Nature Entrada Therapeutic Wilderness Program
Therapist, Discovery House
Therapist, Wasatch Family Therapy
Experiential Therapy (Psychodrama, Nature/Wilderness connection, and expressiveness using art, writing, and music)
Narrative Therapy
Family Systems
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
Solutions Focused Therapy
Substance Abuse Counseling
Psycho Education
Experience work with Depression

Interests

I was born and raised in Northern Utah in a single parent home. I have 3 older brothers and sports(particularly baseball) have been a big part of our lives. I am married to a wonderful woman, we have 3 beautiful daughters and one son who likes to follow me everywhere. Sports play a big role in my life as a fan and coach. I also have a tremendous love for the outdoors and would prefer to sleep under the stars than in the comfort of my home any day. Fishing, camping, and hiking are passions of mine and love to spend time in gorgeous Southern Utah. My passion for the outdoors allowed me to work with adolescents in the wilderness where I developed a passion for working with youth and families. I love to connect with people and be a part of the process towards making positive life changes.

Brent Holm

Education

Master of Social Work, Utah State University
Bachelor of Science, Southern Utah University
Associate of Science, Brigham Young University-Idaho

Work Experience

Therapist and Substance Abuse Counselor, Community Health Department
Youth Counselor, Residential Treatment Program

Interests

I enjoy spending time outdoors hiking, running, or camping. In my mind, nothing compares to the beauty of the desert and the star-filled night sky. I have a beautiful wife and three rowdy boys who keep me occupied when not working. As a family, we love traveling and have had the opportunity to travel to various asian countries. I enjoy working with teenagers and see great potential in today’s youth and their families. I love the opportunity to witness change and progress in the process of self-awareness and discovery.

Comments on DRA

I moved back to St. George from northern Utah for the opportunity to work at Diamond Ranch Academy. It was DRA’s program opportunities and commitment to families that ultimately brought me here. They have a great program that involves youth in activities that can shape participants in to capable and responsible individuals. Above all, the therapeutic process involves the entire family to bring about lasting, long-term healing and development.

Jerome Eason

Education

Masters of Science- Professional Counseling, Grand Canyon University.
Substance Use Disorder Treatment -University of Utah
Bachelor’s Degree Criminal Justice -Southern Utah University
Associates Degree, Sociology- Utah State University

Work Experience

Program Director/ Counselor – Therapeutic Boarding School
Athletic Director – Boarding School
Probation Officer – State of Utah
Supervisor – Residential Treatment Facility

Interests

I was born and raised in Los Angeles California. I moved to Utah when I was offered a football scholarship to Utah State University in 2001. I had the opportunity to play a sport that I love and also earned a degree in a field that intrigued me. During this time I was blessed to meet my wife, followed by two beautiful children. I enjoy physical activities, coaching, and spending time with friends and family. I’m always looking for different ways to better myself and those who are in my care. I believe any setting can serve as a therapeutic environment if we are looking for the opportunity to speak truth into someone’s life.

Comments on DRA

It is truly a blessing to have the opportunity to work with the students and staff at Diamond Ranch Academy. Counseling students and families gives me the opportunity to reunite and provide support during the healing process. It is an amazing feeling to guide students through the stages of change and help them reach milestones in their lives. I’m excited to be part of the clinical team at DRA, I believe in equipping students with as much knowledge as possible to make a confident transition back into their home.

Kevin O’Keefe, PsyD.

Education

Dr. O’Keefe is a licensed clinical psychologist who completed his undergraduate studies at Michigan State University, where he played on the hockey team. Dr. O’Keefe received his Doctor of Psychology (Psy.D.) from Roosevelt University, a private school in downtown Chicago.

Work Experience

With extensive experience in various settings including hospitals, prison systems, a university counseling center, wilderness therapy and private practice, Dr. O’Keefe is a well-rounded clinician.
Interests

He currently mountain bikes any chance he gets and enjoys hiking and spending time in the mountains with his two dogs. Dr. O’Keefe has been married for over 10 years and has 2 young boys.

Mayer Jeppson, PhD.

Education

Mayer completed a bachelor of science in psychology from the University of Utah and a master of science education in mental health counseling from the University of Miami, FL. He went on to complete his Ph.D. through the Brigham Young University Clinical Psychology program in August of 2008.

Work Experience

Mayer focused his clinical experience on at-risk adolescents and adults (addiction and forensic populations). He has conducted psychological assessments and individual and group therapy in hospitals, adolescent programs, and the corrections departments in Florida and Utah.

Prior to joining the Entrada Young Adult program, Mayer worked as a primary therapist at the Second Nature Uintas adolescent program.

Interests

Mayer loves the outdoors and in his spare time he enjoys activities with his wife and children. In addition to his passion for family, he enjoys hiking through and photographing the slot canyons of Southern Utah (called canyoneering), playing, coaching, and watching rugby union football, playing racquetball, snowboarding, and traveling.

Kade Mathews

Education

Masters of Social Work, University of Utah
Bachelors of Behavioral Science, Utah Valley State College
Associates of Science, Utah Valley State College

Work Experience

Assistant Clinical Director/Therapist, Diamond Ranch Academy
Therapist, Family Support and Treatment Center
Therapist, Wasatch Mental Health
Intensive Support Unit Staff, Heritage Schools

Specialization:

Art therapy
Play therapy
Sand Tray therapy
Cognitive-Behavioral therapy
Emotional Regulation skills
Family therapy
Extensive experience in a Residential Treatment Centers with adolescents and their families
Trauma/Abuse and Crisis intervention
Substance abuse counseling

Interests

I was born and raised in Northern Utah, growing up with 3 siblings. I now share my life with family and friends, enjoying the opportunity to form a friendship whenever possible. Since 2000, I have enjoyed the companionship of my wife, who is a great support in my life. We have 2 beautiful sons. I enjoy several hobbies which include: wake-boarding, spending time with my family, helping others through service opportunities, and traveling.

Comments on DRA

Diamond Ranch Academy is a program that teaches youth the skills necessary to be successful in all areas of their lives. I am impressed with the unique and insightful way Diamond Ranch approaches the issues our students are dealing with. I have had experience with several youth facilities, and in my opinion Diamond Ranch brings a new approach that is effective and helpful to all of the students and families. As a therapist, I have the wonderful opportunity to work with these youth on a one on one basis helping them through their past, present, and future challenges. I think one of the most important aspects of this therapeutic process is the relationship of trust that I work to establish with each of the students. I believe this relationship helps to open the lines of communication, which in turn helps the student progress in a positive direction. I can see that these youth have so many great qualities and it is a pleasure to be able to gain a relationship with them and their families. Additionally, I enjoy the cohesive team approach DRA provides. I love working with the team on a daily basis.

Ephraim Hanks

Education

Doctorate in Clinical Psychology, California Southern University
Master of Social Work, University of Louisville
Certificate in Marriage and Family Therapy, University of Louisville
Bachelor of Behavioral Science, Utah Valley State College

Work Experience

Dr. Hanks has worked with adolescents in treatment since 1997 and enjoys assisting teens in reaching their true potential.
He is an AAMFT Approved Supervisor and Clinical Fellow and has trained and mentored therapists in multiple settings.
He is certified in SMART Recovery and specializes in working with adolescents struggling with addiction.
Dr. Hanks is trained in CBT, DBT, Narrative, and Solution-Focused models of therapy.
Through parenting workshops, he has taught thousands of parents how to bring out the best in their struggling adolescents.

Interests

Dr. Hanks enjoys playing the guitar and writing and recording music. He also enjoys playing basketball and skateboarding. He is married to a wonderful woman and has 3 sons and a daughter. He and his wife have lived in other parts of the country but have always called Utah home. He grew up in Hurricane and loves living and working in such a beautiful place. Dr. Hanks has a passion for working with teenagers and their families and has made it his life’s work.

Comments on DRA

I have worked with struggling adolescents since 1997 in multiple treatment settings and have been at Diamond Ranch Academy since 2006. I love the philosophy and approach used at DRA because it is holistic in design. This program is the most successful I have seen in bringing lasting change to youth and their families. Much of that success comes from the therapeutic milieu at the ranch and the family atmosphere and camaraderie that we enjoy together as employees. I love my job and I am proud to be a member of the Diamond Ranch family.