I love the opportunities for self-exploration and relationship building that working with teens provides. My favorite moments as a therapist are when I get to witness moments of connection within individual and family experiences – glimpses of insight, empathy, and compassion toward self and others – moments when the shared threads of emotion that bind our experiences are recognized, and the opportunity to mend is realized. My therapeutic philosophy places emphasis on relationship and healthy emotional expression. As such, I strive to provide adolescents opportunities to explore their path toward individuation in a safe environment through support, empathy, compassion, and guidance informed by evidence-based practices.
Master of Social Work, University of Utah
Bachelor of Social Work, University of Utah
Licensed Certified Social Worker in the State of Utah
Clinical experience: Expressive Therapies, Family Systems, Integrative Couples Behavioral Therapy, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, and Motivational Interviewing.
To heal is to make whole. Insight and integration through moments of connection create pathways toward healing. As a therapist, Dave places emphasis on the importance of connectivity – connection with self, with others, and the communities and environments in which we live. Dave’s mission is to create and facilitate opportunities for your child and family to nurture greater understanding and insight within your experiences and provide new ways to develop stronger connections once they return to their day-to-day lives outside of Gateway.
Dave recommends parents read Brainstorm: The Power and Purpose of the Teenage Brain, and The Parallel Process.
Dave began his career as a therapist serving veterans at Salt Lake City’s Veterans Affairs Medical Center as part of an interdisciplinary team in an outpatient setting. During his time at the VA, Dave worked with a diverse population and a wide variety of symptoms, experiences, and diagnoses as an individual and couples’ therapist. Dave’s journey then led to him toward facilitating connection via wilderness therapy. As a family therapist for a wilderness program in Central Utah, Dave worked directly with teens and their families facilitating weekend intensive interventions in which he helped families explore their dynamics and work toward greater understanding and expression of unique perspectives within the family system in order to help families adjust their course toward healthier habits of relationship.
Dave bring a rich life’s perspective to Gateway. Prior to returning to college in his late thirties, Dave worked as an industrial designer, professional photographer, and creative director. Dave also spent 3 years traveling the country as a full-time visual artist, selling his interactive kinetic sculptures and listening to people share their stories along the way. Through his own work as an artist and conversations with others, Dave experienced and witnessed the powers of self-introspection and healing embodied within the creative process. It was these observations that inspired Dave to return to school and develop his natural insights into a clinically skilled therapeutic practice.
Dave first experienced the profound opportunities wild places create for self-discovery and connectivity at the age of 14 while attending a school which emphasized experiential learning through fieldwork and wilderness activities. The wild and scenic landscapes of Utah and neighboring states continued to offer Dave a sense of belonging as he explored a meandering path which ultimately led him to pursue an advanced graduate degree in clinical social work, emphasizing in mental health, with the intent to help others explore their own paths of discovery toward self-actualization.
In his free time, Dave often remains unseen in search of remote places on his own, with his partner, son, dog, blended family, or all of the above. Favorite activities include making sawdust, rowing rivers, fishing, mountain biking, and plucking around on stringed instruments (when nobody is listening).
Dave approaches therapy from a strengths-based perspective to help youth explore and identify their innate strengths and explore student and family assets that have not yet been recognized or fully developed. At a therapist and mentor, Dave strives to foster each adolescent's confidence in their own abilities to advocate for themselves and prepare them to continue their journeys of individuation and relationship after Gateway. Along the way, Dave also focusses on providing opportunities for youth to develop healthy relationships with their emotional experience through insight and expression with the intent of creating deeper connections to self and others that can help them better harness their full potential after Gateway.