Julie Barbero

Director and Founder

Julie Barbero Photo


  • Licensed Clinical Social Worker

  • Master of Science, Adolescent Family Therapy, University of Denver

  • Bachelor of Science, Social Work and Psychology, Weber State University

  • Adolescent and family therapist since 1993

  • Developed adolescent programs and residential treatment curriculum at multiple facilities


For Julie, creating emotional security is the first essential step in helping a teen to overcome trauma, anxiety, depression, and the difficult obstacles in life. Julie also believes that the intentional use of relationship and interactions with each youth also provide opportunities for them to develop, test, and refine new interpersonal skills. Julie ensures that every member of the Gateway team creates daily positive experiences to instill confidence and hope in the students. By building on these moments in Gateway's safe, homelike, environment, the students allow themselves to be vulnerable and begin to face painful emotions and take risks to develop new skills. The open, trusting relationships they develop with Julie and the staff also becomes a model for how to create healthy relationships back home.


Julie has experience working in nearly every residential position including line staff, therapist, and now Clinical Director. She has been working as a social worker and family therapist since 1993. Julie's extensive education and experience provides her a comprehensive understanding that guides her in designing and overseeing Gateway students' individualized treatment. Julie has presented as a professional in numerous state conferences regarding adolescent development, gender-specific therapy, and specialized treatment approaches for addressing trauma, grief, and substance abuse. Julie firmly believes that a team approach achieves the best results, so she works closely with the entire staff to implement a unified vision, constant communication, and a diverse array of clinically sophisticated therapies.


Julie enjoys hiking, skiing, recreation rock climbing and yoga. She also loves any activity that allows her to experience the world through the eyes of her daughters, including reading, cooking, and gardening together.

Creating Student Success

Julie remembers working with a boy who was so depressed and anxious he refused to go outside of his home for nearly a year. He was transferred to Gateway after a brief hospitalization. Julie began working with the boy by talking for only short periods of time, taking walks around campus, and engaging in experiential opportunities for indirect expression of his feelings. Over time, their sessions gradually increased until he became comfortable enough to talk about his feelings and begin to develop skills to cope with stress and bolster his self confidence. The boy's parents also participated in family therapy with Julie where they learned to alter their parenting style to better help their son. Equipped with the coping mechanisms he learned at Gateway, the young man is now able to manage his residual anxieties. He now attends a university, sometimes returning to Utah in the summer to work as a mentor for other boys at Gateway.