When I came to Willow Tree my life was totally out of control. I was a broken person. In the course of a few short months I had lost everything; my dignity, self-respect, self-confidence and most of all the respect of my family. To say that Willow Tree changed my life would be a huge understatement. I came here with nothing and left with everything I had lost and more. Willow Tree literally saved my life and gave me the knowledge and skills necessary to master my disease and move forward with sobriety.
My experience at Willow Tree was fantastic. My counselor was very sensitive, empathetic and genuinely involved in my recovery. The ropes course, Yoga, and nature therapy were great. Willow Tree has given me the perfect amount of comfort & discomfort to grow as a functioning person with a strong foundation in recovery.
When I entered Willow Tree I was confused, afraid and full of anxiety. Within several hours I felt at home. The facility is warm, comfortable and friendly. Within a week or ten days I felt my life was becoming manageable again. The emphasis on diet and exercise helped me regain my physical strength and the group and individual therapy sessions were so meaningful in helping me understand who I am and how to be successful in society without the need for drugs or alcohol.
For the first time in a long time I am sober. I was at a point in my life where I never imagined it possible to have several continuous months of sobriety. I have been able to start the healing process with my family and we are making progress. I can have an intelligent conversation and remember what was discussed. I have come to understand the disease of addiction and the need to embrace recovery one day at a time. I am so thankful circumstances brought me to Willow Tree. Every aspect of my individual treatment plan fit my needs exactly. My sincere thanks to everyone who helped me find my way back to a life I had lost and never thought I could regain again.
We have a team of passionate healthcare professionals committed to the highest standard of care for our residents.
Derry L. Brinley, MD – Medical Director
Dr. Brinley received his undergraduate degree from Weber State University in 1984. He continued his educational endeavors at Kansas City University of Medicine & Biosciences where he received his medical degree. Dr. Brinley subsequently completed a Family Practice Residency and a General Psychiatry Residency at the University of Kansas School of Medicine. Dr. Brinley is Board Eligible in both General Psychiatry and Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. In addition to his responsibilities at Willow Tree he maintains a private practice in American Fork, Utah.
Pam Vandenaker, M.S., CMHC – Clinical Director
Pam Vandenaker is a graduate of Weber State University having received her Master’s Degree in Counseling from California State University. In addition she has completed the Management/Supervisory Training Program, at the University of Utah. Pam is currently licensed by the State of Utah as a Certified Mental Health Counselor (CMHC) and has been a practicing therapist in excess of twenty years. She has significant experience in family counseling, dual diagnosis, and the treatment of substance addiction. Pam is also an accomplished artist and musician.
Ryan F. Houston, Ph.D. – Psychologist
Dr. Houston graduated Magna Cum Laude from Brigham Young University with a B.S. in Psychology. He continued his studies at BYU where he received his Ph.D. in clinical Psychology. Dr. Houston has considerable experience as a therapist and specializes in diagnostic psychological assessment. His experience and knowledge will be invaluable in developing individualized treatment programs for Willow Tree residents.
Jeffrey T. Forsyth, CMHC – Therapist
Jeff Forsyth received his advanced degree in mental health from the University of Phoenix. Jeff participates is all aspects of group and individual therapy. Jeff brings an exceptional clinical approach and the latest mental health and addiction therapy concepts into his therapeutic methodology. He makes an outstanding contribution to the current and long term clinical objectives of Willow Tree.
Rex Albertson, CMHC – Therapist
Rex graduated from the University of Colorado at Boulder in 1995 with degrees in Psychology and Kinesiology. Rex followed with an advanced degree in Contemplative Psychology, from Naropa University. Naropa is a small Buddhist University, also in Boulder, Colorado. Rex brings a unique balance in perspective to therapy having been educated in both western and eastern philosophies. This balance allows him to use a variety of methodology in achieving the best possible therapeutic results from his clients. Rex is also certified in EMDR, a unique clinical application specifically designed for the treatment and resolution of trauma issues. Rex incorporates an exceptional skill set that will benefit a variety of clients and compliment their objective of sustained sobriety.
Jerry Graves, FNP – Family Nurse Practioner
Jerry graduated from Utah Valley University as a Registered Nurse in 2002. Following graduation he pursued his academic objectives at the University of Utah where he received an advanced degree as a Family Nurse Practitioner. During his career he has developed a diverse background in healthcare to include 4 years as an active duty Navy Hospital Corpsman, 7 years at the Utah State Hospital working with patients burdened with chronic mental health disorders, and 10 years as an emergency room RN. Most recently Jerry has worked as a Family Nurse Practitioner in family and urgent care. Willow Tree is pleased to have Jerry as a member of our medical team and appreciates the experience and knowledge he brings to our professional staff.
Sheila Forsyth, R.N. – Medical Needs Specialist
Sheila Forsyth was educated at Westminster College & Saint Marks Hospital School of Nursing in Salt Lake City, Utah. She has been employed as a healthcare professional in excess of 30 years. During her career she has worked at both Saint Marks Hospital and Utah Valley Regional Medical Center. Her experience also includes many years as a Medical Needs Specialist for the State of Utah, and a R.N. with the Neuropsychiatric Clinic in Salt Lake City. For a number of years she participated with a group of surgeons and medical professionals who volunteered their time and resources in order to perform plastic and reconstructive surgery for needy children & adolescents in Guatemala & Mexico.
Page Westover, RD, CD – Certified Dietician
Page Westover graduated from Utah State University with a degree in Nutrition and Food Service with emphasis on dietetics. As an Administrative Dietician she chaired the Primary Children’s Medical Center Menu Committee and managed all retail food service operations. Page also served on Intermountain Healthcare’s Integrated Menu Team and Ingredient Committee. Page has served on the Utah Dietetic Association Board of Directors and was awarded the ‘Emerging Dietetic Leader’ recognition by the Utah Dietetic Association in 2005.
Ian Felsch – Program Manager
Ian brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to Willow Tree Recovery. He has worked closely with the recovery population for a number of years. He has contributed as a Psych Tech Manager in both Medical Detox and Adolescent programs. Ian has worked as a physical fitness personal trainer and specializes in outdoor experiential activities as an experienced climber, backpacker and outdoorsman. He holds certification as both a Wilderness First Responder and Ropes Course Facilitator.