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Meet the Ozark Trails Staff

Frequently Asked Questions

Click the Question to See the Answer.

What therapies are used?

Therapy Techniques at Ozark Trails Academy for Troubled Teens

  • Brain Mapping
  • Narrative Therapy
  • Trauma informed-CBT
  • EMDR
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy-CBT
  • Individual Therapy
  • Family Therapy
  • Group Therapy
  • Adventure Therapy
  • Experiential Therapy
  • Attachment Therapy
  • Horticulture Therapy
  • Animal-Assisted Therapy
  • Parelli Horsemanship Therapy
  • Music and Art Therapy
  • Sand Tray Therapy
  • Trauma Sensitive Yoga
  • Strength-based Therapy
  • Solutions Focused Therapy
  • Problem-solving Therapy
  • Eclectic Therapy
  • Mindfulness
  • Play Therapy

Are parents and family members involved in the therapy?

Parents and family members are very much involved in therapy and are encouraged to be as involved  as possible. Anyone who is a part of the student’s support is someone that we want to be included in therapy.

How long does the residential treatment program last?

We suggest to families a minimum of 9-12 months of treatment with us but sometimes can be as long as 2-3 years.

How can I pay for treatment?

Insurance, cash, check, and loans for treatment, as well.

What payment methods are accepted?

Cash, credit card, checks, Venmo, PayPal.

 

IOP and PHP at Ozark

Meet our Staff at Ozark Trails Academy:

Richard Jones

Executive Director
M.S. – Social Work, Mental Health
B.S. – Exercise and Wellness

Richard Jones holds a Bachelor’s degree in exercise and wellness and a Master’s in social work with an emphasis in mental health.

He loves the outdoors, music, and sports, and played sports all through high school and college. He even had the opportunity to play rugby after college for a few years. Richard grew up on a horse ranch, taking on many responsibilities, including caring for and feeding the horses. He also gained an appreciation and love for the outdoors through hunting and fishing with his dad. As the 6th of 10 kids, Richard feels very blessed to have grown up in a home that valued family, relationships, and the opportunity to learn from experiences and mistakes.


Charlie G. Christensen

Program Director
M.S. – Counseling – University of Phoenix
B.S. – Psychology – Utah Valley University

Charlie brings a wealth of knowledge and refined experience to our Ozark team. Working with adolescents and families for over a decade, his passion guiding youth is unmatchable. Charlie’s unconditional love for each person has an innate way of influencing others for good.

His individualized, relationship-focused approach mirrors the Ozark model. He deeply believes everyone has value and purpose to offer the world and Ozark Trails is a supportive stepping stone that can benefits countless lives.

Charlie feels Ozark Trails Academy offers an incomparable environment of treatment. He has said, “The opportunities students have to be able to learn life skills, resilience, and self-confidence here is like no other in the therapeutic industry.”

From the intentional variety of outdoor adventure, equine therapy, and active sports, to the individualized treatment families receive – healing is balanced and long-term. Charlie loves the outdoors; including hunting and playing any sport. His highest and ultimate delights are Heather, his sweet wife, and their precious children.


Micah Jones

Assistant Program Director

Micah Jones comes to us with 11 years experience working with struggling teens in residential treatment settings.  He came to Ozark Trails from Stillwater Academy in Utah.  Micah is a favorite with the students.  His gentle soft spoken way brings a calm to the group. He is also great one on one providing support where needed. He is trained in the Arbinger Institute Anatomy of Peace and lives the principles  with our students as well as his personal life.

He is currently seeking a degree in Marriage and Family Relationships with Brigham Young University. He plans to continue his education and become a licensed clinical therapist. 

He and his wife Dez moved their family to Missouri from Utah to become an essential part of the Ozark Team.  Dez is a primary counselor for the girls.

When he is not at work, he is busy playing with his twin girls.  He loves to play and watch sports.  He also loves to play his ukulele and sing.  He gives freely of his  many talents to enrich the lives of the students at Ozark Trails and he’s a great asset to our leadership team.

Tracy Dockler

ACSW, LCSW, BCD

Tracy Dockler is a certified and licensed social worker with over 25 years of experience in the clinical treatment of adolescents and their families. She is a Board Certified Diplomate in Clinical Social Work (BCD), which demonstrates an advanced-practice status with a high level of clinical competency. Tracy holds certifications in social work and as a behavioral health consultant. Currently, she has been trained in EMDR and is working on certification, while she is also receiving training in NMT to complete brain mapping and increased knowledge of developmental trauma and the impact on the brain. Academically, Tracy has a Bachelor and a Masters in Social Work, and she is in the research portion of her doctorate in social work with a research interest in wilderness therapy and a specialization in Clinical Expertise.

Tracy’s career has focused on trauma in children and youth with a strong emphasis on behavioral disorders, inclusive of attachment struggles, and mental health issues. She has a specialization in family therapy with a focus on troubled teens and their families, including a history of working with violent abusive families encompassing sexual abuse, physical abuse, neglect, and the death of a child. Tracy has had a diverse career history with schools, shelters, residential treatment centers, private practice, clinic settings, and psychiatry hospitals. These settings have resulted in Tracy developing policies, consulting, training, advocating, developing new operating standards, group treatment, and individual and family therapy. Her passion is youth and their families and making a change in their personal growth and wellness.


William “WP” Miller, LCSW

Clinical Social Worker
M.S. Social Work, Marywood University, Scanton, PA
B.S. Psychology, South West Baptist University, Bolivar, MO

WP is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker who has experience working with the clinical treatment of Children, Adolescences and Families. He has been trained in Play therapy, EMDR therapy. He has committed himself to working with individuals to address concerns of depression, trauma anxiety and other stresses that have impacted them. WP believes joint collaboration is the key to helping individuals become successful. By working cooperatively with his clients they can identify a treatment goal that is tailored to meet their needs.

WP has a high focus on using EMDR as a main treatment modality due to its use for the treatment of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. EMDR has also been successfully used to treat: Anxiety and Panic attacks, Grief and loss, Depression, Anger, Phobias, Social anxiety, Sleep problems and Feelings of worthlessness/low self-esteem. With EMDR being the treatment modality of choice, WP also borrows from various evidence based treatments such as: Stress Management, Increasing Self-worth, Mindfulness, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Client Centered.

WP is an Army veteran who worked as a Military Policeman after high school. At completion of his military enlistment he went on to work in the state of Missouri Prison system as a correctional officer, promoted to Sergeant where he supervised 14 correctional officers and was responsible for the safety of 576 offenders. WP transitioned over to Correctional Case management where he facilitated programs, helped offenders gain the appropriate documentation and resources for their reentry into society. During his time working within the state prison system, WP decided to pursue a career where he would be able to help address issues that have lead others to make poor decisions.

Academically WP attended South West Baptist University (Bolivar, Mo.) where he received his Bachelors of Science in Psychology. Upon Graduation he went on to pursue his Master of Social Work degree from Marywood University, (Scranton Pa.)

Before Joining the Ozark Trails Youth Services team, WP has a history of working with Substance Use issues in the Substance Abuse Recovery and Rehabilitation Treatment Program (SARRTP) at Wilkes-Barre VA hospital (Wilkes-Barre, Pa.), a Medical Social Worker for Guardian Home and Community services (Nanticoke, Pa.), and a Community Mental Health Therapist for Ozarks Medical Center, Behavioral Health Care (West Plains, Mo.). His passion is working with youth and their families to help promote change, personal growth and equipping them with skills to be successful in their future.


Chrissom Maddux

Health Counselor

Chrissom Maddux is a board-certified, clinical mental health counselor. Chrissom has experience facilitating mental health healing in a variety of settings, including psychiatric hospitals, intensive residential placements, addiction recovery, and outpatient settings. Chrissom is experienced working with teens, adults, couples, and families in a variety of crisis situations. Chrissom is known for his empathetic warmth and his no-nonsense approach to helping teens and their families overcome the challenges they face.  Chrissom has a genuineness and compassion that is hard to find.

Chrissom uses his compassion in conjunction with Internal Family Systems, Gestalt, CBT, DBT, and other evidence-based therapies to promote healing.  Chrissom is also a Certified Accelerated Resolution Therapy practitioner (ART). This training makes him an expert in dealing with trauma-related concerns and healing through Accelerated Resolution Therapy (ART). Accelerated Resolution Therapy ART is a cutting-edge, effective, and quick way for clients to process and heal from trauma.

Chrissom attended the University of Utah for his Bachelor’s Degree followed by completion of a Master’s of Science in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from the University of Phoenix.  Chrissom’s Bachelor’s Degree is in Civil Engineering and he worked as a civil engineer for many years before making an inspired change in his career direction.  It was his and his wife’s struggle with infertility and the challenges of adoption that inspired Chrissom’s decision to pursue a career in mental health counseling.

Chrissom has been married for over 25 years and has four children. Together they love to go camping, hiking, and other outdoor activities. Chrissom is always trying new hobbies and recently found that he has artistic ability. He paints and draws regularly. He incorporates his creativity into his therapy by using expressive arts to process trauma and promote healing.

Chrissom is a native of Utah and has lived there most of his life.  He relocated to Missouri to work for Ozark Trails.  Chrissom loves the outdoor adventure that Ozark Trails provides for the students to grow, find confidence, and realize their strength.  Chrissom loves seeing students heal from their trauma.  Chrissom considers it an honor and privilege to serve others and loves his work as a therapist!


Dominica Kiefer, MS, LPC, NBCC

I was born in Brunswick, Georgia to military parents, mom was Navy and Dad was Marine. I was raised several years in Japan and then California before moving to and settling in Missouri.

I received my BS in Psychology and Criminal Justice from Missouri State University in Springfield, Missouri I received my MS in Counseling, Licensed Professional Counselor also from Missouri State University in Springfield, Missouri. I have 2 beautiful, adult daughters, 1 wonderful, fun loving son-in-law and 3 absolutely perfect grandchildren who help keep me young and focused on the small beautiful wonders of every day.

I have been a Licensed Professional Counselor for over 11 years with experience in diverse populations with varying diagnosis including, but not limited to, depression, anxiety, PTSD, addictions, self-worth/body image issues, anger etc. I am a person centered therapist believing the therapeutic relationship is fundamental to healthy change.

My hobbies include anything adventurous, hiking, camping, traveling and enjoying diverse cultures and cuisines, photography, horseback riding, kayaking, Crossfit, I also enjoy reading, cooking, and spending time outdoors with my grandbabies.

What I like about working at Ozark Trails is the family/team atmosphere. Everyone has such a passion for being a part of helping make things go right for our kiddos and their families. There are so many different/wonderful minds and approaches to therapeutically addressing the needs of our kiddos and their families that there is never a dull moment. The support and encouragement our kiddos and their families are extended are also extended to each of us who work/play at OTYS.


Kelsey Evans

Certified Recreational Therapist

Kelsey is a Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist. She specializes in using a variety of recreation activities to help students learn of and apply more from their therapy. She has worked with youth since 2015. Kelsey is high energy and bases all her interactions on compassion. She helps students lead groups based on their passions and gets them out of their comfort zones.

Kelsey facilitated groups at a high adventure camp during her studies.She did rafting, horseback riding, high ropes, and more. Elsewhere she has led camping trips, volunteer services, writing, yoga, music, art, exercise, and bibliotherapies. She is thrilled to be a part of our team at Ozark Trails Academy.


Josh Carlisle

Primary Counselor

Josh was born and raised in Layton, UT.  He left his home state with his wife and daughter to follow his dreams as part of the Ozark Trails Academy team. He is currently enrolled in the Brigham Young University Pathways  program seeking a bachelor’s degree in  marriage and family relationships.
Josh’s past work experience was at a major laboratory where he worked security for two years. Following that, Josh worked for a residential treatment program, where he found his passion and the direction he wanted to go in life.  

This is what Josh says about his experience at Ozark Trails Academy,  “Ozark Trails has been a wonderful experience for me. I love meeting new students and getting to know their stories. The safe environment at Ozark fosters change. It provides a comfortable place to work on oneself. I find this not only for the students but for the staff as well. We have to live what we teach. I’ve never met a team more driven to help things go right than this one.”

When Josh is not at work he enjoys spending time with his wife Tymber and their eight month little girl. He also enjoys video games and doing small projects around the house. 


Chris Mantell

Chief Financial Officer

Chris is the CFO of Ozark Trails. He manages and oversees the financials and operations for the organization. Chris helps to handle the insurance between Client’s and the facility.

Chris played football and lacrosse at Southern Virginia University where he met his now his wife, Alison. They moved out to Utah where he continued studies at Utah State University. While in Utah, Chris started his career in medical administration and grew a passion for the industry.

He loves being a part of the Ozark Trails team where teen lives are changed and a greater purpose is being served. He sees the vision for Ozark Trails as innovative and revolutionary for the industry. Chris and Alison have five children. They enjoy family movie nights and being active by playing sports.


Larry Williams

Academic Director

Larry has worked in the education field for over 20 plus years. He received his master’s in education in 2008. Larry brings a wealth of knowledge and experience with education as he has worked in the education department as a teacher, administrator, and director. Larry also brings experience working with adolescents in a treatment setting. He and his wife have experience as family teachers and a house parent with boys’ town. He was a director at a local children’s crisis center for five years. Larry worked as a teacher and administrator for an alternative school doing this for three years.

Larry brings rounded and extensive experience to our academics with an obvious passion for helping adolescents. We are thrilled to have Larry on our team, assisting and creating academic success.


Jamie Caldwell

Admissions Director

Jamie has been involved with Program Admissions for the past 10 years. She loves working for Ozark Trails where students and their families find healing and peace. She says, “as I help parents navigate the admissions process for Ozark Trails it gives them hope. They are always surprised that their insurance will help, and Ozark does a great job getting reimbursement from insurance. I not only help with the insurance piece, but I try to eliminate all barriers to receiving help and treatment.”

Jamie is the first point of contact with parents who are generally in crisis. As she helps them work through the steps for admissions, she is inspired by the Ozark parents who sacrifice so much to give their students the gift of Ozark Trails Academy. ​She is amazed at how the parents show great love and patience with their kids and examine and work on their own lives in an effort to help their students be successful.

When she’s not doing admissions for Ozark she can be found with her children or grandchildren. ​Lee and Jamie’s children are actors and cowboys. So they can often be found at plays or rodeos.​ Her favorite thing to do is spend time with her husband Lee. They enjoy traveling, golfing, shopping, and cooking together.

“I love talking to people about Ozark Trails Academy because it is my passion. I believe that families are the greatest gift we are given here on earth. I love doing my part to strengthen and heal them. I love working with young people. The staff at Ozark Trails seek for the good in all students and help them recognize their own strengths.”


Sadie Young

Admissions Specialist

Sadie developed a passion for psychology and working with teenagers at a young age. She started working for a treatment center for teens 10 years ago in pursuit of her passion. Her talent and insight seem to know no bounds. She started working as support staff and later designed training protocol for that department. She loved working with the students so much she went to school part time to earn a degree in psychology. She spent some time in the school assisting the English teacher and helping the students academically. She designed and taught a fitness and self-esteem class for the girls. Finally she moved to admissions and learned how much she loved talking with people about the program and giving heavy hearted parents hope. She has a passion for the program at Ozark Trails and the healing that comes from the adventure therapy in a beautiful mountain setting.

“Because I have seen the lasting change that long term residential treatment can bring, I love answering the phone or responding to an email of a parent searching for help and hope, and being able to tell them they have called the right place!”

When she’s not working at Ozark Trails she enjoys, baking fancy desserts, health and fitness, and having fun with her husband, kids, and two yellow labs Abby and Alice.


Mckell

Insurance Specialist

Mckell was born and raised a proud army brat. She has lived all over the world including, Indiana, Hawaii, and Germany where she graduated high school. She later met her husband Scott and they have 3 amazing children.

Mckell has been the insurance specialist for Stillwater Academy for several years and is now a great asset to the Ozark Trails team. She is a licensed insurance agent and has worked in the medical field since 1992.

Mckell has a degree in behavioral science and health with an emphasis in healthcare administration and marketing from The University of Utah. She is passionate about her role in making mental health services more accessible to those who need it. Here at Ozark Trails she advocates for the students by managing insurance benefits and negotiating coverage with insurance companies.

When Mckell is not working she enjoys traveling, cooking, reading, and spending time with her family. She loves being a grandmother and being active in her growing family.


Victoria Howerton

Nurse

Victoria enjoys being somewhat adventurous and appreciates variety. Her scariest professional experience took place long before she became a nurse: one month as an English Summer Camp Teacher in Madrid, Spain, with 26 students, ages 6 to 12. There were no books, no computers, no air conditioning, no teaching assistant, and no bean bags. Survival Rate: 100%. Besides an ASN from Missouri State University in West Plains, Victoria holds a BA in Latin American Studies, a BJ in journalism, and an MA in Spanish, all from University of Missouri-Columbia.

While living in Washington, D.C., she worked as an HIV/AIDS educator for La Salud, as a housing coordinator for Adelante Advocacy Inc., and as coordinator of HIV/AIDS outreach at National Council of La Raza. Victoria has served as a Spanish interpreter in courtrooms, hospitals, and police departments, and she interpreted for former Ecuadorian president Rodrigo Borja when he visited Columbia, Missouri, in 2005. She has taught Spanish at MU and at North Arkansas College, and her journalism, editorials, translations, book reviews, and interviews have appeared in a variety of newspapers and journals.

Her greatest achievement is raising two high spirited daughters who are now adults and still on speaking terms with their mother.


Erik Carlson

Life Coach/Recreational Manager

Erik worked in both youth recreation and behavioral health industries for a combined 15 years. He graduated from Lindenwood University with a Bachelor’s in Recreation with a Minor in Outdoor Leadership.

His interests include rock climbing, hiking, and video games. Erik’s up for talking about anything from baseball to Pokemon.

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