Founders

At Gateway our goal is to help create a safe place, and to staff it with extraordinary people who can provide the very best individualized treatment.

Karen Flynn, J.D.

Karen Flynn, J.D.

Executive Director and Co-Owner

"First and foremost is the success of each individual family and the son they place in our care. Gateway students succeed due to their inner strength, hard work and the family and professionals that surround them. As a Gateway owner, I am extremely proud of the professional depth, breadth and investment of every member of our team. Together, with each family, we can truly make a remarkable, life-changing difference in the lives of our students."

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Credentials

  • Juris Doctorate, University of Utah
  • Licensed member of the Utah State Bar
  • Former Administrative Law Judge, Department of Human Services, State of Utah
  • Former Managing Attorney, Office of Guardian ad Litem, State of Utah
  • Experience developing adolescent substance-abuse prevention and treatment models

Philosophy

Karen knows that there is nothing more important than the welfare of a youth. When a parent places their greatest gift, their child, in Gateway's care, Karen understands there is no weightier responsibility that our team can accept. With that knowledge, Karen believes, in turn, it is Gateway's duty to provide that student and his family the utmost care, service and guidance that a residential treatment center can offer.

Professional

Karen has been working on behalf of youth since 1995, when she became an attorney for abused, neglected and dependent children and their families. Karen has worked with almost every aspect of child welfare and the many trying, often life-changing issues youth face. Karen's experience as a managing attorney, administrative law judge, and child advocate complement perfectly her role as Executive Director for Gateway. Her dream of bringing her experience together into one place culminates in the ongoing success of Gateway Academy.

Personal

Karen's free time is spent with her family and friends. Karen is always looking for her next adventure, whether it's learning to scuba dive, running her first marathon, or seeing another small piece of the world for the first time.

Creating Student Success

Both in front and behind the scenes, Karen plays countless roles in the success of Gateway students. Whether it's helping a family negotiate the logistics of residential treatment, or training and guiding the staff that work with each youth, Karen's steady, positive influence permeates Gateway. In turn, Karen is continually moved and grateful by the numerous emails, letters and comments from parents and students expressing gratitude for their positive experiences with Gateway.

 

Julie Barbero, LCSW

Julie Barbero, LCSW

Clinical Director and Co-Owner

"At Gateway, we are relentless in our quest to find the most effective treatment for each individual student. No two boys are the same—so the therapeutic interventions and approach must be tailored to each boy's unique needs. Even in the course of a single day, we will use several different clinical approaches until a method clicks. The entire staff is commitied to the success of each and every boy, and our clinical team is exceptional. I would trust my own child in Gateway's care."

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Credentials

  • 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

Philosophy

For Julie, creating emotional security is the first essential step in helping a boy to overcome his trauma, anxiety, depression, and the difficult obstacles in his life. Julie also believes that the intentional use of relationship and interactions with each boy also provide opportunities for the boys 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 boys. By building on these moments in Gateway's safe, homelike, environment, the boys 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.

Professional

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 boys' 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 diverse array of clinically sophisticated therapies.

Personal

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 two young 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 at as a mentor for other boys at Gateway.

 

M. Michelle Gourley, MFT, LCSW, JD

M. Michelle Gourley, MFT, LCSW, JD

Director of Clinical Development and Co-Owner

"As a Gateway owner, it is extremely important to me to provide a safe, caring, clinically sophisticated, and individually tailored approach to each student. I believe this is the way to provide a truly effective and caring method of healing. I'm so lucky to be able to do what I love, and to do it with such a talented and invested staff team. At Gateway, we care about each other. We care about the boys, and we share vision and heart. I think that makes all the difference."

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Credentials

  • Juris Doctorate, University of Utah
  • Master of Social Work, Brigham Young University
  • Master of Science, Marriage and Family Therapy, Brigham Young University
  • Licensed Clinical Social Worker
  • Licensed member of the Utah State Bar
  • Psychotherapist in residential and outpatient settings since 1982

Philosophy

Michelle believes every boy is unique, and deserves to be treated that way. No matter what issues a boy has when he arrives at Gateway, he has the potential to live a fulfilling and happy life. Michelle knows that the key to unlocking that potential is different for every student. Michelle works closely with the Gateway team to craft an individualized treatment approach that builds on each boy's strengths and addresses his unique issues. Regardless of the specific approach, Michelle insists that it is holistic—engaging the mind, the emotions and the body of each boy. The curriculum and therapy must also utilize movement and knowledge about the brain to facilitate growth and healing. Michelle believes that every interaction with a youth is an intervention.

Professional

Michelle has been working with youth and their families since 1982. As a clinical social worker, a family psychotherapist and a private family and juvenile law attorney, Michelle's career has been spent working on behalf of youth and their families. Michelle has extensive experience working in both residential and outpatient settings. She also has many years experience providing clinical assessment of adolescents for the Utah Third District Juvenile Court. Michelle has presented as a professional in both state and national conferences regarding adolescent development, juvenile sexual development, and specialized treatment approaches incorporating neuroscience and movement. Michelle was instrumental in making Gateway the first program in the country to include the science of deliberate movement within its treatment and academic curriculum, and she continues to study and incorporate cutting-edge research on the brain and adolescent development into Gateway's academic curriculum and therapy.

Personal

Michelle loves music, poetry, and photography. She is a violinist, scuba diver, and avid cyclist. Her friends tease her about reading "boring" books, but her desire to know all there is to know about the brain is insatiable. Above all, Michelle loves spending time with her family and friends.

Creating Student Success

Michelle's success story is every boy at Gateway. As an owner and clinician, she has been able to bring her vision of a safe, validating environment, individualized treatment, and the application of current research to life at Gateway. Whether facilitating a therapy session, training staff or improving programming, Michelle is invested in ensuring the success of each youth at Gateway. As a result, she has had the privilege of sharing in the accomplishments and healing of many boys and their families.

Melissa Hickman, LCSW

Melissa Hickman, LCSW

Marketing Director and Co-Owner

"Unless they feel safe, troubled adolescents can't begin to deal with their issues. To me, that makes sense; why would they risk? From the beginning, my goal with Gateway was to help create that safe place, and to staff it with extraordinary people who can provide the very best individualized treatment. As an owner, a therapist and a mom, I'm proud to say that's just what we've done."

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Credentials

  • Master of Social Work, Brigham Young University
  • Bachelor of Science, Social Work, Brigham Young University
  • Licensed Clinical Social Worker
  • Psychotherapist in outpatient and residential settings since 1991

Philosophy

For Melissa, there is no panacea—no single therapeutic approach— that can successfully treat all issues. She knows that adopting one therapeutic style may seem easier, but it just doesn't work. For her, each boy and his family are different from the next, with individual issues to sort through and deal with. Because there are only 16 boys in each Gateway home, the staff has the time and the resources to make personalized decisions about every student's therapy, education, and community involvement. And everyone at Gateway—from the house staff and outdoor team to the dedicated teachers and therapists—is highly invested in each young man who walks through its door.

Professional

As Melissa observed the successes and shortcomings of the many various therapeutic approaches in her long career, her vision for a place like Gateway grew. She has been a therapist for at-risk youth since 1991, serving in every capacity, including private practice, wilderness therapist, runway shelter therapist, and clinical director. As the Admissions Director for Gateway, she carefully evaluates every applicant. She then plays an active role with the Gateway team to determine the best treatment program for each boy. Melissa believes it takes a village to achieve success, and credits the entire team for making the dream of Gateway a reality.

Personal

Melissa likes to press the boundaries of her world by exploring other places and cultures. She then hurries home again to spend time with her grandchildren. Melissa also enjoys knitting, scuba diving, and remodeling houses.

Creating Student Success

Melissa recalls working with one of Gateway's first students. He was using drugs, expressing animosity toward his family, and performing poorly at school. In short, he was spinning out of control. His confrontational behavior continued for the first few months at Gateway, but gradually treatment began to gain traction. He discovered a love for bouldering in the outdoor education program, and he learned to apply himself academically. Melissa observed that as he gained confidence and stability, his relationship with his parents and siblings improved. Since leaving Gateway, he has graduated from college and now competes in bouldering.