Briana Petters joins Cascade Academy after 8 years experience in the mental health arena. Briana is an LCSW who found her passion for psychology and psychotherapy early in her undergraduate degree while working as a supervisor in an adolescent treatment center for teen girls. She received her Bachelors of Science in Psychology in 2015 from Brigham Young University. She then went onto complete her Masters of Social Work from the University of Utah with an emphasis in clinical mental health in 2017. While she has practiced with many diverse teens and families, including military veterans, LGBTQ, Sexual Assault survivors, religious trauma, mental health outpatient, and substance abuse; she has always retained a passion for the profound changes residential treatment can provide adolescents. Briana enjoys working with individuals at critical moments of their lives and has worked extensively with individuals impacted by trauma. She is drawn to a humanistic perspective, believing that individuals are often most fulfilled when they are their own experts who utilize skills taught to them by their support system, including a well trained therapist. Briana is trained in Exposure Response Prevention (ERP), Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), Acceptance Commitment Therapy (ACT), Motivational Interviewing (MI), and mindfulness therapeutic practices. 

Briana has experienced her own struggles with trauma and anxiety throughout her life. Through her own therapeutic journey she was able to deepen her skillsets of vulnerability and understanding to connect with clients. Briana has also found solace from her anxiety in guided meditation and yoga practice.  She has found guided meditation to be a useful skill to use in sessions with her clients. Along with practical regulation skills for mental health symptoms, Briana thinks there is power that comes in therapy by having an open and safe place to be heard. Briana tries to live by the motto adapted from a quote by Stephen Covey, “listen with the intent to understand, not to respond”, believing that everyone has a unique and worthwhile story. In listening to understand, we can foster lasting change.

Briana grew up in a United States Air Force family and believes this has been a worthwhile advantage to showing her many diverse cultures and giving her the ability to be adaptive to change. She loves traveling to new places and is particularly happy when finding high temperatures next to a beach. In her free time she is otherwise found hanging out with her rescue dog, Sage, or in the studio of a hot yoga class. 

One of Briana’s favorite mentors in the social work field, Brene Brown, once made an analogy comparing the difficult work of human connection and vulnerability to being like an active battle arena. It can be scary, difficult, over-whelming, and seemingly never ending. However, it can also be rewarding, beautiful, and unbelievably fulfilling. If we have the ability to stay in the arena when it gets hard, we can create a life worth living. Briana looks forward to being “in the arena” with her clients and their families at Cascade Academy as they create lasting change for a life full of meaning. 

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