Cascade Academy began with a dream of treating adolescent girls suffering with severe anxiety. Adolescent girls are three times more likely to experience anxiety than boys. This need presented an opportunity to serve students and families across the country. As with most dreams, there were many obstacles to overcome to keep hope alive. It took three years to make the dream a reality.
Cascade Academy was founded by John & Carol Probst, Caleb Cottle and Brad Gerrard in January 2020. With dynamic leadership forging the way, each partner has worked hard on their mission to help students and families to embrace life with courage and joy.
Having worked many years in the behavioral health industry Caleb saw a need to serve adolescent girls with severe anxiety and began his search for the perfect location and the ideal team. Uninterested in a facility with an “institutional” feel, he began a search for a something that felt like “home”. Through of series of fortunate events he was led to John and Carol Probst, respected entrepreneurs and community members in Midway, Utah. They were interested in selling their 13,000 square foot home. With nine bedrooms, ten bathrooms, two kitchens and plenty of office space it was the “home” he had been searching for. Rather than sell their beautiful home, John and Carol offered it as part of a partnership agreement and Cascade Academy was born. Situated in the scenic Wasatch back just outside of Park City, Cascade Academy is the perfect environment to promote healing for students and their families.
With the location established, Brad Gerrard, a well-respected and seasoned expert in the behavioral health field was recruited and completed the ownership team filling the role as Executive Director. Shortly thereafter Bekah Schuler joined the team as Clinical Director and quickly became specialized and knowledgeable in the treatment of adolescent anxiety. With over thirty years of experience in education Jacki Burnham fills the demanding role as Academic Director creating personalized education plans for each student. As the Admissions Director LeaKae Roberts walks parents through the difficult process of placing their daughter in treatment. Porter Roe acting as Program Director makes certain that the needs of students and their families are met throughout the duration of treatment.
Cascade Academy is a home away from home for twenty-six girls between the ages of 13 and 18 who suffer from severe anxiety, OCD, or OCD related disorders. Cascade Academy combines the power of traditional CBT, ERP and other evidence-based therapies along with experiential therapy modalities to create a clinically specialized, individualized residential treatment plan for adolescent girls diagnosed with anxiety or obsessive-compulsive disorders. Individual, family, group, and recreational therapies along with individualized sequential exposures are a key component to each students’ treatment plan.
Focus on a balanced life physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually is the core of the programming at Cascade Academy. Daily exercise, meditation, mindfulness, yoga, nutrition, and service opportunities are essential components implemented into each students’ treatment plan. Specially trained mentors provide around the clock care and are carefully trained to deliver therapeutic support specific to anxiety and obsessive-compulsive disorder treatment. Throughout treatment neural pathways are developed and reinforced through continuous repetition over the nine-to-twelve-month treatment period.
Whatever a student is going to do at home they need to practice at Cascade Academy. This sets Cascade Academy apart from other traditional residential treatment centers. There is no level system. Treatment is as “true to life” as possible with no checklists or token economies. This encourages a more authentic approach to therapy and relationships. Healthy contact with family and friends is encouraged, not forbidden. This results in the early introduction of technology allowing students to learn healthy practices with technology and social media while being supervised in treatment.
Cascade Academy is committed to helping adolescent girls uncover their internal strength by living outside of their comfort zone and doing hard things. Through this process students improve their executive functioning, interpersonal skills, social regulation, and conflict resolution. By participating in daily organic and relevant exposures, students challenge the avoidance cycle and the ritualized behaviors that have prevented them from living lives filled with courage and joy. As students and families escape the prison of their comfort zone, and boldly navigate life in the growth zone, true healing begins.