THE WINGATE TEAM
Wingate was founded in 2008 by a small group of likeminded wilderness-treatment leaders who were dissatisfied with the available wilderness-therapy options. “We knew the power of wilderness-based treatment but most programs favored either a behavioral approach or a quasi-clinical approach that did not appropriately utilize the wilderness milieu,” says Wingate’s founder and executive director, Shayne Gallagher. “These programs use a one-size-fits-all approach that doesn’t adequately address the need for internally motivated change.”
To address these gaps in wilderness treatment, Shayne—along with partners Brad Matheson, Scott Hess, and Sheri Gallagher—founded Wingate Wilderness Treatment. Wingate utilizes the most current, clinically validated treatment modalities in a stunning wilderness milieu that is, itself, intrinsically healing. But the team acknowledges that staff selection is the key to successfully implementing their unique treatment approach. “Our therapists, field team, and operational team are highly experienced and exhaustively trained,” says co-founder and primary therapist, Scott Hess, LMFT, “but we require more than great credentials. Our approach requires profound patience, passion, compassion, and above all else, a deep respect for the young people we work with. So those qualities inform all of our hiring decisions.”
Founder / Executive Director
For more than 22 years, Shayne Gallagher has provided healing wilderness experiences for adolescents, young adults, and families. With his deep understanding of the innate therapeutic effects of a wilderness experience on the healing of young people, Shayne has become a recognized leader in teen and young adult treatment. Read more…
Greg Burnham - LMFT
In his work with adolescent girls and their families, Greg Burnham is particularly gifted in addressing trauma, drug and alcohol dependence, suicidal feelings and behaviors, borderline personality disorder, and attachment disorders. A licensed marriage and family therapist, he combines a sound understanding of systems theory with therapeutic listening skills to open unexpected new possibilities for his clients. Greg has a special talent for working with deeply depressed clients who have lost hope and given up on life. Read more…
Scott Hess - MA, LMFT
Partner / Clinical Director
Scott Hess began his career as a marriage and family therapist in 1996, working with juvenile sex offenders in locked facilities. That experience helped Scott discover and develop his profound gift for getting to the heart of core issues with even the most calloused, oppositional clients. Scott attributes his success with resistant clients to his highly relational approach. “I focus first on building relationships of trust and respect,” says Scott. “From there I’m in a position to invite, rather than compel, students to find themselves and heal their relationships.” Read more…
Erin Grover - CSW, MSW, TRS, CTRS
Erin Grover has spent the last ten years helping individuals and families grow and make positive changes. During her eight years in the wilderness-therapy industry she has served as a field instructor, field director, and assistant operations director. “There is no perfect family,” says Erin. “I invite people into this process from that place of understanding, knowing how arduous—but worthwhile—the challenge to heal and strengthen relationships can be.” Read more…
Mary Lou Wise - LCSW
Mary Lou Wise has been working with young adults and adolescents for 25 years. Her clinical specialties include addictions (substance abuse and dependency, eating disorders, gaming addictions and other addictive behaviors), grief/loss and issues related to underachievement. She relies on her ability to connect quickly with clients and use the therapeutic relationship to internally motivate change. Students and families love Mary Lou’s style—a combination of straightforward honesty and compassion. Read more…
Jessica Stenquist - MSW, LCSW, TRS, CTRS
Jessica Jo Stenquist received her BS degree in Therapeutic Recreation from BYU and two Master’s degrees from the University of Utah in Social Work and Public Administration. She is recognized nationally and with Utah state as a Certified Therapeutic Recreational Specialist as well as a Licensed Clinical Social Worker. She has spent time working with all age groups in state mental hospitals, residential treatment centers, a therapeutic boarding school, a day-treatment program, as well as outpatient and intensive outpatient programs. Read more…
Emilee Krupa - B.S., SUDC
Substance Use Disorder Counselor
Emilee’s journey into the recovery field began as a residential staff for an adult substance abuse treatment center, and soon she fell in love with the world of recovery and helping those that suffer from addictions. Later she began working for a therapeutic boarding school as an assistant supervisor, and after completing college she joined their clinical team as a substance abuse counselor. She graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Behavioral Science with an emphasis in psychology from Utah Valley University and completed the substance use disorder counselor program there. Read more
Founder / Director Of Operations
Sheri was born in Utah, however, typical of military families, her family moved a lot. The longest she lived in one place was 2½ years, which was in Mississippi. Her favorite places are Queens Fort, Rhode Island, Yuma, Arizona, Kailua, Hawaii and Fallbrook, California. In these various environments, she learned to love the outdoors. Through these moving experiences, Sheri also learned to develop friendships fast. This skill has served her in her many years of quickly developing relationships of trust with the adolescents and young adults with whom she has worked. Read more...
Assistant Operations Director
With the exception of a two-year period in which Blaine spent performing service in Argentina, he has worked continuously in the Wilderness Therapy industry since 1988. He began as a wilderness field instructor and has more than 1500 "trail days" under his belt. Blaine has been recruited to help establish new wilderness therapy programs, and to improve upon existing ones. His extensive experience has included holding several positions in multiple wilderness therapy programs across several states. These positions have included; Field Instructor, Senior Field instructor, Assistant Field Director, Field Director, Program Director, and Risk Management Director. Blaine currently has a variety of duties at WinGate including Assistant Operations Director. Read More...
Dale Christensen - M.D.
Dr. Christensen has been practicing emergency medicine for over 15 years and is currently a staff physician at Utah Valley Regional Medical Center in Provo, UT. He joined our team in 2012 when one of his partners and mentors, Dr. Keith Hooker, a pioneer, long-time consultant, and promoter of wilderness therapy programs asked him to assume his role due to terminal illness. He is grateful for that opportunity. Read more...
Brad Matheson - MBA
Partner / Director Of Admissions
For over 11 years, Brad Matheson has helped hundreds of families navigate the difficult road of choosing the right therapeutic program for their child. "When a parent is exploring the possibility of treatment, nothing is more important than compassion, clarity, and honesty,” says Brad. “That kind of communication goes a long way toward helping parents make a sound decision and feel some peace in the midst of a very difficult situation." Read more…
Greg Hitchcock - M.Ed., PPS
Partner / Director Of Outreach
Greg has been an educator, executive and entrepreneur in the behavioral health and addiction treatment space for over twenty years. He founded and/or directed a number of successful programs that have taken him from the tent to the boardroom. As a nationally sought-after consultant, Greg has had the opportunity to envision and launch therapeutic programs in Honduras and Russia, present seminars and workshops at national conferences, and help numerous therapeutic programs grow in quality and enrollments. Read more…
Paula L. Riggs
Paula L. Riggs has spent more than a 15 years working with at risk youth and families in multiple environments. She is an experienced Admissions Counselor and Director in therapeutic middle schools, high schools, as well as young adult treatment facilities and Outdoor Wilderness programs." Read more…