Meet Our Therapists & Team

Connections is a core of carefully selected Professional Counselors in Utah with a shared vision to best facilitate the healing, capacity, and happiness to our clients and their families. We are CSAT certified, have specialty training in EMDR, Brainspotting, EFT and many more. Our specialized therapists are located Salt Lake City, Holladay and Provo, Utah. You can also read more about our therapists and counselors below.

Call Us Today to See How We Can Help You 801.272.3420 or Text Us at 801.997.8760

Therapists

Murray Office

Chris Adams

LMFT, CSAT-Candidate, RDX-S, Administrative Director

Chris has worked extensively with Marriages, Families, and individuals. His practice has grown almost exclusively from word-of-mouth referrals from happy clients. During the past several years of his practice, Chris has been instrumental in developing marriage and family treatment more effectively targeting and addressing underlying themes and emotional patterns. This model incorporates, but goes beyond traditional talk therapy – being more experience based. The result has been more effective and longer lasting results. Hence his quickly growing practice – in spite of working more time-efficiently with each marriage and family.

Chris’s work has extended from very significant mental health and family dynamics in inpatient settings, to more common marital, family, and individual concerns, to simply enhancing happy marriages.

Chris has a particular love of supporting and helping couples and families. He enjoys helping parents and children live and work together. He finds joy in helping couples as they learn to live and grow together through life’s many challenges. Chris is excited to be a part of the Connections Clinic and the collaboration and growth resulting from working with other particularly effective professionals.

Chris was raised in northern Utah, and when not at the clinic, you will most likely find him out-of-doors with his beautiful wife Natalie and son Dalton.

Call today to schedule and appointment with Chris at 801.272.3420

Jennifer Young

CSW

Jenn is passionate about and has experience working with adolescents, females who have experienced trauma, adults, and couples to create solutions to problems, learn healthy communication skills, and increase a sense of peace and harmony.

Jenn received her master’s degree from the University of Utah and a Certificate of Applied Positive Psychology. She is EMDR trained and specializes in trauma work. She is also trained in Positive Psychology and Mindfulness, Gottman Couples Counseling, Trauma-Focused CBT, Motivational Interviewing, Emotion Focused Therapy, Solution Focused Therapy, Narrative Therapy, Grief Counseling, and Suicide Prevention.

Jenn aims to help you discover your strengths and find solutions to heal unhelpful stories and become unstuck in negative behavior and relationship patterns. She takes a holistic approach to support you through empowerment, clarification of values, and mindfulness to create and live a more authentic life.

Jenn is happily married and has four children. She enjoys playing golf with her husband, making jewelry, reading, and spending time with family and friends.

Call today to schedule an appointment with Jennifer at 801.272.3420

Shannon Elite

AMFT – AFCC Informed, Family Systems Therapist

For more information about Shannon and to schedule a session with her click here:

Jessica Judd

LCSW

Jess is an experienced therapist that works with teens and adults, ages 14 and up. She prides herself on her ability to translate her clinical knowledge into understandable and relatable terms. She creates a therapeutic, yet conversational, environment that cultivates safety and allows people to truly be themselves.

Jess’ passion lies in helping each person achieve a more complete understanding of their own unique mind and experiences. She believes that understanding yourself comes with the ability to navigate life’s challenges more naturally and effectively. She works with her clients to process uncomfortable emotions, build communication and coping skills, and set goals that are simple but impactful.

She utilizes EMDR, Mindfulness Techniques, Psychoeducation, Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT), and other modalities based upon the needs of each unique individual.

She is experienced and passionate about issues such as: trauma-processing (EMDR), depression & anxiety, self-esteem issues, self-harming behaviors, strained relationships, LGBTQIA+ support, and a variety of other issues and complications. She is also known to connect quickly with those who may be resistant to the therapy process.

She holds a Bachelors of Social Work from the University of Utah and completed her Masters Degree in Social Work through Louisiana State University.

Call today to schedule and appointment with Jessica at 801.272.3420

Conner Dunn

MFT Intern, Child Therapist

Conner is a Marriage and Family Therapist Intern. He has an undergraduate degree in psychology and is finishing his master’s degree in Marriage and Family Therapy. He has a passion for working with children and teenagers. He hopes to help children and teens navigate the stresses, changes, and anxieties of life. He also seeks to help family relationships. To accomplish this, he utilizes cognitive behavioral family therapy and integrates play therapy techniques.

Conner is married to his wife Rebecca. He can be found outside of work hiking with his coonhound Artemis. In his free time, he enjoys movies, music, exercise, and playing guitar. Conner has had experiences working with diverse family dynamics and different cultures. This has solidified his passion for therapy and working with families.

Call today to schedule an appointment with Conner at 801.272.3420

Matt Jackman

CMHC

CREDENTIALS:

Master of Social Work, University of Utah
Bachelor of Science in Psychology, University of Utah
Master of Science in Professional Counseling
Clinical Mental Health Counselor

PHILOSOPHY:

Matt maintains a philosophy of building a strong, safe, grounded relationship with each client. He uses a relationship based approach to connect with each client in a meaningful, individualized way. Through this work it gives the client a safe space to do the work they are looking to do. He also helps each client understand that he isn’t here to “fix” them, nor does he believe any of them are “broken.” Rather, Matt believes each client needs to learn new skills to take responsibility for creating their own happiness.

PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE:

After Graduating from Westminster College in 2012 with his masters degree in professional counseling, Matt worked to become a Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor. He was hired by his internship continuing to work with adults struggling with substance abuse and other addictions while working to become fully licensed. Upon achieving his licensure Matt then moved to residential therapy for both male and female adolescents. Here he has provided individual, group and family therapy for clients struggling with anxiety, depression, addiction, relationship difficulties, and more. Through out his career, Matt has worked to help clients use the therapy experience to achieve their desired outcomes by meeting clients where they are at and helping them gain the necessary insight and skills to start living the life they are looking to live.

PERSONAL:

Matt was born and raised in Utah. When he is not working, you’re most likely to find him spending time with family and friends in the outdoors or at home cooking and working on home projects.

Carra Ward

ACMHC

Carra enjoys working with individuals, couples, veterans, and youth and while changing can be difficult, it is the first step that is the hardest. Carra is excited to take that step with you.

She is experienced working in the areas of trauma, PTSD, anxiety, suicide prevention, depression, and ADHD. She is comfortable with the world of adolescents and skilled at helping them (and their families) successfully navigate it.

She understands that each person's story is special, individual and unique to them, and working to develop person-centered treatment approaches is how she approaches therapy. Through compassionate listening and healthy communication, healing and change can happen, and Carra is waiting to get started with you.

Becky Hinchcliff

CSW

Becky Hinchcliff is fascinated by other humans and what makes them who they are. Consequently, she studied Family Life with an emphasis in Human Development at Brigham Young University and graduated with her Master’s in Social Work from Utah State University. Becky has worked in the mental health and social work fields for close to a decade with an aim to support clients in their self discovery, individual growth, and psychological health/well-being as they process the effects of past and current life experiences by considering their personal strengths, needs, and culture.

Becky particularly enjoys working with adolescents, young adults, and their families. She is well exposed to the latest developments in trauma-informed practices and enjoys discovering with clients the layers of their psyche through talk and experiential practices. Becky is credentialed in high-fidelity wraparound and trained in mind-body-bridging, cinematherapy, and cognitive behavioral therapy.

In her intentional free time, Becky enjoys a good story in any format (books, movies, songs, tv shows, jokes, etc.), being active outdoors in the sunshine, traveling, reviving her waning Dutch proficiency, and surrounding herself with all the fresh cut flowers she can afford. She is most proud of her awesome aunt status and capacity for an abundance of friendships.

Drew Vernick

LCSW

Drew is originally from Atlanta, Georgia, and transitioned to Salt Lake City, Utah, in the summer of 2021. His career in human services started in 2017 as a volunteer at a psychiatric hospital. Drew eventually worked up the field to achieve a master's degree in clinical social work from Kennesaw State University. Drew developed a passion for psychotherapy, emphasizing existential and spiritual psychology. Having an undergraduate in philosophy, Drew received education on world religion, spirituality, and the fundamental questions of reality. He developed a blend of interpersonal talk therapy, mindfulness, and meditative sound therapy that helps individuals transcend the narratives that have kept them stuck in recurring maladaptive patterns. Drew has years of experience working with substance addictions, behavioral addictions, trauma, relationship strain, and spiritual issues.

Drew comes from a family of musicians and incorporates his musical ability into a unique style of sound therapy. Drew uses a collection of crystal singing bowls, native-style flutes, drums, chimes, and rattles to create a sound immersion experience. Drew guides clients through mindfulness skills, breathwork, and body-centered scanning with various sounds to access the subconscious directly. Drew feels the goal of therapy should be to find one’s highest self.

Orem Office

Kyle M. Reid

LMFT, CSAT-S, AAMFT Approved Supervisor, Clinical Director

Kyle's clinical focus, and personal passion, is couple and family relationships. He also finds joy in helping individuals overcome their addictive and/or compulsive sexual behavior.

Kyle has worked as a youth counselor at Heritage residential treatment center working with at-risk youth ages 12-18 who experienced various behavioral and psychological issues. He was responsible in building relationships of trust with them as well as preparing and assisting them to develop healthy relationships with their friends and families.

Since 2012, Kyle’s clear-headed clinical skills have resulted in his attracting full-time private practice work with couple and marital relations, parent-child relations, and sexual addiction.

Kyle received his Bachelor’s degree in Marriage, Family, and Human Development from Brigham Young University and pursued his Masters of Arts degree in Marriage and Family Therapy from Alliant International University in San Diego in 2012 when he joined Connections Counseling.

Kyle is eager to help those who are struggling personally or in their relationships. He believes that a majority of people’s problems stem from troubled relationships, often starting with attachment injuries with parents, peers, siblings, and intimate partners. When Kyle is with his clients, he understands the relationship dynamics surrounding each individual and its impact. He is able to help clients formulate specific steps and insights that move them to emotional and relationship health.

Kyle has spent most of his life in Utah and currently resides there with his wife, Jessica, and his two daughters. Beside his religious beliefs, his greatest passion is his family. He looks forward to spending time with them after work. Kyle is an avid golfer and when he is not working or spending time with his family you can find him working on his golf swing.

Call today to schedule and appointment with Kyle at 801.272.3420

Alex Pratt

LMFT, CSAT Candidate

“Alex works to help people find a path that will enable them to make full use of their capacity to change.”

Alex grew up in California, and moved to Utah later in life to pursue his goals as a therapist. In the early years of his education he spent his time working with the Strengthening Families Program out of Utah Valley University teaching family and parenting classes. Alex received his Master’s degree in Marriage and Family Therapy from Argosy University and began his clinical work as a LAMFT.

In Alex’s work as a Marriage and Family Therapist he has had the opportunity to work with people with various backgrounds and a wide variety of concerns that brought them to therapy. After starting his work at Connections Counseling Center, he quickly developed a passion for working with couples on their varying marital (and pre-marital) concerns. His work with couples helped him develop a profound belief in people’s capacity to change. Whether he is working with families, couples, or individuals Alex works to help people find a path that will enable them to make full use of their capacity to change.

Alex’s hobbies involve a love of music that stems from his childhood desire to be a classical song writer. He enjoys writing, and one day hopes to further his career by writing books to help other therapists grow. Alex also enjoys teaching and is currently working to further his goal of teaching upcoming therapists, and eventually supervising new therapists to help shape the field he is practicing in.

Call today to schedule and appointment with Alex at 801.272.3420

Lydia Afualo

AMFT

I am an Associate Marriage and Family Therapist (AMFT) with a Masters of Arts degree in Marriage and Family Therapy from North Central University, and I also have a Bachelors of Science degree in Sociology and Diversity from the University of Utah.

I have a broad range of diverse life experiences that will assist me in helping you as a client. I also have gifts of empathy and patience which will help you in the therapy process. If you allow me to help you, then I will do my very best to guide you through the therapeutic process, regardless of the level of difficulty you are experiencing, because I want to help you reach your personal and therapy goals.

I thrive in attuning myself to your goals, and understanding what approach will work best for you in constructing tailored, unique solutions for your life within healthy therapeutic principles.

I also am here to serve you in moving forward with tools that will enable you to sustain your progress once you leave therapy.

Specialties:
Trauma work
Brainspotting
Elderly adults
Couples and Families
Individual Therapy
Diversity and Cultural issues
Co-Parenting Therapy

Call today to schedule and appointment with Lydia at 801.272.3420

Jennifer Atkinson

MFT Intern

Jennifer Atkinson is a Marriage and Family Therapist Intern. She is passionate about seeing couples, individuals, and families succeed through the many difficulties life presents and helping people process the trauma around these difficulties. Jennifer received her bachelor’s degree in Family Sciences from BYU and is currently in the clinical phase of her master’s degree, with an emphasis in couple therapy. Her treatment methods are guided by Emotion Focused Therapy (EFT), Brainspotting, Gottman’s theories, and Solution-Focused Therapy.

Jennifer has personal experience working with individuals in the LGBTQ+ community and helping families remain united when a child comes out. Maintaining a close relationship with her son and son-in-law, who are in a same-sex marriage, and actively practicing her religion are both priorities for Jennifer.

Jennifer is happily married; she has five children, three bonus children, and two granddaughters. She enjoys spending time with friends and family and loves running, hiking, and playing pickleball.

Call today to schedule and appointment with Jennifer at 801.272.3420

Christopher Pierce

CMHC Intern

I am a Clinical Mental Health Counselor Intern. I received a bachelor's degree in Sociology from Southern Utah University and a master’s degree in Adult Education from Kansas State University. I am currently in the clinical phase of my master’s degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Southern New Hampshire University.

I’m a retired veteran who served 29 years in the Army and deployed on five combat deployments. Most recently, I served as the sleep program manager for the 1st Special Forces Command (Airborne), where I developed and managed a program to improve sleep quality amongst special operations forces.

I’m passionate about helping others learn how to deal with life difficulties. I want to help the client feel safe and develop a meaningful connection with those I treat to work together to solve their problems. In the face of current or past difficulties, we all have the potential to find growth and deal with our problems in a way that improves our overall mental and physical well-being. I take a holistic approach where I also place emphasis on the importance of nutrition, exercise, and sleep hygiene as additional interventions when working with clients.

I was raised in Utah and am excited to return to my home state after living in various parts of the world through military service. I have been married for over 23 years and have five children. I enjoy spending time with my family and friends, working out, camping, fishing, and hunting. I also enjoy writing and am the author of the self-care book ``Self-Health Andragogy: Self-Directed Learning Approach to Mental and Physical Self-Care``, and I publish self-care articles online.

Call today to schedule and appointment with Christopher at 801.272.3420

Layton Office

Lori Walker

LCSW

Lori Walker specializes in EMDR and EFT (Emotional Focus Therapy). She is also a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) who received her Master of Social Work degree from the University of North Dakota.

She has spent most of her professional career working with youth and young adults through a residential training program. In 2012, she was trained by the Utah Coalition Against Sexual Assault, interned at a domestic violence shelter, and is an advocate for women. Lori loves to learn and is always reading or listening to audio books, especially those related to the mind-body connection. She fervently believes in the power of the mind and positive thinking which she believes helped her work through the loss of several close family members. Lori has been married to her best friend since 2010 and is a proud soccer mom of two stepsons. She also has a young daughter who reminds her every day to enjoy the little things in life.

Specialties Include:
EMDR and EFT (Emotional Focused Therapy)
Life Coaching
Youth & Children
Grief & Loss
Marriage and Families, especially Blended Families
Emotional Stress
Diversity & Inclusion
Women’s Issues

Call today to schedule and appointment with Lori at 801.272.3420

James (JC) Hoye

MFT Intern

Kia ora and welcome! My name is JC Hoye. I’m a Māori-American therapist specializing in working with couples. As a Pacific-Islander, I draw on my cultural background to inform my therapeutic approach.

I received a Bachelor of Psychology in 2018 from Utah State University and am pursuing my Master’s in Marriage and Family Therapy from Northcentral University. Before my work as a therapist, I conducted research on addictions and worked in psychosocial rehabilitation, which gives me a unique perspective when working with clients. My therapeutic framework is Narrative Family Therapy, which allows me to help clients explore the stories they tell themselves and re-author them in a way that empowers them.

In my sessions, I create a caring, warm, and non-judgmental environment where clients can feel comfortable sharing their struggles and exploring their emotions. I am a student of my clients, meaning that I listen carefully to their experiences and perspectives to create a customized treatment plan that meets their unique needs.

Outside work, I’m happily married to my best friend and have two wonderful kids. As a family, we love to travel, spend time with our family and friends, and play as hard as possible. I enjoy playing music and running with my kids in my free time.

My goal is to help clients feel seen, heard, and valued, while empowering them to make meaningful changes in their lives and relationships. I believe everyone has the capacity for healing and growth, and I’m honored to be a part of my client’s journeys. If you’re looking for a therapist who can help you navigate your challenges and achieve your goals, I invite you to get in touch.

Areas of interest include:
Pre-Marital & Marital Counseling
Spiritual and Religious Journeys
Pacific Islander & Polynesian Communities
Phase of Life Challenges
Behavioral Addictions
Fathers and Sons
Incorporating Interests as Interventions

Call today to schedule an appointment with JC at 801.272.3420

Online Only

Christopher Knox, CMHC

Christopher Knox

CMHC

Chris pursued his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in psychology and counseling from Arizona State University, and began working with youth and families in 2005.

Chris has spent several years working with youth in residential treatment settings in Utah and Arizona. He focused on individual, family, group, milieu and recreational therapy options, and worked with at risk youth ages 12-18 struggling with various mental health and behavioral issues. He collaborated with a team of line staff and teachers, clinical supervisors, nurses and physicians to understand and build therapy options to help these youth understand the struggles they have, and develop skills and strategies for success.

Chris has also worked with adults, families and youth in one on one and group therapy sessions. He is excited to work with people facing challenges, and believes that there are always options to overcome difficulties.

Chris currently resides in Arizona with his wife, Tiffany, and their 4 children! When he is not involved in family activities such as soccer, swimming or barbeques, he enjoys spending time outdoors, shooting archery or trying to catch a fish.

Call today to schedule and appointment with Chris at 801.272.3420

Katherine Garcia, ACMHC

Katherine Garcia

ACMHC

My Perspective: “I am more than the sum of things which have happened to me. I have the free will to choose who I am.” – C.G. Jung

Everyone has their story in this life filled with unique experiences. I am interested in hearing, listening, and working with you through the accounts of your story. From the moment you walk through our doors, I am invested in gaining a better understanding of you and your experiences through your eyes. As we work together, you will find that we will use these accounts as the foundation of our therapeutic process and that understanding your story will pave the way for growth to blossom.

Who I Am: I am a Mental Health Counseling Intern actively seeking to empower individuals, facilitate growth, understand emotions, rationalize thoughts, and embrace perspective in the therapy room. As a recent graduate, you can expect my motivation for and attention to our work to be optimal. I describe myself as a directive therapist with the ability to set goals and maintain structure, without compromising feelings of comfort in the room. I’m a firm believer that without comfort and good rapport, the integrity and effectiveness of therapy are limited.

Additionally, I am incredibly empathetic, down to earth, and highly communicative with others, which I believe are some of the most fundamental qualities for establishing rapport and displaying unconditional positive regard.

Clinical Client Experience: In the past, I have worked with various populations including adults, students, couples, trauma survivors, and minorities (including ethnicities and LGBTQI+ communities). Through my clinical experience, my desire for the field has only grown, which is why I aim to continue my work with these populations to propel my growth, my experience, and my expertise. One thing to consider while working with various populations is that all clients are unique; therefore, it is important to meet you where you are at. Therapy can seem like a scary thing sometimes, and that is okay. Something to acknowledge is that this emotion is part of the process in therapy. Therefore, my focus is to be present with you through this process and help guide you through your feelings so that we may increase understanding, awareness, and create our opportunities for positive change.

More About Me: I LOVE spending time outdoors. Utah is known for its scenic beauty! When I’m not in the office, I am likely hiking, running, photographing, and/or drawing what I see in nature. I am also a big “foodie”, love music, and am often with my dog.

Education:
• Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from Florida State University
• Masters Degree in Mental Health Counseling from Florida State University with emphasis on trauma
• Specialist Degree in Counselor Education from Florida State University

Call today to schedule and appointment with Katherine at 801.272.3420

Administrative Staff

  • Emma Muavesi – Administrative Assistant
  • Shuri Miller – Office Manager/Billing Specialist
  • Akyra Woodbeck – Administrative Assistant
  • Hayley Oehler – Administrative Assistant

Testimonials

Christopher Adams is great. He understands men and he understands women. You will see incredible success because of his counseling.

Call Us Today to See How We Can Help You 801.272.3420

or Text Us at 801.997.8760