Malia McDermott, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist

Malia completed her Master’s of Marriage and Family Therapy at Northcentral University, a COAMFTE accredited school. In 2018, Malia worked with children as a clinician for Catholic Community Services of Western Washington. She enjoys working with families and helping them with relational issues. Malia has the most experience with anxiety, depression, addiction, and ADHD. Using Play Therapy techniques that are client-directed and systemically focused, she enjoys communicating in the child’s own language.

Malia has a passion for helping others and is involved with serving her community in many ways. She has enjoyed coaching high school and travel volleyball teams for the past 20 years. Malia is married with two children. Together, they enjoy anything sports related – especially our Seahawks football. She and her family relocated from the Seattle area in 2019 and are excited to have put down roots in Hurricane!

Areas of Interest Include:  Play Therapy, Anxiety & Depression, Addiction Issues, Trauma & Grief.

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Hillary Jones, Licensed Clinical Social Worker

Hillary completed her Master’s of Social Work at Simmons College in Boston, MA. She has been a licensed clinical social worker in the state of Ohio since 2014 and is excited to continue her practice here in Utah. During her graduate studies she specialized in trauma and interpersonal violence and also completed advanced training in group therapy. She takes a special interest in working with youth and young adults. Hillary’s areas of interest include trauma, anxiety, depression, low self-esteem, ADHD, attachment, betrayal, relational conflict, and more.

Hillary is also a mother to four young boys, an adoptive mother, and a former foster mom. She enjoys all things outdoors and is loving the incredible nature of St. George and surrounding areas. When she is not working or “moming” you can find her hiking, rock climbing, mountain biking, playing pickleball, or off on a travel adventure.

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Julie Bleak (Blake), Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist

  Julie grew up in St. George and spent most of her adult life in different parts of the country including the San Francisco Bay area, the greater Boston area, and the Research Triangle area of North Carolina.  Julie graduated from Brigham Young University with a bachelor’s degree in Human Development.  She received her Masters in Marriage and Family Therapy from Utah Tech University.

She has experience with child therapy, adolescents, families, residential treatment, domestic violence, adoption, sexual abuse, betrayal trauma, depression, anxiety, and complex trauma. Her therapeutic areas of interest include attachment based therapy, emotion-focused therapy, treating developmental trauma and attachment issues, expressive art therapy, sandtray, and many play therapy modalities.  She is under the supervision of a Registered Play Therapist-Supervisor. She is passionate about learning different modalities so that the treatment is just right for the client heal.

Julie is the mother of 6 children. She loves music, to be in nature, try new recipes, and be with her grandchildren.

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Jessica Green, Associate Marriage and Family Therapist

Jessica began working with children and teens as a guitar and ukulele instructor while attending SUU in Cedar City, Utah. During that time she had the opportunity to work with elementary and high school kids in Tonga through SUU. After completing her bachelors Jessica moved to Nashville, TN and worked for Green Hills Child Development as a teacher assistant focusing on ages 1-6. In 2019 she started her Master’s in Marriage and Family Therapy at Abilene Christian University and began interning for Family Services where she helped individuals, and families cope with anxiety and depression. In 2022 Jessica moved back to Utah and finished her internship at a residential treatment program for adopted teens at Three Point Center in Hurricane, Utah. Jessica helped these teens work through trauma and childhood attachment injuries in group therapy. Her personal experiences have led her to understand the value of therapy and healing, and the importance of early intervention with children and teens.

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Emilee Keawe Oldroyd, Associate Marriage & Family Therapist

Emilee completed her Master’s of Marriage and Family Therapy at Brigham Young University where she worked with families, teens, and kids with a variety of presenting issues. She has experience working with anxiety, depression, grief/loss, trauma, faith crisis/transition, couple/family conflict, and LGBTQIA+ issues. She enjoys working with teens and young adults, although she has enjoyed play therapy with younger children as well, and takes a systemic approach in her work as she focuses on helping clients experience more connection in their lives and in their families. She prioritizes building positive relationships in the lives of her clients, emphasizing therapeutic work that is both affirming and authentic.

Emilee was born and raised in Austin, TX and has lived in Utah for the past 4 years, having spent many summers growing up in the St. George area. She has a Native Hawaiian background and enjoys working within whatever cultural communities her clients operate in. She loves being spontaneous, outdoorsy, and keeping up with anything pop culture. She likes to use emotion and humor throughout her sessions and looks forward to getting to know her clients here at Ascend!

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Ali Thacker, Associate Clinical Mental Health Counselor

Ali started out as a high school teacher and coach and taught 8 years before becoming a school counselor. For the past 18 years she has counseled students ranging from grades 6-12. Because of her experience in the classroom, coaching athletes and counseling students, working with teenagers is a natural fit.

She completed her bachelor’s degree at Southern Utah University and received her Master’s Degree in Educational Counseling from the University of Phoenix.  She is currently a Clinical Mental Health Counseling Intern through Rocky Mountain University.

Working with teens and areas of interest include anxiety, depression, low self-esteem, ADHD, and trauma.

Ali is an avid college sports enthusiast; she also loves traveling, being outdoors, reading, and loves to laugh!

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Reena Curl,  Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist

Reena lives in Hurricane, Utah where her and her husband Dave are involved in community activities and enjoy time with their grown children and grandchildren.  Reena and Dave love traveling to see family members in the western states with an occasional foray to spend time favorite place the California coastline.  Reena completed a Masters Degree in Marriage and Family therapy.  Her work has been focused on trauma, depression, anxiety and attachment disruptions.  Reena has sought training with EMDR and Play therapy.  She has a BA in Psychology, BS in Elementary Education K-8, and BA in Special Education/ Resource.  Reena taught and created Individual Education Plans for 13 years and focuses part of her work educating, as a therapist, teaching clients about their emotional experiences and “putting words” with big feelings. Reena sees her purpose is to help children and teens learn about their feelings and behaviors. Her vision is to help children and teens develop skills to cope and manage big feelings in life as a whole.

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Amber Fjeldsted (F-E-L-L-S-T-E-D), Intern Clinical Mental Health Counselor

Amber completed her Master’s Degree in Educational Psychology from the University of Utah and has experience working as both an elementary and middle school counselor in Washington County. Amber is passionate about working with school-aged children which led her to pursue a degree as a Clinical Mental Health Counselor. She hopes to help families navigate the unique challenges that children and parents face today.

Amber loves working with children to help them gain confidence, resilience and learn how to recognize and manage emotions in a healthy way. Other interests include navigating relationships with family and peers, anxiety, trauma, ADHD, grief/loss and play therapy.

Amber also has an interest in working with women who struggle to navigate motherhood, guilt, identity, and life transitions. No matter who or what age she is working with, Amber is dedicated to meet each individual where they are at with understanding and compassion.

Amber is married and has two teenage daughters and a 10 year old son and finds her greatest challenges and joys come from raising a family. She is most at peace when she is outdoors camping or hiking, and loves to travel with her husband of 17 years to anywhere tropical!

Currently Amber is completing her Clinical Mental Health Counseling degree through Rocky Mountain University and is excited to work as an Intern with Ascend Kids and Teens!

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