Meet Your UAMFT Board of Directors
Justin K. McPheters, MS, LMFT
Justin McPheters worked in a program for autistic children and a residential treatment facility for teenagers during his undergraduate studies at Brigham Young University. He then received master’s and doctoral degrees in marriage and family therapy from Syracuse University in Upstate New York. He went on to complete a doctoral fellowship focused on families, illness, and collaborative healthcare at the Chicago Center for Family Health. Currently, He works for Family Services as a Group Manager overseeing operations outside of North America. He also maintains a private clinical practice in Bountiful, UT. He loves to get outside to hike canyons and mountain peaks with his five children and to run as a couple with Katrina Dart McPheters.
Lauren Barnes, PhD, LMFT
Lauren Barnes is an Associate Clinical Professor and the Clinical Director for the Marriage and Family Therapy graduate programs at Brigham Young University. Lauren enjoys training new clinicians and being involved in their curriculum and practicum opportunities. Prior to her faculty appointment at BYU, she worked as a therapist at Center for Change. She maintains a small private practice where she primarily works with individuals struggling with body image, disordered eating, and other comorbidities. Lauren served UAMFT as a board member from 2018-2019. Lauren looks forward to continuing streamlining UAMFT processes, creating more opportunities for networking and CEs to those throughout Utah, improving online presence and opportunities, and helping connect members.
Dave Robinson, PhD, LMFT
UAMFT Past President
Dave Robinson is the Director of the Marriage and Family Therapy Program at Utah State University. He worked for 14 years in the Department of Family Medicine at the University of Nebraska Medical Center. His research interests include collaborative health care, community-based participatory research, rural mental health, physician/patient relationships, and distance therapy.
Ryan B. Seedall, PhD, LMFT
Ryan Seedall is associate professor in the Marriage and Family Therapy Program at Utah State University, having received his training from Brigham Young University (MS) and Michigan State University (PhD). He is an AAMFT Approved Supervisor and Clinical Fellow. His research focuses on understanding and improving relationship and change processes through examining interaction and support processes. He is also interested in protective family dynamics and prevention, including ways to reduce mental health disparities. He has conducted research on identifying specific interventions that are useful when working with couples (e.g., enactments) and therapist- and client-related factors that are strongly associated with process and outcome in therapy.
Paul Flack, PhD, LMFT
Paul Flack, PhD, LMFT received his MFT training at the University of Nebraska (2001) and soon thereafter started practicing in Southern Utah working with teens in residential treatment. Since 2009, his experience has been primarily in community mental health at Valley Mental Health and the Urban Indian Center of Salt Lake. While serving as program director at UICSL, he completed a Doctor of Marriage & Family Therapy degree at Argosy University (Draper) and has held a teaching position at Northcentral University’s MAMFT and PhD-MFT program since March 2020. Paul considers UAMFT to be his “tribe” and looks forward to connecting with like-minded fellow systemic therapists whenever possible. He served previously on the board as Election Chair and Student Representative and is very happy to serve as Secretary, lending his time, efforts, experience and expertise to help the board serve the interests of Utah’s proud corps of MFTs.
Amber Willis, PhD, LMFT
Board Member & Media and Communications Chair
Dr. Amber Willis, LMFT is the Clinical Director of Feller Behavioral Health and the former Clinical Director of James Mason Centers for Recovery. She received her PhD in Child and Family Development with an emphasis in MFT from The University of Georgia, her MS in MFT at BYU, and has been an AAMFT Approved and Utah Supervisor for 5 years. Amber has over 18 years of clinical experience and values a strengths-based approach, specializing in working with victims of trauma and child/adolescent issues. She worked as an instructor at Argosy University in the master’s MFT program and has presented at various local and national professional conferences on collaborative therapy approaches with children and families. Amber has a passion for practicing and preserving the MFT profession in Utah.
Derek Hagey, PhD, LMFT
Board Member & Membership Chair
Derek Hagey is an AAMFT Clinical Fellow and Approved Supervisor. He received his master’s degree in MFT from the University of Wisconsin, Stout and his doctorate in Human Ecology with specialization in Marriage and Family Therapy from Kansas State University. Derek currently works as a Program Manager for Family Services providing training and development. He is also currently core faculty in Plymouth State University’s Marriage and Family Therapy program, in Plymouth, NH as well as adjunct faculty at Northcentral University, in Scottsdale, AZ. Derek’s primary interest focuses on the ethical practice of MFT including best practices. In his doctoral program Derek focused on medical family therapy specifically the interface between mental health and medical professionals. Derek has practiced in Kansas, Massachusetts, Nevada, New Hampshire, Utah, and Wisconsin.
Emily Thomas, MS, LMFT
Board Member & Continuing Education Chair
Emily Haynes Thomas is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT) with over 20 years of experience in the field. Emily became an Aggie at Utah State University, graduating with a degree in Family and Human Development in 1995 and completed her Master’s Degree at the University of Maryland, College Park in 2002. Emily has served in both clinical and administrative positions throughout her career. She began her career as a therapist working with adolescents in residential treatment. Over the course of her career, she worked in wilderness treatment, eating disorder residential treatment, and created an intensive in-patient program for active duty service members and veterans suffering from PTSD and substance abuse. Emily’s passion for systems work keeps her busy in private practice specializing in working with complex families, trauma, emerging personality disorders, life transitions, depression, anxiety disorders, adoption, and attachment related issues. Current times also bring many struggles related to COVID-19 for her clients.
Russ Crane, PhD, LMFT
Board Member & Legislative Chair
Russ Crane, Emeritus Professor, Marriage and Family Therapy, Brigham Young University, has had a rich career in serving the field of MFT in State, National and International organizations. His goals in his career have all been targeted to help advance the Profession and the Practice of MFT. Russ has served a total of 8 years in UAMFT and 10 years in AAMFT. He also served 6 years on the COAMFTE as Chair and member of the COA. Russ’s professional background includes Visiting Lecturer in Family Therapy at the University of Malta, the BYU Program, the University of Kent at Canterbury (UK), and the Texas Tech University MFT Program. Dr. Crane and his teams have published more than 30 articles on the cost-effectiveness of MFT. He also maintains a private practice in Marital and Family Therapy. Dr. Crane offers considerable experience from his years of service and academic program administration and research to assist the current priorities of the UAMFT membership and Board.
UAMFT Committee Chairs
Shannon S. Boxley, MS, LMFT
Shannon Boxley received her Masters of Science in Family and Human Development with an emphasis in Marriage and Family Therapy at Utah State University. She has been in private practice in Park City, UT since 2005. Prior to moving into private practice she worked at a clinical boarding school as a primary therapist. While over the course of her career she has worked with adolescents, individuals and couples, most recently she has focused more on adults and couples as her own children became teens themselves. She enjoys her volunteer position as UAMFT’s conference chair, connecting with her friends and colleagues. She is proudest of her most challenging and rewarding role as mother to two daughters. She finds support and balance here, along with her husband of over 20 years. It is with these VIPs that she recharges – forever chasing the sun (and warmth) on all her many family getaways.
Nathan Meng, PhD, LMFT
Nathan Meng graduated from Utah State University with a degree in behavioral psychology and a minor in family studies. He then moved to Seattle where he got his Master’s degree in Marriage and Family Therapy working specifically with at-risk children. During that time he also studied medical family therapy and the use of spirituality in therapy. He then moved to Provo, Utah, where he got his PhD from BYU in Marriage and Family Therapy working specifically with couples and couple issues. He also began working with at-risk youth doing Wilderness therapy and addictions. During this time he was able to accept an externship teaching at the University of Southern Mississippi training therapists to help with the hurricane Katrina relief program. After completing his degree he worked in residential treatment helping to create an adolescent expressive arts treatment Center. Most recently he has begun teaching at Dixie State University where he has helped to start a master’s degree program in Marriage and Family Therapy as the program director. Nathan currently resides in southern Utah with his wife and six kids, enjoying the six months out of the year when it is not 110 degrees.
Sarah Droubay, MS, LMFT
Sarah Droubay received her Masters Degree in FHD (MFT) from Utah State University. She currently serves as the Executive Director of UAMFT. Before that, she worked for The Family Institute of Northern Utah as the Clinical Director of the Child Witnesses to Domestic Violence treatment program. She also worked with individuals, couples, and families in a variety of clinical contexts and looks forward to resuming clinical practice someday soon. She and her husband Ryan have been adventuring for 24 years now and are the parents of three children, ages 16, 13, and 11. They spend most of their time outside, enjoying their many animals, garden, yard, kids’ activities, and the beach whenever Sarah can sneak away to one.