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Our therapists serve clients in Wasatch and Summit counties along with neighboring communities in the Wasatch back.

Shawn Michael Miller, PhD

Dr. Miller’s academic credentials are supported by nearly 20 years of clinical and youth advocacy experiences in higher education, community-based programs, and private inpatient residential care settings. He has been serving the Heber Valley since December 2011.

Areas Of Advanced Training Relate To:

  • Children/Adolescents/Families
  • Anxiety Reduction/Meditation Techniques
  • Depression
  • Autism Spectrum Disorders
  • Vocational Issues/Career Development
  • Couples Therapy
  • Psychological Assessment
  • Performance Enhancement
  • Trauma Recovery

Dr. Miller’s achievements in clinical, academic, outdoor and personal enthusiasms contain the following threads: As a whole, these skills and abilities would be highly valued in larger metropolitan areas, but are even more critical when made available to individuals residing in a rural area. There is no need to burden yourself more by having to drive several hours to get the excellent service and treatment you deserve. Complimenting his professional endeavors is a rich outdoor life including skiing, kayaking, and mountain biking. In addition, he finds great pleasure and personal growth in building things and working on automobiles.

His achievements in clinical, academic, outdoor and personal enthusiasms contain the following threads:

  • Extending himself with personal growth challenges
  • Seeking out others with specialized proficiency and knowledge
  • Assimilating new knowledge and competencies through curiosity, perseverance and a strong personal belief that he can accomplish a task
  • An openness to new experiences and an eagerness to learn from others

He accepts most major forms of insurance and is willing to work with individuals on a sliding scale for those currently not covered by a health insurance plan.

Stephanie Vinal, PhD Postdoctoral Fellow (starting July 2024)

Stephanie is joining Solstice Counseling and Wellness in July of 2024 as a postdoctoral psychology fellow, following completion of her degree in Psychology, with a specialization in School Psychology from Utah State University. She has a master’s degree in education from Boston University and worked in diverse public schools as a special education teacher. 

Stephanie has 6 years of clinical experience working in a variety of settings across Utah including K-12 schools, residential treatment facilities, private practice, and partial and inpatient psychiatric hospital settings. Stephanie has advanced training in the following treatment approaches: Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, and Parent Management. Stephanie has also received advanced training in diagnosing psychological and neurodevelopmental disorders.

As a clinician, Stephanie values collaboration, curiosity, joy, and humility within the therapeutic relationship. She strives to create deep and trusting relationships with her clients in order to work with them towards meeting their unique goals. While therapy progress is not always easy, Stephanie attempts to create joy and healing within an affirming and supportive framework. Stephanie has a direct, non-judgmental, and strengths-based approach to her therapy sessions. Stephanie works with children, teens, families, adults, and couples, depending on their treatment needs. 

Raising children is not an easy task, especially when a child or teen is experiencing intense mood shifts or changes in behavior. The key to making change within the family is working together as a team. Stephanie uses elements of play, humor, and respect in her individual sessions with children and teens to build a meaningful relationship. She facilitates collaboration with parents and children through family therapy. Stephanie can also provide consultation or collaboration to other caregivers, family members, friends, school personnel, or coaches. Stephanie works with youth/teens and their families to address: behavior concerns, school refusal, learning challenges, anxiety, depression, strained parent-child relationships, self-harm/suicidal thoughts or behaviors, and affirming identity. 

Stephanie has developed a unique skill-set when it comes to understanding how to interact with thoughts and emotions- especially when these thoughts and feelings are particularly strong. When working with adults and couples, Stephanie leverages her expertise in anxiety, depression, and mood disorders to help an individual understand their own “automatic” responses, and find harmony with how they truly want to make their way in the world. In couple’s sessions, Stephanie works on direct, in the moment, and clear communication to help reduce conflict and create a more close and supportive relationship. 

In her free time, Stephanie enjoys cooking, reading, watching movies, and spending time outside with her Goldendoodle.

Christopher Tappel M.Psy.

Christopher joined Solstice Counseling and Wellness in August of 2023 as a clinical intern in his final year of training for a Doctor of Psychology degree in Clinical Psychology at Divine Mercy University in Sterling, VA.

Christopher has 4 years of clinical experience working in various clinical settings in Virginia and Washington, D.C., including private practice, community mental health, and schools, providing therapy and psychological assessment. His current dissertation research is studying the treatment and interfacing of shame and trauma in the body.

As a clinician, Christopher believes that a safe and secure therapeutic relationship is the foundation upon which to build growth, healing, and personal flourishing. He aims to take a unique and personalized approach with every client to help find relief, growth, and a way forward. Christopher works with adolescents and adults to explore many different facets of what makes someone who they are: motivations, habits, thoughts, emotions, and how they perceive themself, others, and the world around them. As deeper insight is acquired, then begins the gradual work towards emotional healing, more functional behaviors and coping, healthy self-esteem, and freedom from the things that hold someone back from living life as they were meant to.

Christopher uses therapeutic approaches that focus on psychodynamic and humanistic conceptualizations, and also incorporates techniques of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Attachment-Based Therapy, and Mindfulness, as appropriate. He is also pursuing further training in EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) for reduction of psychological stress related to trauma, and other sources of distress.

Christopher’s past clinical experience has included therapy with individuals with concerns related to depression, anxiety, trauma, ADHD, OCD, autism, gender dysphoria, grief and loss, and self-harming and suicidality concerns, among others. Additionally, he provides comprehensive psychological evaluation services for concerns related to cognitive functioning, academic achievement, learning difficulties, socioemotional functioning, personality structure, ADHD, OCD, and other neuropsychological issues and mental health concerns.

In his free time, Christopher enjoys teaching himself new skills, including auto repair, gardening, cooking, and baking. He enjoys the beauty of the outdoors, navigating secluded trails on foot or by mountain bike, camping, skiing, and scuba.

Doctoral psychology interns, such as Christopher, have extensive training and experience as they enter their internship year.

Christian H. Monson, PsyD
(not accepting patients)

Dr. Christian H. Monson joined Solstice Counseling & Wellness in the fall of 2013.

Dr. Monson received training and has been employed by psychologists, mental health institutions and hospitals throughout the nation. Dr. Monson spent 6 years in Indiana where trained with a renowned psychologist in an ADHD diagnostic and treatment center, as well as the privilege to assist with a NIH funded research project exploring the effects of mindfulness on eating disorders. He then moved to Pennsylvania where he worked with physicians in a large hospital. This included pre-surgical mental health evaluations and working with a well-respected forensic psychiatrist.  Before coming to Heber, he founded a psychological testing clinic in Idaho.

These opportunities have given him a wide range of experience and knowledge including, but not limited to:

POPULATIONS

  • Children, Adolescents and Adults
  • At-risk Youth
  • Couples and Family Therapy
  • Court-Ordered Therapy

DISORDERS

  • ADHD diagnostic & Treatment
  • Anger Management
  • Developmental Delays
  • Depression
  • Autism
  • Mood Disorders
  • Anxiety

When not assisting his clients, Dr. Monson can be found skiing, hiking, geo-caching, rappelling, helping his children with homework, or praying that the plant he just pulled from his wife’s garden really was a weed.  It is Dr. Monson’s belief that treatment needs to be custom tailored for each individual. He has a great passion for integrating each client’s interests, relationships, spiritual beliefs, and/or hobbies into their treatment plan in order to help the client achieve and maintain psychological well-being.

Dr. Monson is a firm believer of being pro-active and had been selected as a delegate to meet with senators and congressmen in Washington DC on several occasions to discuss legislative measures pertaining to mental health as well as therapeutic recreation.

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