Sarah Burton, C.M.H.C.
Intake Clinical Manager
Sarah earned her bachelor’s degree in Sociology from Utah State University and her master’s degree in Mental Health Counseling from the University of Phoenix. She has over 15 years of experience in the mental health field primarily working with women and adolescents. Sarah’s post-graduate training includes Motivational Interviewing, Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), Trauma-Focused Substance Abuse Treatment, and Psychodrama.
Sarah has worked with women in a residential substance abuse treatment setting. This experience gave her the passion to assist women with acknowledging and honoring the healing power they have within themselves. She feels grateful and honored to be a part of Saprea’s mission.
Clinical Intake Specialist
Sam is currently a full-time student at Utah Valley University, completing her bachelor’s degree in Marriage and Family Science. She values the importance of creating and maintaining a healthy family dynamic and is passionate about establishing safe environments for children. Sam is honored to represent a cause that promotes awareness and healing and firmly believes in the power of advocacy for survivors of childhood sexual abuse. Having a love for service, she desires to be helpful and supportive of others in whatever capacity needed. Sam greatly admires the power of self-compassion and will strive to always exemplify this throughout her career. In her free time, she enjoys boxing, listening to music, spending time in the sun, and working towards her goals.
Clinical Intake Therapist
Betsy Kanarowski, Ph.D., L.C.S.W.
Chief Clinical Officer
Betsy received her Ph.D. in Special Education from the University of Utah, her master’s degree in social work from the University of Denver, and her bachelor’s degree in social work from the University of Wyoming. She is a licensed clinical social worker (L.C.S.W.) and certified sex therapist. She loves the outdoors, travel, reading, and spending time with her family and ridiculously spoiled dog.
Annette Curtis, L.C.S.W.
Senior Retreat Manager
She has trained and presented locally and nationally on the subjects of healthy sexuality, warning signs of abuse, and how to respond to sexual abuse. She has enjoyed her time working at Saprea and is dedicated to helping survivors of childhood sexual abuse heal from their past. Annette has been honored to be a part of the healing journey for many survivors. She is amazed at the strength and resiliency she has witnessed with the women at the Saprea Retreat. When she is not at work, she can be found spending time with her husband and three children. She enjoys having fun, laughing, and going to Disneyland with her family.
Saria Karhunen, L.C.S.W.
Senior Retreat Manager
Prior to her work with Saprea, Saria was a Program Manager at Foothill Treatment Center, a residential treatment program serving women and men struggling with substance use disorders. She was born and raised in Finland and moved to the United States when she was nineteen. Her passions include travel, opera, food, cats, reading, yoga, hiking, and camping.
Jarretta Mahalko, M.S.W., L.C.S.W.
She had the privilege of growing up in the military and has lived in some interesting and unique places. This fostered her ability to respect and love different cultures, traditions, and peoples. As a child she used to love to watch people and their behavior with curiosity. She was also the one who always brought home every stray animal to love. As an adult, she has transferred that passion and compassion to facilitating growth and empowering women. She loves her family, the beach, and her dog, Harley. She is passionate about her work with Saprea and is excited to do all she can to help trauma survivors heal.
Kristen Grant, L.C.S.W.
Kristen earned her bachelor's degree in psychology and her master's degree in social work from Brigham Young University. Her clinical experiences include working in a residential program for young adults with autism as well as working at community mental health clinics. Most recently before joining our team, she worked with children, adolescents and adults with a focus on healing from trauma and working towards a secure attachment. Kristen is trained in Eye Movement Desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR), Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), Trauma Focused CBT, Sand tray, and Play therapy.
Kristen has enjoyed her opportunity to work with a variety of people throughout their healing journey. Through these experiences, she has gained a passion for helping others find their voice and heal. Kristen approaches therapy with a client centered approach to help clients unlock their internal strength and feel empowered. Outside of work Kristen enjoys traveling, being outside, reading, and playing with her dog.
Marissa Herrera, L.P.C.
Marissa graduated with a bachelor’s degree from University of North Georgia and received a master’s degree in Clinical Counseling at Brenau University. She is a licensed professional counselor (LPC) and has worked in various settings. Marissa’s clinical experience includes working in an inpatient setting, community non-profit agency, school systems, and private practice. Marissa has a passion to help individuals who are ready to get back to themselves as she believes everyone has the capacity to find their truth, challenge negative belief systems, and learn more about their capabilities.
Marissa enjoys time with her husband, fur children, family, and friends. She also enjoys reading, traveling to new places, being outside, and finding a good laugh. She is excited and appreciative for the opportunity to help those in their healing journey through the retreat.
Case Management Team
Dena Maguire Young R.N., M.S., C.C.M.
Nurse / Case Manager
Leading others to follow healthy and healing practices has been Dena’s life mission so that they can lead a purposeful and happy life. Her career has mainly centered around wellness and curative practices. As a Registered Nurse, she has over 25 years of experience. Most of her nursing focus has been in ICU/CCU as well as recovery room, rehabilitation and case management for worker’s compensation injuries including catastrophic cases. She spent over 10 years as Director of Corporate Fitness at which time she performed personal training and taught stress management, smoking cessation, weight loss, cholesterol management and other self-care classes aimed at helping others to take personal responsibility for their health. She is a firm believer in healing therapies including adjunctive Animal Assisted and Wilderness Therapy. She is a volunteer for the Forest Service and GA Appalachian Trail Club as a Trail Ambassador. She additionally leads kayak and hiking trips and feels that people find healing being with nature.
Dena graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing and in Exercise Physiology/Physical Education as well as a Master’s Degree in Community Health Administration and Wellness Promotion from Southern Illinois University, University of Illinois and California College of Health Science respectively. She has several professional training and certifications including Registered Nurse from the State of Georgia, Director/Health Fitness Instructor from the American College of Sports Medicine, Advanced Care Life Support from the American Heart Association, Certified Case Manager from Commission for Case Management and Wilderness First Aid from National Outdoor Leadership School.
Case Manager Supervisor
Night Case Manager
Night Case Manager
Prior to working with Saprea, Nichole spent a decade working as a family law paralegal and was a professional artist. She earned her bachelor’s degree in business, and is currently pursuing her master’s degree in social work. Nichole has a passion for helping families and children navigate trauma and healing, and loves the connections she makes with the amazing individuals she meets at Saprea’s retreats.
Nichole was raised in the military, allowing her to grow up with individuals from many different cultures and backgrounds. She loves to read books about the mind and human behavior, and aspires to become a successful gardener and sewing expert! She enjoys spending time with her husband, two children, dogs and cat (who identifies as a dog!), and visiting her out-of-town family as often as she can.
Online Course & Healing Webinar
Jessica is passionate about meeting clients where they are on their healing journey; she believes in the power and potential of the individual to heal and find peace. As a therapist for over ten years, she has worked with people of various cultures, ages, and trauma backgrounds, including survivors of child sexual abuse. Prior to joining the online course team, Jessica worked for nearly four years as a clinician at the Saprea Retreat.
Jessica earned her M.S. in clinical mental health from the University of Phoenix and her B.S. in psychology with a minor in Spanish from Brigham Young University. She is a licensed clinical mental health counselor trained in trauma-sensitive yoga (TS yoga) and Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR). She has lived in Uruguay and Mexico and spent many years as an educator prior to becoming a therapist.
In addition to her work as a therapist, Jessica loves spending time with family and friends, exploring the outdoors, learning languages, traveling, laughing, and having new adventures.
Hospitality & Logistics Specialist
Colby believes food can become a deep part of someone's life to help connect with others and their cultures. His goal at the retreat is to provide food that will be healthy, nourishing and fun. He wants to introduce new food while serving some familiar favorites as well. Colby lives in Sandy, Utah, with his wife, Shannon, and their Shiba Inu puppy, Amaya. His hobbies include soccer, gaming, and crying when the Utah Jazz lose.
Chef Greg has been in the restaurant industry for over 25 years as an executive chef at fine dining restaurants, private clubs, and multi-unit operations. Chef Greg has placed an emphasis on locally sourced whole foods and using quality healthy ingredients. His culinary style is wide ranging and diverse and he likes to employ cultural influences, both international and regional. Chef Greg believes food is medicine, and his objective at the retreat is to provide creative, healthy, healing, and comforting foods. He also plans to build a database of recipes and cooking demonstrations to share with our retreat guests and friends. His hobbies include hiking, paddle boarding, beekeeping, gardening, and spending time with his wife and two sons.
Culinary Lead Cook
Her favorite hobbies include skiing, kayaking, and obviously cooking with, and for, her family.
With a heart to help people, Alexis has spent time volunteering in local food banks and at Second Harvest. In her own journey she found that food can be nourishment for the soul and hopes this can be an enjoyable part of your healing journey too. She's excited to be introducing new foods into your diet in hopes that you can take these dishes home with you.
Madison worked in a drug and alcohol rehabilitation center where she developed a love for working with those who are on a healing journey. She feels thankful for the opportunities she had to work with such people, and the opportunities she will continue to have in the future. Madison loves listening to music and going to concerts. She also loves the outdoors. She enjoys hiking, fishing, and camping with family and friends.
Alex is originally from Nebraska but he moved to Georgia 5 years ago. He spent some time in Germany while he was in the military and is married with three beautiful kids. He is 32 years old and has been cooking for 18 years; other than when he was a mechanic for the army. He gained his experience in culinary arts from working under many different chefs from various restaurants and backgrounds.
He was the head chef of The Social House in Marietta Square, GA and was also the executive chef of Melindas Southern Coastal Cuisine in Rome, GA.