New Focus Academy

New Focus Academy is a leading residential treatment program which utilizes a relationship-based, clinical approach to helping students gain practical life skills and develop confidence in their abilities to succeed.

Based in Utah, New Focus helps teens ages 13-17 who struggle with challenges such as autism spectrum disorder, low processing speed, and executive functioning issues that affect their ability to organize daily life and develop meaningful relationships.

New Focus Academy’s Multi-Dimensional Relational Approach is specifically designed to help students work towards establishing healthy relationships and developing important life skills.

New Focus utilizes research-based techniques to improve executive functioning development, cognitive training, social-emotional fluency, and other key skills which help students better understand and react to their surroundings. After learning research-based skills, students begin to generalize the skills they’ve gained and adapt them to a variety of situations.

Positive reinforcement techniques are used throughout programming to help students gain confidence in their ability to achieve lasting success.

Students are coached on an individual basis to develop social emotional fluency and adaptive life functioning skills such as keeping eye contact and resolving arguments. Additionally, students work with trained teachers and a neuropsychologist to help improve overall cognitive functioning through techniques such as neurofeedback and ‘brain training’.

contact

Phone: 801-471-9289

Email: brandon@newfocusacademy.com

locations

City: Heber City, Utah

Nearest Airport: Salt Lake City International Airport (SLC)

admissions

Average Duration:  12 – 24 months.

Who we Help: Co-ed ages 13-17.

Examples of Student Profile:

  • Autism Spectrum Disorder
  • Social Pragmatic Communication Disorders
  • Learning Disorders
  • Low Processing Speed
  • Prenatal substance exposure
  • Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI)

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A leading residential treatment program
  • Brandon S. Park, Ph.D.
    Brandon S. Park, Ph.D.
    Founder & Executive Director - New Focus Academy
  • John Webb
    John Webb
    Founder & Clinical Director - New Focus Academy
  • Alta Swarnes
    Alta Swarnes
    Program Director - New Focus Academy
  • Ken Bott
    Ken Bott
    Medical Director - New Focus Academy
Brandon S. Park, Ph.D.
Founder & Executive Director - New Focus Academy

Dr. Brandon Park obtained his Bachelor’s degree from the University of Nevada Las Vegas (UNLV) in Psychology graduating with honors. He continued on at UNLV for his Master’s and Doctoral degrees. While doing this his mind was drawn to the significance of the brain and cognitive processes, leading to studying neuropsychology for his Doctoral degree.

During Dr. Parks’ internship and post-doctoral studies, he worked with a wide array of clients suffering from traumatic brain damage, severe mental illness, fetal alcohol exposure, congenital/developmental disorders, anoxia, and stroke. Through this process, he learned about the power of cognitive rehabilitation, a dynamic field of looking at how we can improve brain function, and Dr. Park went on to create a cognitive training program for 1,200 patients at a state hospital.

As a neuropsychologist, Dr. Park is passionate about the importance of using assessment to make changes in the lives of the people he works with. He will use those skills to understand the barriers and limitations of the students under his care, as well as predict the heights of their potential.

Through many great opportunities, Dr. Park has developed positive interactive approaches using an understanding of the brain-behavior relationship leading to significant improvements in the students he works with. Dr. Park has also begun to see how properly designed adolescent programs could help students begin to take accountability for themselves, appreciate the power of their own choices, and assist families to improve the systems and interactions they need to have a rewarding relationship with their child. Dr. Park is excited to bring his knowledge, experience, and incredible team to you as we strive for success with your child.

Education

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John Webb
Founder & Clinical Director - New Focus Academy

We are grateful to have John Webb, CTRS, TRS, CMHC, as a Co-Founding Partner and leader of our program. John has a bachelor’s degree in Recreation Therapy and a Master’s degree in Clinical Counseling. Through recreation therapy, John has brought students and fellow co-workers to learn the beauty and power of the outdoors. He passionately believes in healthy activities as well as teaching students how to overcome challenges and problem solve as part of a team. His desire to improve himself lead to him getting a counseling degree and with that he was quickly brought into management positions due to his strong leadership abilities.

John has been working with individuals struggling with mental health issues since 1996. He has worked in a variety of environments including wilderness, group home, residential treatment centers, and hospital settings. Students, co-workers, and parents have described John as trusted, caring, transformative, and fun! John loves combining his recreation skill along with his clinical knowledge to help the people and families he works with.

John grew up ten miles outside of Washington DC in Alexandria Virginia. While in high school he met his wife, Jenny. Together they are very proud of their four sons. They enjoy swimming, camping, and attending the different sporting activities their sons participate in. We are grateful to have John Webb as part of our team and we know you will feel the same.

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Alta Swarnes
Program Director - New Focus Academy

Alta has been working in the residential mental health field since 1997. For over twenty years, she worked as a recreation therapist for adolescent boys and girls, as well as young adults, in a variety of residential settings. She has also worked in admissions and marketing project management for residential treatment programs. Alta’s extensive experience and passion for helping others are what brought her to New Focus Academy.

Outside of work, Alta loves spending time with her family. She has four children, including a teenage son on the Autism Spectrum, as well as two dogs and two cats. Alta spends most of her spare time attending her kids’ basketball, football, and soccer games.

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Ken Bott
Medical Director - New Focus Academy

Ken first graduated from nursing school in 1999 and worked in various areas including long-term care, medical/surgery, and teaching. He then began working in residential treatment in 2002. He worked closely with students and monitored their responses to psychotropic medication for nearly a decade before returning to school and becoming a Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner in 2011.

Since that time, he has continued to work in residential treatment with a focus on using medication in neurodiverse individuals, though he also worked in substance use rehabilitation, with individuals in the foster care system, adolescent sex offenders, and court-adjudicated youth. He enjoys working collaboratively with individuals, their guardians, and the professionals at the programs to focus on removing barriers to progress and collectively optimizing outcomes. Ken and his wife have 6 children.

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