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Davis Journal

Phoenix Rebellion Therapy moves people beyond their trauma to find their best lives

Feb 09, 2023 02:00PM ● By Becky Ginos

Melanie Squire talks to first responders to get insight into what possible therapy breakdowns could be barriers to success. Squire is a therapist and CEO of Phoenix Rebellion Therapy. Photo courtesy of Melanie Squire

KAYSVILLE—Melanie Squire started working with the military for those experiencing combat trauma but more and more people approached her and asked if she could help them too. Squire realized there was a crossover between the military and first responders like the police, firefighters and others. That’s how Phoenix Rebellion Therapy moved from only treating the military to treating others who have suffered some kind of trauma. 

“The name comes from the mythical bird who rises out of burnt ashes to become stronger and better than before,” said Squire who is a therapist and CEO of the counseling center. “Some of our clients have had difficult experiences that make them feel broken. This helps them rebel against their diagnosis that has kept them in a down space so they can rise and grow and become more than they were before.”

There are different types of trauma, she said. “It can be betrayal trauma, infidelity, rape or a car accident. There can be big traumas such as abuse or domestic violence or small traumas like being bullied, the inability to make friends, etc. Those individuals could benefit from receiving trauma treatment.”

Squire started working at homeless shelters then an addiction facility for veterans. “I thought there were additional options than what was currently out there,” she said. “In 2019 she started the military veterans counseling center and wanted it to expand and grow.”

Those working for the Phoenix need a love for working with trauma, addiction and homelessness, said Squire. “Dealing with trauma is different. It requires specific skills by the therapist to effectively treat it. It’s not talk therapy.”

It’s extremely rewarding, she said. “People aren’t aware that they don’t have to live with nightmares and triggers. We walk beside them through their worst trauma and watch them clear that out. It’s an incredible experience.”

Not everyone can be a trauma therapist, said Squire. “It takes a special skill set not to carry all the weight and to hear people’s worst nightmares. There’s a level of respect for trauma therapists that have the ability to listen and handle that. We have to create a space that is not as taxing and get support from family to do what we do.”

The Phoenix team is incredible, she said. “They sacrifice for the people they serve. They are called into critical incidents like a hostage situation or something traumatizing that happens in the community. You have to have tolerance for the complexities of the cases we work with including traumas.”

The counseling center has 15 therapists, said Squire.”Some are at the doctoral level and all of them have finished the master’s level and then gone through additional training to work with this population.”

Some have had experience themselves, she said. “They’ve been in the military or had a spouse or loved one in the military. They’ve been around things that give them a passion for the cases they work with.”

The clinic also has grief and loss specialists, couples counseling and children’s specialists and there are other areas they are able to assist in, said Squire. “Grief and loss are much more than death. It can be loss of a dream, or loss of a career. We see a spike in suicide when careers are over.”

More people started reaching out during COVID, she said. “They were experiencing isolation and loss of a sense of community and loss of what they knew and was important to them. More were being open to saying ‘I need help it seems like a lot of other people do too.’”

The hardest part is making that first phone call, said Squire. “Taking that leap and understanding that it’s OK to reach out and get help to live your best life.”

Phoenix Rebellion Therapy has offices in Kaysville and Murray. Clients can be referred or they can call themselves for an appointment at 385-231-8387. The Kaysville office is at 347 N. 300 West, Suite 201.