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Devan works with adolescent and teen boys showing concern in one or more of four basic areas. Those areas include high levels of opposition/anger/entitlement, chronic deception, having core struggles in basic social functioning, and high levels of anxiety. The young men in the oppositional group are usually crossing substantial boundaries at home and are challenging parents at very high levels. The boys described in the habitually deceptive group often get to the point that they are “lying when they don’t need to” (e.g. when it doesn’t seem to make sense or provide them even a short-term reward). Students with social skill deficits often struggle to maintain friends and have regularly found themselves isolated and chronically struggling with peers. These troubled boys are often found on ‘the spectrum’ and have non-verbal learning disabilities, traits of Asperger’s disorder, or a full diagnosis of Asperger’s. Substance abuse and anxiety happen concurrently with other problems, and become an important treatment issue depending on the depth and breadth of the problem.
Co-Founder of Second Nature, Devan Glissmeyer has worked with adolescents in treatment for over 20 years, 19 in wilderness therapy. Prior to founding Second Nature, he taught college psychology and communication courses. Devan waited tables as a college undergraduate and ran a landscaping business during junior high and high school, where he employed many of his friends and regularly cared for 40 homes per week during peak summer season.
Devan began his studies at the University of Utah where he received a Bachelor of Science in Psychology. He attended Ball State University in Indiana and received a Master of Arts in Counseling Psychology. He returned to Utah and completed his Ph.D. in Marriage and Family Therapy at Brigham Young University. Devan’s doctoral studies focused on family systems and adolescent development and treatment. His doctoral research focused on the influence of parental and peer relationships on maladaptive behaviors (e.g. substance abuse, oppositional defiance, and mood disorders). He began working with adolescents during graduate school as a front-line residential staff member. It was during this work that he began to focus singularly on adolescent development and treatment.
Devan’s strengths lie in his clinical training in adolescent development and family therapy. He has empathy for students being away from home and those struggling with social limitations. Devan is able to deliver clear expectations and boundaries with focus on accountability, improved self-care, and work ethic. He also focuses on emotional development and competence of students. After initially engaging students in the program, Devan challenges them to focus on identity development – who they want to be. He is able to manage challenging family dynamics well. Devan knows the importance of flexibility with substance issues and the importance of realistic commitments with them.
Devan’s greatest passion away from work is coaching basketball. He recently passed the 600-win mark, coaching his sons, during his youngest son’s AAU tournament. He is looking forward He plays tennis regularly and enjoys his Chocolate Lab and Bernese Mountain dog. Born in Pennsylvania and raised in Kansas City, Devan has resided in Utah since 1985. Married since 1990 with three sons and a daughter, Devan appreciates any time he is able to share with his family.