Clinical Team

The clinicians at Montana Academy play key roles in the development and guidance of individual and family treatment. Our clinicians bring with them a wealth of industry experience, are well versed in Montana Academy’s developmental model and other treatment modalities and offer flexibility in approach in order to accommodate a variety of student and family needs.

Melissa Proctor LCSW, CADC-1


Melissa Proctor LCSW, CADC-1

Clinical Director; Therapist – Team 6

MSW, Direct Care Child & Adolescent Mental Health
BA, Human Communication & Women’s Studies

Melissa joined Montana Academy in 2012. Between Graduate School and Montana Academy, Melissa worked as a therapist for Santiam Crossing Therapeutic Boarding School and Catherine Freer Wilderness Therapy as both a field therapist and supervising therapist.  Melissa was with Freer and Santiam for 3 years. Melissa’s Graduate School education focused on working with children from ages 3-18 in a variety of clinical settings such as a Family Sexual Abuse Treatment Program and Specialized DBT teen Program. Prior to graduate school she spent a good amount of time working within the criminal justice system Where she was a part of a Family Drug Court Team specializing in treatment for victims and perpetrators of sexual and physical violence.

Why do you work here

Montana Academy’s developmental approach has resonated with me from day one. The values and philosophy align with not only my professional but personal beliefs. I was fortunate enough to have been mentored by both John McKinnon and John Santa and now am honored to continue to carry on their work as we journey into the next generation of leaders.  

What are your interests?

Melissa is an avid competitor on horseback in Three Day Eventing, Working Cow Horse and Calf Roping. She finds that learning to be a competitor is a lifelong process and fulfills her desire to continue to learn and grow as a person.

Todd Cardin LCSW, LAC


Todd Cardin LCSW, LAC

Director of Addiction Prevention

MSW, University of North Dakota
BA Psychology, BA Sociology, University of Montana

During his decades-long career in mental health, Todd has practiced in a psychiatric hospital, the juvenile justice system, wilderness therapy, and directed a transitional living facility for young men coming out of correctional institutions with substance use disorders.  He has been with Montana Academy since 2004.  The attachment-informed model he developed for treating adolescents struggling to overcome substance use disorders or other addictive behaviors has been the central feature of Montana Academy’s addictions program since 2006.  In addition to guiding his work with students at Montana Academy, the treatment manual he developed (currently in its 4th revision) has been widely distributed among members of the Independent Educational Consultants Association as a reference guide for families, presented at National Association of Therapeutic Schools and Programs professional conferences, utilized as an addiction rotation training curriculum within an AAPIC pre-doctoral psychology internship program, and has been utilized as a training resource by THREAD (formerly Incentive Mentoring Program)—a nationally acclaimed advocacy and mentoring partnership between the Johns Hopkins graduate school and underprivileged high school students from Baltimore’s inner city.  In addition to being dually licensed as a clinical social worker and an addictions therapist, he has received advanced post-degree training in both dialectical behavioral therapy and EMDR trauma protocols. 

Why do you work here?

I eagerly accepted a position at Montana Academy upon learning of the special psychodynamic attention paid to early developmental struggles and how they contribute to emotional/behavioral challenges during adolescence.  This approach allows for a deeply comprehensive case conceptualization and provides for profound insights to be gained by each member of the family system.  This approach along with an adequate length of stay allows for meaningful shifts to occur within relational dynamics and maladaptive coping strategies.  A decade and a half at Montana Academy has provided me with some of the most meaningful clinical experiences of his career. 

Interests

Beyond clinical work, Todd’s interests include hiking and cycling, strength training, culinary arts, and literature.  He also enjoys tending to his small orchard on the outskirts of Kalispell where he grows a wide variety of apples, pears, cherries, peaches and plums.

Darrick Fishel MS, LCPC


Darrick Fishel MS, LCPC

Therapist – Team 3

MS, Professional and Substance Abuse Counseling, Grand Canyon University
BS, Psychology, University of Phoenix

Darrick started his career working at the local Juvenile Detention, right out of high school in 1997. He found himself wanting to help youth navigate the struggles in life.  In 1999 He then found myself venturing into a residential group home setting where he was able to do more with youth and their families working collaboratively with a multidisciplinary team.  In 2000 he found Montana Academy where he has spent the last 20 years helping teens discovering their true selves.

Why do you work here?

I enjoy showing up and being privileged to work with wonderful people who have the same goal in mind, helping our youth today become the best versions of themselves.

What are your interests?

Darrick enjoys being out under the Montana Skies with his family where he camps, hikes, hunts, and fishes. 

David Eliason MSW


David Eliason MSW

Therapist – Team 7

MSW, University of Montana
BA, History, University of Montana

David is a clinical social worker who joined the clinical team at Montana Academy in 2018. He is a native Montanan, having grown up in the Flathead Valley before pursuing higher education at the University of Montana in Missoula. David has been working therapeutically with children, adolescents, and their families since 2011 in a variety of settings including wilderness treatment, residential group homes, healthcare facilities, and public schools.

Why do you work here?

I chose Montana Academy because I believe in the school’s mission and have a passion for working with teenagers and their families. I love working with this population because some of the funniest, deepest, and most meaningful conversations I’ve had were with teenagers. It is an honor to be a small part of such an interesting phase of their lives”.

Interests

In his free time David enjoys exploring the outdoors and can commonly be found on the weekends hiking in Glacier National Park or skiing in Whitefish with his wife and two children.

Emily Lorentzen MSW


Emily Lorentzen MSW

Therapist – Team 4

MSW, University of Montana
BA Psychology; University of Montana

Emily began her social work career working at a school for students with Autism and found the school setting to be something she enjoyed. She decided to progressively work through age groups from preschool (Whitefish Community Preschool), to middle school (Hedges Elementary in Kalispell), to high school (Whitefish High School), in that order.  Emily found that working with teenagers was where she wanted to be. Emily also spent time working with homeless youth in the valley at the Sparrow’s Nest.   Upon hearing about Montana Academy and the way the developmental and relationship based model worked, Emily wanted to be a part of it.  It fulfilled that part of her career question of how to be a part of the school AND daily life of the teens she wanted to help.  Two years later she is still here working diligently with teens and families.

Why do you work here

I enjoy working with teenagers.  I find that it keeps my perspectives fresh, it helps me articulate and understand the teenage and adolescent change experience, and never ever is there a dull moment.  Montana is my home, this setting and the outdoor opportunities it provides is something I believe in for healing and overall human health. 

What are your interests?

When Emily is not at work you’ll find her with family and friends outdoors at any time of the year.  In the winter months she is out running or skiing, in the off season, she is still out running, fishing, hiking, biking, and playing.  Summer days are spent in the water swimming in a lake, floating a river, or paddling. Her family has been in Montana since the 20s and has a farm on the East side of Flathead Valley where her parents still reside.  Emily loves helping on the farm with gardens, animals, field work, and she even drives a tractor.

James Hyman MA, LCPC


James Hyman MA, LCPC

Therapist – Team 1

MA, Wilderness Therapy, Naropa University
BS, Psychology, Religion, Nutrition, University of Georgia

James has served as a primary therapist and clinical director at therapeutic boarding schools previous to Montana Academy, as well as a wilderness therapist in multiple organizations. 

Why do you work here?

Working at Montana Academy has been a privilege based on the chance to support students and families with important challenges and serve on a team of highly skilled and passionate colleagues.

Interests

Outside of work, James enjoys time spent with his wife, two children and two dogs, hiking and biking the beauty of the rugged west, and traveling with his tiny house.