Cornerstones of Maine is the result of a labour of love for our two founders, Josh and Jake. It is independently owned by them and was established on the foundation of their desire to create a young adult transition program that is based on mental health research and experience. Not only are they the founders, they are also part of our core clinical staff.
Joshua Altschule, Psy.D.
Co-Founder and Clinical Director
Josh is a licensed clinical psychologist who has spent fifteen years specializing in treating and assessing adolescents and young adults in various settings such as residential treatment programs, boarding schools, and private practice. Cornerstones of Maine is a concept that Josh has been working on for the entirety of his career. As a psychologist he has derived tremendous value from helping individuals reach their potential and overcome mental health issues that have prevented successful independent living.
Josh has a passion for working with young adults. He also shares a similar fervor for environmental issues and organic farming. Prior to his clinical training Josh was an AmeriCorps volunteer in south Florida serving as an interpretive park ranger for the National Park Service. There he developed and implemented environmental educational camps for adolescents from the local communities and inner city areas. He also served as a researcher for U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service working with endangered sea turtles. Over the past ten years he has developed an interest in organic farming, and with his family manages their own organic gardens.
Jake Gelles, Psy.D.
Co-Founder and Administrative Director
Jake is a licensed clinical psychologist who has had extensive experience working in the mental health field as both a therapist and an administrator. As a clinician Jake has worked in both inpatient and outpatient settings with children, adolescents, and adults. His work has been characterized by the philosophy of meeting each and every individual where they are and helping them achieve the growth they desire. This work uses the integrationist philosophy that incorporates behavior, thinking, and emotional life. His clinical experience has provided him with a strong understanding of what enables an individual to make constructive change in their life and how to activate that change towards growth and goal achievement.
Jake sees Cornerstones of Maine as a new avenue for reaching out to adolescents who need some additional help to reach their potential. Having experienced his own personal struggles as an emerging adult, he intimately understands what it takes to go from being a struggling young adult to being a highly effective and success-oriented adult. He brings those lessons to Cornerstones of Maine so he can help our residents develop the emotional maturity and confidence it takes to reach their goals. Jake also has a passion for cooking, reading, music, and philosophy that he hopes to share.
McKenzie was born and raised in the great state of Maine and graduated from University of Southern Maine with a Bachelor's in Psychology. She has varied experience supporting administrative teams, working on projects big and small for organizations in Southern Maine. McKenzie has a passion for helping others and in her free time she can be found reading, hiking, kayaking, boating, and spending time with her family and friends.
Aaron joined our team in March of 2020. Aaron is a psychotherapist with more than a decade of experience providing direct clinical services to young adults. He has also served as a clinical administrator, more recently at the Oliverian School, where he was the clinical director. As a clinician Aaron's experience has bridged diverse environments including therapeutic boarding schools, wilderness programs and clinical outpatient and inpatient settings. Aaron's approach to his clinical work with young people has centered around creating warm, authentic and genuine rapport and connection through active listening.
Aaron's current work at Cornerstones of Maine is focused on interviewing applicants and their families to ensure a good fit between candidates and our programmatic work. This is a significant shift from serving as a psychotherapist, but Aaron feels that his past clinical experience will be invaluable in helping families assess whether Cornerstones is the right program for them.
Aaron is an active participant in outdoor activities with his children (and old "puppy," Hercules), he values the rejuvenating and balancing power that the relationship with nature can provide.