My counseling approach has evolved out of twenty plus years of working as a guide, mentor, and counselor. A significant amount of that experience has been within the Wilderness and Adventure Therapy field; a field that stresses the importance of recognizing how our health is interwound with that of the environment that embraces us. As well, it is a field that acknowledges the importance of experience, doing, and finding creative ways to resolve challenges so as to support an individual's emotional maturity, confidence and self-worth.
My graduate studies were undertaken at Naropa University, which pioneered the integrating of the mindfulness, meditative, and contemplative practices of the East with the traditional psychotherapy practices of the West. It was the first university in the United States to grant a Masters Degree with an emphasis in Wilderness Therapy. More information regarding my interests and the varying professional experiences that I have had and since integrated into my work as counselor can be viewed by searching websites on this page.
Attended the MA Transpersonal Psychology -Wilderness Therapy program from 2002-05. Mindfulness based education that stresses the importance of relationship, present moment, and melds Buddhist philosophy of the East with that of Western Psychotherapy.
Esteemed Bellingham mental health group. Full member. Regularly engage in consultation with fellow members to improve and maintain professional skills and to develop new insights that support the growth of the clients I serve.
I have worked in Horticultural Therapy & mentoring programs that aimed to bring people into contact with the healing aspects of being in the outdoors/working the soil. Principles of Ecopsychology as presented by such philosophers as Theodore Rozak - Permaculture ideas were also applied in most of these programs.
Wilderness therapy finds its roots in the work of Outward Bound's Kurt Hahn. I served as field instructor and therapist to at-risk youth from 1998 to 2002 at SUWS. I guided over 400 days in the backcountry.
I serve clients who may be struggling with...
Depression, anxiety, stress, addiction issues, trauma related to abuse/loss, relational difficulties, behavioral problems, isolation, negative peer influence, family strain, low-self-worth, challenges of divorce, poor school performance, life transitions
"I only went out for a walk, and finally concluded to stay out till sundown, for going out, I found, was really going in." - John Muir
In addition to working, participating and learning at the above programs, I have had many other meaningful professional experiences that have shaped my counseling style and approach. I am a current member of the National Ski Patrol and volunteer at the Mt. Baker Ski Area. I have served disabled persons in accessing skiing via the Breckenridge Outdoor Education Program, introduced developmentally delayed youth to the power of horseback riding/equine therapy, and taught wilderness/backcountry skills to people of all ages and abilities. Additionally, I have undertaken in depth training in the field of Gestalt Therapy at the Gestalt Institute of the Rockies (www.gestaltoftherockies.com). For a number of years I acted as mentor and therapist to Lummi Nation youth struggling with issues related to addiction and abuse. I know to serve others I must also do my work and live in a healthy manner. I do so via engagement in professional peer consultation, yoga, SUP'n, mediation, , gardening, winter skiing, sailing/motor-boating, and a variety of outdoor adventures.