I am a Licensed Mental Health Counselor Associate and outdoor guide. I hold a deep passion for helping people find their way through the wilderness, both literally and metaphorically. I enjoy weaving nature connection, creative expression, mindfulness, ritual, play, and other experiential techniques into my work as a therapist. My guiding intentions center around satisfying the need for belonging through connection, cultivating empowerment through skill, and developing meaning through awareness.
Over the years, I’ve worn many hats: As a river guide, I introduced participants the exhilaration of whitewater and how to safely navigate the dynamic relationships between water and stone. Keeping a cool head in crisis is the primary skill of the guide, one that I have often found important in my personal and professional life many times over. The river is rife with metaphor, inviting us to go with the flow, how to recognize when we’ve eddied out, and how necessary it can be to lean in!
As a nature connection mentor, I encouraged my students to tend to their original relationship with the more-than-human world we all share. Harvesting wild plants for food, tracing animal tracks, and being out in the weather are ancestral experiences that foster a richer view of the world, placing us within the web of life rather than without it. This somatic and relational experience brings us “home,” so to speak, and offers a potent antidote to the lack of belonging so many of us feel today.
As a wilderness therapy field guide, I worked alongside teens from across the country with diverse backgrounds, spending weeks at a time in the deep backcountry. I witnessed these students become less about the brands, memes, and masks they came in with and more about their own unique truths, the wellbeing of their community, and the pursuit of passion. Rites-of-passage ceremonies, individual sessions, powerful therapy groups, and incredible hikes blended one-into-the-other.
After many years in the field, my desire to professionally combine my dual passions for both outdoor experiences and psychological well-being began to coalesce. At Western Carolina University, I earned a master’s degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. During my time in graduate school, I focused on Ecotherapy and Adventure therapy, psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy, and spirituality in counseling. Seeking a community-based, experiential therapy practice, I discovered Blue Ridge Treks and completed my internship here. I’m honored and inspired to be working with such a skilled team of clinicians.
I live in the town of Hot Springs with my wife and son, our cat, and a small herd of llamas. I enjoy spending time with family and friends, foraging for wild mushrooms, canoeing down the French Broad, and exploring the endless hidden coves of the Southern Appalachian mountains.