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114: Jessica Dallman, Founder of Natural Wisdom Counseling

Stories from the Field: Demystifying Wilderness Therapy

Release Date: 02/11/2021

146: Margo Kelly, Course Leader/Therapist at True North show art 146: Margo Kelly, Course Leader/Therapist at True North

Stories from the Field: Demystifying Wilderness Therapy

Margo Kelly, MSW, MEd (they/them/theirs) is a course leader/therapist at True North in Vermont. Their journey to wilderness therapy began on a backpacking trip on the Long Trail when they came upon three different people who pointed them in the direction of True North. Margo was intrigued with an offer to be a therapist for the all-gender team and took the job. Margo shares their gender journey, their recommendations for treatment with trans and non-binary youth, and why wilderness therapy works so well.

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145: Jamila Minnifield: Primary Therapist at First Light Wilderness Therapy show art 145: Jamila Minnifield: Primary Therapist at First Light Wilderness Therapy

Stories from the Field: Demystifying Wilderness Therapy

Jamila Minnifield is a therapist at First Light Wilderness in Georgia. Jamila shares the story of her unusual journey to becoming a wilderness therapist, from her serendipitous learning about wilderness therapy on a backpacking trip on the Appalachian Trail to being a field guide for over two years, although having already achieved her masters in counseling. Jamila is a trailblazer as she is the second black woman therapist in the field, and she is the first who was a field guide before being a therapist.

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144: How to get Insurance Reimbursement for Wilderness Therapy show art 144: How to get Insurance Reimbursement for Wilderness Therapy

Stories from the Field: Demystifying Wilderness Therapy

Mary Covington is the President of Denials Management, a healthcare advocacy firm specializing in mental health billing, claims, and appeals. Mary explains the critical steps in getting insurance reimbursement for wilderness therapy and how to appeal a denied insurance claim. Mary shares how insurance companies view outdoor behavioral healthcare and how Denials Management has helped parents recoup over 12 million dollars in reimbursement from insurance companies for wilderness therapy treatment.

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143: Financial Help for Wilderness Therapy Treatment, Part 2 show art 143: Financial Help for Wilderness Therapy Treatment, Part 2

Stories from the Field: Demystifying Wilderness Therapy

The cost of wilderness therapy treatment is expensive, yet several organizations will help. In this second of two episodes, we hear stories from leaders of non-profit organizations that help families by providing funds to help pay for wilderness therapy treatment. We talk with John Hunt from Jason William Hunt Foundation, Liz Bounds from the Parker Bounds Johnson Foundation, and Derek Daley from the Loa Fund. We will hear about the history of the organizations, how to apply for funds, and other resources.

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142: Financial Help for Wilderness Therapy Treatment, Part 1 show art 142: Financial Help for Wilderness Therapy Treatment, Part 1

Stories from the Field: Demystifying Wilderness Therapy

The cost of wilderness therapy treatment is expensive, yet several organizations will help. In this episode, we hear stories from leaders of non-profit organizations that help families by providing funds to help pay for wilderness therapy treatment. We talk with Debbie Roelands from Skys the Limit Fund, Brad Matheson from Choose Mental Health, and Miriam Miller from Charles N Miller Scholarship fund. They will share the history of the organizations, how to apply for funds and other resources for families.

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141: Philip Stallard, Founder of New Wave Wild Project in Ireland show art 141: Philip Stallard, Founder of New Wave Wild Project in Ireland

Stories from the Field: Demystifying Wilderness Therapy

Phil Stallard is the founder of the New Wave Wild Project in Ireland. Philip is the first person outside of the U.S. to become a Certified Clinical Adventure Therapist. Philip's journey into the field was filled was paved with the intention of legitimizing the Adventure Therapy profession in Ireland. He shares his story of how he became interested in the field and why he choose to become a clinical social worker. He goes into the evolution of New Wave and why he was awarded Entrepreneur of the Year.

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140: Harpa Erlendsdottir: Manager of the Icelandic Adventure Therapy Association. show art 140: Harpa Erlendsdottir: Manager of the Icelandic Adventure Therapy Association.

Stories from the Field: Demystifying Wilderness Therapy

Harpa Erlendsdottir is a clinical occupational therapist and the General Manager of the Icelandic Adventure Therapy Association. Growing up in the majestic beauty of Iceland inspired Harpa to become involved in the field. She shares her story of being involved in Scouting and learning about Experiential Education. She would travel to the U.S. to take a course at Project Adventure to learn more. She shares stories about her experiences in the field and the Gathering of Adventure Therapists in Europe.

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139: Andy Hardie: Clinical Manager at Venture Trust in the United Kingdom show art 139: Andy Hardie: Clinical Manager at Venture Trust in the United Kingdom

Stories from the Field: Demystifying Wilderness Therapy

Andy Hardie is the Clinical Manager of Venture Trust in the United Kingdom. Andy shares his journey into the field, which began when heading to the only university that accepted him to study Outdoor Leadership. He would go onto work at the original Outward Bound school. Andy shares how Venture Trust began as a 21-day “boot camp” style wilderness therapy program and has evolved to be a social change agent, including providing Outdoor Therapy for free to young people age 16-25 and ex-service members.

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138: Cindy Ross, author of 138: Cindy Ross, author of "Walking Toward Peace-Veterans Healing on America's Trails"

Stories from the Field: Demystifying Wilderness Therapy

Cindy Ross is the author of the new book, "Walking Toward Peace- Veterans Healing on America's Trails," which profiles combat veterans who found healing through the outdoors as well as long-distance expeditions. She shares her journey of writing the book and what she learned from veterans.

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137: Jorge Venceslau, Co-founder of Age of Discoveries in Portugal. show art 137: Jorge Venceslau, Co-founder of Age of Discoveries in Portugal.

Stories from the Field: Demystifying Wilderness Therapy

Jorge Venceslau is the program director and co-founder of Age of Discoveries, located in Portugal. Jorge's journey into the field began in his early 20's when he struggled with several issues and found wilderness to be a place of healing. He would become a recovery coach and worked in programs worldwide, including The Crossroads Center in Antigua. He always dreamed of starting his own program, and in this episode, he shares the joys and challenges of creating the first adventure therapy program in Portugal

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Jessica Dallman is the founder of Natural Wisdom Counseling.  Jessica's journey into the field began at a young age by being raised by veterinarian parents and growing up on a rural vet clinic. Jessica would take a "transformational" Outward Bound course in high school and would go on to attend college, teaching deaf people on a Navajo reservation, and then onto Naropa University for a master's degree. Jessica shares the evolution of Natural Wisdom Counseling and her work with deaf people and others.

Jessica's Bio from Natural Wisdom Counseling:

As a psychotherapist, I support people in recovering from stress and trauma, in developing a sense of purpose, in building positive and supportive relationships, and in living a fulfilling life. I believe that each person has access to a wealth of knowledge about how to grow and heal. That wisdom may be accessed through nature, body-based interventions, horses, EMDR therapy, or a variety of other tools. Ultimately, I facilitate my client's access to their own inherent, natural wisdom.

I received my Master's degree in Transpersonal Counseling Psychology (Wilderness Therapy) from Naropa University and am trained in EMDR therapy, Gestalt Equine psychotherapy, and Infant, Early Childhood, and Family Mental Health. I integrate human development, attachment, neuroscience, nature, and the body into a relational approach to counseling. This synthesis of theories and approaches provides my clients with a holistic experience that empowers them to uncover new layers of self-understanding. I aim to enhance client strengths and potential, and provide tools for clients to overcome issues that may be preventing them from thriving.

While I enjoy nature-based interventions, time outside is not a requirement for therapy with me. I incorporate movement, art, and social justice counseling into sessions in my office, as appropriate. I am experiential in my approach, which can efficiently access the emotional centers in the brain in ways that traditional "talk therapy" may struggle to access.

I have a client-centered, strengths-based, growth-focused approach to all of my sessions, regardless of your preferred method of therapy. Trauma-informed care is integrated into every case.

I see my life as a continuous journey and adventure. Growing up, I was exposed to the outdoors early and often, which led to my belief that Nature offers supportive, healing, sacred, and transformative powers. I believe that intersectional issues of power and privilege play a large role in how our systems work, how we experience and access the world, and what messages we receive about our worth. I also believe that those messages and wounds can be healed through relationship.

I am proficient in American Sign Language (ASL) have been involved in the Deaf community since 2009.