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The Open Sky Team

September 9th, 2019

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The Open Sky Team

September 9th, 2019

Heroes and Legends: Master Senior Field Guide, Mike Kangley

We had the chance to sit down with Master Senior Field Guide, Mike Kangley. A veteran guide at Open Sky, Mike has worked across several departments and worn many hats as a leader in the field and mentor in our community. In this interview, we extract lessons from Mike’s experience as we discuss what led Mike to […]

August 20th, 2019

Open Sky to Present at 2019 Wilderness Therapy Symposium

This week at the Wilderness Therapy Symposium, catch presentations by Family Wellness Counselor, Norman Elizondo; Program Director, Danny Frazer; and Executive Director, Emily Fernandes! Details on their presentations are below. Open Sky is proud to be a member of the Outdoor Behavioral Healthcare Council, committed to collaborating with others in the industry on best practices […]

August 6th, 2019

“How Will Wilderness Therapy Benefit Me?” a SKYlights Podcast with Therapist, Mariah Loftin

   How will wilderness therapy benefit me as a young adult? Why can’t I just stay home and do therapy? What if I know nothing about living in the outdoors?  These are just a few common questions young adult clients may ask when considering enrollment at Open Sky. In Episode 6 of the SKYlights […]

July 30th, 2019

“Deconstructing Motivation” Podcast with Dr. Aaron Wallis

What is motivation? Is it simply willpower? The desire for a specific action? The actual implementation of that action? In episode 5 of the SKYlights podcast, “Deconstructing Motivation”, Young Adults Therapist, Dr. Aaron Wallis, breaks it down for listeners. Dr. Wallis discusses motivation through the therapeutic lens of “behavioral apathy”. Behavioral apathy is what keeps […]

June 13th, 2019

Open Sky Wilderness Therapy Launches SKYlights Podcast

Open Sky, a wilderness therapy program nestled in the mountains of Colorado and the canyonlands of Utah, is excited to announce the launch of its podcast.

May 15th, 2019

Where Are They Now: A Young Adult Reflects on his Wilderness Therapy Experience

Q: What were some of the challenges that led you to Open Sky? How did you feel about coming to a wilderness therapy program? A: I was a student at Temple University and had just finished my third year, with little success and connection. I tended to isolate myself and my parents grew concerned. I […]

December 21st, 2018

Tradition, Feasts and Fun: Celebrating the Holidays at Open Sky Wilderness

  Holidays in wilderness are an important time for students and field staff alike. They are fun and filled with joy; they offer unique moments to reflect on love and gratitude for family and the simple things in life. Staff put a lot of intention into programming for the holiday season. And it all starts […]

October 24th, 2018

Experience Matters: Program Director, Danny Frazer

  Danny Frazer always dreamed of a career path that would allow him to help young people become the best version of themselves. Early on, he envisioned being a leader and role model for young people as a college basketball coach. However, after a summer internship with a Montana-based, family-run wilderness therapy program in 1996, […]

September 14th, 2018

Open Sky Field Guides: Courageous and Compassionate

Article contributed by Senior Guide, Rebecca Slotta.   It’s Wednesday morning. My eyes snap open and a feeling of confusion passes through me. I stare at the ceiling, trying to figure out why I’m awake while the sun is still sleeping behind the horizon. I realize it’s Wednesday. My alarm is telling me to gear up because […]

August 31st, 2018

Dr. Aaron Wallis Featured in Woodbury Reports Podcast Series

Dr. Aaron Wallis, a Clinical Therapist at Open Sky serving the Young Adult population, was recently featured in Woodbury Reports. In an installment of Lon Woodbury’s podcast series “In Their Own Voice”, Dr. Wallis and Woodbury discuss the topic of motivation in young adults. Parents often question how to motivate their young adult who struggles […]

August 28th, 2018

From Student to Guide to Jumping Mouse Award Recipient!

Article contributed by Field Director, Evan Meyer. Every year at the OBH Wilderness Therapy Symposium, a Jumping Mouse Ceremony is held to recognize an exceptional Field Guide from each participating program. Award recipients demonstrate outstanding commitment to the work of field guiding and represent the qualities and characteristics most valued by the programs for which […]

August 17th, 2018

Diversity Education Series at Wilderness Therapy Symposium

Open Sky Wilderness Therapy is proud to be a Diversity Education Series sponsor at the upcoming Wilderness Therapy Symposium. The Symposium will take place August 23-25 in Park City, Utah. The Symposium brings together a cross-section of clinicians, field instructors, educators, educational consultants, professors, research specialists, students, and programs to share theories, insights and best […]

August 7th, 2018

Riding to Pay-It-Forward: Greg Arpante’s Bicycle Tour to Support Sky’s the Limit Fund

On May 27, 2018, Greg Arpante dipped his bicycle into Washington state’s Pacific coast and started pedaling east. So began his dual trans-US bicycle tour, a ride from Seattle to Bar Harbor and from Canada to Mexico. What was born as simply a personal summer challenge evolved to be a ride for a cause: a […]

July 9th, 2018

Promoting Growth through Art Therapy in the Wilderness

Article contributed by Clinical Therapist, Mary Zaunbrecher. Art therapy is the use of artistic media and creative expression to identify and communicate feelings, thoughts, and beliefs. At Open Sky Wilderness Therapy, this type of self-expression is a valuable tool for students as they begin to explore and work through the issues that brought them to […]

May 30th, 2018

Enhanced Family Services (p. 1): Parent Coaching

  Article contributed by Family Services Therapist, Jessica Chacon. At Open Sky, we live with the core purpose of activating the potential of the human spirit and by the belief that all people have the capacity to thrive. We apply this purpose and belief to our work with not only students, but families as well. […]

April 24th, 2018

Three Ways for Open Sky Parents to Engage in the Process

Article contributed by Clinical Therapist, Brian Carr. Open Sky was founded with the desire to actively engage parents in their child’s therapy experience. To pursue healing for the family system, parents with children enrolled at Open Sky are encouraged to look inward, to engage in their own work through Open Sky’s Family Pathway Workbook and […]

March 2nd, 2018

Family Matters: Family Programming in Wilderness Therapy

Since its founding in 2006, Open Sky has transcended traditional wilderness therapy by emphasizing treatment for the whole family (not just the adolescent or young adult), and the application of evidence-based clinical modalities. Our family systems therapy approach also includes innovative, well-researched, holistic healing practices such as yoga, meditation, and mindfulness. When a family partners with […]

January 5th, 2018

Fire Busting: A Daily Challenge with Lifelong Rewards

Article contributed by field guide Anna Hanson. The sun sets, the sky glows orange and the last signs of daylight disappear behind the juniper trees. Camp is set up and our team begins to make a fire with their bow drill sets. I feel excited as I see the team dedicated and working hard. As […]

November 21st, 2017

Mary Zaunbrecher, MS, LPC, Joins Open Sky Clinical Team

Mary Zaunbrecher began her studies in counseling with the intention of helping others through the use of alternative and creative therapies, including art and play. She received a Master’s of Science in Counselor Education from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. During and after her graduate experience, Mary worked with diverse populations utilizing a variety […]

October 10th, 2017

Open Sky Announces Enhancements to Winter Base Camp

In Durango, snow-capped mountains are visible in the distance and the aspen leaves are turning varying shades of red and yellow. These elements not only signify a change in season but also serve to remind us that the move to the Open Sky winter base camp and course area in Utah is drawing near. Our southeastern […]

August 30th, 2017

Wilderness Therapy Symposium: Learn, Grow, and Honor

Last week, Open Sky staff members had the opportunity to attend the 2017 Wilderness Therapy Symposium in Park City, Utah. The Wilderness Therapy Symposiumprovides opportunities to explore topics related to wilderness therapy, advance knowledge, build community, and recognize excellence. The event is held bi-annually by the Outdoor Behavioral Healthcare Council (OBHC). Open Sky’s Program Director, […]

July 10th, 2017

Open Sky announces dates and locations for Alumni Parent Wellness Retreats

Connect, Recharge, and Thrive with Open Sky!   Open Sky is pleased to announce dates and locations for our Alumni Parent Wellness Retreats! These inspiring two-day wellness retreats will be facilitated by Family Therapist, Kendall Smith, MA, LPC, NCC and Wellness Counselor, Norman Elizondo. Open Sky Alumni Parent Wellness Retreats are designed to further personal […]

June 26th, 2017

Open Sky Welcomes Kim Kelley, M.Ed., LPC, to its Clinical Team

Open Sky Wilderness Therapy is pleased to announce the addition of Licensed Professional Counselor, Kim Kelley to its clinical team. “Kim is an excellent addition to the Open Sky clinical team,” said Clinical and Family Services Director, Tony Issenmann. “She is a confident, talented, and humble clinician who brings tremendous knowledge and experience to Open […]

June 5th, 2017

Open Sky Therapists Author Chapters In New Book

Dr. Tony Issenmann, Kirsten Bolt and Kendall Smith, author chapters in the recently published book: Family Therapy with Adolescents in Residential Treatment Open Sky Clinical Team and Family Services Team members Tony Issenmann, Ph.D., LMFT; Kirsten Bolt, MEd, LMFT; and Kendall R.E. Smith, MA, LPC, NCC were honored to contribute chapters to Family Therapy with Adolescents in Residential […]

April 25th, 2017

Annual Senior Guide Retreat Provides Training, Appreciation, and Team Building Opportunities

In many ways, Open Sky’s wilderness field guides are the heart and soul of our program. They live in the field with students 24/7, including holidays. Guides not only ensure the safety of our students; they also serve as mentors, role models, teachers, and friends. Our guides are passionate about our mission and encompass a […]

April 4th, 2017

Open Sky Welcomes Therapist Morgan Seymour

Please join us in welcoming therapist Morgan Seymour, LCSW, to Open Sky’s clinical team. Morgan is incredibly passionate about her work and brings significant depth and experience as both a wilderness guide and wilderness therapist. Like Open Sky, Morgan emphasizes a values-driven and family-centered approach to her work. Morgan will be working with adolescent boys […]