Open Sky is proud to celebrate Clinical Therapist for Adolescent Boys, Jonathan “Badger” Mitchell’s 10-year anniversary at Open Sky Wilderness Therapy. For the past decade, Jonathan has shared his extensive expertise serving adolescents, young adults, and families, while delivering an unmatched positivity and passion for his work.
Following his undergraduate education in math and physics, Jonathan changed course and pursued work in wilderness therapy. For the next six years, he gained valuable experience as a field guide, field supervisor, and field director. Inspired by the magic of the wilderness in motivating change, Jonathan went on to earn a Master’s in Counseling from Naropa University in 2007, followed by a certificate in Gestalt Therapy from the Gestalt Institute of the Rockies in 2008. He brought his extensive field and clinical experience to the Open Sky team in 2009, when he joined as a Family QuestTM therapist and primary therapist for adolescent boys. Outside of work, Jonathan can be found exploring the Southwest through rock climbing, trail running, and telemark skiing. He also maintains a daily meditation and yoga practice.
“It is impossible for me to communicate in a few lines the tremendous admiration I have for Jonathan’s clinical capability, or the appreciation I have for the life-changing help he has given our son and our family,” said Kathy, Alumni Parent from 2018. “Jonathan is a rare find; unmatched by the other therapists who have worked with our son. He came to understand him very quickly and was so effective in helping him identify and work through issues.”
At Open Sky, Jonathan’s areas of clinical expertise include oppositional defiance, adoption/attachment issues, treatment resistance, navigating non-traditional and complex family systems, substance abuse and addiction, depression, anxiety, and trauma. His clinical approach draws on the teachings of dialectical behavioral therapy, Gestalt therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, and years of experience as a field guide.
“Jonathan’s exuberance and passion for the power of wilderness therapy is as palpable today as it was a decade ago. His bright spirit and ability to share with compassion and candor inspires Open Sky students, families and staff alike,” said Emily Fernandes, Open Sky Co-Founder and Executive Director. “Congratulations, Jonathan, we are so grateful to have you as part of the team!”
To learn more about Jonathan, check out his SKYlights podcast episode titled: Preparing Your Child for the Road (Not the Road for Your Child): How Challenge Cultivates Resilience in Young People and through his many expert blog posts.