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CURRENT EPISODE

 

Episode 4 – A 10-Minute Guided Meditation with
Family Wellness Counselor, Norman Elizondo

July 9, 2019 | 00:09:00

In this episode of the Open Sky Wilderness Therapy podcast, Family Wellness Counselor Norman Elizondo guides us through a 10-minute meditation. As a person develops mental strength via meditation, he or she may be better able to resist negative behavior. Ultimately, this non-reactivity and awareness are what lead people to live fulfilled lives.

LATEST EPISODES

Norman Elizondo

Episode 3: A 5-Minute Guided Meditation with Family Wellness Counselor, Norman Elizondo

July 9, 2019 | 00:09:00

In this episode of the Open Sky Wilderness Therapy podcast, Family Wellness Counselor Norman Elizondo guides us through a 5-minute meditation. As a person develops mental strength via meditation, he or she may be better able to resist negative behavior. Ultimately, this non-reactivity and awareness are what lead people to live fulfilled lives.

episode 2

New Releases Bi-Weekly!

Norman Elizondo

Episode 2: Mindfulness, Meditation, And Other Superpowers!

June 27, 2019 | 00:20:01

The premise of meditation is learning how to have a healthy mind. Studies have shown that this can occur even on a biological level, recording the physical healing of the brain. In this episode, meditation teacher Norman Elizondo explains how, as we develop mental strength (and other superpowers!) we may be better able to resist negative patterns, allowing for a more fulfilling life.

episode 2

Morgan Seymour

Episode 1 – Game Changer: Utilizing Wilderness Therapy to Treat Adolescent Gaming Disorder

June 13, 2019 | 00:29:00

As electronic screens become ever more pervasive, researchers and parents wonder: How much is too much? Studies show that adolescents who use screens excessively experience an increase in impulsivity, distractibility, and relationship struggles, and a decrease in self-worth and well-being. In this episode, Clinical Therapist Morgan Seymour explains how wilderness therapy helps students address the underlying issues associated with excessive gaming and screen time use.

episode 1

COMING SOON EPISODES

Mariah Loftin

Coming Soon

Preview Episode

How Will Wilderness
Benefit Me?

What’s the point of wilderness therapy? In this episode, clinical therapist Mariah Loftin explains the benefits of therapy conducted outdoors. Among them, with wilderness therapy, instead of returning after a therapy session to the same ruts and patterns in your life, you are immersed in a supportive and healthy environment—the wilderness—which leads to lasting change.

Jonathan Mitchell

Parent Portal

Preview Episode

Preparing Your Child For The Road (Not The Road For Your Child)

A teenager’s task is to define themselves for themselves, and to differentiate themselves from their family so that they are equipped to live an independent life. In this episode, Clinical Therapist Jonathan Mitchell explains how parents can facilitate this process and help their teenage children find themselves without defining themselves solely as “anti-you/that,” or without taking undue and exorbitant risks.

Chris Blankenship

Coming Soon

Transition Age Young Adults: How Are They Unique?

Turning 18 is one of the biggest milestones young people experience. Overnight, one goes from being labeled a child to an adult. However, the growth that occurs in that one day is not commensurate with the change in expectations, nor cognitive development.In this episode, clinical therapist Chris Blankenship discusses how Open Sky helps young adults and families navigate this transition.

Kristin Bolt

Parent Portal

Preview Episode

Understanding And Treating Self-Harm In Wilderness

In this episode of SKYlights, clinical therapist Kirsten Bolt explores the reasons people self-harm and the steps involved in treating self-harm. With assessment and reassessment, we start to understand the history, severity, circumstances, and intentions surrounding the behavior, allowing us to help students to develop the skills to regulate emotions and communicate their needs to others.

Morgan Seymour

Coming Soon

Teaching And Modeling Respectful Male-Female Relationships For Adolescent Boys

In wilderness therapy, we often address the topic of how male students view and treat the women in their lives, and we witness corresponding attitudes and behaviors in the field. In this episode, Clinical Therapist Morgan Seymour explains how we empower young men to have control over their emotions and actions, creating a path in the wilderness that parents can follow at home.

Danny Frazer

Coming Soon

Preview Episode

Leadership Profile: A Conversation With Program Director, Danny Frazer, BBA 

Open Sky Wilderness Therapy Program Director Danny Frazer took his first wilderness therapy job as an intern while in college in 1996. This experience inspired him to pursue work in the field of wilderness therapy, culminating in co-founding Open Sky in 2006. In this episode, we talk with Danny about Open Sky and his passion for wilderness therapy and his contributions to best practices in wilderness therapy programming.

Aaron Wallis

Coming Soon

Preview Episode

Deconstructing
Motivation

One of the most common frustrations expressed by Open Sky clients and their families is the struggle to understand and “fix” a lack of motivation. In this episode of SKYlights, Dr. Aaron Wallis brings some clarity to the concept of motivation and an understanding of the neurological influences that affect our ability to turn desire into action.

SEBASTIAAN ZUIDWEG

Coming Soon

Preview Episode

Catching Up With Open Sky Clinical Director And Therapist, Sebastiaan Zuidweg, MA, LPC

Sebastiaan Zuidweg knew early on that his calling was a life of being in service to others. Sebastiaan believes in Open Sky’s holistic family systems approach as a catalyst for change, and the power of the wilderness as an effective medium for therapeutic work. His clinical approach is rooted in the belief that every individual has the ability to activate his or her potential, and pursue health and wellness.

Melia Snyder

Coming Soon

Get to Know Author, Education Director, And Clinical Therapist Dr. Melia Snyder

Dr. Melia Snyder is a Licensed Professional Counselor and Registered Expressive Arts Therapist, with an MA in Clinical Mental Health Counseling and a Ph.D. in Counseling. As a clinical therapist, Melia shares her expertise in issues relevant to adolescents and young adults, including cultivating resilience, developing healthy relationships with technology and social media, and addressing the need for connection in relationships.

Jonathan Mitchell

Coming Soon

Parenting The Healthy And
Independent Child

A teenagers’ task is to equip themselves for the challenges and stresses (and rewards) of an independent life. Parents of teenagers need to facilitate this process without their teenagers defining themselves solely as “anti-you/that,” and without taking exorbitant risks. In this episode, professional counselor Jonathan Mitchell explore techniques that effective parents use to let their kids “find themselves” in safe and healthy ways.

Aaron Fernandes

Coming Soon

The Open Sky
Story

In 2006, Open Sky Wilderness Therapy opened its doors in Durango, Colorado. After more than a decade of operations, Open Sky has worked with thousands of students and family members, inspired by the belief that all people have the capacity to thrive. In this episode, we explore the story of how Open Sky came to be with founder Aaron Fernandes.

Norman Elizondo

Parent Portal

Wellness Series – Part 3: 20-Minute Guided Meditation

In this episode of the Open Sky Wilderness Therapy podcast, Family Wellness Counselor Norman Elizondo guides us through a 20-minute meditation. As a person develops mental strength via meditation, he or she may be better able to resist negative behavior. Ultimately, this non-reactivity and awareness are what lead people to live fulfilled lives.

Kim Kelley

Coming Soon

Understanding
EMDR

In this episode of SKYlights, clinical therapist Kirsten Bolt explores the reasons people self-harm and the steps involved in treating self-harm. With assessment and reassessment, we start to understand the history, severity, circumstances, and intentions surrounding the behavior, allowing us to help students to develop the skills to regulate emotions and communicate their needs to others.

Mariah Loftin

Parent Portal

Preview Episode

Supporting Young Adults With Gender And Sexual Issues

In this episode of the Open Sky Wilderness Therapy podcast, Clinical Therapist Mariah Loftin explores the often-misunderstood differences between gender and sexuality, including sexual orientation and gender identity; how unaddressed gender and sexual issues can result in health risks to young adults; and how families can best support young adults navigating these issues.

MEET THE HOST

Emily Fernandes

Open Sky Co-Founder & Executive Director

 

On a wilderness trip in Alaska with the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS) in 1995, Emily discovered she could combine two of her passions: working with youth and being outdoors. Since then, she has worked for Aspen Achievement Academy, Hurricane Island Outward Bound School, and Connecticut Wilderness School. She was part of the founding team at Open Sky.

 

Emily worked as the lead therapist for adolescent girls for her first 5 years at Open Sky. Her areas of clinical expertise include depression, anxiety, grief and loss, trauma, self-harm, disordered eating, and adoption and attachment issues. Her clinical approach is informed by cognitive behavioral, psychodynamic, family systems, and attachment theories. Relationship building through letter writing is a major focus of her work with students and families.

 

As a founder and owner of Open Sky, as well as the Clinical and Executive Director, Emily brings a breadth of knowledge with her background as a therapist, field guide, trainer, logistics coordinator, emergency responder, and field director, Emily is known for her direct, caring leadership style, her ability to inspire excellence in others, and her team oriented approach. The student treatment plan is her compass for her decision-making regarding Open Sky’s students, families, and employees.

 

Emily loves reading, writing, yoga, mountain biking, telemark skiing, rock climbing, spending time with friends and family, and cooking with foods from the local farmers’ market.