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Episode 30 – Student Athletes and Mental Health

December 28, 2022 | 00:28:00

In this episode, Senior Clinical Therapist Chris Blankenship offers valuable insight into what makes athletes prone to mental health challenges and how he works with students to help them find healing and growth.

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Episode 21 – Strategies for Successful Transition Post-Treatment

August 05, 2020 | 00:31:00

While your child is in wilderness therapy treatment, a big question mark can be: “what next?” The transition after wilderness looks different for every family. Whether transitioning home, to school, or to an aftercare program, how can parents create or support a healthy environment for their child to continue thriving?

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Episode 15 – Emerging Adults: Supporting the Unique Needs of 18-20 Year-Olds

January 09, 2020 | 00:34:00

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.

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Emily Fernandes

Emily Fernandes

Executive Director & Co-Founder

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.