Dr. Aaron Wallis earned his BA in Psychology from Texas Tech University and his PhD in Counseling Psychology from the University of Northern Colorado. While in graduate school, Dr. Wallis was able to explore a few areas of clinical interest through research: substance use (cannabis), social skill development, and social media. Not only did he study these concepts through research; he was also able to hone his clinical skills working directly with individuals in several college counseling centers including Grand Valley State University and the University of Colorado.
Dr. Wallis has a strong interest in the myriad issues that face young adults face as they navigate the complex transition to adulthood. He has a particular passion in working with clients to address social anxiety, substance use, anger and emotional management challenges, and the development of a healthy relationship with social media. He was drawn to Open Sky because, being a scientist at heart, he values Open’s Sky focus on research, efficacy, and techniques that actually work. He is invigorated by the opportunity to move beyond traditional talk therapy, using the power of wilderness therapy to create experiences that his clients can incorporate into their character as they heal.
Dr. Wallis believes in empowering students to understand themselves and their struggles. By helping them understand what they are experiencing biologically, neurologically, and socially, he aims to reduce self-stigma and help students see their issues as manageable; not as fundamental character flaws. Dr. Wallis also understands that no member of a system can completely change without the support of the whole system. For this reason, he values Open Sky’s emphasis on supporting families healing together.
Growing up in a military family, Dr. Wallis had the privilege of living in many fascinating places before moving to his beloved state of Colorado. When he’s not working, he likes to “get lost” in the wilderness with his wife and their dogs. He enjoys biking, swimming, exploring new food and places, and generally being active and outside. He is also working on what may be a lifelong challenge of bringing Texas BBQ to Colorado.