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Brooke Teufel, MSW (Candidate) Social Work

Associate Therapist

Brooke was born and raised in Tucson, Arizona, situated in the magical Sonoran Desert. Though often within city limits, much of Brooke's childhood was spent playing outside, basking in an abundance of sunshine. Her formative years were filled with the sounds of Gambel's quail and Gila woodpeckers, the scent of creosote after a monsoon storm, and breathtaking sunsets.

After completing her Bachelor of Arts degrees in Linguistics and Italian Language & Literature in 2016, Brooke embarked on a journey to deepen her connection with nature and the wilderness. Engaging in activities such as hiking, camping, rock climbing, running, and plant foraging in the great outdoors brought her delight, healing, wonder, and a sense of empowerment. As a special education teaching assistant at a small alternative Title I high school in Tucson, Brooke discovered her passion for integrating nature and education by taking her students outside. Exploring trails throughout southeastern Arizona, these students used their senses to learn about the natural world and gain insight into themselves. This experience planted the seed that would eventually grow into Brooke's desire to pursue a mental health career that connects young people to themselves and the Earth. In early 2022, Brooke began her journey toward obtaining a master’s degree in social work with a certificate in Outdoor Behavioral Health. During this time, she researched opportunities to work with youth in a therapeutic setting using nature- and experiential-based approaches.

Brooke is grateful to have joined Open Sky as an Associate Therapist/Clinical Intern with the Family Services team in the summer of 2023. She feels it is a perfect fit, as Open Sky's philosophy of treating the whole individual—mind, body, heart, and spirit—as well as their immediate family systems in a wilderness context, aligns with Brooke's own holistic, person-in-environment, eco-therapeutic approach to healing.

Over the past six years, working with differently abled adolescents who have experienced trauma and have learning, emotional, or other challenges, has allowed Brooke to cultivate profound patience, flexibility, vulnerability, a willingness to embrace discomfort, and an ability to build rapport with diverse populations. As a Master of Social Work student, Brooke has gained extensive clinical and theoretical knowledge, as well as experience working with refugees and foreign-born Americans who have endured significant trauma. In her role as a Family Services Associate Therapist, Brooke is excited to combine her skills, knowledge, and passion to meet and support Open Sky students and their families at various stages of their self-actualization journeys.

In her free time between working and studying, Brooke loves to learn about birds and plants, cook tasty healthy food, read poetry and nonfiction, and play outside with dear friends. She also greatly looks forward to being able to complete a yoga teacher training and make pottery again once she has graduated from her master's program.

 

About Open Sky

Since 2006, Open Sky Wilderness Therapy has been providing the premier family-centered wilderness therapy experience. The Open Sky approach transcends 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 with innovative, well-researched holistic healing practices such as yoga, meditation and mindfulness.