After obtaining her BA in Psychology, EJ dove into working in the mental health field while simultaneously nurturing her passion for the outdoors. She worked at a holistic mental health RTC, was an applied behavioral tutor for young kids on the autism spectrum, completed a thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail, and began to weave these two worlds together in meaningful ways in her own life. EJ then continued her formal education at Appalachian State University, where she completed her MA in Clinical Mental Health Counseling with an Addiction Counseling specialty.
EJ places high importance on having a career path that is a reflection of her passions and her values. She turns to wilderness when seeking lessons, growth, confidence, and honesty. She finds that wilderness gives her the time and space to sort things out, reflect, and overcome challenges. She has always wanted to come alongside people in a supportive role. Wilderness therapy captures all of this.
Open Sky's holistic, family systems oriented, and clinically sophisticated program drew her from her beloved Appalachian mountains out West. She began at Open Sky as a Field Guide in order to immerse herself in the student experience. She comes alongside students with a deep knowledge of the Open Sky model, the hard skills, mindfulness practice, and coping resources they learn along the way.
EJ values the community of learning that we all offer each other in the desert and mountains. Whether from students, families, therapists, operations staff, managers, or field guides, EJ believes there is so much to learn, relationship, communication, vulnerability, nature, and the world. As a therapist, she loves to give and receive the wealth of knowledge that exists in this work.
EJ works from a place of curiosity and approaches each week with an eagerness to build relationship with the group and individuals. She has a deeply rooted compassion for students and their experiences that brought them to Open Sky. She enjoys sharing her appreciation for the small steps between each "Aha!" moment.
Outside of work, EJ loves to explore the magic and beauty of the West, a place she is grateful to call home. She loves to venture up mountains on foot, run, slackline, and paint with watercolors.