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Julia Lehr, MSSW, CSW, AMFT


Drawn to the relational aspects of the therapeutic process, Julia achieved a Master of Science in Social Work while specializing in Couples and Family Therapy at the University of Louisville. With a dual theoretical background, Julia views the therapeutic landscape through a multisystemic lens integrating the micro, mezzo, macro, and family systems perspectives. Julia believes in the power of relationships as she feels that they help to navigate difficult life transitions and provide greater meaning to our world. Therefore, she works to create a strong therapeutic alliance with the identified client, family, and treatment team.

Fueled by both her passion for family therapy as well as the healing elements of nature, Julia has worked in a variety of roles within the field of wilderness therapy. Julia has created space for students and families within the role of Field Therapist, Family Therapist, and Seasonal Primary Therapist from Utah’s West Desert to the Pisgah National Forrest in North Carolina. Within all of these spaces, Julia has enjoyed guiding students’ and families’ therapeutic process through ceremonies and traditional skills in addition to traditional therapeutic modalities. Experienced in working with individuals, couples, and families from diverse backgrounds, Julia’s specialties lie in supporting clients struggling with anxiety and depressive disorders, externalized behaviors, extensive trauma histories, attachment issues, and complex relational conflict.

As a therapist, Julia works to provide an anchor or safe attachment base in order to create an environment for the client to begin the process of healing and growth. From here, Julia creates meaningful spaces for clients to explore complex vulnerable emotions through the use of metaphor and emotional expression. Julia pulls from experiential approaches such as techniques of Emotionally Focused Therapy and Animal Assisted therapy to cultivate change. As a systemic therapist, Julia works to expand the client system to include families and partners in order to increase progress towards treatment goals and create lasting change.  With a background in teaching yoga, she incorporates mindfulness and breathing techniques into her sessions to promote grounding experiences as well as to support clients in increasing awareness of their external and internal worlds.

As a trail runner and climber, Julia has experienced first-hand the healing effects of the natural world through self-reflection, increased confidence through natural challenges, and the power of relationships with adventure partners. Spending unstructured time exploring the outdoors is very grounding for Julia and helps provide connection to the Self. As a “Maker”, Julia is always finding new creative projects incorporating fabric arts, recycled materials, plants, or whatever brings inspiration to each new piece. When not on the rock/trail, you can find Julia enjoying time with her partner and two dogs Ezra and Fjor, exploring a desert, stream, forest, or the open road.

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.