Mark is a licensed clinical social worker, originally from Philadelphia. He earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology from University of Rochester with a minor in theater and a Master’s in Social Work from Fordham University in New York City.
The backdrop of Mark’s childhood was defined by the not-so-distant skyline of a bustling metropolis, as opposed to the silhouette of mountain peaks and forests. As such, he discovered the healing power of wilderness later in life as a young adult and has found deep meaning and connection in the outdoors ever since. After undergrad, this new self-discovery, coupled with his zeal for working with young people, brought Mark to the remote coffee-growing mountains of Costa Rica as a schoolteacher in 2011 and then to the woods of Maine and New Hampshire as a wilderness therapy guide in 2013. These experiences cemented Mark’s belief that the combination of supportive relationships, intentional community, and nature creates an unparalleled environment for individuals to grow and triumph. In 2015, Mark pursued his MSW, gaining invaluable experiences as both a school social worker and as a counselor at an community intensive outpatient clinic for adults struggling with mental health and addiction.
At Open Sky, Mark builds on more than a decade of prior experience working with children, adolescents, and families. He spent four years working at a residential therapeutic school for children and adolescents in Evergreen, CO. There, he served dual roles as both a Clinical Therapist and the Admissions Manager. He also worked as a Clinical Mentor for a separate program that supports adolescents transitioning back home from out-of-home placement, including wilderness therapy. Mark approaches his work with families with deep care and empathy, informed by his holistic understanding that treatment is a continuum and the journey for teenagers and their parents can often feel long and devastating. Compassion and authenticity are his cornerstone values, as he knows that growth requires both discomfort and hope. Drawn to Open Sky’s humanistic philosophy and family-focused approach, Mark’s goal is to help families harness the skills necessary to make real, lasting change while supporting his client’s growth towards self-actualization. He is honored to be engaging in this work at Open Sky!
Mark has expertise working with complex clients who struggle with significant anxiety, depression, social isolation, emotional dysregulation, and relational tension and dysfunction within the family system. He’s received specialized training in Emotionally Focused Individual Therapy (EFIT) as well as Internal Family Systems Therapy (IFS). He draws from tenets of Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, family systems modalities, and Motivational Interviewing. He approaches his clients with patience, directness, and playfulness, believing that humor and joy are essential parts of treatment.
In his free time, Mark can usually be found either on his bike or on his feet exploring the natural wonders that Colorado and the Southwest have to offer, often with his faithful canine sidekick, “Dos”. He enjoys trail running, mountaineering, cycling, snowboarding, bikepacking, and backpacking. Aside from outdoor adventuring, Mark finds great joy in singing, spontaneous jam sessions, and nights filled with games and good conversation with family and friends.