Alumni Careers

Graduates from the Wilderness Therapy program at Naropa University have had great success in finding work within their field of study after completing the program, including the following careers:

  • Counselors (family or individual) in wilderness-based adolescent therapeutic programs
  • Counselors in residential adolescent treatment programs that include nature-based counseling
  • Counselors in adult drug and alcohol recovery programs
  • Counselors in schools or colleges
  • Equine-assisted counseling
  • Counselors for homeless people in an urban setting (incorporating the natural world)

Wilderness Therapy Alumni:

Keith Poynter holds a BA in Sociology and a Masters Degree in Counseling Psychology with an emphasis in Wilderness Therapy from Naropa University. Keith has been actively involved in various forms of Adventure and Wilderness Therapy for over ten years, the bulk of that work with struggling teens. Keith has contributed to different wilderness therapy programs in the role of field instructor, manager, and therapist. His work in the Wilderness Therapy field has included time with SUWS of Idaho, Straight Arrow Apex, Monarch Center for Family Healing, and Odyssey Wilderness Programs. Keith has especially concentrated his efforts in counseling and mentoring young people. He blends his clinical and academic training in Gestalt and Wilderness Therapy with a personal philosophy that has been influenced by mentors grounded in a spiritual relationship with the Earth and a deep respect for nature and it’s ability to teach one about connection with “other”.

Amy Winchester graduated in 2005 from the Wilderness Therapy program. She completed her internship in Denver at an urban non-profit agency working with youth and adults, and then went on to work for Catherine Freer Wilderness Therapy Programs for a year. She currently has a private practice in Boulder, where she specializes in grief and loss using a nature-centered perspective. In addition to this she is the Academic Advisor, Admissions Coordinator, and Trip Coordinator for the Wilderness Therapy students at Naropa, and she directs HealingQuest, a wilderness therapy company offering outdoor- and nature-centered therapeutic trips for adults.

Jody Hicks graduated from the Wilderness Therapy program in 2006. She has worked with a wide diversity of populations and settings, both with individuals and groups: including wilderness work with emotionally challenged youth at risk, intensive outpatient programs for teens and adults struggling with addictions, emergency mental health services for adults in crisis, managing an after school program for young girls K-4th grade, working overnight and day shelters for homeless women, supporting the wisdom of the elderly, transitional living for young adult women, mentoring graduate students and leading half-day long intensives for families. In addition to her current work as the internship coordinator for the Wilderness Therapy program, Jody has a private consultation/psychotherapy practice in Boulder.

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