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Master of Arts (MA) in Clinical Mental Health Counseling, with a concentration in

Transpersonal Wilderness Therapy

A love of the natural world. The desire to be of service to others. A belief in the healing power of nature. These are the foundations of Naropa’s transpersonal wilderness therapy degree program.

Explore the transformative power of nature while sharpening your capacity to attend to yourself and others in a skilled, compassionate manner. In Naropa’s transpersonal wilderness therapy program, you’ll join a diverse cohort of graduate students who contribute life experiences, create community spirit, and build lasting friendships in a safe, authentic learning environment.

At the confluence of psychology and spirituality, the three-year master’s in transpersonal wilderness therapy degree is intensely experiential, interdisciplinary, and multicultural at its core, providing graduate students with a range of counseling and wilderness experience, from ecopsychology to outdoor therapy and leadership.

Our graduates work with diverse populations in outdoor and clinical settings as psychotherapists, school or program counselors, faculty members, addictions counselors, directors of equine or outdoor therapy programs, counselors for wilderness treatment programs, and more.

Quick Facts

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60

Credit
Hours

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10

Weeks

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of Immersive Wilderness Therapy Training

of Immersive Wilderness Therapy Training

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1

Out of 3

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Students Hired by Their Internship Site

Students Hired by Their Internship Site

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Courses You Could Take

in Wilderness Therapy

At Naropa, wilderness therapy is defined as the conscious incorporation of nature into therapeutic interventions. Unique among wilderness therapy programs, Naropa’s master’s in transpersonal wilderness therapy degree integrates classroom learning, hands-on experience, and contemplative practices.

 

Year one, you’ll study theoretical foundations of counseling and transpersonal psychology, wilderness therapy, counseling practices, and diversity awareness. Year two, you’ll experience a series of intensives that integrate therapeutic practice with environmental awareness and outdoor skills while weaving traditional coursework throughout. Year three, you’ll complete an internship and capstone project while attending classes partially online and partially on campus.

 

Master’s in transpersonal wilderness therapy courses include:

Other Concentrations in Clinical Mental Health Counseling

Mindfulness-Based Transpersonal Counseling

Learn how to put mindfulness at the center of your future counseling practice in a master's degree program that extends your study of body and mind to an exploration of heart and soul.

Contemplative Psychotherapy and Buddhist Psychology

Ground your counseling practice in the Buddhist contemplative wisdom tradition with a graduate degree program that focuses on guiding others with compassion and humility.

Somatic Counseling: Body Psychotherapy

Learn to heal both mind and body using powerful somatic techniques that combine clinical mental health theory and body psychotherapy in a master’s degree that’s one of the first of its kind.

Somatic Counseling: Dance/Movement Therapy

Develop clinical skills in using movement as a tool for healing in a master's degree program that allows you to design a career around your love for dance.

Transpersonal Art Therapy

Learn how to use the healing power of art to treat the whole person in this graduate degree program that integrates transpersonal theory with clinical counseling approaches.

The Naropa Difference

The beauty of the landscapes we explore, Boulder’s progressive community, and the transformative on-campus environment make graduate wilderness therapy training at Naropa an unparalleled learning experience.

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Wilderness Solo and Vision Quest

Participate in a rites of passage ceremony, including a multi-day vision fast, to mark the transition from second to third year. The vision fast is part of a four-day, three-night wilderness solo and vision quest you’ll experience in the Colorado backcountry.

As you unplug and deeply connect with nature, you’ll discover your most authentic self. As a result, you’ll be more prepared to help others find peace and healing in nature.

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Clinical Internships

During your third year, you’ll complete a nine- to 12-month clinical internship that provides invaluable practical training and experience. You’ll continue your online courses and will visit campus twice per semester for weekend intensives. This flexibility allows students to study at Naropa from anywhere in the United States.

Our students in the transpersonal wilderness therapy degree program have had a wide range of opportunities working with diverse clinical populations at internship sites such as schools, traditional clinical practices with outdoor therapy programs, equine-assisted therapy programs, residential treatment programs, and backcountry-based programs. As many as one-third of our graduate students receive job offers from their internship placements.

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Wilderness Therapy Training

Explore the backcountry of the Rocky Mountains and canyons in Utah. Learn about equine therapy at local horse stables and horticulture therapy at gardens. Participate in lectures outside in nature. In Naropa’s wilderness therapy program, you’ll have a variety of opportunities to gain hands-on experience and develop therapeutic skills through intensive training expeditions in rock climbing, primitive skills, challenge courses, horticulture, and horsemanship.

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Students Transformed

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It has always been a dream of mine to serve people through the vehicle of wilderness experience, and Naropa's wilderness therapy program had everything I was looking for. Not only is Naropa providing great professional development and opportunities to succeed in the workplace, but I also credit the amount of attention that is devoted to working with each individual's inner process. I think that when we truly look within ourselves that we often find the best ways of serving others as well.

Alexander Bailey

MA in Clinical Mental Health Counseling, Transpersonal Wilderness Therapy, 2017

In response to the COVID crisis, graduate students in Naropa’s transpersonal wilderness therapy program have created an online mental health resource project: We Will Get Through This. The website hosts virtual live stream feeds of guided meditations, yoga practices, psycho-education, and various regulation methods for managing mental health during this pandemic.

What to Expect