Mountain Vista

About the Program

What is Wilderness Therapy?

The Wilderness Therapy concentration provides students with experience in such areas as counseling psychology, wilderness skills, ecopsychology, adventure therapy, wilderness therapy, group dynamics, and outdoor leadership. There are four core areas that comprise the Wilderness Therapy program:

  1. Clinical and theoretical course work required for licensure in most states;
  2. Training in wilderness skills and therapeutic interventions;
  3. Contemplative practice and body awareness practice throughout the program;
  4. Extensive professional experience during the required nine-month internship.

The beauty of the landscapes in which we travel, Boulder’s progressive community and the transformative Naropa University environment make graduate training here an unparalleled learning experience.

Gain Experience with...


Explores and develops the relationship between humans and the rest of nature.

Adventure Therapy

Utilizes outdoor challenges as a means for therapeutic change, often in a group setting.

Clinical Course Work

Involves hands-on practice with counseling skills.

Expressive Therapies

Uses creative expression, such as art or music, for healing in the therapeutic process.

Rites of Passage

A multi-day vision fast and ceremony at the end of two years of course work to mark the transition into the third-year.

The second year of Wilderness Therapy includes extensive outdoor expeditions integrating classroom learning and hands-on experience. We address the therapeutic use of rock climbing, initiatives, canyons, rivers, equine therapy, horticulture, and rites of passage.