Equine therapy

Wilderness Therapy

Naropa's Transpersonal Wilderness Therapy concentration integrates clinical and theoretical course work in counseling psychology with contemplative practice.

Accepting Applications for Fall 2019

Transform yourself and experience the healing power of nature with a master’s degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling—Transpersonal Wilderness Therapy concentration.

Naropa University’s Transpersonal Wilderness Therapy program is an interdisciplinary, multicultural program that prepares you to practice as a psychotherapist in a myriad of settings, both outdoors and within clinical mental health agencies.

In addition to the study of mindfulness and transpersonal psychology, this intensely experiential degree program gives you ten weeks’ direct experience in the wilderness, acquiring outdoor skills along with mental health interventions that incorporate the natural world into the therapeutic relationship.

Naropa’s Transpersonal Wilderness Therapy alumni are making their presence felt in a wide-range of settings with diverse populations. As many as one-third of our students receive job offers from their internship placements. Our Transpersonal Wilderness Therapy graduates are working as school counselors, therapists in equine therapy programs, faculty members, addictions counselors, directors of outdoor therapy programs, and individual psychotherapists.


Naropa Community Counseling Center

Provide counseling to community members in your third year of graduate study as an intern at the Naropa Community Counseling Center. The center offers contemplative and mindfulness healing services to community residents on a sliding-fee scale.


Credits Required


The master’s degree program in Clinical Mental Health Counseling with a Transpersonal Wilderness Therapy concentration is a three-year, 60-credit program that offers theoretical grounding in transpersonal psychology and ecopsychology along with wilderness immersion and 700 hours of a supervised internship.

Degree Requirements




Featured Wilderness Therapy Classes

  • Family Systems Interventions I: Equine-Assisted Settings
  • Special Populations Interventions: Wilderness Therapy Settings
  • Psychology of Meditation I: Mindfulness Training
  • Outdoor Skills I
  • Ecopsychology in Context



Program Learning Outcomes

  • Students demonstrate knowledge of core counseling curriculum.
  • Students demonstrate proficiency in clinical counseling skills.
  • Students demonstrate professional competence in counseling.
  • Students demonstrate the ability to effectively incorporate nature-based approaches into counseling.
  • Students demonstrate an understanding of how culture and social structures influences the human-nature relationship.
Student in wilderness therapy

Student Spotlight

“Naropa is a guide, a friend, a parent, a teacher, a passion, a love interest. Naropa stretches me intellectually while also providing the safest space I have ever known to be authentically myself. There is nothing more important for my future than a solid foundation. Naropa gives me that.”

— Elissa Crandall
MA, Transpersonal Wilderness Therapy, 2018


Deb Piranian

Faculty Spotlight

“I like to describe our program as the conscious incorporation of the natural world into the therapeutic process. We are really looking at: What are the benefits of bringing nature into the counseling or therapeutic process? And how do you do it? I think that is one of the unique things that we offer.”

— Deb Piranian, PhD

Director, Transpersonal Wilderness Therapy