Jill Wheeler

Visiting Instructor
MA Clinical Mental Health Counseling, Nature-Based Transpersonal Counseling Concentration
BA, Wilderness Therapy and Human Development; MA, Counseling Psychology
MA Clinical Mental Health Counseling, Nature-Based Transpersonal Counseling Concentration

Jill grew up on the east coast of the United States, homeschooled for much of her childhood, splitting the year between Connecticut, Florida, and the Bahamian Islands. She wintered on a boat cruising along the coast of southern Florida, the Florida keys, and the Bahamas, while summers were spent on the coastal waters of New England’s islands and shores. This life “aboard” instilled a deep respect and love for wild places, often anchored off coasts, surrounded by the smells and sounds of coastal wildlife, immersed in the swells and motion of the ocean.
Jill spent two years in Waterville, Maine, at Colby College studying psychology and leading outdoor orientation trips, then transferred to Prescott College in Prescott, Arizona to finish her BA in Human Development, with an emphasis in Wilderness Therapy and Movement Arts. She craved the wild expanse of the west and spent fifteen years devoted to climbing rocks and mountains, personally and professionally.

Following her undergraduate education, she moved to the other coast, Santa Cruz, California, to pursue a career as a behavior therapist with children diagnosed on the Autism Spectrum. She worked under some of the most esteemed and highly regarded Autism and Applied Behavioral Analysts in the world at the time. Throughout this time, she was able to balance her Behavior Therapy career with summers in the wilderness, leading high-impact, leadership programs for Colorado Outward Bound School, the Athenian School and Women’s Wilderness Institute before furthering her academic pursuits at the University of Denver, graduating with a Master of Arts in Counseling Psychology in 2001.

For twenty years, Jill has cultivated a private practice and founded a nonprofit nature-based leadership program while serving as a leadership consultant, yoga instructor, writer, adventurer, and athlete who specializes in creating transformational and empowerment experiences for individuals, groups, and communities.

She has worked as a licensed professional counselor and mental health specialist with individuals, couples, and families experiencing a range of psycho-social issues, including a range of mental health diagnoses, interpersonal communication challenges, grief, loss, and illness.

As an adventure guide and outdoor educator, she has led individuals, special interest groups, and corporate clients on high impact, life-changing adventures. Whether working in the office, online, classroom or outdoors, she aims to help people climb high in all areas of their lives, overcoming mountains of uncertainty and navigating pathways toward individual’s visions and goals.

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Naropa Campuses Closed on Friday, March 15, 2024

Due to adverse weather conditions, all Naropa campuses will be closed Friday, March 15, 2024.  All classes that require a physical presence on campus will be canceled. All online and low-residency programs are to meet as scheduled.

Based on the current weather forecast, the Healing with the Ancestors Talk & Breeze of Simplicity program scheduled for Friday evening, Saturday, and Sunday will be held as planned.

Staff that do not work remotely or are scheduled to work on campus, can work remotely. Staff that routinely work remotely are expected to continue to do so.

As a reminder, notifications will be sent by e-mail and the LiveSafe app.  

Regardless of Naropa University’s decision, if you ever believe the weather conditions are unsafe, please contact your supervisor and professors.  Naropa University trusts you to make thoughtful and wise decisions based on the conditions and situation in which you find yourself in.