AcademicsGraduate AcademicsClinical Mental Health CounselingNature-Based Transpersonal Counseling

Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling, Concentration in Nature-Based Transpersonal Counseling

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 Nature-Based Transpersonal Counseling degree program, formerly the Transpersonal Wilderness Therapy concentration. Learn more about the evolution of the program name

Explore the transformative power of nature while sharpening your capacity to attend to yourself and others in a skilled, compassionate manner. In Naropa’s Nature-Based Transpersonal Counseling concentration, 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 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.

Discover Career Pathways for Nature-Based Transpersonal Counseling Graduates

Quick Facts


in Distinct Therapeutic Approaches


of Immersive Wilderness


Students Hired
by Their
Internship Site
Out of 3
Olivia Phipps headshot

with your counselor

Olivia Phipps

Graduate Admissions Counselor

Nature-Based Transpersonal Counseling Courses

At Naropa, nature-based counseling is defined as the conscious incorporation of nature into therapeutic interventions. Unique among nature-based counseling programs, Naropa’s master’s in Nature-Based Transpersonal Counseling degree integrates classroom learning, hands-on experience, and contemplative practices.

Graduates of our program don’t just receive a certificate tacked on to their counseling degree; nature-based learning and experientials are integrated into each course. In the classroom and beyond, students have opportunities to practice their counseling skills. Through these experiences, students do not become experts in every nature-based modality or technical area, but they do gain the experience, tools, and confidence to lead innovative and effective counseling sessions in diverse settings.

Master’s in Nature-Based Transpersonal Counseling courses include:

Other Concentrations
in Clinical Mental Health 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.

Learn to guide others with humility and compassion in a master’s degree program grounded in the Buddhist contemplative wisdom tradition.

Gain clinical experience in applying techniques for helping the body to heal the mind. This pioneering somatic counseling program prepares psychotherapists to integrate mind, body, and movement.  

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.

Build a life of service by channeling your artistic passion with this master’s degree that combines transpersonal counseling and studio art with a deep contemplative practice.

The Naropa Difference

Based on the belief that understanding and working with others is ultimately based on understanding and working with one’s own personal dynamic, we approach somatic psychotherapy as a system process involving self, environment, and the interaction between both.

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.

Clinical Internships

During your third and final 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 Nature-Based Transpersonal Counseling 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.

Program Faculty

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 Nature-Based Transpersonal Counseling 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.

Students Transformed

Student Transformed

What to Expect

Learn how culture and social structures shape relationships with nature.
Practice contemplative wisdom and body awareness throughout the program.
Extend your personal transformation into transformative work with others.
Complete coursework required for professional licensure in most states.
Clinical Counseling
Use therapeutic wilderness skills in nature-based approaches to counseling.

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This is where experiential learning meets academic rigor. Where you challenge your intellect and uncover your potential. Where you discover the work you’re moved to do—then use it to transform our world.

“*” indicates required fields


This is where experiential learning meets academic rigor. Where you challenge your intellect and uncover your potential. Where you discover the work you’re moved to do—then use it to transform our world.

“*” indicates required fields