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.
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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:
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.
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.
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.