Bridging the transition through mentoring and parent support.

Transition Specialist and Mentors

Greta Lutman, lcmhc, lcas, lpc, Parent Coach

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Greta received her bachelor's degree in Anthropology with a minor in Art History from Wake Forest University in 1988, and a master's in Agency Counseling (Clinical Mental Health Counseling) with concentrations in Marriage & Family Counseling and Substance Abuse Counseling, from Appalachian State University in 1992. For the bulk of her career thus far (thirteen of the last twenty years), Greta was a wilderness therapist in programs in the southern Appalachian Mountains near Asheville, NC. In addition, Greta has worked with adolescents and their families in boarding schools and residential programs throughout the Southeast since 2000 in various roles such as primary therapist, assistant clinical director, clinical director, family workshop facilitator, and parent coach. Greta came to this field because she wanted to do "big" work; to help people change and grow. Currently Greta has a private psychotherapy practice in Waynesville, NC and provides parent coaching for 360 Transitions.

Greta's clinical orientation is informed by an understanding of Family Systems, Structural Family Therapy, Psychodrama, Gestalt Therapy, Metaphor Therapy, Transpersonal Psychology, Narrative Therapy, Attachment Theory, and Guided Imagery. Rather than focusing on diagnoses, she utilizes the humane and nonjudgemental paradigm of Enneagram to help clients understand personality features, behavioral and emotional patterns, and relationships. In keeping with her professional and personal interest in anthropology, art, culture and consciousness, she sees therapeutic work as a type of collaborative and living archaeology that can help provide relief and context for understanding and resolving current troubles.

In regard to family work and parent coaching, Greta does not see the "problem" as belonging to any one member of a family and believes that even apparent "problems" can be there for good reason; to solve other dilemmas, to create relief for the whole system or to help the family avoid dealing with something that is hard to face. In addition, Greta believes that inside each of us is the drive and desire to heal, grow and change. A counselor or coach is there as a guide, witness and support, but is not the source of such change. These holistic views can be helpful in creating a more complete picture of what is going on and can create a path towards solving the dynamics that brought families to treatment to begin with. Often a new perspective is needed to help create the potential change. She likes to turn over all stones.

Greta's work with parents can feel like an organic combination of listening, coaching, educating, encouraging, supporting, trouble-shooting and problem-solving. Parenting is not clear, concise or predictable; it can be messy and bewildering. In that spirit, the work with Greta is about exploring solutions and strategies that help a parent grow and relate to their child in a more satisfactory, healthy way; and to ride the waves with less distress. As Interpersonal Neurobiology pioneer Dr. Daniel Siegel said, the most helpful thing you can do for your child is to make sense of your own life. 

For fun Greta likes to wander through small towns exploring antique shops, looking for rare midcentury treasures, eating any kind of international cuisine, and hanging out with her two Belgian Malinois, Trixie and Oso. Greta also has a home studio where she loves to design and fabricate her own jewelry. "The process of making art gives my mind a break from the intense work of counseling, and the counseling feeds my need for meaningful work and connection."

 

Dr. Gillan Smith, Parent Coach

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Gillan is a personal and relationship coach, as well as a Licensed Psychologist. Gillan received his Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology from Brigham Young University. Gillan has invested the past 30 years in helping families navigate to a place of better balance. He offers coaching services to individuals, couples and families interested in their own growth and determined to improve their lives and their relationship with their child.

Gillan has had a fulfilling career working with families of adolescents and young adults in wilderness settings and therapeutic boarding schools as well as outpatient work. Gillan has worked in Utah, Alaska and Virginia as a psychologist and coach.

Over the past few years, Gillan has shifted his work to primarily coaching adults on their individual paths and as parents of adolescents and young adults who are still finding their way. Gillan's ability to listen, understand and compassionately guide parents with his 360 Transitions clients is one of his greatest strengths. 

Gillan lives in Utah with his wife and teenage son, who is the youngest of four. His three young adult daughters are each pursuing their own paths of discovery and are frequent visitors. 

Randy Moss, Ph.D., Parent Coach

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Randy Moss, Ph.D. is a practicing psychologist with 40 years of experience with youth and transitional aged adults. He is a consultant to behavioral programs, trainer for other practitioners, a supervisor and mentor for therapists, a private practice psychologist and writer. His interests and curiosity arose early in life focusing on helping those with multiple challenges. An expert in co-occurring disorders, the past couple of decades expanded into complexity: how physical, mental, social, personality. and genes factors can interact and create greater difficulties. Unraveling this tangle of influences to provide comprehensive support and help is his love. Each person is unique therefore needs to be understood within context and capacity. Randy works hard to find those handholds.

Working with families who manage struggles and challenging children is familiar. Randy is father to a son with autism and three others with a variety of physical health issues that affect life functioning and socialization. This work is not just a profession or intellectual focus but a lived expression of his reality. Compassionate with the strain, frustrated with the system and hopeful for better futures, Randy is an easy companion walking beside stressed parents and youth. Interested in the well-being of all related to the identified youth, Randy is ready to offer resources, explore alternative interventions and listen to support and understand. Not a pushover, Randy will speak the truth he sees packaged to be received with grace but meant to push and instigate change. Whatever the youth demonstrated or whatever diagnosis they carry, the whole family system has adjusted. Randy focuses on the health of the whole.

Having lived and worked in harsh remote Alaskan small villages as well as urban centers for 19 years, directed an in-patient adolescent dual diagnosis program in Urban Utah, numerous substance abuse programs, a research and training center and private practice, Randy brings experience and innovation as well as dogged pursuit of relieving intense struggle where possible. In the twilight of his career, parent coaching is a peak in aggregating his life's work. He thrives on tough cases, complicated presentations and intensity. Randy is grateful to work with 360 Transitions.

Jason Denham, Parent Coach

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Jason has just shy of two decades of experience working with adolescents and families in various settings after his start in wilderness therapy at SUWS of the Carolinas. Jason was born and raised on the east coast and spent time building the majority of his career in Asheville, NC and Boston, MA.

Jason spent many years working tirelessly to improve as a guide, mentor, senior, master instructor, and eventually supervisor/trainer of up to 30 Instructors while working at Stone Mt School. Later he would work as Program Director in Boston for young adult transitional living, responsible for training coaches and live-in staff overseeing four residences.

Jason currently has completed two courses with "Integrative Approach" in Advanced Attachment Based Coaching and is studying the Hakomi Method (a mindful Somatic Psychotherapy) influenced by Gestalt theory and intertwined Attachment theory.

Jason holds certificates in trauma-informed practices with Firefly Yoga International and CCAR recovery coaching. He holds Certificates in multiple movement practices for holistic approach to mental health and wellness.

Jason is in long-term recovery and has facilitated groups, providing support for all walks, from young adults in foster care to sober residential and transitional programs throughout his career. He continues to work with people in recovery as an outdoor professional in Colorado with Adventure Recovery.

After having experienced a vast array of program and positions, Jason has amassed an extensive toolkit for supporting both parents and students with 360 Transitions.

Wendy Lee Johnson, Parent Coach

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Wendy began coaching adoptive parents in Oregon's Foster to Adopt program 25 years ago and currently has a private practice coaching parents of teens and young adults. She has worked extensively as a counselor, speaker, and leader. 

Wendy is a powerful Parent Coach, focusing on strengthening and rebuilding the connections that keep families together. She is passionate about helping parents find the joy of one of the most rewarding experiences they can have on this planet--raising children.

In addition to her formal training, she has a wealth of knowledge and depth of understanding that comes from raising 8 children, most adopted through the state system. She has first-hand parenting experience with teens working through issues surrounding residential treatment, group homes, attachment disorder, drug addiction, incarceration, DUIs, adoption, ADHD, LGTBQ+, and varied learning abilities.

Her commitment is to help parents create a vision for their family and then develop a plan of action to make that vision a reality.

Originally from southern Oregon, she now lives in Lehi, Utah surrounded by family. She loves to travel, cuddle her grandbabies, and hike with her English Springer, Lu.

Audrey Everson, LMHC, Parent Coach

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Audrey has worked with teens and families for the past 20 years, and just previously worked in a therapeutic boarding-school setting. During this time Audrey assisted students' and their parents with communication, home agreements/contracts, and transition planning. Audrey has developed clinical skills in working with teens with an array of mental health, social and academic challenges. In addition, she believes in Family Systems work, and has extensive experience planning and implementing Pycho-educational and Group Psychotherapy Family workshops.

Audrey is originally from Iowa, where she was born and raised, but has been living on the east coast for the past 20 years. She has three brothers, two sisters, and 24 nieces and nephews with whom she is very close.

Jodi Warthen, MSW, Parent Coach

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Jodi was born and raised near the Sawtooth Mountain in Idaho where she and her family camped at the mountain lake with their horses for weeks at a time. This is where Jodi's love of the outdoors and of horses was developed.

Jodi graduated from Boise State University in 2003 with her Bachelor's degree in Kinesiology K-12 and Health Education. Upon graduation, Jodi became a full-time high school teacher for the next three years where she taught Strength and Conditioning, Health, Dance and Physical Education to high school students. Jodi received an email during the summer before her fourth year of teaching advertising a need for wilderness therapy guides for Entrada wilderness program and felt like this was a good fit for her due to her love of the outdoors and her passion for working with youth. Jodi and her husband both decided to work for Entrada (now Evoke Entrada) and made the long commute from Southern Idaho to Southern Utah for a year working as a wilderness guide for both Entrada and Aspiro Adventures. Jodi knew that she wanted to do more with this type of work and decided to pursue her master's degree.

While working as a teacher, Jodi had already begun her Master's in PE Pedagogy and Exercise Science and so she finished this degree first while working as a developmental specialist and PSR coordinator for several mental health agencies. Jodi was then accepted into the Boise State Masters of Social Work program while she also worked as an adjunct professor for Boise State, the College of Western Idaho and the University of Phoenix. Jodi completed her internship at the Boise VA Medical Center where she worked with homeless veterans to assist them in finding housing.

Upon graduation in 2011 with her Masters in Social Work degree, Jodi accepted a position as a summer clinical therapist for SUWS wilderness program and loved being outdoors and working with families and teenagers. Jodi then moved on to work at Northwest Academy in Naples, Idaho as a clinical therapist and eventually moved into a position with the VA Medical Center which allowed her to be closer to family again. Jodi is also a Wilderness First Responder and is certified in EAGALA where she uses horses as therapeutic tools and has found this to be a highly affective form of therapy for families, veterans and teenagers.

Jodi is married and has 5 hourses, 3 dogs, and 2 cats that she considers to be her "kids for now." Jodi loves working with families with 360 Transitiions and she feels like her journey has come around full circle and feels blessed to have this opportunity.

Tess Riabokin, Parent Coach

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Tess has had 11 years of experience in the wilderness therapy and adolescent treatment field. She graduated from George Washington University with a bachelor of fine arts degree in interior architecture and art history. She started in the therapeutic field as a wilderness instructor at Open Sky Wilderness Therapy in Durango, CO, working with young adults in 2010. Over her six years at Open Sky, she also worked with families, trained and mentored new guides, and became the Field Director. She then went on to work at Aim House in Boulder, CO as a transition mentor.

Tess completed her graduate training in clinical social work at both Smith College School of Social Work and at New York University.

Beginning in 2017, Tess worked as a mentor for 360 Transitions before moving into her role as a Parent Coach. Her clinical experience includes the treatment of trauma, mindfulness-based interventions, self-harming behaviors, substance abuse, personality disorders, and family systems work.

Tess grew up outside of Minneapolis, Minnesota and guided wilderness canoe, backpacking and dogsledding expeditions throughout the western US, Canada and Alaska. She has an established study of mindfulness and meditation and worked as a yoga instructor for 8 years across the US. She currently works as a psychotherapist and provides parent coaching support for 360 Transitions clients. Tess lives in Asheville, NC.

Jon Stang, L.C.S.W., Parent Coach

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Following a period of professional river and mountain guiding across the northern Rockies and northeastern Canada, Jon found his way to Aspen Achievement Academy where he worked as a Field Instructor; at the time, the field of wilderness therapy was young - as was Jon - but he knew he had found his calling. Eventually tiring of living out of his pickup across the mountain west, Jon moved to NYC where he shaved, rented an apartment and earned a Master of Science in Advanced Clinical Practice from Columbia University (*04); he has been a Licensed Clinical Social Worker since 2006. 

Jon has specialized in treating children, adolescents and young adults living with psychiatric, substance related and behavioral disorders, ADHD, emerging personality problems and complex trauma and conflicted family dynamics. He has worked extensively with parents and families to improve systemic health. Trained in sophisticated technique and sound practice, it's Jon's capacity to connect with skeptical clients that has distinguished his practice. He has eight years of experience as a wilderness therapist (and two as Director of Risk Management); two years as a Clinical Director of therapeutic boarding school; four years in private practice, specializing in Parent Coaching, child and adolescent psychotherapy and therapeutic wilderness retreats for families. As a 360 Transitions Parent Coach, Jon is looking forward to applying his experience and skills in his work with parents as their child returns home from treatment.

Away from the office, Jon competes nationally in endurance mountain bike racing for Asheville, NC based Pro/Am cycling team. He and his wife, two daughters and coonhounds enjoy time together in the mountains. Jon is involved in animal rescue, loves chess and knows how to French braid hair, draw unicorns and make bracelets out of blooming clover.

Kelsey Morell, LMSW, Parent Coach and Mentor

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Kelsey Morell, LMSW, spent the last three years working as a family consultant for PRN For Families. Recently relocating to Minneapolis, Minnesota, Kelsey joined the 360 Transitions team providing both Mentor and Parent Coaching support in the Midwest region. Most recently she also headed up the PRN partnership aftercare program with Voyager Outward Bound Intercept.

Kelsey earned her master's degree from Columbia University School of Social Work in 2016. Her prior clinical experiences include working with at-risk youth and families in the New York Public School System; with psychiatric patients and their families at Bellevue Hospital of New York City; and with incarcerated youth within the juvenile justice system.

Kelsey earned her B.A. in Sociology with a minor in Education from Colorado College in 2012, where she also played lacrosse. She continues to make outdoor activities and exercise a priority in her life, and is a certified teacher and practitioner of yoga. Kelsey also enjoys traveling to immerse herself in other cultures, where she feels the most growth for a person happens.

Beth Hillman, Parent Coach

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Beth is a certified Life Coach, Arbinger Institute Facilitator and Parent Coach. When her fifteen-year-old son went to wilderness, Beth began her own journey of self-improvement by becoming a certified life coach and an Arbinger Institute Facilitator. The principles and skills she learned had a massive, life altering impact. She is living proof that relationships can be rebuilt through the power of emotionally consistent parenting.

Beth's personal experience as a parent combined with her exuberance for self-discovery and her passion for helping others creates a rare combination of empathy and expertise.

As a mother of five sons, you could say Beth has been running her own "all-boys wilderness camp" for the last twenty-six years, bonding with her family through climbing, hiking, kayaking, swimming, camping, biking and running. Playing outdoors is her family's release and connection.

In 2019, Beth became the Parent Seminar Teacher at Wingate Wilderness Therapy, the very wilderness program her son attended. In that role, Beth was honored to both spend time with kids in the wilderness as well as coach and support parents as they reunited with their children midway through the program.

Following this beloved stint in the wilderness, Beth was recruited to become the Parent and Family Program Director at Makana Leadership Academy, a residential treatment center in central Utah. There she implemented and improved her original parent support coaching program, bringing her education, experience and empathy to even more families.

Beth is passionate about helping things get better at home. She did it for her family while transitioning her own son home and now finds great fulfillment in working with parents in her own private coaching practice as well as speaking engagements and volunteer work with families in need. Beth lives in Highland, Utah with her husband and their youngest son.

Penney Stahl, Mentor

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With parents who were both Marriage and Family therapists, Penney began learning the ways of a therapist early in life. She earned her bachelor's degree from the University of Maryland and then went on to earn her master's degree in counseling psychology from Adams State University. She is currently a Licensed Professional Counselor.

Penney began her psychotherapy career a number of years ago as a wilderness therapy field guide in Utah. In this work, she witnessed the beauty of the way mother nature brings issues to light. Prior to joining the 360 Transitions team, Penney worked at Open Sky Wilderness program where she continues to provide Family Therapy. Penney also has worked extensively in Equine Assisted Psychotherapy, exploring the power of working with a horse as a co-therapist. Equine therapy and wilderness therapy showed her the way that experiential therapies can access the right brain and thus lead to lasting changes.

Early in her career, Penney also worked with adults who had severe and persistent mental illnesses. In this work, she assisted individuals in regaining their independence and managing their illnesses on their own after treatment - much like what she does with her 360 Transitions clients. She also worked in a Therapeutic Foster Care system as well, through which she gained an understanding of adoption and attachment issues that often go together.

Penney's strengths as a Mentor at 360 Transitions lie in establishing a trusting relationship with the families and individuals that she works with. This enables her to help them see where some of their patterns interfere with their values and relationships. As a mother, she knows what it is like to get stuck in negative patterns with her own children and move beyond these patterns into a healthier relationship.

Penney has been a long-time show boarder and when she's not working, she loves to spend time with her family up in the mountains. Animals are also very important to her and are part of the family. She enjoys traveling to places off the beaten path and traveling the world, as well.

Cassie Walton, Mentor

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Cassie is a native of Ozarks, Missouri (yes, like the Netflix show Ozark), where she was first introduced to the field of social work when she became a coach at a residential treatment center called Calo Teens. Calo is nationally recognized for their work treating adolescents overcoming developmental trauma and attachment challenges, specializing in children who have been adopted. At Calo Cassie became proficient at providing trauma-informed care through a relational, attachment-focused model.

After spending three years at Calo, Cassie took a year to travel with the World Race and visited 11 countries in 11 months. Cassie chose this trip to visit countries where children she had worked with had been adopted from. She had the opportunity to visit several orphanages, foster homes, and hospitals that were providing services to disadvantaged children in these countries.

Upon returning to the United States, Cassie worked with young adults and animal-assisted therapy with golden retrievers. She facilitated transferable attachment through a canine foster to adoption program at Calo Young Adults in Winchester, VA. Most recently she worked at a girl's therapeutic boarding school in Flat Rock, NC called Lake House Academy where she completed an internship and gained skills in Theraplay and Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy.

Cassie is currently finishing up her Masters in Social Work, interning at an Asheville outpatient counseling clinic, and providing Mentor support to her clients with 360 Transitions. She is passionate about seeking to understand others' experiences and helping them make meaning from those experiences to become the best versions of themselves. Cassie is a travel and cultural enthusiast with 46 states and 40 countries under her belt. On weekends she can be found exploring the beautiful Blue Ridge mountains, rivers, and lakes and creating her own adventures.

Frank Byrne, Mentor

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Frank grew up in a small town in rural western Maryland, where his refuge was exploring the local forests and mountains with the friends he made on the high school cross country team. He moved to western North Carolina to attend college, and very much fell in love with the area that would gradually become home.

After graduating college in 2013, Frank moved to Asheville, NC where he worked as a wilderness instructor at SUWS of the Carolinas for two and a half years. This turned out to be a transformative experience which allowed him to satisfy his passion for helping others and being outdoors while also providing him with answers to many of his questions about life and human experience. He later worked for a year helping to found a therapeutic boarding school for young men on the autism spectrum, followed by a four year turn as a route setter for the local climbing gym.

2021 brough him back to SUWS, where he spent two more years mentoring and teaching both staff and students. Returning to SUWS was a deeply rewarding and grounding experience, which led to the realization that his passion for therapy and personal growth are what he wants to pursue as a career. He is now working towards attending graduate school to become a therapist.

Outside of work, Frank is particularly passionate about rock climbing, a hobby that has allowed him to connect to the greater community of climbers. He has traveled across the United States to visit climbing destinations and made multiple international climbing trips to Mexico and Thailand. When he's not climbing, he also enjoys photography, hiking, cooking, baking, and reading - particularly science fiction and fantasy.

As a person and a mentor, Frank is motivated by curiosity, human connection, and the depth of human experience. He appreciates the moments in life that make us feel things, especially when we're able to choose vulnerability and share those times with others. His strength as a mentor lies in his capacity to hold space for others, empathize with them, and support them in living their own lives - particularly through the development of concrete social-emotional skills and an understanding of their own values.

Caleb McClain, Mentor

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Families of 11 are few and far between, however, Caleb McClain has always been proud to have 8 siblings backing him. He was born in Harrisonburg, Virginia and moved around to Massachusetts, Texas, Florida and California all before the age of 10. During his senior year Caleb was asked to mentor a 5th grade student who was having academic and behavior problems at school. The encouragement and belief from his high school counselor were the gifts that helped him solidify his role as a positive mentor to others. He graduated from Vanguard High, a small IB school in Ocala, Florida.

Bug Juice, a popular Disney show highlighting the life of camp counselors, was enough for Caleb to apply for Camp Ridgecrest for Boys. Over the next 12 years he would give 10 summers, and one full school year to the camp, serving in many of the roles there, including Program Director. This was the catalyst to his love of the wilderness. He became comfortable sleeping on the ground and most importantly role modeling life for campers.

During the school year Caleb attended Florida State University in Tallahassee, FL where he earned a Bachelors in Recreation Management. His internship was with the Campus Recreation, Rez, where he co-lead trips with college students and was integral in re-accrediting the program on its American Camp Association standards.

After graduating in 2010, Caleb moved to Manson, North Carolina to work with Eckerd Youth Alternatives, where he served adjudicated youth in a wilderness alternative school setting. Caleb attributes this experience as the beginning of his training for a career in the mental health field. Following this experience Caleb spent some time in Baltimore with the Board of Child Care canvassing the streets and working with urban youth.

Caleb soon realized he was yearning for the outdoors again and wanted to get back to his headlamp and campfires. He was encouraged to look into Blue Ridge Therapeutic Wilderness and within a week was setting up to begin the training. Caleb was privileged to work as a senior field staff for 3 years. It was at Blue Ridge where Caleb developed the understanding that he was able to gain rapport easily with students, leading him to be empowered to set boundaries and challenge student's patterns, while remaining compassionate and empathetic. Amongst the brilliant, life-altering ideas he learned at Blue Ridge, Caleb also recognized that living in the wilderness was not sustainable though he absolutely loved his time out there. Following Blue Ridge he relocated to Washington D.C. for a period of time to fulfill a lifelong goal of living in the big city like his little brothers.

Recently marrying the love of his life, Elizabeth, and becoming a father to his son, Henry, have topped any life experiences to date. His family of 3 moved to Greenville, SC to settle in for a while and to enjoy all that life has to offer.

Rob McLarty, Mentor

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Rob grew up in Roswell, GA where his earliest memories are of setting up campfires in his backyard with his dogs. He was drawn to the outdoors and athletics as a child. These interests continued to shape him through high school where Rob played football, wrestled, and ran track. By the end of his junior year of high school he felt the need for a more challenging environment and requested that his parents send him to Marion Military Institute, a military academy in Alabama.

After graduating from Marion, Rob attended junior college for 3 semesters but felt like there was more to be done at that time and had little interest in pursuing a college degree for an unknown purpose. He left school and started a specialized concrete construction company in Panama City, FL. The company flourished for 3 years where Rob and his partner experienced the trials and pleasures of building a business. Rob sold out his partnership in the company and set off to begin a Thru Hike of the 2,100-mile Appalachian Trail from Georgia to Maine. This experience was foundational in shaping his understanding of the power of time spent in nature and the bonds formed among those you share it with. The sense of freedom, adventure, and fellowship awakened an identity within him that continues to grow to this day.

Following the Thru-Hike, Rob spent some time thinking about his next career move, knowing that somehow he wanted to incorporate nature and helping people into this next step. In speaking with a friend he learned about Blue Ridge Therapeutic Wilderness and was immediately intrigued. He was hired on as a field staff, moved to Clayton, GA and spent the next four years working at Blue Ridge. Knowing he had discovered his career passion, Rob returned to college and completed a degree in psychology.

Rob has settled down in Clayton, GA with his wife, dogs and chickens. Gardening and endless home improvement projects keep him connected to his love of working with his hands. In addition to guiding backpacking trips with a company he started called, Walking in the Woods, Rob also mentors clients with 360 Transitions. "There's nothing more exciting and fulfilling than helping young people take the skills they've learned in treatment and learning how to apply them in their real world context," says Rob.

Melissa Malaspino, Mentor

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Melissa was born and raised in Cape Cod, Massachusetts until age 15, when her family decided to move to metro Atlanta, GA. After about a year in Georgia high school Melissa enrolled in an early entrance college program at the University of West Georgia. The first class on her schedule was an introduction to Psychology, and through the course of that first semester, inspired by all the possibilities for understanding and growth her professor introduced her to, she decided to choose psychology as her major.

After continuing to be inspired by the knowledge and passion of her teachers, building community among her colleagues, and realizing how well the MA in Psychology program fit her interests, she decided to stay for a second degree. She completed her MA in 2016, with the hopes of working in the field of ecopsychology (focusing on the human-nature relationship).

Melissa began her career as a Field Guide at Blue Ridge Therapeutic Wilderness in the spring of 2017. There she was able to gain many season of direct experience understanding how wilderness both challenges and rewards those who spend time with it. As a senior guide, Melissa spent significant time leading both adolescent boys and girls groups, and also worked with the young adult program as well.

Becoming a senior and eventually mentor-level staff allowed her the opportunity to help new guides and upcoming senior guides grow as staff, while also constantly learning from them and her students about how she might show up as her best self.

Her departure from Blue Ridge Wilderness was inspired largely by the beauty, variety, and friendships she found while on extended road trips to the Southwest. She considered a move west for several seasons, then finally arrived in California in April 2021. She has since split her time between a few coastal cities. She hopes to continue to build a foundation in San Diego. Some of her favorite activities include running, practicing flow arts, learning to surf, and making time to visit friends and favorite places both at home and around the country. Her standard poodle, Clover, has been her near constant companion through her adventures for the last 3.5 years, including working with students in the wilderness.

Samika Johnston, Mentor

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Samika is a native of Saint Louis, Missouri but currently resides in Dallas, TX. She is a sister of 5 siblings and a sister of a national sorority, Zeta Phi Beta Sorority Inc. Samika graduated from Lane College based out of Jackson, TN in 2013 with a Bachelor in Biology. Her passion for kids began shortly after graduation when she relocated back to Missouri and began working for Piney Ridge, an RTC. From Piney Ridge a friend introduced her to Change Academy Lake of Ozarks (CALO), and she began working there soon after hearing about the program. Samika held many positions at CALO and attended numerous seminars and trainings learning the aspect of working with children struggling to have healthy relationships due to trauma and attachments issues. During Samika's career at CALO she held the title of Interim Program Director, where she managed 120 children; preteens, teens and employees. Samika's passion for kids never left her heart. Samika has found the perfect balance of working with her 360 Transitions clients as they adjust to the challenges of reintegrating back into the family following treatment and working for Cranial Technologies helping families reshape their children's heads with the treatment of a DOC Band "helmet."

Since her move to Texas, Samika continues to research programs and resources to meet her long term goal of opening an out-patient facility for adolescent girls; a place where these girls can feel safe. 

In her down time Samika enjoys relaxing, spending time with friends, exploring what Dallas has to offer and continuing to pursue her long-term goals one step at a time.

Audrey Waterman, Mentor

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Audrey (she/her) was born in Michigan to a gardener and a therapist and is currently residing in Arizona. She has been backpacking since the age of 8 and developed a deep healing connection with nature. This fueled her passion for exploration, wonder and discovery. Little did she know how expansive that connection would grow into all aspects of her life.

Audrey has a bachelors of science from Northern Michigan University in Outdoor Recreation Leadership and Management. She started her outdoor professional journey working with adolescents at a nature center in Michigan. She would plan week long programs throughout the summer and environmental education during the school year. She moved into leading trips for adolescents all over the state and eventually helped direct the whole program. This is where Audrey developed her love for connecting with adolescents and their families with nature.

Audrey then worked for Wingate Wilderness Therapy in Southern Utah where she faced huge challenges alongside her students. The desert tests you and we each found strength within us and each other to live in peace with nature. Audrey grew tremendously both professionally and personally during her time as a field guide. Following this experience, Audrey was part of developing a residential program before joining 360 Transitions as a Mentor.

Audrey is excited to help adolescents and young-adults transition back home. She recognizes that this transition can be such a shock to the system after experiencing so much progress in treatment. Finding one's own passions in life is a wonderful journey full of twists and turns and having supportive people by one's side during the journey can make all the difference. Audrey enjoys being one of those supportive people in her client's lives.

Kady Braswell, Mentor

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As a former military "brat", Kady spent her childhood experiencing a handful of different cultures and people, which fueled the desire to help those around her. After landing in North Carolina, Kady found herself working as a summer camp counselor leading archery, running, and rock-climbing activities for kids ages 8-12. Following this, Kady began working as a residential counselor, and later, a residential program manager at Lake House Academy, a therapeutic boarding school in Flat Rock, NC.

Three years later, after Kady obtained her EMT licensure, she moved to Arizona where she worked in the emergency room while also leading backpacking trips for clients through a residential treatment center on the weekends. Kady took over as the experiential program director for this residential program, and continued leading backpacking trips, planning hikes, and carrying out art and play therapy for clients aged 13-17.

In addition to her mentor work with 360 Transitions, Kady is a clinical coordinator with Child and Family Support Services in the Flagstaff area. She works to provide families with the supports and services they may need in order to heal including establishing them with a therapist, providing direct support staff to implement skills training, and family support. 

Kady brings great experience and energy to her clients with 360 Transitions. In her free-time she enjoys running, hiking, writing, and spending time with her two pups!

Emily Golding, Mentor

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Emily was born in Florida but is a western North Carolina girl at heart. She has lived in various places within the Appalachian Mountains since she was 10 and considers those mountains a special slice of the world very dear to her heart.

Emily attended school at Appalachian State University where she stumbled upon the Social Work curriculum and realized she had found her niche. She graduated with her Bachelor of Social Work in 2019. Emily has experience in case management, peer support for students with diverse abilities, and program planning for individuals on the autism spectrum.

Emily worked in wilderness therapy for a year and a half. She primarily worked with dual diagnosis adolescents as a field staff. She then moved into a coaching role on the clinical team. Emily is moving towards attending graduate school and becoming a Licensed Clinical Social Worker.

Those that know Emily often describe her as fiery, passionate, dedicated, creative, supportive, and silly! In her free time Emily puts her energy into her relationship with her dogs, her gardens, artistic endeavors, hula hooping, fire spinning, long boarding, hiking and whatever her most recent project is.

Jody Grubbs, Mentor

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Jody was born in North Carolina and spent much of his childhood hiking, camping, fishing, and playing in the creek all over the western North Carolina mountains and on his family's farm. He grew up playing baseball and football. After college, Jody taught Brazilian jiu jitsu to children, coached Pop Warner football, and worked as a wrestling coach at a high school in central Florida.

Jody began his career as a field guide at SUWS of the Carolinas in 2015, which combined his love of the outdoors and his desire to work with adolescents. In the years since, he has also worked in other therapeutic wilderness programs, worked as a teacher at a residential drug and alcohol treatment facility, and worked with children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder. The eight years that Jody has spent working with adolescents in mental health have convinced him to go back to school. He is currently working on his Master's in Business Administration with a concentration in Heathcare Administration, and he also plans to pursue his Master's in Social Work.

Jody still calls North Carolina home, but now lives in Southern Illinois. He enjoys spending time with his wife and family, discovering new places. In what little free time he has, Jody loves to spend time outside camping, hiking and fishing. He also plays the guitar very poorly, practices Brazilian jiu jitsu, and is training for a powerlifting meet. Jody prefers small groups of people over large ones and sees himself as soft spoken with a great sense of humor.

Alysha "AJ" Rieckenberg, Mentor

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Everyone calls Alysha, "AJ". AJ grew up in a small farm town in southern Illinois with her parents and three siblings. She was taught to love the outdoors from a young age and spent her childhood hiking, camping, making friction fires, catching snakes, and taking care of her many animals. AJ was a great gymnast and cheerleader in high school.

Spending her first 18 years in such a small town gave AJ a strong desire to travel and see more of the country. After graduating from high school, AJ moved to downtown Chicago to attend a French Pastry School. After graduating and becoming a French pastry chef, AJ continued to travel and has lived and worked throughout the US. AJ's beautiful daughter was born in 2017 and a career change followed shortly thereafter. AJ found her calling when she began working as a field guide at SUWS of the Carolinas. From her first shift in the field, she found what she was meant to do in the world.

After her experience in wilderness therapy, AJ has decided to go back to school and pursue a degree in psychology from Eastern Illinois University with plans to also get a master's degree in social work. Her goal is to one day become a therapist at a therapeutic wilderness program.

When AJ is not supporting her 360 Transitions clients or studying, she likes to spend time with her husband and daughter, camping, hiking, fishing, running, painting, baking and riding her bike.

Jason Clemares, Mentor

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Jason began his career as a field staff with a therapeutic wilderness program in North Georgia in 2013. Jason spent years in the field and eventually took on the role as field director in 2019. He brings over 8 years of experience into his current role working with young adults on the Autism Spectrum and his mentoring work with 360 Transitions.

Jason enjoys living an active and health-oriented lifestyle. He believes physical health is just as important and inextricably tied to emotional and mental health. Jason's longest discipline has been exercise, specifically weightlifting. He enjoys taking his motorcycle on long rides on the Blue Ridge Parkway and implementing Jiu Jitsu into his lifestyle. 

When he's not engaging in meditative archery, he delights in reading books from a wide collection of genres and topics. He has a fascination with mythology and how ancient stories can capture important elements of the intricacies of human existence.

Jess Gofberg, Mentor

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Jess grew up in Vermont where she developed a passion for skiing and connecting with nature. She moved to Salt Lake City, Utah in pursuit of skiing the greatest snow on earth and has called Utah home for almost a decade now.

Jess attended school at Westminster College and received a Bachelors of Arts in Environmental Studies. Following the beginning of her own healing journey she searched for meaningful work. This led her to working in wilderness therapy as a field staff and in residential settings as a mentor as well. She has primarily worked with adolescents and the work has allowed her to help others while continuing her own personal growth and development. She is currently working towards a Masters in Social Work.

In her free time Jess enjoys skiing, mountain biking, climbing, cooking a good meal and sharing time with friends and family. She is silly, caring, passionate, and loves a good laugh!

Celine Armijo, Mentor

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Celine was born and raised in Albuquerque, New Mexico. She attended Eastern New Mexico University where she studied criminal justice - sparking her interest in family reunification. Celine moved to Western North Carolina and has held positions as an assault crisis advocate, a court advocate trainer, and a residential manager. For the past four years she has worked at a therapeutic boarding school for girls ages 12 to 15 where they worked with students to build and re-establish the relationship with their family and form secure and healthy relationships with caregivers and peers.

Celine enjoys traveling, hiking, and kayaking. She has visited over 15 national parks and believes that bringing nature into your everyday life can benefit both your mental health and physical wellbeing. She also loves to spend time thrifting in search of one of a kind vintage items.

Leslie Denton, Mentor

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Leslie was born in Tennessee and spent her early childhood moving around to different states with her family. A constant factor that her family always brought with them was their love for outdoor recreation and volunteering with community outreach organizations.

After meeting her husband, Leslie enjoyed every minute of living in both the Great Smokey Mountains and Blue Ridge Mountains while taking jobs that aligned with her values.

She found her passion in North Carolina, where she worked at Lake House Academy in direct care as a Residential Manager for three years. During her time at Lake House, Leslie honed in on her passion for serving others. She loves building trusting relationships with teens, uplifting their self-confidence, independence, and helping them realize their own intrinsic value.

Leslie took her passion for working with youth to the Lowcountry, her current residence, in South Carolina working as an Assistant Teacher at a Montessori school.

Leslie can be found volunteering to help keep oceans clean from litter, hiking, enjoying the beach, and getting lost in a good book. She is the proud mom to her pet rabbit, Bunny.

Stefan White, Mentor

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Stefan was born and raised outside of Pittsburgh and grew up in rural southwestern Pennsylvania. He graduated from the University of Pittsburgh in 2021, and a few weeks after graduation he moved to western North Carolina. Here he worked at Blue Ridge Therapeutic Wilderness for about 2 years. After finishing up his work with Blue Ridge, he relocated to Ferndale, Michigan, moving on to start graduate school in pursuit of a master's degree in clinical mental health. He loves working with adolescents and young adults, and loves to be able to help others learn, grow, and step into success, whatever it may look like.

Stefan now enjoys spending his free time watching sports, as he is an avid football and hockey fan. He also has interests in growing plants and learning about birds, and will spend some time almost every day playing his guitar.

Brennan Garrison, Mentor

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Brennan has been working with students and families for close to a decade in both the wilderness and boarding school settings; most recently at SUWS of the Carolinas in Asheville, NC. Though Brennan has worked with the full range of both adolescent and young adult clients, he specializes in clients in recovery and on the autism spectrum. In his treatment work he has focused in both of these areas. 

Prior to working in the field of therapy, Brennan served for many years in the USAF, where he was deployed all over the world in a variety of roles. With this as a backdrop, he has had the opportunity to take these experiences and bring compassion into his client relationships; providing a balance of rapport, understanding and direction. His ability to engage his clients and create a safe container for them to grow into their best selves is his gift. 

In his free time Brennan enjoys being outside, the occasional video game and heading out to a live concert, his personal favorite being a good 'ole punk show.

Reuben Hoyos, Mentor

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Reuben was born and raised in Nashville, Tennessee where he grew to learn two things: live music was something that made his heart skip a beat - and he had absolutely no affinity for playing music. His early life involved playing every sport under the sun and participating in the local improv scene. At the age of 13 Reuben began a lifelong career in the outdoor industry. This led to a wide range of experiences from facilitating high ropes courses for fortune 500 companies to being a wilderness first responder during climbing festivals.

Reuben attended Middle Tennessee State University majoring in advertising, public relations and social psychology. Upon graduation he began a job in the "illustrious" world of health insurance marketing. Less than one year of white-collar work and the onset of a global pandemic later, he moved across the country to Salt Lake City, Utah to work a job he had always promised himself he would try out: wilderness therapy guiding. This goal led him to Aspiro Wilderness Therapy where he worked for a little over three years. In this role Reuben learned the intricacies and importance of forming quick, trusting, and communicative relationships. This coupled with the ability to support students with big emotions without fostering codependence led to success in a myriad of populations, both in day to day functioning as well as in crisis.

In his spare time Reuben is an avid rock climber. His passion for the sport has grown and changed from traveling for competitions, into now finding beautiful places and showing new people the wonderful past time. When not in the mountains Reuben is often found at his local game store playing and creating board/tabletop games; while he may say that this is to balance out his outdoorsy nature with something nerdy, it is in fact a cover up that he has lived in the mountains for four years but is still learning to ski.

Paul Barish, Mentor

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Paul grew up in South Florida but quickly realized that it was too flat and hot for him there. After high school, he moved to Leadville, Colorado to attend college and climb in the mountains and desert. With a degree in Outdoor Recreational Leadership, he worked many jobs in the outdoor industry including mountain guiding and dogsled guiding. As he continued to pursue his passion for all disciplines of climbing and life in the outdoor industry, nothing was as important as his time as a wilderness therapy guide at Aspiro Adventure.

Paul strongly believes that adventure is nothing without the emotion and relationships behind it. For 5 years as a wilderness therapy guide, Paul devoted his life to the therapeutic process of his students and peers. He feels passionate about helping them discover their own passion and way of living in a world that can feel exceedingly challenging. He also thrives in assisting young people to live in line with who they are, while checking the boxes that society requires of all of us.

To be sustainable in the mental health industry Paul believes in a balance of selfish and selflessness, so to refill his own cup he continues to pursue his passion for climbing, internationally and domestically. Paul feels passionately about technical routes on beautiful mountains deep in remote parts of the world whether it's in his home range of the Rocky Mountains or far away.

Joe Norman, Mentor

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Joe was born in Greensboro and raised in Charlotte, NC. His father got him into the YMCA Indian Guides program at an early age where he spent time in nature on camping and canoeing trips. At an early age Joe learned the power of healthy communication, community, support, empathy and team work with other fathers and sons. This is where Joe's love of nature and self discovery began.

The wilderness has had a strong influence on Joe over the years. In 2005 Joe embarked on the Appalachian trail with the goal of through hiking the entire trail. After 5 months he accomplished his goal and continued on the less known International Appalachian trail up to Cap Gaspe Quebec for an additional 2 months. For the next five years Joe would spend time in the summer and fall trail building and guiding other hikers. This was his way of giving back and staying connected to the wilderness he loved.

One summer, while hiking the Appalachian trail he met some friends who told him about their experience working as field guides for a wilderness therapy company in Utah and the seed was planted for Joe. Soon after this Joe worked for 3 years as a field instructor at Blue Ridge Therapeutic Wilderness and then worked in the transition department helping parents reunite with their child at the end of their wilderness experience. These years in the field allowed him to bring all of his experiences in the wilderness together.

Following these important years in the field, Joe set out again. This time he hiked the International Trail Ireland and Scotland and became the first hiker to complete these sections of the IAT. While overseas he traveled and lived abroad for four years doing construction in France, getting his TEFL (teaching English as a foreign language) degree, teaching English in Morocco, Bulgaria, Bosnia and Serbia, learning to sail in the Mediterranean and Black Sea, volunteering with horses in Bosnia and then finally landing in Belgrade Serbia where he worked for an NGO called BelgrAid. He and other volunteers helped feed, clothe and teach English to refugees stuck in Serbia. Working for the NGO was a powerful experience that deepened his love for helping others even more.

Once back stateside Joe returned to his field work at Blue Ridge for a period of time. He now enjoys mentoring clients who are transitioning from treatment back into life with the 360 Transitions program. Joe currently lives in Calhoun, GA just outside of Atlanta.

Shelby Spade, Mentor

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Shelby Spade grew up in Rochester, NY right on Lake Ontario which borders Canada. Her life long passion, since the age of 4, has been skiing. She spent most of her time as a kid skiing and continues to do so today. After high school she attended college in North Carolina at UNC Wilmington where she studied Marine Biology. During her time there she spent a semester in Homer, AK working as an intern for U.S. Fish and Wildlife.

After graduating college, Shelby moved to Vermont where she worked on an AmeriCorps chainsaw crew for the U.S. Forest Service. During her time working on a crew she was able to foster a passion for backpacking and spending time in the back country. As someone that didn't grow up camping it was a hard adjustment period that challenged her both physically and emotionally. After this work she went on to ski instructing and then wilderness therapy. She worked at True North Wilderness Program in Vermont as a field guide and was later promoted to Transition Coordinator. As the Transition Coordinator she worked directly with students to facilitate a comfortable and supported transition to their next steps following wilderness treatment.

After her time in Vermont, Shelby moved to Colorado to work as an outdoor children's program supervisor. While in Colorado she was able to obtain valuable work experience and ski as much as possible. Between her transition from Colorado to Portland, OR she worked at various guiding companies along the west coast. Her time working at a wilderness therapy program and supervising a children's program deeply impacted her personally and paved the way for her future career path. These accumulation of experiences are the reason she is now enrolled in a graduate program and working towards her master's degree in Professional Mental Health Counseling at Lewis and Clark College. She loves combining her mentor work with 360 Transitions with her education through her masters program and feels it's the perfect combination of learning and application.

When she's not mentoring or studying she enjoys rock climbing, hiking, camping, backpacking, singing, crafting and meeting new people.

Meghan Bogutz, Mentor

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Meghan, while born and raised outside of Columbus Ohio - is from many places. She has spent seasons of her life in Pennsylvania, Texas, Georgia, Vermont and South America but most recently landed in Asheville, North Carolina.

She has always had a sense of adventure and has been a competitive athlete - never shying away from a challenge. While younger she may have seemed precocious, as a young adult she is fun, inquisitive and wise.

She had her own treatment experiences throughout adolescence; attended a wilderness program and a therapeutic boarding school. She then spent some time determining her own path and finding her very own passions. One that began in the woods still remains today. After receiving her bachelors degree and becoming a certified educator, Meghan worked for two years as a field instructor at True North wilderness program. More recently Meghan worked as a teacher at a therapeutic boarding school continuing her passion of enriching the lives of adolescents and young adults.

Meghan is perfectly suited to support adolescents and young adults as they transition home having had both her own personal experience managing her own transition from treatment and now having worked for a number of years in the treatment setting. She brings her insight, warmed, strength, fun and bright energy to her work with her clients. Meghan lives in Asheville, NC.