Durango, Colo., (October 31, 2019) – Open Sky, a wilderness therapy program nestled in the mountains of southwest Colorado and the canyonlands of southeast Utah has been invited to present at the 26th annual Wilderness Risk Management Conference (WRMC) presented by NOLS in Albuquerque, New Mexico, taking place October 31 – November 1. Three Open Sky staff members, with different roles and experiences within Open Sky, will share their unique experiences and how these experiences relate to crisis management in the wilderness for mental and behavioral health, during a presentation on Thursday, October 31 at 10:30 a.m.
The WRMC is a conference held annually and offers an educational experience to help mitigate the risk inherent in exploring, working, teaching and recreating in wild places. Attendees gain practical risk management skills, network with others in the industry, share field and administrative techniques and help develop risk management standards for the outdoor adventures and education industries. The conference had over 500 industry wide attendees in 2018.
“I am honored to present at the Wilderness Risk Management Conference,” said Mariah Loftin, MA, LPC, Senior Clinical Therapist at Open Sky. “It is a special opportunity to talk about how the lines between medical, behavioral, and clinical difficulties can often blur within our work with individuals. This is a unique opportunity to collaborate with my colleagues and provide guidance to those who are directly serving patients in the field.”
Mariah Loftin, MA, LPC, Clinical Therapist for Young Adults Group, has over 15 years of experience working on intense and complex cases with youth, young adults, and their families. Mariah helps students examine and appreciate the many dimensions of themselves, including their mental, emotional, physical and spiritual well-being. She creates an environment that contributes to changes in the student’s inner world, developing a more integrated sense of self along with an increase in self-awareness, understanding, and acceptance.
The second presenter, Norman Elizondo, BS, Family Wellness Counselor has been with Open Sky since 2006, when he started as a field guide. Now, Norman takes a special pride and pleasure in helping parents understand their child’s work at Open Sky and developing the same basic skill sets of emotional regulation, assertive communication, and effective boundary holding that are so crucial in parenting. Additionally, meditation has been a cornerstone of Norman’s life. His years of practice deeply influence his ability to work with people in crisis and to train others how to develop their confidence and emotional resilience to work with challenging populations.
Finally, Coulter Stone, BS, MAT, WEMT, Assistant Health Director at Open Sky, came to Open Sky with the intention to integrate his two passions: education and wilderness medicine. As Assistant Health Director, he thrives on educating clients and staff in prevention and self-care, as well as providing high-quality medical care with the support of an excellent team.
The WRMC presented by NOLS is in partnership with Outward Bound, Student Conservation Association, and the members of the WRMC Steering Committee. The conference kicks off on Thursday, October 31st. To view the full schedule of presentations, please visit: https://www.nols.edu/en/risk-services/wilderness-risk-management-conference/wrmc-schedule/
To learn more about Open Sky Wilderness Therapy, please visit: openskywilderness.com.
About Open Sky Wilderness
Nestled in the mountains of southwest Colorado and the Canyonlands of southeast Utah, Open Skytranscends traditional wilderness therapy with an approach that emphasizes treatment for the whole family. When a family partners with Open Sky, they embark on a rewarding adventure of self-discovery and learn a range of strategies that promote lasting success. The Open Sky clinical approach utilizes the latest in evidence-based clinical modalities integrated with innovative, well-researched mindfulness and holistic healing practices. Therapists develop treatment plans, provide individual and group psychotherapy, and update families each week via teleconference. Students participate in daily process groups and a wide range of experiential activities designed to increase awareness and facilitate healing.