New Vision Wilderness offers a unique and intensive therapeutic process for teens. The Clinical Team includes Field Therapists and Clinical Specialists who are passionate about healing and using the outdoors as an office. NVW also offers Psychological Testing through a collaboration with Dr. Mark Bjerke Ph.D, and several other national industry authorities.
Lead Field Therapists oversee treatment and also facilitating group and individual therapy. Clinical Specialists are masters-level professionals incorporating specialty skills into the wilderness experiences. These collaborative efforts increase therapist contact time and clinical intervention. NVW follows a Trauma Informed Care model, and all clinical staff are trained in Brainspotting. For more clinical resource information click here.
Steve Sawyer, LCSW CSAC Co-Founder
Steve Sawyer is a licensed psychotherapist filled with passion and knowledge surrounding the intervention and change process. His experience comes from over a decade of intervention with tough-to-reach client populations in therapy settings ranging from residential, community-based, outpatient and wilderness therapy.Steve is trained in several unique therapeutic models including somatic trigger release, traumatic memory reprocessing, and HeartMath. He is also recognized internationally as a Brainspotting trainer and consultant who trains outpatient therapist and treatment programs.Through his experience he has authored two books, co-founded Wisconsin’s only wilderness therapy program, New Vision Wilderness, and works as a core therapeutic training development staff with the Institute of HeartMath. He was an author in the innovative and comprehensive HeartMath Interventions Establishing a New Baseline for Sustained Behavioral Change therapist training Module that revolutionizes modern therapy interventions through an emotional physiology approach.Steve’s largest project has been the development of NVW’s Trauma Informed Care model in the wilderness setting that has challenged the entire wilderness therapy industry on making healthier interventions with their clients. Steve’s trainings are recognized nationwide for cutting-edge therapeutic techniques and inspiration.
Edwin Weih, PA Medical Director
Edwin Weih P.A. attended Emory University School of Medicine Physician Associate Program. While at Emory University he learned to guide rafts from Prof. Claude Terry. Prof. Terry was very instrumental in the formation of the Southeastern United States Whitewater community and he was the Whitewater support director for the movie Deliverance.
One of Edwin's positions was at the Georgia Tech University student health service. During this time he was the medical director for Outdoor Recreation Georgia Tech, fondly known O.R.G.T. He had a great interest in developing the medical kits that were used on O.R.G.T. trips He was also a professional raft guide for High Country based in Atlanta Georgia. He guided on the Ocoee, section 3 of the Chattooga and the Gauley when it was running. Most recently he guided a paddle raft down the Colorado River for 18 days. He worked emergency room medicine at Grady Memorial Hospital in Atlanta Georgia and was the medical director for Catherine Freer Wilderness Therapy Expeditions.
He has also been an avid rock climber. Teaching and climbing in the southeastern United States and climbing for pleasure in El Dorado Canyon, Yosemite and Joshua tree among other locations.He is a member of the Wilderness Medical Society and continues to be very active in paddling, cross-country skiing and trail running. He has presented at the Wilderness Risk Medicine Conference and continues to be active in wilderness medicine. He currently runs a family practice in a small rural town, Oakridge Oregon. There is a high level of urgent and emergent care associated with this practice.
Dr. Jenna Saul is board-certified in general psychiatry and child and adolescent psychiatry. She treats mental health problems, behavioral problems and emotional problems with a family-centered, evidence-based treatment approach. She utilizes a holistic, integrative medicine model to evaluate, diagnose and treat children of all ages, adolescents and adults. She provides individual therapy, family therapy, psycho-education, neurofeedback, and medication management. Her treatment and research interests are Mindfulness based psychotherapies, including Acceptance and Committment Therapy (ACT), Mindfulness Based Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (MBCT) and Mindfulness Based Meditation.
Ricky Becker, LCSW, LMSW Clinical Director - NVW Bend
Ricky received his BA from The Evergreen State College in Washington State and his Master of Social Work in Oregon State at Portland State University. During his graduate education Ricky focused on working with at-risk youth, their families and communities as an addictions counselor, case manager and a school social worker. He has been trained in Brainspotting (BSP) and continues to focus his professional development and career in the trauma informed arena, specializing in the treatment of adolescents. Ricky belongs to the National Association of Social Workers (NASW) and is currently certified as a Clinical Social Work Associate (CSWA). He has over two years of experience working with youth in a wilderness therapy setting as both a field instructor and field supervisor. Ricky is a firm believer in the transformative power of nature and the outdoors as a medium for therapy, growth and positive life change with an emphasis on family systems, interpersonal process and attachment therapy, trauma informed care and seeking the deepest therapeutic healing possible. Ricky is excited to bring his extensive outdoor skills and therapeutic background to New Vision Wildernesses clinical team.
Elizabeth Deardorff, LCSW Clinical Director - NVW Asheville & Family Services
Liz joined the NVW team in 2010 and has treated in both our Wisconsin and Bend locations. As a lead therapist, Liz worked with adolescent females, males and young adult populations in the wilderness. In 2016, she enthusiastically began working extensively with our families – bridging front country therapy with wilderness experiential process. Liz deeply believes in the importance of repair, healing and growing within our relationships to fully develop a secure self. She steps into this work with much vigor and excitement to utilize the power of nature, experience and relational repair. Liz achieved her Master of Social Work, emphasis on Child and Family and Mental Health, from Loyola University Chicago in Illinois. She is trained in Brainspotting, EMDR-Level One and Two and Trauma Center Trauma Sensitive Yoga which are powerful tools to utilize with trauma, attachment and anxiety. Liz utilizes these tools to create a powerful experience within treatment for the entire family to heal. Outside of work you can find Liz trying to find every waterfall in Oregon, dancing, reading, and rooting for her favorite team, the Wisconsin Badgers.
Jacob Thomason, BA, MS Clinical Director - NVW Wisconsin
Jacob earned his Master’s Degree in Clinical Psychology from Wheaton College in Wheaton, IL. He has worked for more than 7 years as a therapist in the wilderness in Utah, Wisconsin, and at an extended care sober living program in Maine. As an adventure therapist, Jacob has led clients on international outdoor treks. . Jacob believes in utilizing the challenges of the wilderness to build confidence in those who are struggling to identify personal strengths and growth areas. A native of Georgia, Jacob and his wife Kelsey moved to Medford, WI where they are raising their daughter to explore and appreciate the great outdoors.
James Nippert, MA Lead Wilderness Field Therapist - NVW Bend
James Nippert started working with adolescents and their families in wilderness therapy in 2004 and has been passionate about wilderness therapy ever since that time. James' personal approach to therapy focuses on the need for both the adolescent and the family to heal together. James received his Master's Degree in Marriage and Family Therapy from Appalachian State University and has worked for a number of wilderness therapy and therapeutic boarding schools. James is thrilled to bring his talent and love of teens to the Oregon woods with New Vision Wilderness. It is his personal belief that there is no other milieu that so successfully sets the stage to facilitate change and healing as does an attuned wilderness experience. In his spare time, James is an avid reader, skier and enjoys learning how to perfect gluten-free cooking methods.
Jillian Broeckert, MS, LPC Lead Wilderness Field Therapist - NVW Wisconsin
Jillian earned her Masters of Science in Mental Health Counseling from the University of Phoenix, Saint George, Utah campus. She has worked in wilderness therapy and the mental health field since 2005. Growing up in the north woods of Minnesota, Jillian has always had a passion for the outdoors and its therapeutic value. She loves the experiential work and believes in taking a person-centered approach, looking at each student as an individual. Jillian also believes in not only giving her clients the opportunity to grow, but that treatment is an opportunity for the whole family. In her free time Jillian enjoys playing outside with her family and their dog.
Wesley Bruce, MA, LPC Wilderness Field Therapist - NVW Wisconsin
Wesley started working with youth in 2009 as a residential caseworker at a group home for at-risk youth. Wesley studied at the Adler University in Chicago, IL where he obtained his MA Counseling Psychology along with a certificate in Advanced Adlerian Psychotherapy. Before joining the NVW team Wesley worked as a school therapist (Chicago, IL) and as a program clinician (Boston, MA) at a twelve bed residential treatment where he focused on utilizing Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) with teens and families. Since joining the NVW team Wesley has focused in therapy practice on utilizing both trauma and relational models, and utilizing various therapy approaches including brainspotting, trauma sensitive yoga, along with traditional therapy approaches. Wesley enjoys travelling, backpacking, running, yoga, and cooking.
Ryan Ebersberger, MSW Wilderness Field Therapist - NVW Asheville
Ryan has a passion for helping youth move from a place of discouragement to empowerment. His experience comes from working with youth and families for over a decade in a variety of settings including therapeutic boarding school, direct care social work, and Wilderness Therapy. Ryan received his Master of Social Work from Western New Mexico University where he graduated with honors and is a member of the Phi Alpha Honor Society. Ryan firmly believes that when a client is able to take their power and put it into constructiveness instead of destructiveness the seed of change begins to grow and that spreads to everyone around them. The wilderness is a perfect backdrop for that change, free from distractions; so empowerment can blossom and the gifts that each person is meant to give this world can shine. In his spare time Ryan is a dedicated family man and enjoys going on family adventures. He works hard to find a balance of connection, love, responsibilities, and joy. He enjoys getting out in the wilderness through whatever the mountains and oceans provide and can be found with his family on the rivers, trails, mountains, and oceans whenever possible.
Lee (Leroy) Giroux, MA, MFTi Wilderness Field Therapist - NVW Bend
Leroy received his BS in Forestry from Southern Illinois University. After working a number of years as a park ranger he found his way into wilderness therapy in Oregon. It was while working in the field that Leroy discovered his life’s passion, to help adolescents and young adults build the courage to go within themselves and find their true self, while learning healthy coping skills to handle the challenges of young adulthood, assertive communication skills, and resources to help them maintain their sobriety. After working for 2 ½ years as a Senior Field Instructor he moved into a Mentor and Outdoor Director position with a young adult transition program in southern Oregon. Having gained experience working with young adults returning from the wilderness and applying the skills they learned in the woods, Leroy took a year to travel on his motorcycle before returning the woods with wilderness therapy program in Georgia for the next year. He made the choice to attend graduate school at California Institute of Integral Studies, receiving his Masters in Counseling Psychology with a focus on Marriage and Family Therapy. Leroy is passionate about working with young adults and adolescents in the wilderness setting. He draws upon a variety of therapeutic modalities, Gestalt, Transpersonal, CBT and DBT techniques, Relational, Family Systems, to help him meet the client where they are.In his spare time Leroy enjoys woodworking, reading, meditation, motorcycle rides, backpacking and hiking, and spending time with friends, family and his dog Sid.
Xela Goodman, LCSW Wilderness Field Therapist - NVW Bend
After receiving a B.A. dual degree in Education and History from the College of Idaho, Xela served in the Peace Corps for nearly three years in South Africa. It was in this foreign environment where she fully understood and embraced her passion for being of service to others. Upon returning to the States, Xela started her work in wilderness therapy as a field instructor, where she spent several years helping to invite change in adolescents. Soon after, Xela received her Master's Degree in Clinical Social Work, with high honors, from Arizona State University. Spanning over a decade, Xela has worked at several wilderness therapy programs and therapeutic boarding schools. Xela has a natural affinity for relationship-based work with adolescents and easily connects and aligns with individuals and families to clarify strengths and issues, build insight, and guide needed changes. She believes that the wilderness setting naturally provides a very meaningful and powerful environment for adolescents to improve their self-worth, sense of belonging, and connection to self and others.
Clea Hiller, MA Wilderness Field Therapist - NVW Bend
Clea Hiller has been working in Wilderness Therapy since 2006. Her work in the field has brought her from the sagebrush-filled high desert of southern Idaho to massive cedars in the temperate rainforest of southeast Alaska, and now she is very happy to have settled in the ponderosas and junipers of central Oregon.Clea graduated with her Masters in Counseling with a Wilderness Therapy concentration from Naropa University in Boulder, Colorado. While in school she completed a practicum with Live by Living, a program dedicated to helping cancer survivors heal via adventure wilderness trips. She spent nine months as an intern at New Vision, where she learned to apply her experience of wilderness and working with adolescents specifically to helping people heal from trauma.Clea loves hiking, riding her bike, foraging for wild edible berries, plants, and mushrooms, and sharing her love of trees, clouds, and just-before-sunset golden light with her students, co-workers, family, and friends.
Tim Moore, MA Wilderness Field Therapist - NVW Bend
I have been in the counseling and therapy field for over 25 years and have a diverse background including community mental health, inpatient, outpatient and wilderness therapy settings. I have a B.S. in Psychology from the University of Oregon and M.A. in Counseling Psychology from Antioch New England Graduate School in Keene New Hampshire.
I am also very interested in the treatment of developmental trauma and attachment and how it seems to be at the core of many of issues including anxiety, depression, addiction, and overall well being. I have also been a student of consciousness, awareness, and the inner sciences since my time at U. of O. and have a daily yoga and meditation practice that help me to stay focused and centered. I also love spending time in nature, playing music, and going on adventures with my wife Jen and my favorite four legged, Lilly.
Ashley Perez, CAPSW Wilderness Field Therapist - NVW Wisconsin
Ashley graduated from University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign with her Master’s Degree in Social Work. During this time, Ashley was awarded a grant to start Lego Therapy groups with students. Prior to joining New Vision’s team, Ashley has worked with at-risk students and their families in school programming. She has also worked with adolescents as a junior high school social worker in Woodridge, Illinois. Ashley joined New Vision because she appreciates the therapeutic benefits of the wilderness and the challenges it provides to facilitate change. In her free time, Ashley enjoys listening to podcasts, fishing with her family, and making salsa.
Keri comes to New Vision Wilderness with a strong business background. Keri walked in a world with some of the largest stressed filled corporations in the country. Through this experience, she came to realize the importance of somatic focused stress regulation. She has found a passion for working with highly stressed and sensitive clientele like treatment resistant teens and survivors of trauma. Keri teaches many classes across Northwest Wisconsin.
Keri is a registered yoga teacher through the yoga alliance. She is certified in Alignment Yoga and her approach is based in trauma sensitive principles. Keri teaches at NVW to bridge the gap between mind, body, and emotions. She works with all groups on affect regulation skills, stress reduction, mindfulness meditation and somatic awareness. Keri integrates the teachings of Heart Math and Brainspotting into her work. She helps integrate all forms of somatic work into the NVW model.
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