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Stories from the Field: Mental Health and the Outdoors

Feb 11, 2021

Jessica Dallman is the founder of Natural Wisdom Counseling.  Jessica's journey into the field began at a young age by being raised by veterinarian parents and growing up on a rural vet clinic. Jessica would take a "transformational" Outward Bound course in high school and would go on to attend college, teaching deaf people on a Navajo reservation, and then onto Naropa University for a master's degree. Jessica shares the evolution of Natural Wisdom Counseling and her work with deaf people and others.

Jessica's Bio from Natural Wisdom Counseling:

As a psychotherapist, I support people in recovering from stress and trauma, in developing a sense of purpose, in building positive and supportive relationships, and in living a fulfilling life. I believe that each person has access to a wealth of knowledge about how to grow and heal. That wisdom may be accessed through nature, body-based interventions, horses, EMDR therapy, or a variety of other tools. Ultimately, I facilitate my client's access to their own inherent, natural wisdom.

I received my Master's degree in Transpersonal Counseling Psychology (Wilderness Therapy) from Naropa University and am trained in EMDR therapy, Gestalt Equine psychotherapy, and Infant, Early Childhood, and Family Mental Health. I integrate human development, attachment, neuroscience, nature, and the body into a relational approach to counseling. This synthesis of theories and approaches provides my clients with a holistic experience that empowers them to uncover new layers of self-understanding. I aim to enhance client strengths and potential, and provide tools for clients to overcome issues that may be preventing them from thriving.

While I enjoy nature-based interventions, time outside is not a requirement for therapy with me. I incorporate movement, art, and social justice counseling into sessions in my office, as appropriate. I am experiential in my approach, which can efficiently access the emotional centers in the brain in ways that traditional "talk therapy" may struggle to access.

I have a client-centered, strengths-based, growth-focused approach to all of my sessions, regardless of your preferred method of therapy. Trauma-informed care is integrated into every case.

I see my life as a continuous journey and adventure. Growing up, I was exposed to the outdoors early and often, which led to my belief that Nature offers supportive, healing, sacred, and transformative powers. I believe that intersectional issues of power and privilege play a large role in how our systems work, how we experience and access the world, and what messages we receive about our worth. I also believe that those messages and wounds can be healed through relationship.

I am proficient in American Sign Language (ASL) have been involved in the Deaf community since 2009.