Preview Mode Links will not work in preview mode

Stories from the Field: Mental Health and the Outdoors

Dec 5, 2023

In this enlightening episode, we talk with Dr. Stephanie Marti, a pioneering adventure psychotherapist. The discussion begins with an introduction to Stephanie's unique therapeutic approach, which elegantly combines mental health services with experiential learning and adventure, all within the embrace of nature's beauty in Marin County, California.

Stephanie shares her journey as a teen, deeply intertwined with her professional evolution. She traces her passion for adventure therapy to her father, a fervent outdoor enthusiast, and her experiences at Cascade School, which she attended as a teen.  Stephanie discusses the controversies about the now-closed Cascade School and her experiences attending this therapeutic boarding school.

While studying for her doctorate in the late 1990s, despite initial academic challenges in finding information about wilderness therapy, Stephanie's persistence in researching wilderness therapy for her dissertation reveals her commitment to this innovative approach. Her study on a female-only trek at Catherine Freer Wilderness Therapy offers valuable insights into the healing powers of nature and adventure in therapy.

Throughout the episode, Stephanie articulates the significance of integrating physical activities with psychological healing, using compelling client stories to illustrate her methods. One particularly moving example involves a young girl overcoming trauma through rock climbing, highlighting the transformative potential of adventure psychotherapy. Stephanie also delves into the broader implications of her outpatient practice, advocating for the essential role of outdoor therapy in promoting wellness and fostering a deep connection with the environment.

Listeners are invited to explore the rich archives at and learn more about Mountain Valley Treatment Center, the sponsor of this season of anxiety, at