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Stories from the Field: Mental Health and the Outdoors

Mar 10, 2020

Josh White is the Executive Director/Co-founder of Red Mountain Sedona. Josh's journey into the wilderness therapy field began while he was at Naropa University, where he first heard about the field. Josh would meet his future wife, Maureen, at Naropa, and they would both, later on, co-found Red Mountain. Josh, who is a "teacher at heart," worked at Wingate as a therapist for young adults. Josh shares the magic of the field, how his dog, Lulu, found him and the mindfulness focus of Red Mountain.

Bio from Red Mountain Website:

Josh earned his Master’s Degree in Psychology from Naropa University, the nation’s premier mindfulness-based therapeutic training institution, in 2002, and has had a long and distinguished career as a recognized leader and innovator within the adolescent and young adult treatment field.

A Licensed Professional Counselor, Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor, and Certified Group Psychotherapist, Josh has presented nationally at over 30 behavioral health conferences, including the Young Adult Transition Association, American Group Psychotherapy Association, Independent Educational Consultants Association, Outdoor Behavioral Healthcare Council, and National Association of Therapeutic Schools and Programs.

After beginning his career with adolescents and young adults as a martial arts instructor in 1994, Josh shifted his focus to behavioral health in 1998, serving as both a behavioral health technician and a Master’s-level clinician before becoming an administrator in 2005.  In addition to his clinical work, Josh has served as a Program Director, Clinical Director, and Executive Director in top treatment programs for adolescents and young adults.

Josh is a Senior Instructor and the second-ranking active practitioner of Ten-Chi Kenpo, an innovative martial art combining Karate, Jujitsu, Judo, Aikido, and T’ai Chi. Josh is also one of approximately 500 teachers worldwide authorized to teach in the White Plum Zen tradition, and enjoys incorporating Zen teachings into his clinical and administrative work.

Josh served on the faculty at Naropa University and Oregon Health and Science University, and currently serves on the Board of Directors of the White Plum Zen Teachers Association and as President of Prajna Zendo, the nonprofit Zen training center founded by his teacher.  Josh was also a founding officer of the Colorado Group Psychotherapy Society, has coached numerous youth baseball and soccer teams, and actively supports a number of local and national charities.

A proud husband and father whose greatest joys in life are his wife and teenage son, Josh is also an avid guitarist and former professional musician who opened for Run DMC, Vertical Horizon, Edwin McCain, and the Violent Femmes. When he’s not spending time with his family and students, he enjoys hiking in the beauty of Sedona and the Front Range; playing with his dogs; seeing live music; building and playing guitars; and competing in (and occasionally winning) Red Mountain’s long-running fantasy baseball league.

“Mindfulness saved my life. Learning how to watch and consciously engage with my thoughts, feelings and impulses saved me from a self-destructive path fueled by past trauma and poor choices. Today I am living my dream teaching and mentoring young people who are just like I was, and helping them find a path of productivity and peace.”