Mar 17, 2020
Anne Wilzbacher is a therapist at Blue Ridge Wilderness Therapy's Emerald Arrow. Her journey into the field began as a child growing up in a state park as her father was a park manager. She worked at Eckerd Youth Alternatives as field staff for three years and then onto Naropa University for her Master's degree. Her vast experiences include working at AIM House and Open Sky. She also shares her inspiring story of being given the opportunity to develop the Emerald Arrow young adult program at Blue Ridge.
Bio from the Blue Ridge Website:
I have worked with adolescents and young adults since 2004. I rooted myself into this work by first being a field guide for several years. This is where the journey began for me. This opened up parts of myself I didn’t know existed and I experienced others way of being that inspired me to want to know more and know better about this human experience and relationships. With this foundation and continued education, I developed a strong devotion to do continued self-growth and supporting others to know their edge. With my insight and observation, I have the ability to swiftly assess and directly address students in a way that is both disarming and incredibly warm and compassionate. With my relational and authentic manner, I aim to quickly build rapport and effectively challenge core issues. I often use a psychodynamic lens to approach both individual and group with students in the wilderness. I see people as already whole and brilliant; and we are supporting them in making contact with this amidst the confusion, destruction, chaos, struggle, and depth of pain. The natural essence of the wilderness, and the creativity it provides, is my co-therapist. I collaborate closely with the field instructor team to provide a powerful united container and structure in order to create effective, change-inspiring, growth challenges for our students. I truly assess what each student may require in order to settle into this environment and into themselves. I often use playfulness, humor, and softness as well as directness and sharp redirection where it is needed.
Trauma, family systems, identity struggles, depression, anxiety, disordered eating, personality disorders, substance abuse and addictive behaviors. Utilize Mindfulness, somatic-based practices and awareness, Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), Family Systems Awareness, Group dynamic interventions and Group Psychotherapy, Psychodynamic Theory and Modern Psychoanalysis.
My love of the wilderness started at a very young age in a state park of Minnesota. I grew up there with my four older brothers and the park was essentially our backyard and was very much integrated into our daily life. I discovered early on how being in nature and relating to the elements infused resilience (well that or maybe it was my older brothers) and an appreciation for life and beauty that comes with hard work and play. Throughout my schooling and travel adventures, I became intrigued with how to access and bring to light one’s own brilliance – my own and others. I enjoy working on discovering this through being outside, spontaneous adventures, playfulness and grace, mindfulness, meditation, photography, reading, writing, and listening and dancing to music any chance I get. I really value and enjoy travel (and the unique nooks and cranny’s of this world), embracing my own creativity, challenging myself daily to be better and know love more fully, and deeply appreciate connection to my family and friends. Being in and near water is one of the most healing experiences for me. I strive for and am devoted to personal growth in order to be of best contribution to myself and this world. I am a very proud Auntie Anne to currently 2 nieces and 6 nephews.
Masters of Contemplative Psychotherapy, Naropa University
Bachelor of Arts: Communication/Public Relations, Marquette University