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Stories from the Field: Mental Health and the Outdoors

Apr 14, 2020

David Wieder is a therapist at Legacy Outdoor Adventures. He grew up in New Mexico and ended up, after traveling through Asia, going to Prescott College. He got his first job in wilderness in 2003 as a guide at Second Nature. David shares why he was drawn to high-risk adventures like paragliding.
David tells his long history of working in the field, including at Wilderness Quest, Open Sky, and Aspiro, his love of being a field guide and why he choose to become a wilderness therapist at Legacy in Utah.

Bio from Legacy Website: David Wieder, CMHC

David's journey to wilderness therapy began with his own struggles as a teenager. What brought him through that time in his life was his discovery of the outdoors, travel, and adventure sports. These passions led him to a Bachelor of Arts degree in Adventure Education from Prescott College. David began his career in wilderness therapy in 2004 and has guided for a number of industry-leading programs. Extensive periods of time living in small groups in the backcountry inform his therapeutic emphasis on connection, the transformative nature of honesty, and experiences of overwhelming beauty. David believes that developing one's relationships is a life long practice that serves as a foundation for mental health. He knows that the context of each individual's culture and family system is central to their therapy work. David sees adventure, and not just the kind that happens in the outdoors, as an integral part of holistic health. He encourages clients to develop self-awareness and self-compassion, a prosocial orientation, and a thirst for personal growth. Witnessing breakthrough moments for individuals and groups is one of the most meaningful parts of his life. 

David is from Santa Fe, New Mexico, and has spent time in each of the Four Corners states. He received his Masters of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Adams State University in southern Colorado. David can often be found playing outside, usually on large rocks or in deep snow. He also enjoys getting lost in less developed regions of the world and has lived in Asia and Latin America. He is proud to call Legacy home.