Expedition Therapy instructors and clinicians are dedicated professionals with a passion for sharing their knowledge in the wilderness. Adept at facilitating group processes and supporting self awareness initiatives in the field, the experienced members of our field staff are excellent mentors with a wealth of practical experience. Many are active members of the Wilderness Medical Society, American Mountain Guides Association, American Avalanche Association, American Canoe Association, Leave No Trace® and American Alpine Club.
Beth J. Fogel, MSW, CSW, Primary Therapist Beth is a licensed therapist in the state of Utah and has worked with adolescents and young adults since 1994 in wilderness therapy, residential and inpatient hospital settings. Beth’s eclectic, holistic, hands-on clinical style uses the open space of the wilderness to help students re-create their personal identities and gain confidence. She enjoys sharing her passion for the outdoors through poetry, photography, mountain biking, hiking and environmental advocacy.
“Beth Fogel is the consummate professional in the most down-to-earth and creative way. Her clinical expertise and treatment of both participants and families is top tier and she treats people from all walks of life with dignity, respect and compassion”. -Consultant Referral Source, Northeast USA
Aaron Wilson, Executive Director Growing up in the Pacific Northwest, Aaron developed an early passion for the outdoors. After backpacking on Mt. Rainier at age eleven, he was hooked. Aaron received a B.S. in Outdoor Recreation Management with an emphasis in Experiential Education from Brigham Young University. He is a certified Wilderness First Responder, a survival skills instructor and is certified in PCS. He has mentored young people for over twenty years, focusing on young adults in a therapeutic wilderness setting since 2007. As a wilderness guide, Aaron has led trips all over the United States, most extensively in the wildly varied topography of southern Utah and northern Arizona. He believes strongly in the mentoring relationship as a powerful force that underpins everything at Expedition Therapy. Aaron considers it an honor and a privilege to be part of the highly skilled, passionate team that has been created to help young adults improve their lives and relationships in a positive, supportive environment.1
Jonathan Maret, Expedition Field Instructor Jon holds an Associate of Arts degree in Outdoor Education and Leadership from Central Wyoming College and a Bachelor of Science degree in Outdoor Adventure Leadership from Montana State University at Billings. He also an alumnus of the National Outdoor Leadership School. As both a guide and an adjunct professor at MSU-Billings, Jon developed a passion for teaching in the outdoors and assisting young adults in developing leadership skills through outdoor pursuits. He started his therapeutic career leading recreational trips and mentoring students at a therapeutic boarding school in Montana. To live out his personal commitment to the academic, physical, and emotional development of young adults, Jon joined Expedition Therapy to work exclusively in a therapeutic outdoor adventure setting. He is a Wilderness First Responder, a Leave No Trace® Master Educator, and is trained in Non-violent Crisis Intervention.
Samantha Cooke, Expedition Field Instructor Born in Colorado and raised in California, Samantha earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Education with an emphasis in Recreation from Chicago State University. She recently received her Masters degree in Recreation Resource Administration from Southern Illinois University, and is also a Leave No Trace Master Educator. Along the way, Samantha has designed and facilitated numerous recreation programs in a variety of settings. Early on, she knew she had a knack for working with diverse populations in the outdoors, and has realized this goal through her work with young adults at Expedition Therapy. Living intentionally and doing everything with a meaningful purpose is how Samantha lives her life. In her spare time, she loves rock climbing, swimming, backcountry baking, and exploring southwestern Utah.
Mitchell Creelman, Expedition Field Instructor Mitchell graduated from the University of Colorado at Boulder with a Bachelors Degree in Psychology and Philosophy. He is an avid backpacker, climber, skier, and adventurer. Mitchell’s travels have led him through Nepal, Israel and Europe, as well as a significant portion of the United States. He has been certified as a Wilderness Emergency Medical Technician by the Wilderness Medical Institute, and believes that experiencing the natural world is the key to living a fulfilling life.
Marisa Abrahams, Expedition Field Instructor Born and raised near Boston, Marisa has always had a passion for adventure and exploration. She earned a B.S. Degree in Outdoor Education from the University of New Hampshire. Marisa is a Wilderness EMT and a Leave No Trace® trainer. She is an alumna of North Carolina Outward Bound School, and has led backcountry expeditions, climbing and canoe expeditions, and international trips. Marisa believes strongly in empowering people through leadership and challenge. During her off time, she enjoys backpacking, rock climbing, SCUBA diving, and traveling.
Will Thomas, Expedition Field Instructor After graduating from Washington University in St. Louis with a Bachelors Degree in Economics, Will discovered wilderness adventure therapy and moved to Utah to pursue his dream. Prior to joining the Expedition Therapy team, he worked as a lead guide with teens on the Autism spectrum. Following a mountaineering trip to Peru, Will managed an independent living apartment facility and developed a Rec therapy program, also for teens on the spectrum. He is a Wilderness First Responder, a NOLS Patagonia alum and a Utah Licensed Therapeutic Recreation Technician. When Will is not working, you’ll likely find him in the mountains, where he will be climbing, skiing, or pursuing the ethereal combination of ski-mountaineering, somewhere within a day’s drive of Salt Lake City.
The Expedition Therapy family is shocked and saddened at the passing of Kyle Bufis in a mountaineering accident on June 13, 2015, during a personal climbing trip. Each of us grieves at the passing of a tremendous individual and also for his family’s loss. Kyle was a talented field instructor, an experienced outdoorsman, and a valued member of our team. As a mentor, colleague, and friend, he made a difference in all of our lives. Kyle will be deeply missed by the entire Expedition Therapy family.
Kyle Bufis, Expedition Field Instructor Kyle grew up in Minnesota and made his way to Colorado for college. While pursuing a Bachelors Degree in Earth Science from Adams State, he worked for the school’s Adventure Program, enjoying the wilderness of southern Colorado. After graduation, Kyle lived and worked in New Mexico, Wyoming, and Utah. He was a Wilderness First Responder who was passionate about the outdoors and the lessons that the wilderness can provide.
Stacy Petersen, Expedition Field Instructor/Yoga Instructor Early in life, Stacy recognized a deep spiritual connection to nature. In the mountains of Utah, she discovered an inner peace when she was outside in the natural world. After receiving a BFA in Modern Dance from the University of Utah, Stacy came to know that her spirituality was deeply rooted in both movement and nature. She completed her Yoga teaching certification in 2007 with Dana Baptiste in Salt Lake City and began developing Earthflow Yoga, a culmination of her life experience. Stacy’s classes offer a unique blend of physicality, flow and introspection, inspired by the systems and cycles of the Earth.
In Stacy’s words, “Yoga has transformed my life, and I became a teacher to help others experience the benefits of this amazing practice. At the heart of every Yoga practice is self reflection and awareness. Yoga empowers us with the ability to bring greater awareness into the challenges and difficulties we face in our lives, so we can transmute self-destructive patterns and live in greater consciousness and peace.”
In addition to teaching Yoga, Stacy is an avid Outdoor Enthusiast and Guide, as well as a certified Hypnotherapist, Oneness Trainer and Holistic Health Coach. She is also certified in Outdoor Emergency Care and CPR.
Joe Taylor, Expedition Field Instructor Joe has a B.A. in Anthropology and a Masters in City and Metropolitan Planning, both from the University of Utah. He has extensive experience in mountain and desert backpacking, canyoneering, river running, fly fishing, rock and ice climbing, and backcountry skiing. Joe has been an Eagle Scout, an elementary educator, an archaeologist, a rafting guide on the Colorado River, and a city planner. He is a Wilderness First Responder and is Leave No Trace® certified.