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
Justin Gordon, AMFT, Primary Therapist Justin is an experienced therapist, with a Masters degree in Marriage and Family Therapy from Utah State University and a BA in Psychology from Southern Utah University. He has experience working with adolescents, young adults, families and couples and is a member of the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapy. Justin grew up in Southern Utah with a passion for outdoor recreation and adventure.
While Justin employs a very eclectic therapeutic repertoire, he is intentional when interacting with students and their families. Justin’s therapeutic model is based upon Family Systems Theory, which is designed to initiate growth. Family Systems work encourages each individual to frame issues such as addiction, isolation, difficult relationships, anxiety, loneliness, avoidance, and conflict in a multigenerational family or system context. As a result, each person is much more likely to shift away from blaming others and move toward taking individual responsibility.
Justin focuses upon a humanistic, person-centered approach to guide interactions with students. This approach, created by psychologist Carl Rogers, places an emphasis upon the experience of being understood and valued, which creates a space for each student to experience the freedom to grow. Justin’s genuine and authentic relationship building style is a non-judgmental, strengths-based, and empathic stance.
Justin also feels that modeling positive, collaborative relationships with peers is a natural catalyst in the personal growth process. He also believes that individuals and families can develop a deeper understanding of themselves and their relationships through a deep and meaningful connection with nature. In Justin’s words, “Expedition Therapy is a unique opportunity for individuals to learn and practice communication skills, build upon their strengths, and derive meaning and values that will benefit the entire family system.”
Justin has presented to professional groups on topics such as Bullying Awareness and Professional Ethics. He has acted as a Youth Advocate and is fluent in Spanish.
Bridger R. Ogden, LSUDC, Substance Use Disorder Counselor Bridger is a Utah State Licensed Substance Use Disorder Counselor who has enjoyed working in the field of addiction treatment since 2000. He is a graduate of the University of Utah College of Social Work’s Alcohol & Drug Abuse Treatment Training Program. Bridger recently received his “Treating The Addictions” Certification through the Harvard Medical School. He has worked with adults in an intensive outpatient setting as well as adolescents in residential treatment.
Bridger believes that success in recovery grows from the motivation that is maximized when young adults are encouraged to define their own version of success and happiness. Then, through counseling, treatment planning, and family involvement, they can gain the tools necessary to recover and achieve their goals.
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
Wes Light, Director of Adventure Education Wes has been guiding and instructing outdoor leadership, wilderness medicine, and outdoor technical skills courses for nearly a decade. He has worked in the backcountry areas of Alaska, Utah, Washington, Nevada and Mexico. Wes’ current training and certifications include Wilderness EMT training, Wilderness First Responder certification, and Avalanche Level 2. He is a National Standards Program Instructor with the Wilderness Education Association. Wes is also a Wilderness First Aid, CPR and AED Instructor for the American Red Cross, Emergency Care and Safety Institute and Utah Wilderness Society.
David Lynch, Expedition Field Instructor David earned a B.A. in Adventure Education with a minor in Psychology from Fort Lewis College in Durango, Colorado. David first realized the humbling power and awe-inspiring beauty of nature during a backpacking trip in Wyoming nearly twenty years ago. He now enjoys backpacking, canyoneering, rafting, bicycle touring, snowboarding, building igloos, Ultimate Frisbee, and motorcycling. A former funeral home manager, David is pursuing a second career in therapeutic adventure with a focus on grief therapy. He is a Wilderness First Responder and Leave No Trace® trainer.
Jamie Berggren, Expedition Field Instructor Jamie has a B.A. in Environmental Science from Prescott College. He brings to Expedition Therapy nearly two decades of experience as a wilderness guide and outdoor educator in Utah, Colorado, California, Arizona and Alaska. His areas of expertise include whitewater rafting, canyoneering and rock climbing. Jamie is extremely knowledgeable about Natural History, Ecology and Astronomy, and loves to share his enthusiasm for these subjects with students and staff alike. He is a Wilderness First Responder.
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.