“Very few times in my life will I be able to say that one moment of time, a few days, has transformed me into the being I am meant to be. While struggling with depression, I opened myself up to the healing and rite of passage rituals of ancient and modern traditions, and allowed Wilderness Reflections to take my hand on the journey of healing myself, of chiseling away at my sadness, and revealing my true being, and from that a new soul of mine was born. My artwork, my music, my poetry, and my appreciation for life revealed themselves to me in the high desert. I was reborn, truly, and the basis of who I am rests in the aspen tree, bones, wild onions, and the eerie sunsets of the high desert.”  – Ariel M, Youth Quest 2003

 

Wilderness Quest

“I can’t believe this was almost 11 years ago! This quest was the single most powerful personal turning point in my life. So much of what unfolded in that space has blessed me with a clarity of purpose that sustains me to this day. I can’t recommend Dave, his team and this process enough. Love you, Dave. So grateful!”     –Mollie Hodges McLaughlin, 41

“I liked the way we were taken gradually to our solo experience: From the camping site (the middle world), to base camp, to our solo trip and the whole thing in reverse.  It made the transition to being alone in nature gentle and safe, and it minimized the “shock” of coming back to the “civilized world.”              – Rebecca K, 34, Wilderness Therapist

 “It was as if my whole life draped itself across the landscape like a tapestry for me to experience in a visual and tactile way.  It was illuminating.” – Kristin M, 56, Artist and Web Designer, www.themeuse.com

“I gained my real voice, with a great sense of wholeness.  I gained vision, but I think more importantly I hit a deeper emotional level, a soulful level, that continues to resonate to this day.” – David H, 37, Therapist & Educ. Consultant

 “I am more trusting of myself, of life.  I made deep commitments to change my behaviors and I have held to that.  I am keeping the memory of my experience alive by doing certain rituals daily … the biggest change is coming from others’ perceptions of me – many people have said my energy is stronger.” – David H, 37, Therapist & Educ. Consultant

 “My voice is overcoming the fear that has held it back for too long. I understand my relationship with Spirit more clearly. My fear of the Wild Night is only my projection. I am closer to my “foundation”.” – Marc L, 33, Therapist

“I am more relaxed with myself and have stopped searching outwardly for enlightenment….I don’t need to ‘fix’ myself- I love who I am!” – Paul B, 47, Painter and Author

“I can say in no uncertain terms that this experience has changed my life in profound and lasting ways.”
– Jon L, 31, Community Planner

 “The group ceremonies and sharing circle were incredibly validating, healing, safe spaces. I have never been in any group experience where I have felt as vulnerable and undefended, loved, understood, genuine, appreciated, connected and safe.”
– Yola H, 34, Therapist

“I gained my real voice, with a great sense of wholeness. I gained vision, but I think more importantly I hit a deeper emotional level, a soulful level, that continues to resonate to this day.” – David H, 37, Therapist, Education Consultant

“I am more trusting of myself, of life. I made deep commitments to change my behaviors and I have held to that. I am keeping the memory of my experience alive by doing certain rituals daily…The biggest change is coming from others’ perceptions of me, many people have said my energy is stronger.” – David H, 37, Therapist, Education Consultant

 “This is ten times more than what I expected… I’ve been to over 100 workshops and this blows them all away.”
 – Dan P, 41, Entrepreneur

 “My Wilderness Quest was one of the most profound, significant, and life-changing experiences of my life so far (I am 64). I recommend the quest experience, Dave and Wilderness Reflections without reservation.”
– Rudd C, 64, Computer Scientist

“One of the highlights of my quest was an experience of myself, my deep wisdom and a renewed connection to the Earth that I soon realized was a source of my feeling separate.”
– Mollie M, 30, Teacher

“I am more relaxed with myself and have stopped searching outwardly for enlightenment….I don’t need to ‘fix’ myself- I love who I am!” – Paul B, 47, Painter, Author

“The trip had its highlights, but it is more that the trip was one of the foremost if not the highlight of my life: I learned how to be a man. The significance and necessity of love. How to be loved. How to be ugly. How to be weak. How to be scared. How to be helpful. How to be quiet. I am now an adult capable of receiving my fortune with open gratitude and giving my gift with open love.” – Eli C, 21, Musician

“What is different now in my life is a lot! I could hardly recognize myself in the mirror when I came back. The light in my eyes is different. I feel that my beauty has changed: I am more beautiful on the inside but less charming on the outside. People comment that I am different but they can’t put their finger on how. I am peaceful inside now and feel comfortable in myself.” – Yola H, 34, Therapist

“Before I felt the constant clang of anxiety and could hardly stand to be in my skin. I feel more whole and open to my husband sexually. I am more self-loving and compassionate. I can hold my center now in a way that is very new. It has already been tested in conflict and I have not lost my center to anxiety, insecurity or reactivity.” – Yola H, 34, Therapist

“I liked the way we were taken gradually to our solo experience: From the camping site (the middle world), to base camp, to our solo trip and the whole thing in reverse. It made the transition to being alone in nature gentle and safe, and it minimized the “shock” of coming back to the “civilized world.” – Rebecca K, 34, Wilderness Therapist

“It was as if my whole life draped itself across the landscape like a tapestry for me to experience in a visual and tactile way. It was illuminating.”  – Kristin M, 56, Artist and Web Designer

“The New Year’s Millennium Quest in Death Valley fulfilled my greatest expectation… I find myself living in greater harmony with all of creation, with myself, with others and with God.” – Father Martin W, 62, O.P.

“I carry a felt sense of deeper time. Of not needing to rush into anything and a witnessing of what is going on in and around me. I can feel and see the ceremony continuing to unfold in my life. In the conversations I have with people and the opportunities that present themselves. I feel deeply supported and rooted in myself; an ease.” – Jackson S, 33, Carpenter

“The somatic pieces that were woven into our time in council helped me to move deeply into myself and listen more closely to what my body had to offer and teach me. It helped me to be fully present with some of the physical challenges I experience out on the land and to invite them into my ceremony.” – Jackson S, 33, Carpenter

“I came away with specific, tangible actions to take to help begin my incorporation at home that feel directly connected to the larger story of my fast.” – Jackson S, 33, Carpenter

“By the time I had to depart for the solo experience I felt prepared and clear with my questions and secure in myself. I honestly do not feel there was anything to have made it better.” – Stevie B, 33, Business Administration

“I am able to enjoy the moment and appreciate life: birds, trees, and improvements in interpersonal interactions with people at work and community. I feel I understand the bigger picture of the meaning of life.” – Stevie B, 33, Business Administration

“It feels good to see the moon and the sun are here too in the city – I feel more connected to the natural world as a resource in my life than ever before.” – Jodie S, 33, Therapist

“The group work was powerful for me and just as important as my solo time. The facilitators were excellent. They did a great job of holding structure while allowing space for all of us to be ourselves and make our own decisions about what was right for us. I never felt shamed for doing things my own way at times.” – Jodie S, 33, Therapist

“My quest experience has deeply affected me in my everyday life. I learned to drop into and feel the truth in my body to process change and my reactions to it.” – Alyson D, 33, Vice President, Nonprofit

“In terms of the two days before the solo time, it was a journey for me… I think of the time as preparing to give birth. I never know how it will go and the way it goes is perfect. Similar to birth, I will be unpacking this time and gleaning the hidden lessons for many years.” – Kassey B, 33, Pre-school Teacher

“There was a safety created for me to go out and do the work that was needed/ being asked because the container was being held in integrity, authenticity, and play. I deeply appreciate the way with which self-designed ceremony was created, held and mirrored.” – Kassey B, 33, Pre-School Teacher

“The group ceremonies were invaluable for me. I felt incredibly safe sharing what needed to be shared.” –         Kassey B., 33, Pre-School Teacher

“It was one of the most powerful experiences I have ever had.” – Joe J

“It’s been over a month and the fruits of our New Year’s quest continue to unfold. I am sooooo much calmer, grounded, and centered than ever in my life…so much so that people are commenting.” – Shanna D

“I know I’ve told you before but I just want to re-thank-you for holding the quest space for me and all. I worked hard (and not so hard) on my stuff while out there releasing deep old energies… I am still feeling the ripples of that deep and intense transformation. Thank you for bringing me back to Earth and my “self”. I live from a completely different place now!” (~ 3 months later)

“Over the years I have told many people how incredible Wilderness Reflections truly is and about my amazing Quest. I still treasure it as one of the most valuable experiences of my life. – Siera L (~6.5 years after her quest)

If you are feeling the call to recharge and reconnect with nature in a ceremonial context, or you are interested in deepening your practice through somatic ecopsychology, look into Dave Talamo’s work. He embodies a deep integrity and sincerity in his teaching, as does his staff. My quest with him was intensely transformative and I am still reaping the benefits of it many years later. – Melissa G. (~ 4.5 years later)

“The solo fast section was by far the highlight for me, especially the final night in which I experienced longing, depth and revelation.” – Kristin C

“[Some of my] insights and resolutions on various problems (sticking points) in my life: –Where to go with my intimate relationship –Inspiration to make a film –Messages to call certain people in my life and make amends –Clarity on my spiritual path and how to proceed within it –Resolve to go deeper and spend more time in nature – Kristin C

“In general, I feel quieter and much more intuitively aware. I am listening to myself in a deeper way and respecting how I truly feel. I am setting clearer boundaries with people and not getting swayed by other people’s wishes as much. I am standing my ground.” – Kristin C

“This was also very good and I appreciate that this was given time. This is the first retreat-type trip that I have been on, where [making meaning of the experience and how to bring it back into daily life] has been discussed and worked on at length. I really appreciate the exercises and journaling we did around this, because now I have it as a reference to live into my life.” – Kristin C

“I have never shared so much in a group and this is the most safe I have ever felt doing so. I have a lot of issues around this, as I have had very negative experiences sharing in groups — so this was a huge, huge breakthrough for me.” – Kristin C

“I’ll spread the word however I can. It was fantastic! Thank you.” – Kristin C

“It has taught me to live life as if it were the first and last day on Earth.” – Michael B

“People always seem to have time for everyone and everything, but themselves… This experience has given me great thanks for life, people and deeper understanding of lessons and blessing in life. I will be forever changed because of this!” – Michael B

 

DayQuest/Four Shields/Arts in Nature

 

“As always the highlight of my day out with you in this way is the creative sparks and growth that seem to always happen for me. I feel rejuvenated in ways that I don’t when I do my daily walks with my dog. Your days bring a focus and intention that are difficult for me to attain by myself. There is something in the power of shared group intentions. That day refocused me to what is needed in my life on a daily basis.” –Teri G, 53, Nurse and Professor

 “I learned how to embody my fear in a different and more productive way. I learned how to lean into my fear. I know where my wild animal power lives in my body and I have access to that power. I found my Yang energy. I found a huge source of pleasure. I discovered shadows and unintegrated characters that I am eager to work with. Most of all I gained a jumper cable to Life.” – Julie W, 38, artist

“I’m holding the story of my experience dear in my heart, and have had tremendous energy and presence over the past few days.” – C.S, 35, mother

 “I am amazed by how deeply nature speaks to me when I am prepared to listen. My journeys in the spirit world are so beautiful, clear and direct. Nature is not ambivalent, not full of hidden meanings. If you are open and listening truth is the only language that is spoken.” – John K, 52

 “I appreciated the rituals of the day (and even the preparatory fasting). Dave you do a wonderful job of creating an appropriate container for our journeys and a clear mirror for us to view the reflection of the experience.” – John K, 52

 “What I brought back with me from the DayQuest far exceeded my expectations. I knew going in that the more open I was in mind and heart, the more I might get from the experience, but I didn’t really expect the depth of feeling…and what really felt like the healing and resolution of lifelong scars. What’s up with that! I don’t think I ever in my life have felt completely “whole” or like I belonged…but lying there, with my head on the mossy rock, the lap of Mother Earth, at the foot of the mother tree, I really and truly felt it… The sudden realization, not just intellectualization, was that I am already whole, with all of my good as well as broken parts. Nothing needs to change; nothing is deficient or less than or inferior in the eyes of the natural world and Mother Earth (the only eyes that matter, surely, as they are the eyes of the universal spirit) I am whole already; I am complete.”
– Shelley F, 42, Graphic Designer

“What I realized was that I felt my mother love reflected back at me like a full, pure, glowing warmth. I was seeing myself with the same eyes I see my daughter with. The sudden realization, not just intellectualization, was that I am already whole, with all of my good as well as broken parts. Nothing needs to change; nothing is deficient or less-than or inferior in the eyes of the Natural world and Mother Earth (the only eyes that matter, surely, as they are the eyes of the universal spirit); I am whole already; I am complete…The next day, I realized that this truth applies not only to me, but to my husband. And to every other person and living being. This is what I want my daughter to grow up knowing, about herself and all other people, and all other living beings. All are whole. No one is less-than. This is another gift, a point of wisdom to help light my child’s way.” – Shelley F, 42, Graphic Designer

“I also didn’t expect to survive the fasting. But, oddly enough, I did not even notice it, or get weak or hungry, until about 2pm…when I started feeling a teeny bit weak. Part of that was due to me being pumped up with excitement/adrenaline…the other part…I guess I was running on blessings or spirit or something.” – Shelley F, 42, Graphic Designer

 “I am struck by how each of us always seems to get exactly what we need when we quest. Everyone is touched, opened and deepened by the real experience of nature.”
– John K, 46, Entrepreneur

 “Your work is profound!!! You held such a strong yet nurturing vessel for me do this work. You helped me find my courage to be more fully in the world and to take more of what life has to offer.” – Julie Ann W, 38, Artist

 “This work is really alive. It continues to unfold in me, like a kaleidoscope revealing more depth and dimension every time I think about it… I am at the trailhead again, this time walking into my shadows and my past. I feel fierceness, excitement and fear, just like I felt on the edge of the threshold. I look forward to this part of my journey with openness to learn, heal and regain my power!”
– Julie W, 38, Artist

“My DayQuest was once again a life-changing event. Each experience and event on this quest was like a gift bundle. I am finding myself opening these bundles one at a time, holding and exploring each one. Each bundle is like a chapter of a book.”
– Julie W, 38, Artist

“It was incredibly healing… More powerful than I could even convey…a very special place and moment in time for me.”
– Claudia H, 34, Therapist

“A gift of space for my spirit to fly… I experienced Grace! Thank You!!”
– Debra F, 62, Accountant

 

Youth Quest

 

“The greatest help, thrill, comfort and joy I found on this trip was the community that we all built together.”
– Ariel W,17, Youth Quest 2001

“I discovered strength and stability. I learned to be honest with myself… I came to accept and understand the natural ups and downs we are all bound to experience… I valued the bonds I made with the other people and the opening effect that had on me.”
– Jessica Y, 19

“(Since the quest) the positive influences in my life are becoming stronger, and the negative, I am trying to influence with some of the stuff I have learned… A lot of my close friends have seen positive change in my life, less substance abuse and a much stronger, more articulate Alex emerging. I also know that my life is much more relaxed now; I didn’t even take a minute to realize how much extra stress I was carrying with me day to day.”
 – Alex T, 17

“There were so many valuable things… One thing which stands out in my mind is the opportunity to look inside of myself, and, through the vessel of my body find a new me. I found a person who wanted to dispel fear and live her life with openness. And that is what made all the difference… By being more open and more vulnerable, I had made myself stronger.”
 – Ariel W, 17

“In all honesty, there wasn’t one aspect of the trip I didn’t enjoy. What you guys are doing is pure gold. I wouldn’t change a thing if I were you.”
 – Alex T, 17

 

Parents of Youth Quest Participants

 

“Weston is more confident. When he gets stressed, he is more likely to put things in perspective and take a breath, which helps him get centered. He owns his schoolwork and his life, and is solving his own issues. While he still struggles with his learning differences, he feels really lucky for all the good he has in his life and wants to take advantage of the many opportunities he has available to him.” – Youth Quest Parent

“Thank you for giving my son this opportunity at a critical time in his journey. I thank God for giving you this vision.”
 – David H, Youth Quest Parent

 “This initiation into adulthood was a blessing for my daughter. She has emerged more self-confident, courageous and self-aware… I know that some of the dreams and visions she received will guide her for a long time. I am very grateful to you for providing this for young people to stretch their wings into their coming adulthood—they will fly more true because of it.”
 – Sally M, Youth Quest Parent

“Being in the closing circle and hearing the experience of everyone who went through the quest was extraordinary. The level of authenticity, sensitivity and love that these teens showed is something that will be indelible in my mind. Of course, hearing others’ experience of my son was quite gratifying as well as his own willingness to be seen by the larger group.”
 – James B, Youth Quest Parent

“[My son] moved to a new level of maturity through this experience. He seems to be more solid in his sense of who he is. This takes the form of more confidence, willingness to be more authentic, more taking responsibility for his actions, less needing to be cool and a sense of greater respect for himself as well as others. I am learning to trust his judgment more and his ability to take care of himself. In that regard, I’m willing for him to discover what he needs to learn about the consequences of his actions without hovering over him to make sure he doesn’t mess up. There’s more of a trust that he can handle situations as they arise without the illusion that I need to or can protect him from disappointments.”
 – James B, Youth Quest Parent

“We want to thank you for the amazing experience you…provided to [our son] and the other questers. He is energized, renewed, expanded and enlightened. He is aware that he feels far more confident, more aware of his own personal values, more powerful, and more intrigued by the mystery. He even came back with a clearer focus on where he wants to go to college because of his interaction with the guides. And all this is just the tip of the iceberg in terms of what the quest has given him and what he was able to derive from it.” – Sondra and Ron T, Youth Quest Parents

“As one of the parents said yesterday, it’s a little scary sending a child off with a group of strangers to such a remote area to experience unique and potentially dangerous things…but you instilled great confidence that did not disappoint. I would tell you that [our son] is entirely transformed.” – Sondra and Ron T, Youth Quest Parents

“I’d like to credit our family’s experience with you and your service as being the first clearly identifiable step in the process of marching forward into our future with a greater sense of personal insight and dignity.”
– Deb C, Youth Quest Parent

 

 Schools Program

 

“The Rites of Passage program has become a tradition at The Marin School. Our students begin looking forward to participating in it as early as 9th or 10th grade even though it is designed for seniors. We participate as a community in this important transitional process with parents, staff, and students sharing in the excitement of this coming-of-age adventure…. One has only to see the transformation in the students’ faces to understand the depth of this experience… the masks are gone, and in their place we see the light-filled faces of our youth – alive and awake to the possibilities of life and their own potential.”
 – Barbara S, Principal, The Marin School (www.themarinschool.org)

“At first, I thought it (solo time) was a joke, but then I realized that I was more relaxed than I had ever been…I remember when hawks began to circle around my head when I fell asleep…I recommend this trip to anyone who has a stressful life or just wants to get away from family problems for a while.” – Soroush R, age 16

“The best memory of the trip was being able to be alone for five hours to relax and think.” – Renee R, age 17

“I liked the way we all banded together to make it up the hill….It shows if you can get along with someone even if they smell….I feel a lot closer to myself, especially now that I know I can survive four days without a shower….I was really tired, but I felt obligated to keep pushing myself as a goal. I loved the experience.” – Autumn W, age 14

“One of the highlights was that for a week I was able to live without any kind of electronics.”                                                           – K.H, age 14

“What I liked best about the trip was the feeling of family and unity that the whole group had towards each other. Personally, I had a few enemies that were in my group. Now, afterwards, we have become good friends.” – A.S, age 15

 

TerraSoma

 

“I learned to go into my feelings rather than perform over them. I especially learned how to turn into my fear and embrace it. By embracing my fear I am able to heal my body. I also was able to see my needs and begin to voice them in ways that felt empowering.” – Amanda C, 30

“When you pause and speak, I can feel the wilderness speaking through you. When you listen and respond, I hear wisdom and empathy combined. And the questions and tasks you set for us were so much more than any “program” of wilderness questing; they were clearly given with love and understanding, to help guide each of us individually into the deepest experience we could manage.” – John W, 62, Teacher Trainer

“The help I received to make meaning of my experience and bringing it back to my life was phenomenal! You both kept us all focused on incorporation. The beautiful and sensitive mirroring of our experiences was so profound and powerful! I also really appreciated the dream work and artwork.”  – Yola H, 34, Therapist

“I was reminded of my connection to nature, which is my primary relationship that sustains the rest of my life. [My husband] and I gained so much insight into one another’s process as well as respect for each other’s needs for space (as well as connection). Our dialogues have been much more honest since the trip.” – Amanda C, 30

“The most valuable thing I learned was that I can connect with nature and tap into the wise part of myself thru nature. Having spent all that time outside, in the wild, sleeping out, I feel more safe in the world in general.” – Kate S, 47, Counselor

“[Since my journey with you]…I can tap back into the space of nature within myself. I know that place inside me in new way and take time to go there and roam.” – Abby W, 31, Yoga Teacher

“I am different. I am coming from a different place inside myself, more connected spiritually, to something greater than myself. I’ve gotten clear about the work I need to do in the world.”                  – Kate S, 47, Counselor

“I continue to be impressed by the profound effects I am experiencing from our trip. The spiritual connection I made with the wilderness feels grounded in my core and changes the way I contact every part of my life.” – Kate S, 47, Counselor

“The highlight was coming into balance in simple and vital ways. Examples of this would be finding balance between: solitude and company, activity and stillness, expression and reflection, giving and receiving (with others and the environment), difficult feelings and joyous feelings, being awake in the day and asleep at night. I felt so supported and encouraged (by the group and the surroundings) to discover this type of balance, that is so basic, but becomes so complicated in our busy, modern lives.” – Michelle B, 30, Therapist

“I feel that in the short span of a week I was able to glimpse what life can be like if one is able to be in community, experience teachings and incorporate them through deep and dedicated personal practice. Since coming back I have thought a lot about my intention to keep cultivating this in my life. The trip provided me a clarity and purpose that I feel was sorely lacking before.” – Michelle B, 30, Therapist

“On a more concrete and practical level, I’ve been able to make some big decisions that I had been avoiding. Some examples would be: reevaluating my partnership; moving to a new situation where I’ll have more space (both internally and externally); and, deciding to take an additional part-time job that will allow me to be better off fiscally and hopefully be able to participate in things like immersions, retreats, nights out, so forth.” – Michelle B, 30, Therapist

“I’m confident in saying that I’ve gained deeper personal insight along with the freedom to not be so bound by the prescribed, repetitious and often limiting ideas about who I think I am.” – Michelle B, 30, Therapist

“I was renewed and went deeper in my experience of how the wilderness could speak to me and provide me with powerful metaphors for how I live my life. I learned about what water has to offer my soul, spirit, heart and mind.” – John W, 62, Teacher Trainer

“[Since my wilderness journey]…I am attempting to bind myself more deeply to myself and my friends, going deeper into connection…I am attempting to kick my yoga practice, my work engagement, and my relationship process into a higher level of presence, engagement and action…I am laughing more deeply.” – John W, 62, Teacher Trainer

“This experience, and the changes it is engendering in me, will be with me for a long time to come.” – F.C, 36, Computer Scientist

“This trip was a powerful moment of discovery for me. By creating a supportive yet challenging environment, space was opened up that allowed for diving deep into myself, my asana, and into the experience of the wilderness.” – F.C, 36, Computer Scientist

“Most importantly, the insight of the group leaders and their guidance in how to translate what I found into more meaningful, supportable and lasting changes in my life, took what could have been merely a great week in the woods, camping and doing yoga, and transformed it an experience whose impacts will last a long time.” – F.C, 36, Computer Scientist

 

Intro to Ecotherapy

 

“Thank you, thank you, thank you for being such an amazing facilitator! You have such a grounded, strong, calm, quiet, deep, incredibly perceptive presence to you. In so many ways I feel like you were a reflection/extension of the amazing holding and healing power of nature that was surrounding us. You are a very inspiring ecotherapy facilitator, teacher, healer!! Many, many thanks!!” – Annabelle N, 30, MFT Intern

“What a wonderful opportunity to reconnect with the Earth, with the Mother! Thank you for your gentle, clear guidance. I think this is valuable for interns because it calls for a deeper connection to self, gives time for reflection and regeneration—a time for introspection as well as group bonding.” – Maria K, MFT, 58, Clinical Director, Agency Counseling Program

Thank you so much for such a beautiful and powerful day on the land. I think I discovered more than I had bargained for! It was a profound experience & precisely why I want to make this center to my own therapeutic work with clients. Trinity H., 28, MFT Intern

“Dave was highly skilled at creating a sense of calm and safety – from both a physical and emotional standpoint.  His comfort level, as a guide, allowed all in attendance to relax almost immediately.  I can not stress the importance of this.  It is no small thing to gather a group of strangers together and to create a sense of trust and group coherence from the get go.  Dave is highly suited for this role.  It was beautiful to witness how he weaved us into nature and nature into us.  I understood that they – Dave and Nature, really were co-therapists.” -Marilyn L., 49, Wellness Coach

“I was amazed by this kind of listening and storytelling.  It was beautiful to watch and delightful to experience. It was creative, kind, compassionate and clear. I don’t think I’ll ever forget it.  I hope to use this level of listening and storytelling, in my personal and professional realms, to help others get to the root of who they are and what they want.  I hope one day I will come close to accomplishing what I witnessed.” -Marilyn L., 49, Wellness Coach

Somatic Ecopsychology & Wilderness Quest Apprenticeship Program

 

“I was really shut down before going -bbboooorrreeedddd with how I was spending my time.  Now I feel like I remember what I love.” – Shana S, 40, Science Writer

 “The mirroring training was especially valuable.  I began to incorporate it immediately into my work with my students at the college.  It is invaluable in helping the students synthesize their feelings and thoughts.” – Teri G, 54, Nurse/Professor

“In later reflection after the trip, I realized that I had some pretty amazing experiences… I also have even more of an appreciation for nature and the power of this work and ecopsychology in general in a way that is more embedded in my atoms than just in my conceptual mind… I am deeply grateful for the opportunity, for all those who came together to share this experience, for your vision to offer this, and for the really profound life lessons that have emerged. Thank you so much for all that you did to make this such a valuable and blessed experience for me and others.” – Rachelle C, 39, Therapist, Yoga Teacher

“I feel more aware of myself and empowered as a guide heading into the 4-day experience I will be co-guiding. I feel more aware of areas both personally and as a guide I need to be mindful of, work on… I feel more in the center of my heart, self…as I hang out with the questions of how to be in relationship and what wants to be birthed in my life.” – R. Kane, 34, Therapist

“The most amazing change is what’s happening at work. All my employees are very motivated to incorporate all the new values we have agreed upon which have to do with promoting spirituality, community living, sustainability and holistic care. We are already witnessing incredible changes with the kids we work with and our team is becoming more united and stronger by the day.” – R. Kane, 34, Therapist

I gained confidence in myself and I was able to initiate a new direction in my life in the areas of work, my spiritual practice, health (returning to vegetarianism and doing more exercise) and completing my dissertation.” – R. Kane, 34, Therapist

“I learned how much this world needs me and how important it is for me to get healthy so that I can do my work. I also learned to become stronger in my faith and spiritual practice, which is basically my relationship with nature.” – R. Kane, 34, Therapist

 

 For Dave Talamo

“For anyone interested in ECOTHERAPY and WILDERNESS RITES I give the Professional Ecotherapy Certification Progrm my highest recommendation! I love this man and am ever grateful to him for the purity of the container he holds and his commitment to witness with love, safety and support with a vast knowledge and profound love for the earth and her systems. His ability to guide with presence and humility is a gift unto itself, while mentoring with refinement and subtlety. His ability to mirror each person’s journey and hold group process with simplicity, integrity and heart is a true treasure for those extremely experienced as well as those just beginning their journeying. His co-guides are treasures as well!! Check out this exciting opportunity! ” – Bryce E., 44, Nature Educator & Cultural Change Agent

“My experience with Wilderness Reflections was outstanding. Your [wilderness] quests are a unique mix of masterful consulting skills, appreciation of nature, knowledge of ancient traditions, and creative use of song, poetry and art. Dave asks the appropriate questions—often the tough questions—to help us open up to our deeper yearnings. Most of all, Dave uses his gentleness, wisdom and love to create a safe and nurturing environment for questers. Thank you for a very valuable and memorable experience.”
 – Lynn R, 46, Organizational Consultant

“I can’t say enough about how valuable and insightful Dave has been in terms of showing me how the wisdom of nature informs the natural rhythms of my life– rhythms that are so easily obscured by time table and technology I surround myself with. Before you call the therapist or make a life altering decision go out into nature with Dave and learn what you already know. I promise you the insights of one day with Dave will last a lifetime.”
 – Russ B, 51, Entrepreneur

“Dave was an ideal guide for this kind of journey for a number of reasons. His obvious love and passion for the work was an inspiring example for my own. He demonstrated a strong and compassionate commitment to my own growth and exploration through the entire process. I greatly appreciated Dave’s flexibility and resourcefulness in creating an experience which fit my inner and outer needs. He brought a rare combination of wisdom, creativity, soulfullness, and playfulness to the experience. His deep connection to nature and the traditions of nature-spirituality provided a well-spring of knowledge and inspiration in my preparations and during the threshold and reintegration elements.”
 – Jon L, 31, Community Planner

“When you pause and speak, I can feel the wilderness speaking through you.  When you listen and respond, I hear wisdom and empathy combined.  And the questions and tasks you set for us were so much more than any “program” of wilderness questing; they were clearly given with love and understanding, to help guide each of us individually into the deepest experience we could manage.” – John W, 62, Teacher Trainer

“Thank you thank you thank you for being such an amazing facilitator!  You have such a grounded, strong, calm, quiet, deep, incredibly perceptive presence to you.  In so many ways I feel like you were a reflection/extension of the amazing holding and healing power of nature that was surrounding us.  You are a very inspiring ecotherapy facilitator, teacher, healer!!  Many many thanks!!” – Annabelle N, 30, MFT Intern

“This trip with Dave wasn’t just about developing appreciation, comfort, and a deep gratitude for the wilderness – it was a well-crafted process of using the wilderness to create a profoundly meaningful personal transformation.” – Peter Klaphaak

 

General

 

“This experience, and the changes it is engendering in me, will be with me for a long time to come.” – F.C, 36, Computer Scientist

“This trip was a powerful moment of discovery for me.  By creating a supportive yet challenging environment, space was opened up that allowed for diving deep into myself, my asana, and into the experience of the wilderness.” – F.C, 36, Computer Scientist

“Most importantly, the insight of the group leaders and their guidance in how to translate what I found into more meaningful, supportable, and lasting changes in my life, took what could have been merely a great week in the woods, camping and doing yoga, and transformed it an experience whose impacts will last a long time.                        – F.C, 36, Computer Scientist

“I really deepened my connection to nature, specifically the trees.  I learned about action and surrender and the delicate balance that always exists between the two.  I dusted off the wild beast inside me and got to see myself in that mode.  In my life I hope to be able to feel the wildness, to act on impulse, to charge forth, to growl at life.  I also hope to inspire others with my story and my being.” – Eric C, 34, Teacher

“As a result of my experiences I have already created some substantial changes in my life. I have released myself from the grasp of a bad habit drug which as in turn allowed me to have more time to do what I really want to do, more money to do those things with, and a clearer mind and lungs to enjoy the activities with. I could not be happier about the decision that I made on the quest and my ability to stick with that decision–which as come from the sense of the support of my group that I feel I still carry with me.” – M.M, 20, College Student

“The support and guidance that I received on the trip has helped me to better balance my life and has given me increased insight as to what I want out of life.” – M.M, 20, College Student

“I have also made the change in my life to become more productive and active within my community. And although I recognize that this is a slower moving change dependent on outside factors, such as jobs and organizations available to me, I have already started on my way as I have recently gotten a job as a volunteer head basketball coach for 7th and 8th grade boys.” – M.M, 20, College Student

“I also  really cherished the relationships that I’ve established with the  people on this trip for we almost directly stripped ourselves of  our protective walls and quickly exposed our honest self still  feeling safe and supported. It helped to find my stability again  and to simply accept who I am at this moment in my life, not who I  was or who I would like to be, and that was a very liberating feeling.” – JF, 18, College Student

“I’ve actually been much more mindful everyday. I’m listening to myself much more, what do I feel called to do? It has already  helped me in relationships, yesterday I was able to face an ex- boyfriend that I had a very hard time getting over and just have a  casual but mature and heartfelt conversation with that gave a very  good closure. I’m just so much more aware of myself.” – JF, 18, College Student

“Being back home, I feel more empowered, assertive, myself then I can ever remember feeling before.”- EY, 19, College Student