Aaron Bartley is a wilderness rites of passage guide, UC California Naturalist, and certified Wilderness First Responder. He brings 10+ years experience assisting others through their inner journeys, facilitating men’s groups, and supporting both men and women through rites of passage. A graduate of the Wilderness Reflections Somatic Ecopsychology & Wilderness Quest Apprenticeship Program, Aaron is passionate about bringing others into nature to help them heal, connect with their authentic voice, celebrate their unique inherent gifts, and find vision for their lives.
Amy Biesemeyer, MFT has worked with adults and youth in the outdoors since 1995 and has been a wilderness rites of passage guide since 2004. Nature is her teacher and sanctuary, and she is honored to guide others in the magical unfolding of their own true nature and coming home to what is most real and alive. She is especially passionate about working with groups of women and has deeply explored her own womanhood through women’s therapy groups and majoring in Women’s Studies. Drawing upon mind-body practices, she enriches her work with meditation, expressive arts and embodied inquiry. She has been trained by the School of Lost Borders, is a student of Jennifer Welwood and the Diamond Heart Approach, a graduate of The California Institute for Integral Studies and a Wilderness First Responder.
Anna Swisher is a wilderness and rites-of-passage guide, youth mentor, and certified Yoga Teacher. She holds an M.A. in East-West Psychology, and weaves her passion for nature, Earth-based spirituality, and indigenous wisdom with years of experience facilitating conscious movement and ritual. She has worked with various organizations facilitating nature-based mentoring and education, rites of passage and wilderness adventure for youth and teenagers. She continues to guide and support adults in nature and wilderness experiences through 1:1 ecotherapeutic work, dayquests, vision quests, and group workshops. She is now deepening her study of permaculture, village building, cultural mentoring, and restorative social/ecological justice, and synthesizing all her experience into a dedication to regenerative community building.
Brian Spear brings a wide variety of hard and soft skills to his work as a mentor, guide and facilitator. Since 2012, he has been guiding at risk youth on whitewater rafting adventures and has also worked with 5th grade boys as part of a school year nature immersion program. In 2014, Brian completed the Somatic Ecopsychology and Wilderness Quest Training with Wilderness Reflections and has undergone a comprehensive training in the Hakomi Method to strengthen the somatic integration into wilderness guiding. Brian is committed to bringing people closer to Nature through connection with their own bodies. Brian currently works privately as a guide marking and supporting life transitions for adults through somatic healing, ritual and intentional time in nature. As a guide, he brings a sensitive capacity to see, hear and track organic unfolding and weaves connections between self, other and place. Brian is a certified Wilderness First Responder and a member of the Wilderness Guides Council.
Chris Morales is a wilderness guide, educator, and youth mentor passionate about fostering peace and justice in this world and has found his calling in facilitating experiences that support young adults in transforming the world through their own transformation. With experience in both international education and wilderness immersion, he supports a deepening into one’s relationship with Self and Nature while exposing students to different realities, new perspectives, and the world’s needs. With a M.A. in Peace and Justice Studies and a focus in Development Studies, he is always encouraging students to explore and examine the assumptions underlying their beliefs and pushing them to identify for themselves what ‘the good life’ might be. Chris is a graduate of Wilderness Reflections’ Somatic Ecopsychology and Wilderness Quest Training, and incorporates Nature’s wisdom with traditions from other corners of the world to support the re-tuning to our own inherent wisdom. Chris is a certified Wilderness First Responder.
Dave Talamo, MFT is founder of Wilderness Reflections. He has over 35 years of experience guiding wilderness trips, works as a therapist with youth and adults, and is a certified Wilderness First Responder. A Certified Hakomi Therapist, Dave is a pioneer in the field of ecotherapy and was one of the first quest guides to develop a somatic approach to questing. He is committed to the expression of joy and authenticity through the body and to helping others experience their own embodied selves in an intimate, ecstatic relationship with Nature. Currently, he spends most of his field time apprenticing new guides and training therapists in bringing Nature into the therapy process.
Kim Allen has been guiding youth and adults in their learning journeys in wilderness, farming, and outdoor educational settings for over 15 years. She is passionate about supporting people, particularly those marginalized from nature, in exploring the wisdom of the land while discovering their own inner wisdom. She completed Wilderness Reflection’s Somatic Ecopsychology and Wilderness Quest Training, has trained and worked with the School of Lost Borders, and is a Certified Wilderness First Responder. A woman of many shoes, you can find her backpacking, playing Ultimate frisbee, refereeing girl’s lacrosse, coding, bike commuting, pruning, carving spoons, and rock climbing.
Monika Tippie, Marriage and Family Therapist Intern, is passionate about re-connecting people with community, belonging, and guidance from a life-giving relationship with nature. She is an alumni of CIIS, trained in the Wilderness Reflections approaches to Quest Guiding and Somatic Ecotherapy, and loves using these potent modalities to support people’s creative, vibrant inner natures to connect with outer nature to thrive together.
Polly Triplat participated in her first Vision Fast in Death Valley in 2008 with The School of Lost Borders. From that fast, she gained a clear understanding to take this work out into the world. Since then, she has participated as an assistant guide to Vision Fasts in New Mexico and California, and trained in Mirroring the Four Shields of Human Nature and The Way of Council at The Ojai Foundation. She also completed the Somatic Ecopsychology and Wilderness Quest Training with Wilderness Reflections. Into her work, she integrates Shamanic Healing practices that she learned from a great spiritual teacher and Shaman, Martin Pretchel. She is also a member of The Wilderness Guides Council and a Wilderness First Responder, as well as a massage therapist and facilitator of consciousness dance practices.
Scott Davidson is a deep nature guide who cultivates an ecology of belonging through a unique weaving of wildlife tracking, tending and questing in community. As a gifted council and quest guide, he collaborates with the School of Lost Borders, Wilderness Reflections, Wilderness Guides Council, the Tracker Academy and local schools. As a wildlife ecologist and tracker, Scott is a leader with the Art of Mentoring – Deep Nature Connection community with the 8 Shields Institute, co-founder of the Tracking & Nature Connection Series and others that bring deep connection and healing for people of all ages in potent service to life. He is a certified Wilderness First Responder.
Spencer Nielsen is a guide whose service path includes many realms: from leading youth nature connection programs, backpacking trips, and rites of passage including wilderness quests. He also works with adults in ecological leadership, permaculture, and quests. Spencer weaves his backgrounds in environmental education, ecology, and permaculture with eastern arts of yoga and qigong, utilizing Ayurveda and Daoist Medicine in his approach to restoration of landscapes and mindscapes. He is committed to reconnecting people with inner and outer nature for the sake of personal, cultural, and natural healing. Spencer is a certified Wilderness First Responder.