• Align your work with the healing powers of Nature and the innate wisdom of the body
  • Learn cutting edge therapeutic approaches for city or wilderness work
  • Join a community of like-minded colleagues in a transformational journey
  • Directly experience the life-changing power of ecotherapy & rites of passage work

Blending the ancient ceremony of the wilderness quest with contemporary advances in ecopsychology and mindfulness-based therapy, this one-of-a-kind training is an opportunity to bring Nature into your counseling, coaching or healing work.  With a curriculum informed by the ceremony of the wilderness quest, ecopsychology, Hakomi®, Somatic Experiencing® and other therapies, we’ll teach you an array of practices applicable to urban or wilderness settings.  Over the course of our time together we’ll form a peer community that will nurture and support your personal growth and professional progress in the field of somatic ecopsychology.

P1010008This seven-month long training meets one weekend per month for two months leading up to a mid-summer wilderness quest and continues one weekend per month for three months after the quest. The wilderness quest is, in part, a time to give thanks to the earth and to ask for Nature’s guidance and blessing with others in an earth-based way. Readings, homework assignments and contact with colleagues will build program continuity across the duration of the training.  We will also cover ecotherapeutic approaches more easily applied to urban and other non-wilderness settings.

Open to therapists, wilderness guides, coaches and anyone eager to work more somatically or in alignment with Nature’s healing powers, the Somatic Ecopsychology and Wilderness Quest Apprenticeship Program is ideal for people inspired to become ecotherapists or wilderness quest guides.

*Register by December 31, 2023 and receive a $400 Early Bird Registration Discount*

The Details

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When: For 2024 there are 5 weekend meetings: May 10-12; May 31- Jun 1; Aug 24- 25; Oct 12- 13; Nov. 2- 3 and the wilderness quest June 28- July 7.

Where: Marin Co. CA (weekends) and Sequoia National Park, CA (wilderness trip)

What you need to provide: Personal hiking and camping gear (list to be provided).

Fee: Fee $4,797 (deposit $500). (For those in need, some payment plans & financial aid are available on a first-come, first-served basis). Early Bird Discount of $400 for registrations received by Dec. 31, 2023.

To Register Please Complete These Three Steps:

1. Go To www.wildernessreflections.com/registration-form and complete the form.

2. Make Payment either pay a $500 non-refundable deposit or full fee now via PayPal (after registering in step 1) or by sending a check to us via USPS to Wilderness Reflections, P.O. Box 311, Fairfax, CA 94978.

3. Send us a 1-page letter of intent stating your reasons for enrolling in the  apprenticeship program  (via email or by USPS to Wilderness Reflections, P.O. Box 311, Fairfax, CA 94978).

Register Online

*Register by December 31, 2023 and receive a $400 Early Bird Registration Discount*

Guides:

Dave Talamo, MFT is founder of Wilderness Reflections. He has over 30 years of experience guiding wilderness trips, works as a therapist with youth and adults, and is a certified Wilderness First Responder. 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. Dave is an innovator in the field of ecotherapy, and trains therapists in these practices.  He trained in wilderness quest guiding with Steven Foster and Meredith Little and has apprenticed himself to wild places throughout North America.

Amy Biesemeyer, MFT is a gifted and dynamic quest guide, weaving together her passions for Nature, ritual, singing/chanting and personal transformation. In her ten years of wilderness guiding, she has learned to gently and skillfully help others navigate the territory between comfort and challenge. Drawing upon mind-body practices, she enriches her work with meditation, expressive arts and movement. She has been trained by the School of Lost Borders, in the therapeutic use of the wilderness. She is a licensed Marriage Family Therapist and Wilderness First Responder. Nature is her teacher and sanctuary, and she is honored to guide others in the magical unfolding of their inner wilderness.

Aaron Bartley is a nature-oriented rites of passage guide, UC California Naturalist, and certified Wilderness First Responder. Aaron brings 15+ years of experience facilitating men’s groups and supporting both men and women through rites of passage. He has guided wilderness programs in the Sierra Nevada, Death Valley, and throughout Central California. Aaron has a deep appreciation for birds and serves as a guide for a nature reserve, where his mission is to inspire the public to build deep, personal relationship with the lands they love. Above all, Aaron is passionate about connecting people with wild places, helping them embody their authentic voice, strengthen their belonging to nature, and find renewed vision for their lives.

Contact Us for more information

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Joining us from out of the area or commuting daily to our course area?

Please use carbon offsets to reduce the climate changing impacts of your travel. See how at www.carbonfund.org (It’s quite easy and more affordable than you might guess.)

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TESTIMONIALS

“On this Apprenticeship Program I learned about my inherent capacity to be with others. I gained so much confidence in my capabilities and enhanced my desire to continue growing my skill set. I envision myself working with others in the wild in a way that I didn’t know even existed before this. This work is nourishing on a soul level and one that takes me directly to my heart center. I want to live and work for this place, always. And now it feels like I have more of a clear path of how to make that a reality.”   ~Aviva Grossberg

 

 

“Meeting an entire group of amazing people was thrilling and heart-warming.  I appreciated each person in the group and loved and grew from them.  How wonderful to be surrounded, finally, by ‘my’ people, people who were as passionate and inspired by nature as I.  I was inspired by Amy and Dave’s effective mixture of poetic mysticism and practical knowledge.  It was helpful to see them work together and the ways in which they complimented and supported one another.  Being gently guided by Dave and Amy brought me more down to earth and allowed a self-love that has remained.”    ~Kassie Lennox

 

“Through this apprenticeship, I gained so much insight about my own life, path, challenges and gifts. On the other side of it’s completion, I have such exciting clarity about my work with people, and how it relates to my own healing.  I feel empowered and confident in bringing my voice and my gifts into the world, and it’s actually happening; I’m doing more and more of the work that feeds me, being with people in the wild beauty of nature.  My time with this group has brought me closer to the land, closer to the fire in my belly, closer to my heart and all its longings…and my life is in greater alignment because of it.”    ~Anna Swisher,  TendingtheSacredHearth.com

 

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The opportunity to put the work into practice as a co-guide with my fellow apprentices made the work sink into my being and take root in ways that felt very affirming and growthful, both personally and professionally. Amy & Dave’s dedication and love of this work came through the entire 7 months. The weeklong vision fast was a gigantic highlight. It furthered my personal growth on many levels, nudging me forwards in ways that I needed to be nudged, helped me confront and move through fears and inner blockages to intimacy, and gave me numerous gifts of communion with Mother Earth that I will treasure for the rest of my life.”    -Rob Shapera, MFT

 

“One of the most valuable things I gained from this program is learning the value of groups and their accepting process. The vision quest was certainly impactful. I feel more strength and confidence and feel I have built a positive useful resource within to be able to move more towards what I fear.  Overall, I have built deeper connections with myself, others and nature through a space that is open and safe. This has been such a wonderful experience and probably the most helpful thing I have done so far.  You both were such wonderful guides and you have fine-tuned yourselves and the program so well.”   ~Michele Angelini

 

“This course had such a big impact on me and it is hard to say just how that happened. On one hand, I can say that I was given the chance to explore and become intimate with my nature through the mirrored relationship to the natural world. I learned about ceremony, quest, council, and am exiting with a tool box of skills that will allow me to guide people deeper into relationship with themselves and the natural world. But on the other hand, this work is very simple. What we really did was: Sit in the dirt, listen to each other, and listen to the natural world. I came to remember that these practices are a basic human need as much as food and water. There is a starved place in our society that is desperate for the space to be quiet, to be reverent, to be wounded, and Amy and Dave tend this space with a love and attention that is incredibly rare in our times—you don’t know you’re aching for it until you’re basking in it. It’s paradigm shifting stuff.”     ~Thora Olsen

 

More than anything else, I learned to be brave, to see out a dark night and know there will be dawn.  This has led me to shed what no longer serves me, even if it feels safe and comfortable, in order to achieve something greater.  I no longer feel hopeless about my job and or scared about my future.  Now, I am filled with excitement and hope.  I am no longer afraid to take risks and I welcome change.  I also have more confidence being myself around others.” ~Rachel Karp, LMFT

 

“The apprenticeship exceeded my expectations in so many ways.  I appreciated the skillful program design, allowing us to initially experience the practices, then mentoring us in the techniques and eventually giving us the opportunity to guide others in a day quest.  The highlight for me was being mentored by Dave, Amy, and Aaron.   They are incredibly gifted, thoughtful and have a wealth of knowledge in ecotherapy.  This was so apparent in their abilities to offer each of us a deep healing experience as well as generously teaching us how to share this work with others.  My life has been forever changed by participating in this program and witnessing Dave, Amy, and Aaron as quest guides.  Being immersed in these practices over the seven months as well as the 10-day immersion in the Sequoia National Park gave me such a solid foundation and confidence to guide others.  ~Kiea Spake-Wright