About Us

 
 
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Wildfire Wellbeing

Our intention behind the name.

Wildfires are destructive, leaving the earth scarred and threatening plants and animals. And yet... the forest survives and eventually thrives after a wildfire. Forests have adapted to respond to the impact of such devastating burns: the forest floor is cleared of dead debris which allows new growth, damaged trees re-sprout from their wounds, and plants flower prolifically to reseed. For some species, the intensity of wildfires is a necessity -- pinecones from lodgepole pines burst open in wildfires, releasing their seeds in order for new life to begin.


This is resilience. Nature gives us the example that going through hard things will leave us forever changed, and from these experiences we find strength to continue on - to allow for new growth and new landscapes to emerge in our lives. 


None of us has a life free of wildfires -- we will all find ourselves amidst a blaze, wondering if we may burn or break. Yet - we, too, adapt. We, too, are resilient. Through the grit we are made of that moves us forward, our capacity for empathy to connect with others through our struggles, and communities that support us as we rebuild - we persevere.


We chose this name intentionally, as our hope is that Wildfire Wellbeing can create space to support resilience and encourage growth within our communities. We hope you will join us. 

 
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Who We Are

Our winding paths led us both to pursue graduate school and become therapists. It’s where we first connected over tacos, hopped in the car and drove to the desert the moment we turned in our final exams, and where it became clear just how important attending to mental health in our daily lives really is. It was during this time that we leaned into our friendship for support as we learned how to support the healing and wellbeing of others. 


We have experienced the power behind spaces of belonging and how alive we can feel when we are able to just be in community with others. Yet, we realized that there aren’t many spaces in our lives that ask us to just be ourselves and then provide the safety to truly let ourselves be seen, wherever we are in that moment.

Our careers as therapists have echoed our lived experiences, showing us how our connections fuel resilience in the hard times and double our joys in the best.

Through experiences that encourage authentic and meaningful relationships, connection with nature, and moments of self-discovery, we hope to create an intentional community that promotes well-being and flourishing. We want to shift the individualistic focus of self-care - which our culture has turned into an almost militant item on our “to do” lists, often inaccessible to those without a ton of time or money - and instead join the movement that is focused on community care.


Community care is so much more than just going to an event that someone plans. It’s the act of showing up for others in a way that benefits the greater good. Community care integrates community-wide justice work with small-scale, interpersonal interactions based in compassion. Nakita Valerio says, “Community care is a recognition of the undeniable cooperative and social nature of human beings and involves a commitment to reduce harm simply through being together.”


So the question is - what does community really mean to you? What makes you feel well? What does belonging look like?


We want to know. We want to build something great with you. Join us.

 

Steph

Steph was once told that she’s a jill-of-all trades, master of none, a title which she’s come to  embrace with time.  Through the varied experiences of having worked a corporate business job for a fortune 50 company, studied herbalism in the forests and fields of Minnesota, performed in a 5-piece women’s bluegrass band, and had innumerable meaningful everyday experiences, she’s learned that there is nothing quite like the power of community and the beauty of the natural world to promote healing and transformation.  It’s this belief that drives her excitement for creating spaces for collective experience.  Steph is currently working as a therapist and community educator at the Child Trauma and Resilience Assessment Center in Fort Collins, CO and holds an M.S. in Human Development with a concentration in Marriage and Family Therapy from Colorado State University. She is trained as a yoga teacher, with specific training in yin and trauma-sensitive yoga, she has also led mindfulness-based group therapy.  Steph engages in her own connecting practices including running joyfully through the mountains, gardening, and cooking and sharing meals with others.

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Shelly

Sparse deserts and lush mountains hold a special place in Shelly’s heart after growing up in Arizona and later spending transformative years living and working in Colorado and Chile. She has a passion for wilderness-based community-building experiences that cultivate authentic connections and self-discovery. She currently serves as a mindfulness guide on wilderness treks for young adult cancer survivors and is a therapist in private practice. Shelly has an M.S. in Human Development and Family Studies with a specialization in Marriage and Family Therapy. She has led mindfulness-based group therapy, is trained in Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction, and is a certified Intuitive Eating counselor. Shelly cherishes feeling wild and free in the outdoors and has found a sense of healing through trail-running, yoga, and gathering in community.

 

©2019 by Wildfire Wellbeing