Wilderness Therapy Retreats

Discover Your Path

Tami@wilderness-retreats.com

About Wilderness Therapy Retreats

Our Mission & Our Team

Wilderness Therapy Retreats was founded by Tami Gilmore and specializes in a reconnection to “self” through nature. Wilderness therapy consciously incorporates nature into the process of self discovery and growth. At WTR, our expert staff combines their extensive experience to help those who want to break free from negative patterns and achieve more of what makes them whole. Our participants learn effective experiential techniques to help mend strained relationships, reverse negative behavior patterns, and to better communicate with others in their daily lives.

“Very often a change of self is needed more than a change of scene.”

— A. C. Benson

The Wilderness Therapy Retreats Team

Tami Gilmore

Tami is a practicing Licensed Professional Counselor, with a BA in Psychology and MA in Counseling. She is the founder of Wilderness Therapy Retreats. She is an EMDR trauma therapist and certified by NOLS in Wilderness First Aid. She works with combat vets, first responders and clients that suffer from PTSD, OCD, depression and anxiety.

In 2015 her love of nature and outdoor adventures led her to train in Wilderness/Natural World therapy with Katie Asmus of Somatic Wilderness Therapy Institute and additional Soul work training in the natural world with Katie Asmus & Dr. Sweigh Spilkin of Thresholds Healing. Tami has worked in the service field of psychology as an educator, coach, school counselor, group leader, workshop facilitator and therapist for 20 + years. She is open minded and has a passion for learning and helping others. Tami currently works in a thriving practice where she sees individuals, couples and facilitates an ongoing women’s empowerment group. While she sees clients in the traditional office setting she is shifting her focus to getting clients out of the office and on hiking trails, in parks and on wilderness group retreats. She is passionate about science now showing the vast benefits of being in nature that we’ve always felt and is excited about sharing and teaching others.

In her spare time, you can find her OUTSIDE hiking, tree talking or hanging out with her AMAZING grandson at local parks but If you happen to see her on the back of a Harley in Death Valley during the middle of summer, please throw her a bottle of water.

Tami Gilmore

LPC, Founder

Alice Seitzer

Alice Seitzer, LCSW, LCDC, has been practicing therapy for over seven years and received her masters from the University of Texas. She focuses on working with adolescents and adults. Alice is well-versed in working with substance use challenges, trauma, and other areas of the human shadow. She is experienced in practicing nature-based therapy, EMDR, and expressive art therapies. She has also led wilderness therapy retreats and trainings. Alice has witnessed amazing results from using these forms of therapies, and believes that these types of creative expression foster authenticity and a deep connection to ourselves.

In addition, Alice has been teaching yoga for 12 years. She was trained at Mt Madonna Center in Santa Cruz, California, and apprenticed in trainings afterwards. Alice teaches all different types of yoga including: ashtanga, vinyasa, hatha, kundalini, yin, restorative.

Alice Seitzer

LCSW, LCDC

Brady Grudza

Brady will be your guide to mindfulness practices while teaching the ancient, peaceful & calming art of fly fishing. He is certified by NOLS in Wilderness First Aid and as our F.I.S.H. & beginning fly tying instructor. He uses skill, patience, wit and a sense of humor to enhance your experience in nature, while connecting with the element of water and our finned friends (catch and release).

Fly fishing programs around the country such as “Project Healing Waters” are being used to successfully help veterans combat the symptoms of PTSD as well as helping others who suffer with anxiety and depression. Don’t let Brady’s BS in Business from Tarleton State University fool you, he takes his own advice and experiences nature in his down time by camping, fishing, relaxing in his hammock, or on his next kayak adventure with his family and friends. He does kiss all the fish he catches and may try to kiss yours if you catch one while he is instructing you, but we don’t hold it against him.

Join him to learn how fishing relates to life on our retreats or schedule private lessons. 817-713-0788.

“A bad day fishing is better than any day working” – Brady himself.

Brady Grudza

Guide

Samantha Pettit

Samantha is a Licensed Professional Counselor and National Certified Counselor who will lead you towards therapeutic healing with nature-based therapy. She has a private practice helping clients managing depression and anxiety. Samantha also specializes in working with people healing from trauma.

As a Certified Integrative Mental Health Professional, Samantha is interested in how your physical well-being (sleep/wake patterns, nutrition, etc.) impacts your mental and emotional health. She uses a comprehensive, holistic approach to guide you towards health. She specializes in Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy and enjoys conducting mindfulness practices in nature.

Samantha’s love for the natural world began in childhood where she was raised in the countryside. She continues to find peace and joy when she is surrounded by trees and immersed in the sounds of nature. Prior to joining the team, Samantha had a transformative nature-based experience through work with Tami and Wilderness Therapy Retreats. Having experienced the the curative nature of the retreats, Samantha is excited to be a part of the crew!

Samantha enjoys hanging out with the family, hiking, kayaking, playing tennis, and doing any outdoor activity. Samantha calls herself a true Texan and enjoys traveling to explore all of Texas.

Samantha Pettit

LPC

Clay Grudza

Clay earned his BS in Kinesiology at Tarleton State University and is our hiking guide, cook, medic and assistant instructor. His love for nature started when he took is first backpacking trip in Colorado with the Wilderness Leadership Institute. This love for nature only intensified and led Clay to take a leap and move to California to work in Yosemite National Park. As an employee of one of the most iconic national parks, you won’t find a bigger advocate for the importance of spending time in the wilderness and having a connection with nature. As an employee in Yosemite, Clay cooked at the famed Curry Village, Badger Pass (the park’s ski and snow board resort), as well as Vogelsang High Sierra Camp. He progressed into the role as Curry Village gardener and aided in maintenance and restoration efforts in the valley and now works at the management level. His love of nature and restoration led him to take a position working off grid in the backcountry for much of the summer months.

In his spare time, Clay is a self-taught website developer and is currently working toward becoming a Wilderness EMT. When he’s not writing code or spending time in nature, you can find him spending time with family and friends, offering a helping hand to those in need, and playing the manager role for his celebrity dog Yosemite Jack who authored Amazon’s #1 new release in children’s camping books and nature conservation, “Yosemite Jack, Explores Leave No Trace”.

On council night of our wilderness retreats you can sample his world-famous vegan lentil tacos, at least that is what Clay calls them.

“The mountains are calling and I must go” – John Muir.

Clay Grudza

Guide

Our Mission
Our mission is to guide you in restoring mind, body and spirit through meaningful and intentional experiences with the wild. We believe wellness of individuals is the foundation for the well-being of our families, communities, and our planet. We guide individuals to explore their inner and outer wilderness and we are devoted to helping others transform to a life of peace, clarity and meaning through wilderness therapy.
Our Vision
Our vision is to be a valued resource for individuals and groups to escape the noise of the day to day and exchange it for that still quiet voice inside. It is also our hope that by reconnecting humans to nature that they will be even more inspired to enjoy and protect our natural spaces.
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Discover Reconnection

Join Us & Learn To Reconnect With Yourself And Nature

  • Deepen Your Personal Relationship With The Natural World And Your Own “Inner Wilderness”
  • Improve Your Sensory Awareness, Experiential Hikes
  • Meditation & Mindfulness In Nature; Conversations With The Natural World
  • Integrate Positive Psychology
  • Adventure As A Metaphor
  • Fly Fishing (with lessons)
  • Take-Home Techniques For Use In Your Own Backyard

Experiential & Intentional

Our retreats are experiential and intentional. Learn Skills Like:

  • Letting Go And/Or Stepping in
  • Celebrating & Grieving Life’s Transitions
  • Grief Work Or Personal Growth
  • Exploring Fears Or Forgiveness For You Or Others
  • Learn To Listen Inward & Trust Yourself
  • Silencing The Harsh Inner Critic
  • Recharge From Burn Out Or Compassion Fatigue
  • Slowing Down/ Peace/Quiet/Solitude

Natrural Benefits Of Being In Nature

The research is clear Nature is therapeutic and good for our overall wellbeing:

  • Lowered Blood Pressure

  • Lowered Stress Hormones

  • Feeling Restored

  • Immune System Boost

  • Increased Energy

  • Better Sleep

  • Improved Focus

  • Accelerated Illness Recovery

  • Improved Creativity

  • Reduced Anxiety/Depression

  • Reduced Inflamation

Giving Back

All of us at Wilderness Therapy Retreats believe that all of humanity benefits when we give back. We mindfully give back in two ways to help preserve our natural resources and our access to them. For each participant in our programs, we make the following donations:  

One Tree Planted

We have partnered with One Tree Planted to ensure that for every participant we have, we plant a tree in return.

One Tree Planted works with reputable environmental organizations around the world to help plant trees in local communities that are in need of reforestation.

Trees clean the air we breathe and the water we drink. They help stabilize our climate and provide a habitat for biodiversity. The removal of trees and destruction of forests without sufficient reforestation has had adverse impacts on the bio-sequestration of atmospheric carbon dioxide, along with damage to habitat, biodiversity loss, and aridity. Planting trees is a simple and effective way to help reverse some of the negative impacts that deforestation has had.

Thank you for helping us make an impact! If you would like to donate directly, or get more information, you may do so below.

National Park Service

We donate 10% of the proceeds from each participant to the National Park Service. 

Since 1916, the National Park Service has been entrusted with the care of our national parks. With the help of volunteers and partners, we safeguard these special places and share their stories with more than 318 million visitors every year. But our work doesn’t stop there.

We are proud that tribes, local governments, nonprofit organizations, businesses, and individual citizens ask for our help in revitalizing their communities, preserving local history, celebrating local heritage, and creating close-to-home opportunities for kids and families to get outside, be active, and have fun.

Taking care of the national parks and helping Americans take care of their communities is a job we love. Visit the link if you want to discover more.

FAQ's About Wilderness Therapy Retreats

Here are a few of the most common questions we get about our team, our approach and our programs.

Who is Wilderness Therapy Retreats, LLC (WTR)?

Here at WTR we all love nature and have a passion for sharing the benefits of reconnecting individuals with nature through numerous experiences. Our guides have a combination of experts in the field including Wilderness Therapists who are also licensed professional counselors, our Fly fishing, hiking, yoga and meditation guides are experienced and trained in their field. We are also trained in wilderness first aide.

Does Wilderness Therapy Work?

Nature-based therapies are supported by evidence- based research for preventive and healing medicine. A few of the many benefits include: boosting our immune system, decreasing harmful stress hormones and blood pressure , boosting mood, physical health, productivity, focus, attention and creativity.

Our therapists have worked in private practice and residential treatment centers and after training, personally experiencing and now conducting and teaching wilderness therapy and witnessing the powerful transformative benefits of nature-based therapies we have shifted our work to getting clients out of the office and supporting them in the natural world.

Link

What Are The Physical Requirements For A Trip?

There is no minimum physical ability needed to attend any of our retreats. Trips can be modified to suit the abilities of individuals and groups. All that is required is good health, which means your doctor would approve of you going for a walk in the woods. Our trips are more mental than they are physical. Most likely you will be challenged to step out of your comfort zone. We will encourage this but will also allow the option of choosing to opt out of challenge that may feel overwhelming.

Do I Need Any Prior Outdoor Experience?

No. Most of the people we take on a WTR trip are putting on a backpack for the very first time. We will teach you everything you need to know for a successful trip. We offer non camping trips for those that want a bed and a shower and on camping trips many participants have chosen to commute daily from a local hotel. We’ve also had participants return that previously commuted and have later chosen to camp.

What About Bugs?

Mosquitos and flies can be present on the trail, especially at lower elevations near water. We recommend bug spray, especially if you are one of the select few with sweet skin that is attractive to the bugs. We provide environmentally safe essential oil bug repellant.

I Have Never Been "Outdoorsy", Will That Be A Problem?

No. Camping or backpacking is not a prerequisite. Part of the experience is working together as a group throughout the week. The experiences and pace can be adjusted to fit the needs of the group. The guides are well trained and experienced at making decisions that will most benefit the group.

Are Payment Plans Available?

Each trip fee is broken down into three to four payments depending on date of the trip. We ask for a deposit to hold your spot and then 2 payments where the last payment is due two weeks before the event. Should more payments be necessary, please ask and we will try to accommodate.

What Should I Pack?

The packing/gear list are different depending on whether or not we camp or rent cabins. Each event will post a specific suggested packing list.
i. How are medical emergencies addressed? WTR guides are medically trained for wilderness emergency scenarios. Based on the severity of the situation, your guide(s) will handle it accordingly. In most cases front country emergency services are nearby.

How Are Medical Emergencies Addressed?

WTR guides are medically trained for wilderness emergency scenarios. Based on the severity of the situation, your guide(s) will handle it accordingly. In most cases front country emergency services are nearby.

Are Dates Flexible?

Alternative dates from those on our website may be reserved for private groups or individuals, if available. Please contact us with your preferences and questions.

What Is Your Refund Policy?

Due to the limited number of trips offered per year and number of participants per trip, most payments made are non-refundable this will depend on the location and refund policies of each venue– different trips may have a separate refund policy. WTR reserves the right to issue refunds for extenuating circumstances regarding trip cancellations at its discretion. In most cases the trip must be at it’s maximum capacity before a refund would be considered. In the event that a refund is not issued, all monies will go towards trip scholarships. As a result, your original payments will make a WTR trip a possibility for someone less fortunate. A charitable contribution receipt will be provided

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