December 12, 2017 | 0 comments

Aries M. McGinnis, MA, ACMHC
Field Team, Leadership Team
Position:Program Director

MA, Immaculata University
BA, Neumann University
PCS and QPR Certified
CPR and First Aid Certified
Lean Champion and 5-S Certified
Over 10 years of work in therapeutic settings
Over 300 days spent on the trail, working in the field
Intern Therapist, Central Montgomery MH/MR Center
Served as a Camp Counselor, Village Chief, and on the Board of Directors at Camp Dreamcatcher

PERSONAL APPROACH

I have had the privilege of being in a family structure that loves unconditionally, holds strong boundaries, teaches work ethic and integrity, and embraces the uniqueness of each person.  As I began looking at wilderness programs, the family component at Outback immediately spoke to my heart.  A fundamental belief at Outback is that the success of the student is intricately and deeply connected to the health of the family system.  While working with a student on their individual clinical needs, I help them work through the process of engagement, healing, reconnecting, and growing. My initial approach is to see the student for who they are: what is great about them. Our students all have greatness and I work to help them see that their behaviors are not who they are. As we can pull apart maladaptive behaviors from the individual, I help the student become actively engaged in their own therapeutic process. Once the student is engaged, we can begin the work of healing for them and their family as they review past experiences and begin to learn a healthy manner of handling their clinical challenges. As the healing continues, we begin the reconnection of the family. Having the student and family come together in a safe space to honor and cherish each other again. The final phase of the therapeutic process is the growth; as we have started to put into practice the students new, healthy skill sets, we continue the student’s growth as they prepare for life after Outback.

PERSONAL INTEREST

I am an East Coast native and will always cherish my roots. I make it back to Philly multiple times a year and I have yet to lose my accent even after being in Utah for years. While my roots are my family back east, my soul is in the mountains. I came to Utah for two reasons: wilderness therapy and the mountains. There is a peace that fills my heart as I look to the mountains each morning. I am an outdoor enthusiast with skiing, mountain biking, and hiking as some of my favorite activities. I would rather be camping in a remote area than wander in the city. I also enjoy adrenaline sports and have enjoyed such adventures as sky-diving, hang-gliding, white water rapids, and bungee jumping. Along with a sense of adventure, I have a deep need to explore the world and love to travel. I have made my way to Europe, Asia, and all over the USA. I have found that my sense of adventure, my love of the outdoors, and my deep connection with my family and roots has helped me form strong connections with my students.

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