Kelly Espy, MSW, CSW

May 09, 2018 | 0 comments


My philosophy while working with adolescents and their families is to allow for growth and self-efficacy through challenging experiences that naturally occur in the backcountry. I believe that the magic of wilderness therapy is through sitting in the difficult moments with oneself and others and processing the challenges in the moment. As a clinician, I aim to build a strong therapeutic relationship with whom I am serving. Research suggests that the most successful element of growth in therapy is the strength of the relationship between the family and the client. Within the context of wilderness therapy, this relationship is heightened to a whole new level as the field staff and therapists are working and living alongside with you in the backcountry.

As a family therapist, my aim is to equip and encourage the family to acknowledge their strengths. Additionally, I help the family to find solutions to their reoccurring conflicts. Although one family member might be deemed as the identified patient, I believe that almost every family member play a role in the family dynamics. My style includes Motivational Interviewing, a strengths based approach that honors the values of the family, while also pointing out discrepancies that go against the family’s goals. I also draw upon models such as Structural Family Therapy, Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, and Experiential Family Therapy that work seamlessly within the wilderness therapy context. I hope that my passion for working with the family system overflows to each and every family that I serve.


Living in Utah provides a fantastic opportunity to explore the Wild West. In my free time, I enjoy exploring national parks and discovering backcountry campsites. I take pride in creating delicious camping cuisine and learning new recipes to master. Spending time to grow my faith, developing my relationships with family and friends, and traveling to new places are also on the top of the list for me.










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