Meet Elise | Field Wellness Director

Elise is fun! She's kind and soft and down to earth with unanimous praise for her work.
She has an incredible presence our students will love and feel comfortable opening up to.

- Austin Rogers, Founder of Rooted Life Adventures
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Elise Scribner, LCSW

Master of Social Work, Portland State University
Bachelor of Social Justice, Quest University Canada

Trained in:
• Eye Movement Desensitization & Reprocessing
• Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (Coping Skills)
• Acceptance and Commitment Therapy
• Attachment Family Therapy
• Self Management and Recovery Training (SMART)
• Art Therapy
• Motivational Interviewing
• LGBTQ+ Safe Zone Certification

Advocate for Therapeutic Adventure

Elise believes in the profound positive impact that therapeutic adventure can have on student's mental health and overall wellbeing. She's seen, firsthand, the transformative outcomes; the culmination of combining adventure, time in nature, positive peer group culture, mentoring, and therapeutic support.

A lot of the time, at the end of a student's stay, they will start, without prompting, reflecting on how they felt when they first came in to the program. The fact that they are so willing to give feedback really shows me that they're ready to take the next step. You really see an excitement - a glow - in the students. That's one of my top favourite things to see.

Elise Scribner, LCSW

First-Hand Experience

Elise was already aware of this impact on herself. Her passion for adventures and being outdoors started early, living on a sailboat with her family at the age of two. She has since fallen in love with rock climbing, snowboarding, summiting mountains, foraging, and jumping into cold rivers and lakes with friends. She has spent three summers in the Alaska commercial fishing industry, exploring stunning coasts, and is always interested in seeking out new places to travel to and explore.

elise - our therapeutic adventure field wellness director - conquering a climb

Elise's work in the industry began in 2015 at Aspiro Adventure Therapy, the pioneer of wilderness adventure therapy. As a field guide, she was in awe of the profound impact this model had on the students she worked with. Wanting to do more, Elise was inspired to further her education and earn a degree in social work. She moved back to her hometown of Portland, Oregon, to attend graduate school at Portland State University.

In 2020, after earning her Masters of Social Work, as well as becoming a Licensed School Social Worker, Elise returned to Aspiro - now as a Wildness Therapist. She also created and facilitated a Wellness Curriculum for her students including psychoeducation on the dimensions of wellness, group discussions, coping skills, mindfulness practices, and art therapy. Additionally, Elise's Bachelor’s degree in Social Justice that she received from Quest University Canada in Squamish, British Columbia, helped provide a strong foundation for her focus on equity, enabling her to lead anti-oppression workshops at a variety of different programs.

Everyone deserves to live a life worth living. Therapy is one step that can help young people move toward achieving their goals.

Elise Scribner, LCSW

Survivor & Thriver

As a brain cancer survivor and thriver, Elise loves to discuss concepts such as radical acceptance, self-empowerment, helpful humor, and the importance of connectedness.

Elise’s therapeutic approach is strengths-based, student-centered, and trauma-informed. She integrates Motivational Interviewing, Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy while maintaining an equity lens with her students. Elise has used this approach while working with children in the foster care system and with teens in academic settings who struggled with challenges such as early trauma, depression, anxiety, and identity development. 

Elise came highly recommended with unanimous high praise for her ability to integrate wellness and adventure and therapy. She's known for her masterful approach to tricky cases, especially those she took on in her time as a Wilderness Therapist at Aspiro. She has seen - and done - all of the hard stuff with both adolescents and young adults.

Elise will be onsite 24/7 living with our Rooted Life Adventures students in Costa Rica.

Rooted Life Adventures is NOW ACCEPTING APPLICATIONS for our Costa Rica 6-Week Summer Program for Girls Ages 15-17 from June 28 to August 5, 2023.

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