Michael has been providing psychotherapy to Alaskans since 1988. As the Co-founder and Director of Alaska Wisdom Recovery, he is passionate about his work to provide compassionate, integrative, progressive care for the many people who avail themselves of the programs offered. Over time, his interest has developed into a specialty in treating depression, anxiety, phobias and addictions. He provides stress management and autogenic relaxation techniques to patients from various backgrounds. Michael served as a counselor for the military at Ft. Richardson; so he understands the demands of military life and uses this knowledge in the treatment of PTSD. He has provided direct services in Adolescent and Adult Mental Health and Substance Abuse units in Anchorage Hospitals. He received his Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and his Master of Science in Adult Education and Marital/Family Therapy from the University of Alaska. Michael has a special interest in Mind-Body Medicine, the interactions among the brain, mind, body and behavior, as well as the powerful ways in which emotional, mental, social, spiritual and behavioral factors can directly affect health. Inspired by that interest, he became the Lead Trainer of Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT) for The Association for Comprehensive Energy Psychology and a Master Practitioner of Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP). Of himself he says: “As a life-long learner, I’ve spent most of my adult life searching out therapies that produce results, providing patients with the greatest range of freedom and choice for their lives”.
Tim is committed to providing a supportive environment and maintaining high professional and ethical standards. Tim feels his purpose is to guide individuals to access the path to an abundant life, filled with meaning, purpose, and fulfillment. He graduated from Alaska Pacific University with a Master of Science in Counseling Psychology. His graduate research at Hiland Mountain Correctional Center focused on the impact of exercise on mental health. Integrating physical activity into daily life as a conduit to wellness continues to be a major area of interest for him. Additionally, he uses a cognitive behavioral and insight oriented approach to facilitate and encourage growth in many areas — cognitive learning, emotional healing, relational strengthening, and spiritual growth. Beyond his professional pursuits, Tim is the president and founder of Running Free Alaska, a nonprofit organization that uses running programs to help rehabilitate prison inmates in Alaska’s correctional system. He is an avid runner, biker and skier. He and his wife Laurie can often be found outside enjoying all of the abundance Alaska has to offer.
Jennifer is an enthusiastic, passionate and intelligent group facilitator and a highly motivated therapist who approaches each client with diligence, attentiveness, and consideration. Jennifer uses a variety of therapeutic techniques including Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, Motivational Interviewing, Rational Emotive Therapy, Mindfulness and the Whole Person Approach to focus on the individual client’s particular needs and respective background. She was educated in Behavior Psychology at both the University of Western Washington and Bastyr University located in Washington State. It quickly became apparent that Jennifer’s true passion and life work was to help others discover how to find a solution by living life focused on recovery from addictions and trauma. She attained a certification degree in Chemical Dependency Counseling and is currently certified in the state of Alaska. Jennifer has worked in multiple residential treatment centers, specializing in adolescents in addiction and the entire family system, in addition to outpatient treatment centers with adults of all ages. It is Jennifer’s belief that with a combined focus of the body, mind and spirit, having a thorough understanding that recovery is a process as well as creating a healthy support system; anyone can learn how to live a balanced life free from addiction.
Bekah graduated from Northland College with a Bachelor of Science in Outdoor Education and from Alaska Pacific University with a Master of Science in Counseling Psychology. Bekah has over 10 years of experience working in domestic violence shelters, wilderness treatment programs, youth treatment facilities, and a substance abuse treatment center. She uses this valuable experience to assist adolescents and adults working through substance abuse issues, relationship difficulties, grief, depression, and anxiety. She is interested in the mental, physical, and spiritual impact of stress and how to utilize mindfulness and effective coping techniques to live a more balanced life. Bekah’s orientation to counseling and wellness is centered on her belief in the inherent goodness of people. She believes that humans naturally seek balance and her role as a counselor is to assist in this journey. Bekah’s approach is holistic, as she believes tending to the mind, body and spirit through a comprehensive program will naturally move an individual toward improved wellness and best meet their unique needs. In her work, she is inspired by the expressive arts, mindfulness practices, connection to animals and nature.
A native of the San Francisco Bay area, Alison traveled to Alaska as a young woman “for the adventure of it”. She received her nursing training in Anchorage then returned to California and worked as a psychiatric nurse for 2 years. During her tour of duty in the US Navy, Alison was trained as an Alcoholism Treatment Specialist. She has worked as an addictions counselor in both California and Alaska. Alison worked from 1991 to 2013 at Providence Alaska Medical Center’s Breakthrough, an outpatient chemical dependency treatment program. After retirement from Providence, she began private practice where she conducts individual and group therapy sessions to address addiction/recovery, stress management, relationship and communications issues, depression and anxiety. Her primary professional goal is to assist others in connecting or re-connecting to their own spiritual awareness and enabling them to find depth, meaning and purpose in their lives. She believes that enthusiasm for life is an attainable goal as a consistent experience and attitude. Alison is collaborating on a long-term project involving holistic wellness outreach to Alaskan Bush communities, and will periodically be “carrying the message” to remote villages. In her personal time, Alison is a talented artist and musician, has a rich and rewarding life with her husband, dog and cat. She stays busy with a variety of rewarding activities. Alison has been free from alcohol and drug use since 1979 and is active in her own personal recovery process.
Jody graduated Magna Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from Macon State College in Macon, GA with a concentration in pre-clinical studies and counseling. As a person in long-term recovery, she has the keen ability to understand where people seeking recovery are operating from and to motivate and guide them toward a life of freedom from active addiction. Although she recognizes the negative behavioral tendencies that corresponds with addiction, she is a proponent for the positive and utilizes looking at “what’s right with people” as a means of challenging negative belief systems and drawing out the true self of the individual. She regularly incorporates her artistic and creative flair into the learning environment and allows for a sense of connection to develop among group members through interactive lessons. Her authenticity, transparency, and heart for people are the simplest and most effective assets she utilizes in her practice as a counselor. Jody honors the sacred and safe space created through counseling and offers individuals the opportunity to walk their own path of lifelong recovery, one day at a time. She is a member of the Mat-Su Opioid Task Force and engages in panel discussions in her community working to reduce the social stigma of addiction. She is an avid slackliner, painter, photographer, and hiker. Her dream is to one day (soon) hike the El Camino de Santiago. Her message is hope. Her promise is life.
David is a lifetime Alaskan. He enjoys the somewhat rare distinction of being born on Kodiak Island, in the Territory of Alaska before Statehood. A diverse career in management includes experience in the music industry, television production, public facility management and the Anchorage School District. David is a student of life and feels very strongly his passion for this work at Alaska Wisdom Recovery. Coming to a time in life to truly follow his calling, he was led to Wisdom Traditions. He became a certified Neuro-Linguistic Programming, (NLP) Practitioner and obtained his state certification CDCI and national certification NCACI for substance use counseling. In addition to being a Certified Family Trauma Professional (CFTP) he has added additional training in Emotional Freedom Techniques, (EFT) and Moral Reconation Therapy, (MRT) to the tools that support his mission. David is dedicated to an expansion of awareness and healthy life experience especially for those experiencing addictive or unhealthy thinking and behaviors.
Anna is a lifelong Alaskan with a broad variety of life and work experience. “Living a healthy life of grace and dignity” is Anna’s personal mission statement. “Helping others to achieve wholehearted engagement in their lives” is her professional mission. Anna is a believer in the concept of lifelong learning about ourselves and the world around us. Developing strong spiritual connections through activities, relationships and experiences is something she strives for in her personal and professional life. Whether she is fishing on the Kenai with her family guide service, dancing and singing at local indigenous cultural events, or just spending time with her four children and 14 grandchildren, she approaches it with joy, grace and gratitude. Anna will graduate in April 2017, with a Psy.D. from the Psychology Doctorate program at Alaska Pacific University. She holds a Master of Science degree from APU in Counseling Psychology and an undergraduate degree in Human Services and Non Profit Management. Her education has been focused in addiction studies, including her dissertation Project Demonstrating Excellence (PDE), which researched and developed an addiction studies undergraduate curriculum for APU. She has more than sixteen years’ experience working and volunteering in the behavioral health and addictions treatment field. Anna has been an active member of the local recovery community for more than 20 years, and has spent many years as an advocate for treatment and recovery services in Alaska. She served for seven years as a beneficiary board member of the Alaska Advisory Board on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse, and was the 2013 recipient of the Francis J. Phillips Award for many years of outstanding statewide contributions to the addictions field. Anna has served as an adjunct professor at APU, teaching the Psychology of Substance Use course in 2013. She says, “My therapeutic approach is holistic, solution focused and individualized. I assist clients in the exploration of individual strengths and building of healthy coping skills, in order to bring about the desired changes they identify for their lives. I maintain a strongly held belief in the concept of mind-body connection and the impact of emotional distress on physical wellness. As such, I believe in strong collaboration with primary healthcare and complementary medicine providers to address the whole person.” Her integrative approach to therapy includes intentional use of Solution focused therapy, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Rational Emotive Therapy (RET), Mindfulness based cognitive interventions, Motivational Interviewing, Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT), Neurolinguistic programming (NLP), Positive Psychology, and Comprehensive Energy Psychology (CEP). As an Alaska Native, of Alutiiq descent, Anna brings a wealth of knowledge regarding cultural diversity and is able to incorporate cultural sensitivity to group and individual therapeutic work. Helping others to achieve health, satisfaction, and a belief in their ability to flourish in life, is what drives her passion and commitment to her chosen profession.
Darby graduated from East Carolina University in Greenville, North Carolina, with a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology and a concentration in Drug and Alcohol Rehabilitation Studies. She spent a number of years working with adolescents, as well as adults, in various mental health treatment centers specializing in Community Outreach and Community Resource programs. Darby is proud to be “Alaska Grown” and is dedicated to cultivating positive development within the community where she grew up. Darby feels it is her mission to remove the stigma often associated with addiction and help empower people to move towards recovery. She strives to support each unique personality as they explore the distinct inner beauty that lies within. Darby believes an integrated approach to healing a person’s body, mind, and spirit nurtures individuality and positive self- image, while simultaneously increasing internal motivation for permanent and positive life changes.
Andrew holds a Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from George Fox University. He believes the counseling relationship is a space of holy ground, where a client is able to be vulnerable and the counselor is able to honor a client's unique story. Andrew approaches therapy by integrating components of Person-Centered Therapy, Attachment Theory, and Dialectical Behavioral Therapy in a tapestry that best suits each client's circumstances. He strives to grasp the whole picture of each of his clients, which means he keeps in mind the psychological (mind, emotions), physiological (physical, biological), and social aspects of one's life. Cultural and spiritual tenants of one's experience are also woven into the therapy process at a client's comfort level. During Andrew's counseling career, he has worked with individuals who experienced depression, anxiety, life transitions, identity struggles and relationship stressors. Additionally, Andrew has worked with those experiencing severe and persistent mental health diagnoses and those with developmental and/or intellectual disabilities. During his internship, Andrew worked with individuals who were facing the criminal justice system and on probation or parole. Andrew is a person who appreciates nature and enjoys being outdoors with his wife and dog. He has a passion for cooking good food and painting/making art..
John has a Bachelor’s degree in social work and a Master’s degree in counseling psychology. In his early years, he was a field medic in the army. John’s 30 years of mental health experience as a counselor or clinician includes Akeela House, the Anchorage Community Mental Health Center, Charter North Hospital and the Department of Corrections as the Mental Health Supervisor of the Anchorage Jail. After state retirement, John and his wife moved to Southwest Washington to a beach home overlooking Willapa Bay where he worked at a residential treatment center before returning to Alaska.
John envisions a future where Wisdom Traditions is a powerful, community resource & partner whose effective core services reach adults throughout the Anchorage area and beyond. His goal as a therapist is to vigorously advocate for change in individuals, families, and communities resulting in healthy positive choices. John’s passion lies in the field of addiction recovery because addiction has personally affected him in various ways. John shares his experience, strength and hope with other addicts and their families and is grateful for being able to help their process.
When not at work John is home spending time with family or making music on his guitars. He loves Alaska’s great outdoors and enjoys traveling, hiking, skiing and fishing as much as he can. In addition, he enjoys watching football on television as long as his team winning.