Hello and welcome! I’m Kristina Benson, and I’m a wilderness and EMDR therapist whose deepest passion lies in connecting in creative ways with people and the earth. As a counseling intern at the Somatic Wilderness Therapy Institute, I offer my clients warmth, curiosity, and unconditional positive regard. I honor the courage it takes for you to seek therapy, and I consider it a true privilege to be able to engage in this meaningful work together.
In your healing journey, I will show up for you solidly and consistently, creating the container of trust that healing requires. As you take in the nourishment of being held with deep care and honor, you will cultivate new qualities of presence in how you show up for yourself and your people.
At the core of my therapeutic practice is a desire to be present with the tender heart of suffering and joy. I view psychotherapy as a sacred opportunity for people to examine different parts of their humanity, and I believe wholeheartedly in strengthening the gifts that already exist inside each of us. I encourage you to bring all of your unfiltered messiness to this space. Through our therapeutic relationship, we can build a safe and nourishing space for exploration and healing. I am happy to meet with you in nature, at our office, or online.
I work from an understanding that the mind and body are inherently connected and that we must continue cultivating a symbiotic relationship between the two. I believe in taking time to learn about what makes you who you are and how you move through the world.
I have an active mindfulness practice, which guides the way I approach my life and work—slowly, with genuine interest, and with an open heart. The modalities that inform my work are non-violent communication, attachment theory, nature-based therapy, Ecopsychology, mindfulness, and humanistic psychology.
Prior to pursuing a career as a therapist, I held several community-based agriculture and outdoor education roles. I also spent two years as a Peace Corps volunteer in Nepal focusing on women’s empowerment, sustainable farming, and nutrition initiatives.
I bring compassion to poignant life transitions that can often feel overwhelming. More recently I have worked with Boulder County Probation connecting clients to community resources and mental health services. Through my current work in elder care, I support people through the end-of-life stage and the dying process. Additionally, I volunteer as a co-facilitator in Colorado prisons where we practice non-violent communication, encourage greater self-awareness, and foster respect for ourselves and others. My therapeutic approach is informed by the fundamental importance of human connection. I look forward to hearing from you and supporting you in therapy!
- MA, Clinical Mental Health Counseling: Concentration in Transpersonal Wilderness Therapy, Naropa University (in progress)
- BS, Sustainability Science and Asian Studies, Furman University
Additional Training & Experience
- EMDR Basic Training, with the EMDR Institute
- Collaborations with the Natural World, with the Somatic Wilderness Therapy Institute
- Honoring Change, with the Somatic Wilderness Therapy Institute
- Connecting with Ground, with the Somatic Wilderness Therapy Institute
- Intro to Therapeutic Nature-Based Interventions, with the Somatic Wilderness Therapy Institute
- Somatic Soul-Based Trauma Training, with the Somatic Wilderness Therapy Institute (in progress)
- The Dos and Don’ts of Counseling with Neurodivergent Clients: A Trauma-Informed Somatic Approach to Neurodiversity, with Nyck Walsh
- Wilderness First Responder, with MED Remote Medicine
- American Counseling Association Member
- Path of Freedom Instructor Training, with the Prison Mindfulness Institute
- Dementia Training, with Windhorse Elder Care
- Volunteer Facilitator, with Colorado’s Alternatives to Violence Project
- Peer Support Network Member, with Peace Corps Nepal
Although we do not accept any insurance for our therapeutic services, some insurance providers may reimburse you for a portion of out-of-network expenses. Please contact your provider and confirm your options. We offer a range of pricing and a number of sliding scale spots in an effort to make our services accessible to a wider range of people. Please note, if you are a Medicaid client, we unfortunately can’t see you for psychotherapy services.