Jessalyn Hobson, MSW
Family Focus Therapist
Jessalyn Hobson, also known as Jessa, has been therapeutically working with struggling adolescents for the past 7 years. She has worked in a variety of therapeutic and adventure settings including three years as a wilderness field guide, challenge course facilitator, an adventure guide in the United Arab Emirates and Oman, and a rock-climbing guide in New Hampshire. Through her work in experiential education and adventure therapy, she discovered the power of exploration, nature, and working through challenges, and how those experiences sparked positive change for individuals experiencing emotional and social challenges that limit their capacity to thrive in their everyday lives.
In 2013, Jessa returned to school to develop a better understanding of how adventure and therapy came together to stimulate the powerful therapeutic change she was witnessing in her work. Over the next few years, she completed a dual degree graduate program at the University of New Hampshire, earning her Masters in Social Work and Masters in Outdoor Education.
Jessa has truly found her niche as a family therapist. She approaches her work with adolescents and their families from a relational and family systems perspective through care, empathy, and a strengths-based stance. She utilizes spontaneous opportunities presented during family focus expeditions to assess and intervene in family functioning patterns that contribute to dysfunction within the system. She strongly believes that adolescents participating in wilderness therapy are provided an opportunity to serve as catalysts for change within their entire family, and that family engagement in their son’s process supports the transference and maintenance of therapeutic growth.
Jessa is also an active contributor to the research base of wilderness therapy through her work with the Outdoor Behavioral Healthcare Research Center (OBHRC). She has co-authored a number of recent publications exploring the effectiveness of wilderness therapy in regards to individual therapeutic change, family functioning, and the physical health of clients. She is a strong advocate for increasing access to wilderness therapy in order to provide comprehensive and affordable care for as many adolescents and families possible.
Jessa is an avid adventurer and world traveler. In her free time, she loves rock climbing in the Wasatch, experiencing new cultures, snowboarding, and hiking.