JJ Freedlund, LCSW
JJ began working with adolescents in 2006, and has been involved in a variety of experiences since. Beginning as an educator, JJ realized the connection and fulfillment in working with adolescents, though soon recognized that a classroom was not his ideal environment. After spending several months backpacking through the Pacific Northwest, he learned about wilderness therapy and left Chicago for Utah. What was originally a yearlong commitment, and one JJ wasn’t sure would even last that long, turned into 3 1/2 years as a wilderness therapy field staff, ending only to return to school for a Masters in Social Work.
Aside from teaching and his time as a field staff, JJ has also worked with adolescents in a variety of other settings, including a residential treatment center and therapeutic boarding school. Other therapeutic experiences include working in Salt Lake City with people with HIV, and in the inpatient psychiatric unit at the George E Whalen VA hospital. While all of those experiences contributed to his growth in unique and powerful ways, nothing matched the connection and challenge of working with adolescents in the wilderness. JJ returned to the outdoors and now considers himself fortunate to be working his dream job.
In his free time, JJ is most frequently found barbecuing while his dog stares hopefully at the grill, or exploring the Wasatch Mountains by skis or mountain bike.