Tara Stireman, LCSW
Clinical Director for Adolescents and Primary Therapist
Tara has been working with children and adolescents in the outdoors for over 10 years. She learned early in her career about the power of wilderness to create positive change in the lives of young people. She believes we go to wilderness to better prepare ourselves to live in modern society and continue the journey of self awareness and change. Wilderness is the ideal setting to engage and motivate adolescents, conduct an accurate assessment and opportunities for growth and insight.
Originally from northeastern Ohio, Tara began working in wilderness in New York at Ramapo for Children. There she was the assistant director of an adventure therapy program following two years of service with Americorps focused on providing therapeutic wilderness experiences to youth, families and groups. Tara moved to Utah in 2003 to work in wilderness therapy. She began as a field instructor at another wilderness program and knew immediately that wilderness therapy was a natural fit. She worked as a senior wilderness field instructor until pursuing her graduate degree.
Tara received her Master of Social Work Degree at the University of Utah. During the MSW program she completed internships at Vista Adolescent Treatment Center and Copperhills Youth Center, providing individual and family therapy to teens in residential treatment. She also worked at Valley Mental Health in an outpatient program specifically designed for women with children that have substance dependence and other mental health concerns. These experiences provided the catalyst to return to wilderness and accept a position at Elements. Tara is also trained in EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing), an evidence based psychotherapy technique designed to treat individuals with PTSD or individuals who have experienced trauma.
Tara spends much of her free time outdoors and sleeps better under the stars. She loves the mountain and desert surroundings that Utah provides and can often be found climbing, skiing, kayaking, hiking and traveling the western U.S. She also enjoys gardening, cooking and listening to live music.