Mark Lees, M.A. CAS

A Little Bit About Me……………………

bandanahikerMy name is Mark Lees and I was born in Detroit, Michigan and moved to San Diego in 1976.  I now live in Oceanside, California. I have a son, age 26. I have a Masters degree in psychology with an emphasis in Marriage and Family Therapy from Chapman University, as well as a certification from the California Association of Addiction and Recovery Resources as an Addiction Recovery Specialist. For fun and self-care I like to Hike, Starbucks to both energize and relax, see as many baseball games as I can, open to all music, and find fun places to eat and play at in San Diego County and beyond.

Experience

Besides my education, I also have many years of experience counseling individuals ages 12-75, and families, who have had relationship and life challenges, crisis, ongoing unmanageable anxiety, depression and out of control behaviors related to alcohol and drug abuse/addiction.

Skills……………………………

My Interventions include a solution focused approach which enable my client to build on “whats good” as well as developing an awareness of who they are and what they want to become.  I also feel that by identifying and correcting automatic negative thinking, positive thoughts, feelings and behaviors can be consistently attained.

How HikerTherapy Got Started……..

I have always been someone who has participated in sports over the course of my life and in recent years have stayed active in the gym, biking, running and numerous outdoor activities.  However, a sport that I hadn’t participated in until recent years was hiking. Looking for a way for us to do something together my son suggested we do a hike. Our first hike was in January of 2012 at Torrey Pines.  As we hiked we both shared more of ourselves with the other thus strengthening the bond between us.   This was all the inspiration I needed to create the idea of HikerTherapy.  

Professionally…………………….

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI have incorporate HikerTherapy into numerous counseling employment positions, including my current work with homeless veterans. It never seizes to amaze me the difference, the openness and total change of attitude my clients experience when we get out of the “office” 4-wall environment and hit the sidewalk, trail, neighborhood we walk/hike in. Not only do I notice the change in my clients attitude, but I notice I too, although still professional, undergo a freeing feeling and much more in tune to all my senses as we hike/walk.

 

I hope you find the comment, information and insights on these pages of benefit and motivation to explore the world of HikerTherapy.