Caitlin Tharaldson, LCSW

Clinical Director, Therapist

As a teenager, Caitlin developed a love for the wilderness and truly recognized the genuine and authentic connection she made with others while sitting at a campfire or trudging along during a difficult hike. It was on an arctic canoe expedition in her young adulthood that Caitlin felt like she explored her identify and began to find ways to live her own personal values. This makes wilderness therapy such a powerful and innate setting for her to work and engage with you, the young adult client.

Caitlin finds value in seeing the “whole” person. While you may present as; lacking personal drive, engaging in destructive relationships, isolating from family, disengaging from work or academics, and using substances, Caitlin works to identify and treat the underlying struggles, such as; anxiety, depression, low self-esteem, attachment issues, trauma, and identity issues.

Caitlin provides a supportive and open environment to connect with you and to create space for deeper work. She does this by presenting her authentic self and creating a strong therapeutic alliance, so that she may later constructively highlight any inconsistencies represented in what you communicate. This allows you to recognize opportunities for growth, to support living as your best-self, and to take ownership of your life. Caitlin’s engaging and authentic personality facilitates powerful rapport and provides an empowering environment. She most often utilizes Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) as a treatment modality, she is a recovery and trauma informed clinician, and she has experience working within complex family systems.

After growing up in the Twin Cities in Minnesota, Caitlin attended the University of Minnesota and studied biology in her undergraduate education. She began working in wilderness therapy as a field staff, where she remained for over two years. She then returned to Minnesota to pursue her master's degree in Social Work at the University of Minnesota. Caitlin was able to spend time during her graduate education as a Therapist Assistant at a wilderness program, working with adolescent males struggling with substance use/abuse, anxiety, and mood disorders. Caitlin also gained valuable clinical experience as a women’s counselor at a domestic violence shelter and as a therapist at a community health and counseling clinic. While working at the clinic, she provided both in-home and outpatient therapy to clients ages 11-23 from socio-economically and ethnically diverse backgrounds, most of which had extensive trauma histories and complex family systems. Before coming to Elements Traverse, Caitlin also spent two years working for another wilderness therapy program as a clinician treating young adults.

Caitlin enjoys spending as much time as she can outside with friends and family, particularly while living somewhere as beautiful as Utah. Her dog, Lou, comes with her on any adventure, including coming into the field. Skiing is one of her favorite things to do. She also loves hiking, biking, and making art, and she’s always up for getting out on the water in a canoe. Caitlin has also consistently practiced yoga for the last four years and considers it an important part of her life.