Anthony Salerno, MS, ACMHC, NCC
Therapist at Evoke Entrada
Anthony works well with adolescent clients who identify as male and female, as well as those who do not identify within the gender binary. He typically supports young people who are depressed and anxious, yet also bright and manipulative in their process. He works well with sensitive and thoughtful young people, many of whom have abused substances. Many of the young people he works with are also defiant and oppositional, and like to push limits. Anthony does well navigating defiance and helping young people identify the underlying issues related to trauma, family dynamics, or other challenges in their lives. His time as a field instructor provided him with a holistic experience that he uses to support both participants and the field instructors in their therapeutic work. Anthony believes that being able to recognize what is inside and outside of one's control, especially in unpredictable situations, is one of the most vital components of self-efficacy and one that nature teaches best.
Anthony also provides coaching to individuals of all ages and genders looking for support with relationships, parenting, and life planning. Bringing his clinical experiences to the coaching relationship, Anthony prioritizes client comfort in setting realistic and achievable goals between coaching sessions. He also works diligently to provide clients with resources and tools they can begin using immediately in order to facilitate autonomy and empower self-directed growth and introspective personal development.
Education & Prior Work Experience
Anthony graduated from Villanova University with a master’s degree in clinical mental health counseling, which included work at a community mental health facility in Philadelphia. When he began as a field instructor with Entrada in 2013, he quickly fell in love with the therapeutic work, and knew that he would eventually want to serve participants and families as a therapist. Soon after he was honored with the Jumping Mouse Award at the Outdoor Behavioral Healthcare Council's Wilderness Therapy Symposium for his outstanding performance in the field, he transitioned to the clinical department where he trained with numerous therapists as a therapist assistant. Prior to his work at Evoke, he earned a bachelor’s degree in Architecture at Princeton University. While the degree helped him learn how to design and erect intricate and creative shelters in the wilderness, he also credits his undergraduate years as igniting his passion for ceremony, tradition, community development, and service.
Due to his incredible experience at Entrada before beginning his graduate studies, Anthony developed a strong command over the art of therapy before gaining mastery of it as a science. This has allowed him to cultivate a deeply humanistic approach that emphasizes connection, rapport, and care. After building a therapeutic foundation anchored in trust and emotional safety, Anthony is able to support families by exploring challenges through a systems perspective. By utilizing the many different avenues of therapy that the wilderness model uniquely supports, Anthony is able to stoke his passion for creating meaningful interventions at the individual, family, and group levels. Combining this rich set of clinical interventions with stories drawn from his own life experiences allows Anthony to guide students and families through the often-arduous process of change.
As a very eclectic individual, Anthony is often on the hunt for new and varied life experiences. The time he spent earning his Eagle rank as an adolescent in Boy Scouts instilled a deep connection with nature and the outdoors. On weekends, he can often be found practicing self-care by visiting beautiful places and planning adventures with his partner Roz. Due to his experiences as a Division 1 wrestler at Princeton and the meaning that had in shaping his life, Anthony also enjoys being able to give back to the sport by volunteering as a local wrestling coach at a nearby high school. He also has a passion for cooking and loves learning new recipes which he often tries to transform into wilderness-friendly versions to share with his group (though he admits that their reception is sometimes lukewarm). When not in the kitchen or on the trail, Anthony loves exploring new genres of music and going to shows and concerts. And his ongoing project is acquiring all things orange to prepare for his next Princeton reunion!