Cori Wright, MS, ACMHC, SEP
Therapist at Evoke Entrada
Cori is passionate about working with adolescents, particularly clients who have mood issues, oppositional defiance, a lack of healthy independence, attachment struggles, adoption, a history of trauma, sexual assault, ASD, and body image issues. Cori also believes that the population who comes to wilderness therapy are highly intelligent, caring, and creative people who may need some extra help to learn how show up in the world with these gifts. Cori has experience in other clinical settings and has found that nothing compares to the healing that happens in the wilderness. Cori’s favorite part of working alongside students is witnessing their protective outer shell dissolve with the use of basic survival skills and non-violent communication with their group, guides, and family. She most appreciates the simplicity of wilderness and what can happen when hiding is no longer possible without the distractions and in a group setting. Once a student can get to the root of what is under the surface level behaviors, it is then that vulnerability and long-term healing can begin.
Education & Prior Work Experience
The doorway to working in the field of therapy began about 20 years ago, when Cori became a personal trainer. She begin to realize that many people's struggles with physical health really boiled down to their mental health. After transitioning to personal training outdoors, she went a step further and started working in wilderness therapy in 2009 as a Field Guide. In guiding, she became even more fascinated with humans' relationship to land, food, rites of passage, and cross-cultural medicine. Cori went on to receive her BA in Biological Anthropology and Mexican-American History. During her undergrad, Cori conducted research in partnership with the University of New Mexico in forensic anthropology, and was a presidential scholarship research recipient and received several awards and accolades for her research in the field. She went on to receive her MS in Clinical Mental Health from Prescott College, with an emphasis in Somatic Psychotherapy. Throughout this time, Cori continued to work in adventure therapy and wilderness settings. With the culmination of these experiences, Cori brings a unique weaving together of academics and the primitive living/nomadic model, and loves marrying these two concepts to help heal what students come to Evoke with. Cori has also completed the three-year training in Somatic Experiencing (SE) and is an SE Practitioner. Cori was recently Adjunct Faculty at Western New Mexico University in the MSW program, and taught Outdoor Behavioral Health and Adventure Therapy from 2019-2022. She has also worked with populations in jails, shelters, and refugee camps doing crisis work.
Cori brings 14 years of experience in wilderness and clinical settings. Cori has extensive training and awareness of her client’s nervous systems with the use of Somatic Experiencing, and uses this to create a container for myriad emotions and challenges that may come up in session. Cori likes to work closely with field guides to capitalize on the wilderness and group work in supporting the student throughout the week outside of session. She comes into each session with the goal of staying in connection through healthy confrontation and deep compassion, which in the field can look like “sitting in the fire” with somebody. Cori’s goal is to empower her students to walk away feeling like they did the program and facilitated their own change. With this empowerment, their learned skills can be better integrated into their next steps.
Cori is the mother of two children, and loves the humility that parenting has brought to her life. Although the bulk of Cori’s conversations outside of work revolve around her passion for wilderness therapy and land-based healing, moving state-to-state and out of the country her whole childhood made for an eclectic collection of interests and hobbies. Cori was born in northern Utah and spent her younger years skiing the best snow on Earth, and later in life came to love rock climbing in southern Utah. She loves discovering her own life answers through fasting on the land and doing rites of passage with other women. Her other passions include permaculture, 5 Rhythms dancing, motorcycles, and doing tile or electrical work on her house.