Brand Bonsall, MA, CMHC
Therapist at Entrada
Brand works well with adolescent boys who are depressed, anxious, manipulative, often intelligent, and sensitive, and who struggle with attachment, identity, and self-concept. These boys can often feel a pressure to achieve and have turned to maladaptive patterns such as substance abuse, self-harm, suicidal ideation, and lying and manipulating to cope. Brand has experience working with students who have experienced many forms of trauma including the death of a parent, personal injury, and abuse. Brand’s personal experience as a manipulative and sensitive teen struggling with self-concept allows him to relate well with this population. Brand’s joy in playing as hard as he works is another relatable attribute that this client population often begins to identify with and realize is possible and healthy.
Education & Prior Work Experience
Brand graduated with a Bachelor of Science from the University of Nebraska Kearney and set out on his path in business. He worked in a variety of sales and sales management positions for over 10 years. Brand then made the choice to make a mid-life career change and earned his Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling at Northern Arizona University. Brand’s experience in sales has honed his ability to connect with and learn from people from all aspects of life. He considers this one of his strengths and he finds joy in discovering new people, new stories, and new adventures. Brand discovered Evoke during the first year of his graduate studies and worked as field staff for two years. He is a huge proponent of therapy in the wilderness and feels a connection with the wilderness, the employees of Evoke, the mission of Evoke, and Evoke’s clients. He considers the opportunity to work as a therapist at Evoke his dream job.
Brand believes that people have strengths and are the experts in themselves while also realizing that behavior has often lead them to Wilderness. He utilizes a strengths-based, mindful approach and works to help clients identify their values. He believes in using the wilderness and the program of Evoke to examine and highlight how behaviors relate to or are not in line with values. As a wilderness staff member at Evoke with minimal wilderness backpacking experience Brand found significance in learning fully the lessons that the wilderness provides. He does well to share this experience with clients and can identify with clients who struggle in the wilderness environment. He loves seeing this uncomfortable client become closer to the wilderness and grow and learn through this struggle. Brand has a strong personal practice in mindfulness and meditation and finds joy in working with clients to access mindfulness and presence in their lives.
When not working, Brand can be found exploring the Southwest on his feet, his bike, and his snowboard. He spends most mornings walking, journaling, reading, and practicing yoga and meditation. He is constantly on the lookout for new camping locations and loves adventures with friends and family. When he does leave the Southwest, it is to visit family in the Midwest. He is an avid Nebraska Cornhusker football fan and Kansas City Royals baseball fan. He is a live-music fan of all sorts and you can find him dancing at concerts near and far.