Colin Walsh has a long history in residential and alternative education, dating back to 2004 when he started as an art teacher at an alternative high school. He has a bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts from Virginia Commonwealth University, is trained in experiential education, and brings the ethos of that model to his work. He began residential care in 2005 working in a wilderness program in the Adirondack Mountains. Eventually, his focus shifted from front-line direct care and staff training to offering therapeutic family services and group work. He earned his master’s degree in Clinical Mental Health while serving as the Program Director of a prominent wilderness therapy program.
He believes that everyone has a natural desire to grow into a more empowered and whole version of themselves but that for many reasons we can become stuck or grow towards things that feel empowering but are often unhealthy for us and our families. “Usually for a combination of reasons, biological, cultural, spiritual, our “stuck-ness” stays even though we know we want something different. Often, we then experience hopelessness and other forms of unhealthy shame and guilt; or we ignore our feelings altogether and try to create our own reality or other ways of defending against doing what is good for us. These cycles often stop us from facing life’s developmental problems. This can create a confused sense of self and keep us from realizing what we are capable of if we give ourselves a chance to face our problems. However, we need to do this with the help of others. As Albert Einstein said, ‘You can’t solve a problem with the same mind that created it.’”
A husband and a father of three, Colin is often at his kids’ events of one kind or the other. He enjoys his time in the woods with his dog, mountain biking, watching movies, and playing old-school video games with his sons.