Ally grew up in Michigan spending her summers outside surrounded by water and the outdoors. Camping, swimming and making rivers with the garden hose were happy and integral parts of her childhood. Beyond nature, Ally found passion in traveling during a study abroad experience in Sydney, Australia and a love for social work during her undergraduate studies. She graduated with a bachelor’s degree in social work from Grand Valley State University. Ally aspired to see more of the world and continued her journey to the small country of Eswatini in Southern Africa (formerly known as Swaziland) with the Peace Corps from 2015-2017. During her Peace Corps service, she worked in a rural community on health projects related to HIV prevention, counseling, symptom improvement, and treatment. In Eswatini, Ally worked with people who are HIV+. She experienced people thriving in connection within a community that shared laughs and supported healing.
After returning from the mountainous country of Eswatini, Ally craved to be closer to mountains back in the U.S. This brought her to the University of Denver for graduate school. She spent her master’s practicum in a primary care clinic through which she found a love for mindfulness-based therapy. She found a desire to integrate physical health with mental health and witnessed how combining the two dramatically decreased depression and anxiety within the populations she served. In 2019, Ally graduated with her Master’s in Social Work with a concentration in health and wellness. Her hope was to match the passion she gained from the outdoors in Peace Corps with the skills she had gained in mindfulness-based techniques. Open Sky Wilderness therapy is what brought Ally to Durango and after more than a year in the outdoors she wanted to expand her practice in town. Ally hopes that each person she works with finds the ability to heal and thrive in their own way.
Ally’s approach to therapy is rooted in mindfulness-based interventions and cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). The evidence-based practice of mindfulness and CBT works by getting to know your thoughts, feelings, and reactions while slowing down and being present with the body. Ally explores what makes you, you by reflecting on the past, present and future. By working together to notice trigger points and how you can regulate no matter what situation you find yourself in. Ally’s goal is to help you live in your values and to offer a space free of judgement within her office or through teletherapy. Ally uses a warm relational approach while concentrating on body-centered therapeutics. Ally encourages nature to be a part of sessions by meeting in a park or simply pausing an in-office session to go outside to practice a regulating skill.
Ally works with tweens/adolescents all the way through adults. She has experience working with a variety of mental health concerns such as anxiety, depression, life transitions, relationship issues, and parent and child conflict. Ally believes reaching out for support is a courageous step and hopes to work with you on your journey in self-healing. Please reach out with any questions.
When Ally isn’t at work, she is riding her bike, cooking, thrifting, practicing yoga, listening to podcasts, or planning her next hike. She takes her responsibility as a dog aunt very seriously and travels to Denver to visit her brother’s dog (and her older brother) regularly. Some of her dream trips include swimming with whales in Tonga, backpacking in South America, and returning to Eswatini to see her Swazi family.
Ally Young, LSW