Our Staff

Meet our Instructors


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Lali Mitchell PhD, MFT

As Program Director of Sky Mountain Institute, Lali brings her experience in Ecopsychology, Depth Psychology, and Community Studies to her work in the expressive arts. Her training in Jungian and Archetypal psychology, as well as her work as a multi-media artist and writer, enriches her approach. She is also in private practice working with individuals and families.

Anne Hanley, Ph.D

As Director of Sky Mountain Institute, Anne offers her rich background in transpersonal psychology, creativity studies, and the expressive arts. Currently she teaches in the Child Development Department at both Mira Costa and Palomar Colleges and also serves as a certified infant/toddler trainer for the State of California and WestEd. She has co-authored two parenting books and is a learning and developmental consultant.

Alden Hough

A graduate of the internationally renowned Center for Agro-ecology and Sustainable Food Systems program at the University of California, Santa Cruz. Following an extended period of travel in Asia, Alden found that traditional farming practices had been largely abandoned and replaced by the globalization of Western agriculture. This was a wake up call, seeing that even in the most remote areas of India, hybrid seeds, chemical fertilizers, and pesticides were the norm. He began to dedicate his path to organic gardening practices, regenerating the soil, social justice, and acting as if the earth really matters.

Trisha Brady, Ph.D., MFT

Trained with Natalie Rogers in the Person Centered Expressive Arts Program. She uses Expressive Arts in her work as a private therapist with adults, children, and families as well as drawing on her many years of involvement in theater at the Pasadena Playhouse. Trisha also facilitates parenting classes and ongoing groups in” Meditation for Mom’s” in North County, San Diego.

Sophia Reinders, PhD, MFT, REAT

is the founding director of the WisdomBody Institute for Creative Psychotherapy and Expressive Arts. She brings her experience in Depth Psychology, Ecopsychology, and Somatic Psychology to her work with EcoArt Therapy. Sophia is faculty at the California Institute of Integral Studies, CIIS, and visiting faculty at the European Graduate School, EGS, in Switzerland. Her multicultural background and teaching offers additional richness to her approach. She works in private practice with individuals and couples.

Deborah Armstrong, Ph.D., LMFT, RPT-S

has been licensed as a Marriage & Family Therapist specializing in Expressive Arts and Play Therapies for over thirty years. She is a Board Member and teacher at Sky Mountain Institute, is on the faculty at Capella University’s MFT Program, and coordinates the Expressive Arts Therapy Concentration at Goddard College. Her work is steeped in the landscapes of Dreams, Consciousness Studies, and the field of Interpersonal Neurobiology.

Gabriela Flores

Gabriela Flores is an Eco- Arts and Sharing Nature certified facilitator. She has led nature immersion retreats for the last 10 years in her home country
of Mexico and in the USA. She is Program Director at her retreat center La Duna Centro Ecológico in Baja, Mexico where she trains youth as guides
and community ambassadors for nature re-connection, conservation and restoration efforts. She facilitates and designs “We Are the Earth”
workshops at Sky Mountain Institute for teens, educators, and groups.

Bea Alvarez

As a Designer, Educator and Earth Steward Bea share with us her experience and creativity with web design and content management, providing online support for our website and email marketing campaigns. She enjoys working with youth, community groups, and collaborative environments that nurture growth, foster empowerment and inspire us to reconnect with the natural world.