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Betsy Perluss

Betsy Perluss is a wilderness guide with the School of Lost Borders, a non-profit organization located in the small town of Big Pine, CA, along the eastern edge of the Sierra Nevada.

Founded in 1981 by Steven Foster and Meredith Little, the mission of the School of Lost Borders is to offer vision fasts and rites of passage training which cultivate self-trust, responsibility, and understanding about ones' unique place within society and the natural world.

In 1995, Betsy serendipitously, and most gratefully, discovered the School of Lost Borders, and participated in her own vision fast in 1999. She fell in love with the simple, but profound earth-based traditions and practices taught by Steven and Meredith. Now, as a seasoned guide herself, she is responsible for the School’s month-long training program where participants from around the world come to live together in a wilderness setting for an entire month. During this time they immerse themselves in the practices of wilderness rites of passage and applied ecotherapy. Betsy also serves on the School’s Elder’s Council and has long been active in the organizational life of the School.

In 2013, Betsy retired from a 12-year, full-time faculty position at California State University, Los Angeles where she taught and supervised graduate students in the marriage and family therapy and school counseling programs. Prior to being hired at Cal State, LA she was a school counselor at Avalon School on Catalina Island, the same school she attended Kindergarten through 12th grade. As a counselor, she received a fellowship from the Orion Society called “Stories in the Land” in support of place-based education. It was from this funding, that she created “Channel Crossings”, a high school program that focused on helping students develop a deeper, more conscious relationship, between self and place.

Currently Betsy lives near Grass Valley California with her husband, Joe Coppin where she has a private practice in eco and depth psychotherapy. She teaches ecopsychology and Jungian psychology at Pacifica Graduate Institute and has published a number of articles with a focus on the interrelationship of psyche and nature. Her writing can be found on her blog.