Michael HootenMichael Hooten, Board Member and Events Team Liaison

Length of Service: May 2019

Michael Hooten is a mental health therapist and a professional with 10 years of experience in the field of Experiential Education and Development. Nature-based and animal-assisted activities are some of his favorite vehicles for self-discovery. He currently uses his counseling and coaching practice to offer balance and support for the local Denver community.

Recent collaborations include the Institute for Human Animal Connection, Yoga for the People and the Warrior Canine Connection with specializations in trauma recovery, human-animal interaction and mindfulness techniques. Michael’s approach to mental health and wellness emphasizes family systems, experiential interventions, and client-centered, solution-focused strategic counseling and coaching. Additionally, he has managed recreation, education, and mental health programs overseeing risk-management, staff and student development, and positive team culture.

Michael loves to learn and refuses to stop! His first two degrees included a Bachelor of Science in Psychology and a Bachelor of Arts in Spanish from Florida State University. His third degree is a Masters in Social Work (MSW) with a certificate in Animal Assisted Social Work. He is certified in Mental Health First Aid and is a Wilderness First Responder.

After completing his TEFL certificate in 2013, he moved to China with a suitcase of textbooks to teach English and further his studies of Kung Fu and Qigong. Michael has taught Qigong and breathwork to a variety of audiences since 2010 and recently co-founded BreathWorx, an organization that provides guidance and instruction on the use of breathing techniques to optimize performance.

He loves to get into the mountains for hiking and rock climbing, and is obsessed with dogs.

Expression, connection, and transformation have always been at the core of Michael’s professional and personal path. In early 2019 while facilitating “Organic Youth Engagement,” a professional development workshop for a City of Denver nonprofit and DPS staff, Michael first encountered Art from Ashes. In love with the idea of nurturing opportunities for self-expression and transformation, Michael stepped into a board position and currently serves as the Events Team Liaison.

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