Meet the Founder

Dr. Nicola Dehlinger received her B.A. in International Health from Brown University in 1997, graduating with honors. During college she ran her first peer education groups for at-risk adolescents. In her undergraduate and post-graduate years Dr. Nicola did extensive international travel looking at various psycho-social factors which affect personal health and healthcare delivery. Dr. Nicola also learned from local traditional healers about the impact of the community on individual health. Before moving from Boston to Phoenix, Dr. Nicola was certified as a Reiki Master/Teacher in the traditional Usui system of Reiki, a Japanese healing art. Between travel expeditions, she did case management and client advocacy for people living with mental health, HIV, and addiction issues.

Dr. Nicola graduated from the Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine in Tempe, Arizona in 2004. In addition to the standard curriculum, Dr. Nicola took classes in cranio-sacral therapy at the Southwest Institute of Healing Arts. During medical school she served as a Naturopathic Medical Assistant at an HIV wellness organization (Body Positive) in Phoenix, AZ. She also worked at a domestic violence shelter providing support to women and their children. After completing medical school Dr. Nicola maintained a private practice in a yoga studio. Dr. Nicola also worked with patients at Body Positive where she utilized her Spanish fluency working with the Latino community.

In 2006, Dr. Nicola moved to Durango, CO to co-found Open Sky, a wilderness therapy program for young adults and adolescents coping with a variety of issues including anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, ADHD, disordered eating, substance abuse, failure to launch, and others. In her role as Wellness Director, she was the first to integrate naturopathic medicine into wilderness therapy and set a new standard of care for health and nutrition practices in therapeutic programs across the country. Dr. Nicola created a weekend designed to expose parents to wellness practices and learn how to effectively incorporate them into their already full lives. It was working at Open Sky that rekindled her interest in mental health-related issues and brought her back to the principle of actively connecting the mind and body as the key to healing.

Today, Dr. Nicola sees clients in her naturopathic medical practice in Durango. Her focus is working with clients on mental health issues – from insomnia to anxiety to eating issues. She also enjoys working with people who are interested in enhancing their life through optimizing their health. Dr. Nicola welcomes all patients, regardless of age or ailment, who are willing to invest in themselves. Raised and educated on the East Coast, Dr. Nicola relocated in 2000 and fell in love with the openness of the Southwest. It was in this part of the country that she learned how to rock climb and strengthened her passion for hiking, camping, and yoga. In her free time, if you can’t find her in the mountains, you will find her in the garden or the kitchen with her son.

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