Meet Our Clinical Staff

We remain open and are continuing to accept new admissions.

SUWS of the Carolinas remains committed to providing clinically superior services within a safe and supportive environment while taking all appropriate precautions to protect the well-being of our students and staff.


For admissions information, or to learn more about the heightened preventive measures we have put in place, please click the link at the top of this page or call us at (828) 489-3198.

Lexi Gross, LCMHC, LCAS

Luna and Bravo Groups (adolescent girls and boys)

Lexi Gross MA, LCMHC, LCASA, began working with adolescents at an outdoor adventure guiding company before coming to SUWS of the Carolinas in 2014. After two years as a wilderness therapy field guide, she completed a master’s degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Appalachian State University.

Lexi works with adolescent males and females struggling with depression, anxiety, family conflict, defiance, identity development, adoption, grief, self-harm, trauma, problematic social media and gaming use, and co-occurring disorders. She has a passion for working with teens and holds a strong belief in the role wilderness can play in empowerment, connection, and authentic self-discovery. Lexi takes a holistic perspective, recognizing the necessity of involving the whole family in her work with clients.

She uses a person-centered and strengths-based approach while incorporating Motivational Interviewing and Somatic Experiencing (SE) all through a trauma informed lens. She is currently in training to become a Somatic Experiencing Practitioner. SE is a body-oriented approach to healing trauma and dysregulation within the nervous system. SE focuses on relieving physical, emotional, and physiological effects of trauma through helping clients befriend their nervous system and tap into the natural ways their nervous system already knows to regulate. This approach does not focus on talking about the trauma, but rather focuses on supporting the nervous system and the body’s memory of the event. Lexi values this approach as it encourages her clients to listen to their bodies and touch into their own worth, values, and needs. While this is a trauma focused approach, SE skills are helpful in working with anxiety, depression, and most mental illnesses and behavioral issues.

Lexi’s experience as a field guide at SUWS helps her understand the challenges her clients experience during their time in wilderness as well as provide appropriate training to staff while in the field. She readily connects her work with clients to their experience in wilderness, as well as to their relationships and life outside of SUWS.

Prior to working in wilderness, she worked at a young adult women’s recovery treatment center that specializes in dual-diagnosis and trauma work. She worked at Appalachian State University’s Wellness and Prevention Services. While there she provided counseling to college students and provided outreach to special populations on campus such as racial and ethnic minorities, the LGBTQIA+ population, and first-generation college students. Lexi also worked for a community mental health agency providing counseling to children, adolescents, and their families struggling with various mental health challenges.

Outside of work, Lexi enjoys spending time trail running and hiking with her therapy certified dog, Willow, engaging in creative projects, baking, and cooking for friends and family.

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The wilderness therapy offered at SUWS was the dynamic solution needed to help my son with his behavioral issues. When my son left SUWS, he was completely changed for the better and also created new bonds and unforgettable memories! I can't recommend SUWS enough for anyone in a similar situation!

– Britney A.
Marks of Quality Care
Why does this matter?
  • Cognia
  • American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM)
  • Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF)
  • Forest Service Department of Agriculture
  • National Association of Therapeutic Schools and Programs (NATSAP)
  • National Board for Certified Counselors (NBCC)
  • NC Department of Health and Human Services
  • Outdoor Behavioral Healthcare Council
  • Safe Zone
  • Sky's The Limit Fund
  • The Jason Foundation

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