Sage Winter Rian

Clinical Assistant Professor, Counseling Psychology Department

Visiting Assistant Professor of the Practice

What I do

I am a remote Clinical Assistant Professor in the SchoolCounseling@Denver program.


Ecotherapy, Nature and Health, Queer/Trans/ENM/Kink Populations

Professional Biography

My name is Sage Rian and I am a professor for the SchoolCounseling@Denver program. I earned my Bachelor's degree at Georgian Court University, where I studied Psychology and Holistic Health. I decided to pursue a career in counseling at Monmouth University, where I earned my Master's in Mental Health Counseling. During my Master's program, I also studied meditation, philosophy, and accupuncture with the Holistic Health department of Georgian Court University at the Dongzhimen Hospital, Beijing, the Shanghai University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, and with private practitioners in Xi’an, China. I am passionate about yoga and meditation, so I also became a nationally certified yoga instructor at this time. I incorporate yoga and movement into my practice as a clinical counselor and as a school counselor. I moved out west to pursue a doctoral degree in Counselor Education and Supervision at the University of Reno, Nevada. It was there that I transitioned from clinical to school counseling because of my passion, working with children.


  • Ph.D., Education, University of Nevada, Reno, 2019
  • MS, Mental Health Counseling, Monmouth University, 2016
  • BA, Psychology, Georgian Court University, 2011

Licensure / Accreditations

  • Psychological First Aid
  • Mental Health Specialist
  • School Data Specialist
  • Licensed School Counselor
  • National Certified Counselor
  • Licensed Professional Counselor (NV)
  • Pupil Personnel Services Credential
  • Licensed Professional Counselor (CO)

Professional Affiliations

  • American Counseling Association
  • American School Counseling Association


My primary research focus is ecotherapy, or nature-based counseling. I am particularly interested in the benefits and effects of ecotherapy in school settings, practice with children, and implications for play therapy. Additionally, I am involved in the ongoing research on best practices for teaching ecotherapy to master's level counselors-in-training.
My other strain of research is focused on LGBTQ+ issues, especially gender diversity. I am interested in the impact of neurodiversity on gender identity development, and the issues faced by gender diverse youth and adults.

Areas of Research

nature and health

Featured Publications


Rian, S. W. (2021). Integrating nature into your school counseling program. Maine School Counselor Association Conference. Virtual: Maine School Counselor Association.
Rian, S. W. (2021). Nature-based school counseling. American School Counselor Association Conference. Las Vegas, NV: American School Counselor Association.
Delaney, M. E., & Rian, S. W. (2021). Nature is nurture: Research and teaching in ecotherapy. Association of Creativity in Counseling Conference. Virtual: Association of Creativity in Counseling.
Delaney, M. E., Rian, S. W., & Owenburg, N. (2021). Nature and counselor education: Research and practice. Association for Counselor Education and Supervision Conference. Atlanta, GA: Association for Counselor Education and Supervision.
Rian, S. W. (2021). Nature-based school counseling. ASCA@Home. Virtual: American School Counseling Association.
Rian, S. W. (2021). Integrating nature into your school counseling program. Maine School Counselor Association Conference. Virtual: Maine School Counselor Association.


  • Dedication to the Counseling Profession, Monmouth University