Michael Sanders was first introduced to wilderness therapy and the power of natural medicine when his sister was enrolled as a student in a wilderness therapy program in 1996. This experience was powerful. It was a changing event for his whole family, and inspired Michael to begin working as a wilderness therapy field guide in Arizona from 1997-1999. Michael met the woman of his heart, who was also then a guide, during this time.
They met literally in the wild! Teaching and learning from the natural environment has influenced how Michael has pursued his parenting, education and training ever since. He and his wife were married in 1999. Michael graduated from the Southwest Institute of Healing Arts in 2002, Mesa Community College in 2004 (go thunderbirds!) and then from Arizona State University in 2006 with a degree in the academic study of religion. He is an avid martial artist, and student of the Tao Te Ching and the Taoist life arts of taijiquan and baguazhang. For nearly ten years, Michael had worked in a wellness center as a manual somatic therapist and personal cultivation and well-being coach before returning to wilderness therapy in 2014 as a field director.
Michael is an energetic teacher, Arbinger seminar facilitator and a member of the Arbinger Coaching Network. He joined the WinGate Wilderness Therapy field leadership team in 2019. His passion for loving and learning from nature as a way of healing is a driving factor in his work with the staff and the families that come to WinGate. Michael lives happily in Arizona and Utah and is a devoted husband and a father of five beautiful and wonderfully crazy children, including four teenagers, who are growing fast like edible plants.