Natural Healing

Natural Healing

Reset Outdoors is redefining therapy, with a little help from nature


Inspiration often strikes without warning, bringing life-changing ideas swiftly into crystal clear perspective. For therapists Connor Moriarty and Joshua McSparin, inspiration for their meditative outdoor adventures struck one beautiful day while kayaking on Lake Nockamixon. It was that day the two friends conceptually founded Reset Outdoors.

The positive results of mindfulness and spending time outdoors are cumulative

“I’ve always enjoyed the outdoors,” says Moriarty. “I grew up camping and paddling and all the stuff you do when you live in the middle of nowhere. Once I stumbled into counseling as my chosen profession, I decided to pursue a focus in trauma, which is a particularly intense specialty in the world of psychotherapy and mental health.” 

As a result, after about five years of working in intense public agencies, Moriarty found himself pretty close to burning out. “Josh and I were sitting on our kayaks, and I forget which one of us asked why we couldn’t do this with our clients,” he recalls. “So we started doing research and, as luck would have it, there’s a growing body of work drawing clear links to the outdoors and mental wellbeing.”

Reset Outdoors officially launched in July of 2017. Leading up to that date, Moriarty and McSparin put in close to a year’s worth of research and development, surveying literature on similar approaches across the world to help them find a strong theoretical foundation for doing what they do. 

“Psychology is a little less concrete than medicine, but you still need a good body of research before anyone adopts something as an intervention,” says Moriarty. “We did our homework, and the evidence was strong. Physicians and psychiatrists will regularly prescribe time outdoors—simple walks in green space, and preferably, if you have access to it, trees and water.”

How it Works

As part of its unique counseling option, Reset Outdoors offers a plethora of low-impact outdoor activities, including trail walking, hiking, kayaking, stand-up paddle boarding, biking, geo caching, yoga, snowshoeing, and team-building activities—each of which is lead by a counselor who helps maximize the positive benefits of these restorative outdoor experiences. Soon, rock climbing, river paddling, and multi-sport excursions will join the list. 

The key idea behind Reset Outdoors is what Moriarty calls “active mindfulness”—letting your senses wander and seeing what you notice. His company’s individual counseling sessions, group counseling sessions, and team-building exercises all rely on this simple idea. The positive results of mindfulness and spending time outdoors are cumulative and just take a little practice to perfect, he says.

“You really just need 20 minutes a day… maybe you get out for a walk at lunch, or on the weekend for an hour, hour and a half,” he says. “Those results immediately start impacting your brain. You reduce levels of the stress hormone cortisol. Your heart rate drops. Do that with some regularity, and those results last for upwards of three months. It’s not a magical fix, but if you are able to keep those stress levels down for a good amount of time, the positive benefits are tremendous.”

Moriarty is the principle full-time counselor and co-director of Reset Outdoors, and McSparin, also a co-director, practices as a consultant. Both are certified kayak and stand up paddle board instructors. Soon, Moriarty’s wife Emily will be licensed to practice with Reset Outdoors as well. Her debut will correspond with the early autumn grand opening of the business’ new location on 3rd Street in Bethlehem, just above Domaci.

Who They Help

Initially, the big focus for Reset Outdoors was on working with “helping professionals”—police officers, doctors, firefighters, and others whose main objective is to help others. But their clientele quickly expanded. 

“When we were testing the model, enough people outside of helping professionals still felt like they benefitted from the experience,” says Moriarty. “So now we work with anybody who wants to re-establish the balance in their life, and improve wellbeing.”

He notes that people naturally get swept up in the responsibilities of life and begin to forget the restorative things they once did so naturally—things that helped them decompress and destress, like getting outside. Reset Outdoors helps people reconnect and find new, healthy ways to get more enjoyment out of life.

For more information or to book a session, check out Reset Outdoors online at or at

The Lehigh Valley and surrounding areas offer abundant opportunities to experience nature at its finest. Here are some great spots

to enjoy a hike, bike ride, or paddle, right in our own backyards.

Lake Nockamixon
Mountain View Drive | Quakertown
Though this is Connor Moriarty’s go-to place for paddling, it’s also a lovely place for a hike or a jog. The park features hiking trails ranging in difficulty as well as length (1.2 – 13.5 miles). Keep your eyes peeled for osprey, herons, deer, and bald eagles.

Wildlands Conservancy
3701 Orchid Place | Emmaus
This locale offers numerous opportunities to explore nature across several different preserves. Catch a glimpse of 100+ bird species across peaceful wildflower meadows.

Jacobsburg State Park
835 Jacobsburg Road | Wind Gap
This park gifts a network of 18.5 miles of trails to those looking to enjoy a hike, bike ride, horseback ride, or cross-country skiing excursion. Do yourself a favor and sit under large Hemlock trees right by the water.

Trexler Game Preserve
4935 Orchard Road | Schnecksville
More than 20 miles of trails meander around the entire nature preserve, including the Covered Bridge trail, which satisfies the Americans with Disabilities act. Check out Jordan Creek for an assortment of aquatic creatures. 

Mariton Wildlife Sanctuary
240 Sunnyside Road | Easton
Catch your breath at the River Overlook Trail, perched 300 feet above the Delaware Canal and the Delaware River. Look closely for delicate butterflies taking refuge in the preserve, along with other wildlife amid its 200 acres.

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