social worker


onlinE counselling × Outreach × workshops


ABOUT Marissa

Marissa Nolan is a professionally qualified and highly experienced therapist, social worker, teacher and researcher. She runs a successful online counselling and supervision practice, and provides outreach counselling and social work throughout Asia and the Himalayas. Through her social enterprise Gone Far Beyond, Marissa utilises her skills and knowledge to offer once-in-a-lifetime treks and retreats to raise funds for local communities in crisis.

                       Kagbeni, Lower Mustang, Nepal. 2017.

                      Kagbeni, Lower Mustang, Nepal. 2017.

Marissa has been a practicing therapist for eight years. She holds both a bachelor's degree in counselling and social science and a master's degree in social work from the Australian College of Applied Psychology (ACAP), Sydney. Marissa specialises in trauma, recovery and cross-cultural approaches to psychology.

For the last six years, Marissa has been a social worker and trauma therapist in Nepal. During this time she experienced firsthand the devastation wrought by the 2015 earthquake. This event inspired her call for a new framework for humanitarian interventions in developing countries and which currently forms the basis of her work as a researcher. She is passionate about research pertaining to indigenous psychology in Nepal and social-relational methods of academic excellence. Her aim is to promote opportunities for prosperity, sustainability and social justice that are locally-driven.

Marissa also continues to teach courses, lead workshops and lecture at academic and healthcare institutions both at home and abroad.

In addition to this work, Marissa designs treks and retreats throughout Asia with her company Gone Far Beyond. Her guiding principle is curbing the harmful trend of volunteer tourism by organising life-changing experiences for guests that have a positive impact on local communities.

Marissa's methods are a synthesis of ancient Eastern philosophy and modern Western science. It is her belief that the wisdom of the past and the knowledge of the present can be combined for the benefit of all.

For further details of Marissa's qualifications and services, please click the Learn More About Marissa button below.

Marissa's Vision

As a therapist, Marissa's intention is to empower you to understand yourself and develop abilities to manage the highs and lows of life. She utilises a variety of methods to help you with your challenges and obstacles.

As a social worker, Marissa acts to promote a world where equality, respect for difference and the ability to achieve one's potential is a realisation for all and not just an ideal.

As a teacher, Marissa's aim is to help you find the practices that work and make sense for you. Combining the benefits of neurobiology, psychology, trauma and recovery therapy, therapeutic yoga and Buddhist philosophy, Marissa promotes the benefits of meditation and yoga for mind, body and spirit.

As a researcher, Marissa produces academic papers on women’s empowerment and the current social development context in Nepal, the fundamental importance of the ‘social aggregates’ in healing trauma and preventing mental illness.

As a trek and retreat organiser, Marissa combines all her professional skills and local knowledge to create unique experiences that are deeply rewarding to all members and also beneficial to the communities they visit.


nepal yogA trek SEPTember 2018


Bali Yoga Retreat November 2017


Gone Far Beyond is an sustainable and socially responsible social enterprise established by Marissa Nolan. Gone Far Beyond is NOT a volunteer tourism organisation. Its mission is to oppose 'voluntourism' by offering "genuine life changing treks and retreats that do benefit and improve the lives of local people in need". 

Every year, Gone Far Beyond creates once-in-a-lifetime trips that benefit local individuals, families and communities in crisis. Marissa calls her treks and retreats 'giving and receiving experiences' as your participation in one will enhance both your life and the lives of others. 


Why volunteer, when you can go on a GFB experience and genuinely help people. People usually volunteer because at best, they want to help someone else or feel good about themselves, at worst, they want a cheap holiday and selfies, but the consequences for communities, families and especially children is enormous. In Nepal, fake orphanages are created, children go missing and volunteer organisations most often do not pass profits onto the communities they exploit. 

The difference between GFB and volunteering is: you will not have access to vulnerable children, people or communities, the money we raise does go directly to those who we serve and there is NO volunteering. GFB is guided by local professional social workers, therapists and community leaders to provide retreats and treks that will have the greatest good for local individuals with the lowest negative impact on society.

Marissa brings together her work as a therapist, social worker and yoga and meditation teacher, along with her years living and working in Asia, to create special, rejuvenating journeys that connect you to the local culture and yourself. She wants to show you how you can have a mind-blowing holiday, helping, healing, experiencing.... while doing no harm.

During your trip, you will be introduced to local social issues and the damage caused by volunteer tourism in developing countries. A share of all retreat fees goes towards the local cause that Marissa has personally identified.

So come on a life-changing experience this year or contact Marissa to design a bespoke adventure for you!

Upcoming trips are listed above. For updates and reviews of past trips, visit Marissa's Facebook and Instagram pages by using the social icons below and join the mailing list to be notified of dates and offers.

You are strongly urged to book early as group numbers are limited to 8 people to ensure as special an experience as possible. 





TREKS × retreats × Social change

Professional Fees

All fees are listed in US Dollars.

Payment can be made via credit and debit card.


Consultations can be amended by registering during your first booking and logging in.

24 hours notice must be given for any amendment otherwise Cancellation Fees will apply. See Terms and Conditions for further details.




For any further enquiries about Marissa's services or her treks and retreats, please fill in the form below.

Name *