EAGALA Approved Mentors for this mentoring program have obtained their EAGALA Advanced Certification and go through an application and training (including ongoing training) process. The list of approved mentors is below - you may request a mentor(s) and the request will be honored if the mentor is available.
Note: mentors and the mentoring program does not qualify as clinical supervision which may be required by licensing boards.
Click on the links below to read bios of the EAGALA Model client work approved mentors:
Mentors that can qualify as Both Equine Specialist and Mental Health Professional
Amanda Graham, MS, LPC, NCC
Amanda has been a member of EAGALA since 2002 and completed her Advanced Certification in 2010, presenting at 3 of the national EAGALA conferences. In 2007, Amanda co-founded the EAP program, Horses for Change, in Gunnison, Colorado, under the umbrella of The Center for Mental Health, a non profit, community behavioral health agency with an emphasis on children 8 years of age and older, adults, families, groups, behavioral issues, relationships, boundaries, grief/loss, sexual abuse, Aspergers, and team building. During her mentoring process, she had a chance to work as both the ES and the MHP, an invaluable experience for learning to use the power of the horse in session. She has particular interest in using Mindfulness to help EAGALA facilitators better utilize the horses, as well as expand on activities and metaphor as the sessions progress. On the MH side, Amanda received her MS in Counseling in 2000. On the ES side, she has owned horses since 1996 and has taken natural horsemanship clinics with Ray Hunt, Pat Parelli, and John Lyons as well as an internship with Blaine McLaughlin. Amanda studies Centered Riding, rides dressage and trail, and has a passion for animal welfare. Prior to her career in counseling, she was an animal cruelty investigator in North Carolina and created and taught the Animal Protection Society Horse Investigators Workshop. She served on the Board of Directors for the NC Horse Council and founded the Equine Welfare Committee for that Board, serving as their representative consultant for the National Park Service to find solutions for the Shackelford Banks wild pony herd. Amanda has practiced Mindfulness meditation for many years and developed and taught meditation classes at The Center. She incorporates Mindfulness practice into her EAGALA work to increase awareness and acceptance, and develop genuine curiosity about what is unfolding in the arena. And it is a 'practice', in that “we have to go back to it over and over again”. A lifelong learner, Amanda considers it a privilege to work with other EAGALA professionals who are engaged in further growth and learning for themselves. She has recently returned to Durham, North Carolina where she is working with Alliance Behavioral Healthcare.
Ann is a retired Nationally Certified School Counselor/Department Chair and has earned a Master’s Degree from Johns Hopkins University in Professional Counseling. She has extensive experience in grief work and is a trained Traumatic Loss Counselor as well. In addition, Ann has her Advanced Certification in EAGALA and is the author of an EAGALA model book focused on helping teens deal with weight issues. She is also the author of a workbook focused on helping children/teens deal with trauma focused issues using CBT and the EAGALA model. Ann has had the pleasure to present at three EAGALA Conferences. She has over thirty years of experience working with horses and people in the educational system and enjoys being a part of the mentoring program/process.
Annie Ricalde, Psychologist (Habla Español)
Annie has a background in mental health as well as the equine specialist side. She is a psychologist in Mexico and is a national competitor and champion in dressage. She founded TAAC, which focuses on doing EAGALA EAL with corporations. She has worked with many large and small corporations in Mexico with teams who range from CEO´s to the cleaning service staff at an organization. She also works in partnership with PAE where she does EAGALA focused on child trafficking, addictions, sexual abuse, depression, and eating disorders. She has worked with clients who simply want to focus on personal development, to clients with severe issues including suicidal and those suffering psychotic breakdowns. Throughout her experience as a facilitator with this Model at different levels and with different profiles, she has discovered that knowledge is very important, but the ability to use it, when to use it, and how to use it, at the right moment and at the right place is priceless. She feels the main key for facilitating is a constant development of self-knowledge and self awareness.
(Carina Prantl spricht fließend Deutsch und Englisch)
Carina is a Mentor for German Language and Advanced Certified. As a MH she is a Live- and Social counselor after Austrian Law (psychologische Beratung) and ES as she has worked with horses for over 35 years, focusing on Natural Horsemanship and training horses. After discovering EAGALA, Carina focused on the EAP/EAL work. Since her EAGALA Training in 2004 she works as MH and ES with different Teampartners and a variety of clients. Her working field is the social world with families and adolescents on one side and the corporate world with groups and single sessions on the other side. She also offers Supervision for Live- and Socialcounselor Trainees. Carina is used to work with different horses at different Locations because the Groups are spread over the country.
She whole-heartedly believes in the EAGALA Model and the work humans and horses do here. She was Networkkoordinator in Austria for many years and still is active Part of the Austrian Networking since exchange and learning from each other is what she finds important for the personal development in her own professional work. Carina has run her own business since 2004.
, PsyD. philosophy is that therapy is a process of self-discovery. It is exploring how you act, think, feel, and relate to others. Therapy is an opportunity to grow and develop new and more effective ways of interacting, communicating and most importantly, to live life to its fullest everyday. When working with a client, whether it be an individual, couple, or family, utilizing horses and the EAGALA model has helped Dr Harris see the power and efficacy of the EAGALA model, which has helped her clients better understand what they need in order to create change. Carole has worked in the addictions field since 1992. Her experience spans from in-patient treatment facilities to working in conjunction with Probation in Orange County’s Drug Court program and with the Los Angeles and Huntington Beach police departments giving services to at risk youths. Currently Dr. Harris’ practice is at the Huntington Central Park Equestrian Center where she solely conducts EAGALA based Equine Assisted Psychotherapy.
Coral Harrison, PTSTA, CTA is a UKCP registered Child and Adult Psychotherapist. She is also a supervisor. Coral is Advanced Certificated with EAGALA and has a special interest in trauma. She has been working as part of an EAGALA certified program since 2005. Her specialist areas are working with 'at risk' children & young people, attachment issues, bereavement, behavioural problems, depression, sexual abuse & trauma. Coral has over 30 years' experience with horses and has trained in natural horsemanship. She works in a beautiful rural setting in North Cumbria, UK. Coral is passionate about the EAGALA model. She enjoys supporting practitioners to develop their skills & confidence through the mentoring program.
Ellie Williams has been highly successful in blending together a life of talented horsemanship and a deep interest in the mental well-being of at-risk children, youth, families and other individuals that can benefit from EAGALA. In 2007, Ellie made the decision to leave a very successful career, in order to pursue her goals of providing equine-assisted psychotherapy through her own organization Equiteam Support Services (ESS). As Executive Director and Therapist for this organization, Ellie has diligently worked to attain the necessary qualifications that were needed to build ESS into the very successful organization that it is today. Along the way, Ellie has also specialized in providing treatment to Autistic clients and is currently developing a specialized treatment program for Combat Veterans. Most recently, as a result of her observation of traumatized child clients suffering from severe attachment issues, she identified a need to become specialized in this area. She decided in 2013 to seek out clinical training with Dr. Daniel Hughes. In 2016 Ellie became a certified DDP Practitioner. In addition to this very busy schedule, Ellie is an adjunct professor at York College, teaching a course on Animal Assisted Therapies.
Heather Wilkerson, LCSW
Heather received her MSW from New Mexico State University in 2003. In 2006, she created Hope-thru-Horses, Inc. in North Carolina on her 2.5 acre farm. Heather specializes in sexual abuse, behavioral interventions, as well as Anxiety, Depressive Disorders, etc. She serves adolescents, families, and military members. She has gone from 2 sessions on Saturdays to 4-5 sessions 4 days per week on her now 20 acre farm. In 2009, a therapist specializing in Autism joined the practice. Also in 2009, Hope-thru-Horses, Inc. added equine-assisted learning so that programs, businesses and military groups can develop professionally. Heather earned her EAGALA Advanced Certification in 2010.
Helen has been involved with horses all her life and from a young age began competing in pony club and showing in the areas of eventing, dressage and showjumping. She trained as a coach with the BHS and with the RDAA and PCAQ as a coach and coach educator and assessor. She was a co founder of the Palmwoods Riding for the Disabled Associaton, a charity which ran for nearly 30 years on her family property. In 2002 she became interested in the EAGALA model and in 2004 gained certification in Canada. On returning co founded a charity " Gracefull Strides" which was centered around the EAGALA model. She gained her counselling qualifications in 2005 and her advanced certification with EAGALA in 2012. Helen now runs "Equine Alliance" from her family property in Palmwoods, Qld, Australia where the family also breed arabs.
Jackie Kaschel, MLitt, CEIP-MH
Jackie is the Founder and Executive Director of PEACE Ranch, a community center which provides Professional Equine Assisted Counseling and Education services in Traverse City, Michigan. Jackie is a board certified Equine Interaction Professional and EAGALA Advanced Certified to practice experiential equine assisted psychotherapy and education as both MH and ES. Jackie received her Master of Letters degree from Oxford Graduate School in Religion and Society with a concentration in counseling in 1994. As a licensed pastoral counselor, Jackie has led training and leadership groups in the United States and abroad for over 20 years focusing on team development, marriage enrichment, understanding group dynamics and how to lead groups. In addition to leadership and training, she has served on several boards including school, church and community including the executive board of the Grand Traverse/Leelanau Area System of Care for Seriously Emotionally Disturbed Children.
In 2006, Jackie was certified at Level 1 through Parrelli Natural Horsemanship and with an excellent working knowledge of equine communication and herd dynamics has conducted many Basics in Natural Horsemanship groups, trained volunteers for the area rescue, and rehabilitated troubled horses to use in PEACE Ranch therapy programs. Areas of expertise include a broad range of childhood and adult issues including: Autism, ADHD, RAD, ODD, Trauma based, S/E/P Abuse, Addiction, Marriage and Family team building, identifying barriers, building relational honesty, and connection through experiential education. Jackie works with individuals, couples, and in a group setting. Jackie and her husband, Dr. Paul Kachel Jr. have been married since 1985. They have 6 children and 3 grandchildren.
Joy Nussen Timsit, LMFT
Joy graduated in 1984 from the University of California at Los Angeles with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology and in 1988, from California State University at Northridge with a Master's Degree in Educational Psychology. In 1991, she earned her California license as a Marriage & Family Psychotherapist. Joy worked for many years with adolescents in group homes, both in Florida and California, and was a case manager for 12 years in the behavioral health insurance industry.
Joy began her EAGALA journey in 2006 and adopted a horse in 2009, the same year she found EquineWorks: Horses Reading People. In 2012, inspired by the positive feedback she was receiving from clients about this work, Joy co-authored : "Soul Recovery: Equine Assisted Activities for Healing from Abuse by Others, Loss of Others & Loss of Self". She earned her EAGALA Advanced Certification in 2014.
Joy is the Clinical Director and Primary Therapist at Sober Spot Recovery in Laguna Hills, California where she specializes in trauma treatment with chemically addicted adults utilizing EMDR, Sandtray, and both Equine Assisted Psychotherapy & Equine Assisted Learning. Her passion is bringing the methodology and thinking behind EAGALA SPUD's into her office so that she stays mindful of staying out of the way of people's story. Joy is extremely grateful to be collaborating with two non-profit programs: Boulder Springs Equine Therapy in Perris, CA and The Dala Center in Fallbrook, CA. She co-facilitates EAP/EAL sessions with foster children, with teens and with chemically addicted adults and specializes in Resiliency. She also enjoys co-facilitating EAL sessions for relationship enhancement and leadership skill development as well as team building events.
Lori Larson, LMFT
Lori earned her Master’s degree in counseling psychology in 1996 from National University. She was licensed as a marriage and family therapist in California in 1999. She has been in the mental health field for 20 years. Upon receiving her bachelor’s degree in psychology from California State University, Sacramento, she worked in a residential treatment center and in two community counseling centers; one for the severely mentally ill, teaching life skills, and the other for substance abuse recovery. She quickly learned that she wanted to do more in the realm of psychotherapy. After obtaining her Master’s degree, she worked in sexual abuse treatment with families, and ran groups for substance abuse. For 8 years, she was the program director for a private non-profit agency whose focus was child abuse prevention and early intervention. She worked with individuals, families, and groups, as well as supervised interns. In this position, she had the opportunity to start up an EAP program. She incorporated it in to her private practice with families, teens and individuals, finding it to be incredibly beneficial in moving clients closer to their treatment goals. She has also worked in residential treatment part time over the past 10 years, using EAP with the boys to help them to problem solve, deal with anger, work better together, and enhance their communication. Lori currently works part time in private practice, with multiple issues, including anxiety, anger management, depression, self-esteem and couples issues. She is Advanced certified has been a trainer for EAGALA’s certification program for the past 10 years. On the Equine Specialist side, Lori has been around horses her entire life. She got her first horse at the age of three, and has ridden ever since. She grew up on a farm where experiential learning was expected. (i.e “If you fall off, get back on.”) Lori also was involved in 4-H, showing, and gymkana through high school. She presently owns two horses and trail rides for pleasure.
Lynn Dorgan, LMFT
As a student of consciousness and its evolution for the past twenty years (Masters in Counseling Psychology with emphasis in Spiritual Psychology), nothing has thrilled Lynn more than the powerful healing potential in the relationship between Horse and Human. As her Marriage and Family Therapy practice moves more and more into the arena, Lynn is constantly inspired challenged, and motivated to explore the extraordinary awareness, growth, and healing that comes forth both for clients, and for herself. Lynn feels blessed to be contracted with Reins of H.O.P.E. and their H.O.P.E. for Warriors program. In these programs, work is done with youth at risk, substance abuse residential programs, and active duty military personel and their families as well as veterans. Lynn also works at the California Coastal Horse Rescue where she built an arena and an EAGALA office. Having been to multiple EAGALA trainings, conferences, workshops, and networking meetings, Lynn has found the mentoring process to be among the most rewarding. The opportunity to hone in on the SPUD'S, particularly the 'Ss, she feels has benefited her both in the arena and in her heart and soul. She wishes the same for anyone pursuing this amazing work that we do.
Lynn Moore, MA, LADC
Lynn co-founded Acres for Life in 2001 with a passion for helping others experience the healing connection between people and animals. Now in 2010, Acres has grown to an equine herd of twelve, ten facilitators, and programming that runs year-round. In addition, Lynn provides consulting services to many EAP/EAL practitioners wanting to move their businesses to the next level. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Wisconsin and a Masters from Hazelden Graduate School of Addiction Studies. Lynn has completed her EAGALA Advanced certification. She also has over twenty years of business marketing, consulting, online training and client relationship management experience.
Niki Markogianni, MD
Niki was born in Athens, Greece into a highly educated family who always carried a great respect and love for horses and people. She studied medicine, which is a family tradition, and specialized in psychiatry (working with systems analysis, family therapy, adolescents, adults, couples and families). Niki was also trained in psychodrama and group analysis. She specialised in Sweeden in the therapy of psychosomatic problems. Niki has a lifetime of working with horses. She is a national judge of Dressage, Show Jumping, Driving, as well as an International stewart for Three day Event and Dressage. Niki is an active member for the League of Protection of Horses. She is EAGALA trained advanced level.
Patti Schlough, LCPC, LPC, NCC
Founder of PEACE, LLC (Partnering with Equine to Assist in the Counseling Experience) located in Southeastern Pennsylvania, Patti serves in either the role of an Equine Specialist or a Mental Health Specialist working with 3 Equine Specialists and a sub contracted ES and MHP. They serve families, couples, children and individuals dealing with issues of grief and loss, anxiety, depression, self-esteem, and internal and external conflict. PEACE also provides EAP services for those seeking help with cancer recovery and chronic physical illness. Patti has created a Bully Prevention/ Intervention Course that has been approved by the Maryland State Department of Education for teachers seeking re-certification credit. She has also written an 8-session Bully Prevention Program using an Equine Assisted Modality for Children and Teens. Patti has worked as a case manager in a medical model providing counseling for poly-substance abusing adults in methadone maintenance outpatient clinic. She later worked as a therapist providing family therapy for the children of opiate addicted adults. She currently works full-time for Harford County Public Schools in Maryland providing individual and group counseling for students labeled with an emotional disturbance as well as those labeled as “at-risk.” Patti lives on a 40-acre farm in Red Lion, PA. that she shares with her husband, two sons, 11 horses, a few cats and one family dog.
Pia Jansen is a registered psychotherapist in Colorado and has been practicing the EAGALA model for the past 6 years with her own Healing Herd of 7 equines. Pia came to the US from The Netherlands where she had her home base for experiential modalities such as Wilderness Therapy, Alternative Highschool initiatives, solutions for incarcetated youth and peace circles for families in crisis. She is an internationally recognized educator and author on the issues of domestic violence and the correllation with animal cruelty. While in the US she co started Family Group Conferencing as a model to engage families in crisis in finding natural resources to end their cycles of violence, addiction and poverty. Pia has been involved with horses ever since she was a little girl in Holland and continues to be in awe every day of the power horses possess to heal the human spirit. She speaks fluent Dutch, German, and French. Besides the work with Families, couples and individuals in the EAGALA model, she loves to take her horses out for trail rides in the Rocky Mountains together with her husband Philip.
Rhiannon Beauregard, MA, LMFT
Rhiannon Beauregard is currently the New Hampshire 4-H Animal and Agricultural Science Education Program Coordinator for the University of New Hampshire Cooperative Extension, is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and is EAGALA Advanced Certified and an EAGALA Mentor. With over 23 years of experience in horses, she is dually qualified as a mental health professional and equine specialist. She has been an active member in EAGALA since 2005 and has been working with animals and youth in a variety of capacities for over 15 years. She is also an AAMFT Clinical Fellow, an AAMFT Approved Supervisor, an EAGALA Mentor, a PATH International Therapeutic Horseback Riding Instructor, and an AASECT Certified Sex Therapist. She maintains a small private practice in New Hampshire specializing in sex therapy and equine assisted therapy. She is licensed in Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and New York as a Marriage and Family Therapist and specializes in providing online and face-to-face sex therapy to clients. Rhiannon is still riding, driving, and showing her childhood Morgan horse and is a member of USEF, USDF, and the American Morgan Horse Association.
Shannette Keeler, LCSW
Shannette grew up in Utah and has always loved horses and the outdoors. She received her MSW in 1982 and has been in private practice since 1987. She has been a member of EAGALA for 10 years and is Advanced Certified. She currently works with Residential Treatment Centers providing EAP and also has a small EAP private practic working with a wide variety of clients. She has been married to her husband, Paul, for 30 years. They have two children. Shannette currently practices out of her facility in Plain City, Utah.
StarrLee Heady, LMHC
StarrLee has a Masters degree in Counseling Psychology and is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor (LMHC) in Florida. She is in pursuit of a doctorate in Counseling Psychology and is just waiting to finish her dissertation. She has worked in Community Counseling Agencies, University settings, Substance Abuse, Employee Assistance and Private Practice. She first began facilitating groups in 1985. She grew up in Northern Wyoming and doesn’t remember a time when horses were not an important part of her life. 4-H, FFA, and local horse shows were just a normal part of life within a family with a legacy of horsemanship. She is now a Certified Horsemanship Association Instructor and lifelong equestrian. She continues to work and train horses on a daily basis as well as continuing her education in that field as well. Her husband and her own PX Equine Enterprises Inc. in Green Cove Springs, Florida where she also has a private practice in Equine Assisted Psychotherapy. She was already working with an Equine Facilitated Mental Health program when she attended her first EAGALA training in February of 2001. She has been practicing the EAGALA model ever since. She has been facilitating EAGALA trainings as a contracted trainer since 2005. She believes in continued and lifetime learning personally and professionally. At any given time you may find her involved in a horsemanship training, a mental health continuing education program or even providing either of those in workshop form! Her website is www.pxequine.com.
Tracie qualified as a counselor in 2002, establishing her own counseling & training services' with her business partner Sarah. She specializes in working with challenging emotional & behavioral disorders in children and young people, working within residential establishments, pupil referral units and main stream schools for local education authorities and the private sector. Tracie’s journey with EAGALA started in August 2004, through merging her life time passion and experience with horses and her counseling profession. She achieved her Advanced Certificate in 2010. In 2004, Tracie established and facilitated a successful EAP / EAL program within a residential unit for 11 - 17 year old EBD boys. She works with individuals, groups and families addressing various issues with the aid of her trusted steeds! Tracie also delivers EAL to private, corporate, educational and NHS organizations. She achieved her advanced certification in 2010. In 2006 she co-founded a non for profit organization offering a free of charge counseling and EAP service, receiving referrals from NHS, CAMHS, Social Services, Home Start, Sure Start, G.P's, Police, Parent Support Workers and self-referrals. She offers counseling placements for students and is either the students’ line manager or supervisor. Tracie is an advocate of the EAGALA model and the huge benefits it can bring to the participants'. Now her other passion is to assist others in this formidable journey and help them achieve their goal. Tracie has presented at several of the European conferences and is a trainer for the EAGALA certification trainings.
Equine Specialist (ES) Mentors
Annie trained and worked as a psychiatric nurse and also completed Counselling skills Course. Her main interests have always been the outdoors and horses and she worked in Outdoor Centres as ‘Matron’ in charge of health aspects of attendees and also part-time instructor in rock-climbing and sailing. Her horse experience goes back to childhood. She has worked with a variety of breeds of ponies and horses in Endurance, Eventing, Hunting and in Carriage Driving Trials and showing, both as a groom and navigator at trials in UK and France. She has enjoyed the experience of both successfully training, producing and competing with her own horses in driving trials, long distance riding and long distance driving (silver award winner). The aim was always to finish with a fit to continue, happy horse. Focusing on that was what brought success rather than a competitive spirit. She has a British Driving Society Certificate in carriage driving and stable management. She is also a qualified complementary equine and human therapist and trained in saddlery. She was certified with EAGALA in 2002 and has worked with child and adult clients, individuals, couples, families, youth and professional groups while in private practice with her husband David in Winds of Change. She and David hosted the first training in Europe in 2003, and since then, they have been instrumental in the growth and development of EAGALA and Equine Assisted Psychotherapy and Learning in Europe and beyond. She is an EAGALA trainer.
Catherine M. Poland, MBA
Catherine earned her Master’s in Business at Baldwin Wallace College in Berea, Ohio in 1992 and she is the founder of Trinity Horse Farm LLC, an Equine Assisted Learning Center, located in Medina, Ohio. She is honored to say that she has had the privilege of being with horses all of her life. Growing up, she was an active participant in 4-H and Pony Club. She believes in natural horsemanship and “Keeping it Natural” for horses are truly partners in all we do with them and in what we do together in helping others. She has been blessed in working within the EAGALA model since 2006 and in working with a variety of clients in the areas of substance abuse, eating disorders, mood disorders, autism, conflict management, leadership development and spiritual retreats. She has worked with a variety of agencies within her community in providing customized EAP programs which incorporated EAGALA’s EAP model. These programs have been successfully implemented with local area agencies such as: the County Court System, Church Youth Groups, public schools and alternative schools to help numerous at-risk youths, Autistic children and their families. She is a member of the Class of 2008 Leadership Medina County and a recipient of the 2007 Woman of Distinction Award.
As a professional Equine Specialist, Deb has enjoyed the experiences of equine sports therapy, boarding, training young horses, barrel horses, retraining negative behaviors, instructing able bodied/special needs persons in basic riding, and competition in world level barrel racing, novice level team penning. She founded Serenity Farm, a non-profit corporation, providing various equine services including therapeutic riding and EAGALA. She is an EAGALA approved provider and has created a workshop with manual on the 12-steps and EAP. She believes and encourages continuing education for all individuals around her. She has worked with at-risk youth and families for over 20 years, investigated for child support and abuse cases, mentored children/teens with juvenile probation requirements, supervised a mentoring program for inner city gang members and has taught mediation, anger management, and conflict management training to public schools. As a Mentor for EAGALA members, she can offer a tremendous amount of positive energy, skill level and encouragement to help those wanting to succeed in a professional co-facilitating team.
Faye Gandolfi is a Horse Professional who has been certified by EAGALA since April 2001 and Advanced Certified since December 2008. She currently lives in Tucson, Arizona with her husband and daughter and is the Executive Director/Founder of a highly successful EAP Program, Desert Dove Farm. Prior to becoming involved with EAP, she was a paralegal working for the County Attorneys Office. As the drug court liaison, she observed a strong need for a primary prevention program to help people avoid the draw of drugs, gangs and other behaviors that kept them from a successful life. Over the past 10 years she has developed a program that is focused on improving the lives of youth and specializes in helping domestic violence victims. Horses have been her passion since a very young age and have shaped her life in an amazing way. She successfully competed in the hunter/jumper, eventing and dressage disciplines with her equine partner “Woody”. She never ceases to be amazed at the impact EAP has on clients, horses and facilitators and is honored to be part of this work.
Fernando Cordero (Habla Español)
Fernando Cordero studied Biology and after High Level Business Management in Mexico. He worked 20 years with transnational corporations and currently he has a partnership, TAAC, which conducts EAGALA EAL and EAP sessions, and he works with PAE where he uses EAGALA to work with child trafficking, addictions, sexual abuse, depression, anxiety, and eating disorders. Fernando also runs his own horse transportation business. He has a strong commitment to work as an Equine Specialist and share his knowledge and experience with horses to help other people. Fernando also works as an EAGALA trainer in the certification training program.
Helen Shaw has worked with horses for over 30 years and has BHS, PNH, HSA qualifications and Advanced EAGALA certification as an Equine Specialist. She worked in Canada with underprivileged youth at the Double R Ranch introducing the participants to horses. She is the founding principal of Equine Insight Inc. based in the Macedon Ranges in Victoria. Equine Insight is a charitable organization with the main focus being 'at risk youth'. Helen is currently studying counselling.
Holly Ohlson is an active member of EAGALA’s Australasia region. She has over 40 years of professional experience training horses, coaching riders, and competing internationally. Holly immigrated to Australia from Southern California in 1988 to train horses and coach riders. She became EAGALA Certified in 2008 and started Horse Sense for Humans. She currently works with a psychologist and a psychiatrist to deliver EAGALA Model EAP/EAL programs to a variety of client populations. Holly has organized the EAGALA Pacific Horse Safety and Well-being Focus Group in 2011, producing two EAGALA Conference Presentations: “Horse Welfare” and “Safety and Risk Management.” Holly became an Eagala Advanced Certified ES in 2014 and has participated in two advanced trainings. She is currently a member of the Eagala Ethics Committee.
Jimmy is the founder of Relatively Stable, LLC providing EAGALA model EAP & EAL on his farm in Sandy Hook, CT. He retired from Verizon Corporation after 31 years and was the director of the CWA Local 1101 Union Assistance Program for over 25 years. Jimmy currently works for Liberty Behavioral Management which owns and manages Arms Acres , Conifer Park Substance Abuse Treatment Facilities and the Holliswood Psychiatric hospital in New York City. He has owned horses for the last 27 years and was a part time wrangler at Malibu Dude Ranch. He provided horse care and was a trail guide at Green Chimneys in Brewster, NY and was a barn manager at Trails End Riding Center in Putnam Valley, NY. Jim has been an EAGALA equine specialist at Pal-O-Mine Equestrian working with sexually abused children. Last year he introduced the EAGALA model to the Military Wellness Program at Holliswood Pyschiatric Hospital as well as for the substance abuse clients at Arms Acres Treatment Facility. He is advanced certified and an EAGALA trainer.
Katie is the owner of Mind, Body & Sole Equine Care, which offers horse and human wellness. Katie was introduced to EAGALA in 2009, with an eye-opening experience that ignited a fire! She saw the EAGALA Model as a unique, highly beneficial approach to overcoming obstacles and moving forward, which is exactly what she did. Katie quickly became certified and completed her Advanced certification in 2016. She feels blessed to work with 3 different therapists on a weekly basis with a variety of clients. She is a certified leadership coach, who works with individuals and corporation at her farm, and is also the EAGALA networking coordinator for Western NC. Katie continues to attend networking meetings and as many trainings as possible. Her hope for each session is for all to feel an open relationship, where everyone works together, allowing for instruction and guidance. Of great importance to Katie is a learning environment that truly shares the experiences afforded by their work. Her desire is to assist you in exploring and expanding your journey. The rewards of EAGALA are many and fostering your understanding and growth as well as the integrity of the EAGALA community is her goal as a mentor.
Mark earned his AAS in Equine Science at Martin Community College in 1991. He began a career training Arabian horses on the national circuit. He has been working as a horse professional for 20 years. He began working with at-risk youth in a residential setting as an educational counselor for sexually reactive and abusive youth. He oversaw the education and day treatment programs that included experiential ropes course therapy and developed the EAGALA model program for Hand Up Homes for Youth, Inc. He is on the Board of Directors for the local saddle club association, a 4-H Horse and Pony Club leader and member of the NC Horse Council. In 2005, he opened his own Eagala outpatient company; along with his wife Becky called Head, Heart, Hands, and Horses.
MaryAnn is an Advance Certified Equine Specialist learning naturally from her herd of nine horses which include seven mares, one gelding, and one stallion. MaryAnn has traveled extensively and has been facilitating EAP sessions with her horses since 2006. More than 8000 people come through her arena to date. MaryAnn has lived in New Jersey (where the state animal is the horse!) my whole life. She has studied Horsemanship, Team Management and Team Leadership, KungFu , Communication, and Yoga. She is also the mother of three grown sons and she loves trail riding.
Michele has loved horses since she was a young girl. Once her three young children were in school she filled her days working for a local dressage barn. She spent the next eight years interacting with many different kinds of horses and their owners. Michele spent some time riding, but mostly enjoyed her duties of saddling horses for training, ground work, grooming, attending horse shows and just hanging out in the field. Through her experience in this setting she grew to love horses from the ground. The curiosity of observing horse behavior is where Michele’s interest lies. And even recently her purchase of a mini hinny named Palmer has taught her about the mind of a mule. Michele currently works full time for a public school in Maryland working with autistic children as a para-educator. Her journey with EAGALA began in 2009, where she found the perfect match for her equine association. Michele now works part time with Patti Schlough, PEACE, LLC, which is an EAGALA Certified facility in Red Lion, PA. The past five years she and Patti have been using EAL and the EAGALA Model to teach professional development courses to educators in the school system, “Bullying, A Herd Perspective” and “Experiential Learning for the Mindful Educator” was created by Patti Schlough. They also use the equine facility at the school to teach EAL with at risk youth and bully intervention. Michele has most recently completed the 40 hour course of “Clean Language and Symbolic Modeling” with Gina Campbell, and ”Mining Your Metaphors”. The discovery of the Clean Language Questions and Symbolic Modeling has enhanced her skills as an advanced practitioner. She and Patti are currently in the process of integrating this model into their EAGALA Model work. Michele is passionate about continuing education, her role as an equine specialist, and utilizing all her resources to benefit a strong facilitation team.
Michelle is a life-long equestrian and has personally felt the power of the horse in her own life and through the lives of every child, teen, and adult that she has worked with as a professional in this field for over the past 10 years. She started her journey as a therapeutic riding instructor and followed the creation of working with horses to help address emotional issues with great interest. In 2004, she was certified through EAGALA and switched to the EAGALA model for working with clients who have emotional/mental health issues and learning needs. She was the first professional in Southwestern Virginia to be certified by EAGALA and the first in Virginia to be EAGALA Advanced Certified. She is currently serving as the VA EAGALA Networking State Coordinator. In 2008, after serving as a Program Director and Executive Director for other Equine Assisted Activities and Therapies organizations, she founded Unbridled Change – a non-profit organization dedicated to breaking the cycle of abuse utilizing EAGALA and NARHA models . As the ES side of the team, her background comes from competitively showing in both hunter/jumpers and three-day-eventing. She has a minor in Equine Management from Southern Virginia College (now University) and was co-captain of the IHSA riding team. She’s worked her way through almost every job a horse lover could have from “barn rat” as a child swapping out lessons for barn work to Executive Director of an Equine Assisted Activities and Therapy organization. She professionally trains horses and enjoys starting young horses, and training/rehabilitating older/rescue horses both in general horsemanship skills and for dressage and three-day-eventing.
Mickey spent her lifetime in the equine industry from 4-H to breaking and showing horses to fifteen years spent as a jockey, riding in ten different states. She retired from riding and moved to the racetracks of the west coast (to be warm!) for three years as an exercise rider. She eventually left the track and created a riding program for a residential treatment facility for emotionally disturbed boys – Sierra Boys Ranch. She also worked as a residential counselor and house director for the program. She attended her first EAGALA training in September 2000, after which she became Equine Services Director for Sierra Family Services and helped transform the equine component into a true EAGALA Model program. She received EAGALA’s Outstanding Equine Specialist award in 2002. Literally hundreds of hours of EAGALA sessions later, and after contracting as an EAGALA trainer since 2004, she now works full-time as Program Director for EAGALA.
Pam has been around horses on and off for most of her life, having received her first horse at age 11. She earned her Advanced Certification with EAGALA in 2010, after beginning her studies with the organization in 2001. She's been blessed to live with her EAL/EAP equine partners anywhere from 12-20 years. Equine studies came from many sources; clinics, books, videos, demonstrations, audits, and trial and error. All told, her greatest teachers have been the horses themselves... and trial and error! To ensure a better understanding of what transpires in the arena with the clients, therapist, as well as herself, she's been studying psychology, especially neuropsychology, when/however she has the opportunity.
Randy is the Co-founder of REFUGE Services, a Christian non-profit organization that provides outpatient EAP services to Lubbock, TX and surrounding communities. He is the Director of equine services, managing Refuge’s 40 acre equestrian facility with over 20 horses. Prior to this, he was the equine director for a residential treatment center for girls with eating disorders in south Texas. He has been practicing EAP for 10 years working with primarily adolescents, families, and couples. Having 30 years of experience with horses, 13 years of experience as a professional trainer and farrier, he was recognized by EAGALA as “Outstanding Horse Professional” in 2001 for the superior work with clients and collaboration with other therapists in his community. He is also a trainer for EAGALA certification trainings.
Ray has been a teacher of writing and literature for 40 years and has served in numerous leadership roles. He holds a Master's Degree and is the recipient of Normandale's Teacher of the Year Award and the University of Texas's National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development Award for Excellence (NISOD). He has been an ES at Acres for Life in Chisago City, MN since 2010. Ray also serves as EAGALA's Network Coordinator for Minnesota as well as coordinator for Operation Sanctuary, an initiative to provide equine services for veterans and their families. He is passionate about this work and its power to change the lives of both client and facilitator; he marvels at the countless "miracles" that show themselves in the pasture each day. Ray is a life-long learner, loves working with horses and people, and is committed to growing personally and professionally and helping others do the same. Ray is Advanced Certified.
First and foremost I am a horse lover and I fundamentally believe that horses can help people. I am currently traveling through a course and profession where I began in psychology, moved away from that and worked in the field of therapeutic riding, then returned to psychology through the EAGALA model. My formal education has been within Research and Clinical Psychology, although I am not a registered therapist. I have many years of experience both formally and informally working with horses. Despite this I am always curious to learn more from and about the horse. Horses have assisted me in achieving my childhood dream of competing on an international platform. I received my SA national colours for Combined carriage driving and more recently they have assisted me to become an international trainer in the EAGALA model. In my classical equitation training so much emphasis was placed on what I must teach the horse and through EAP I have been fascinated by what the horses can teach us. I was amazed at how how often we don't recognize the communication from the horse, thus missing some very important lessons. I have ridden competitively in eventing, dressage and jumping as well as driven singles, pairs and teams. One thing I have learned is that if I cannot make a team of four horses do something they don't want to then I can listen, watch, and marvel when they decide to go the same way I do. It is all about intent!
Mental Health (MH) Mentors
Beth Avolio, Ph.D.
Beth Avolio received her Ph.D. in Psychology from The University of Akron in 1982. For many years she worked in university counseling, hospital settings, various community agencies and private practice and provided supervision for doctoral level students as well as psychological testing, individual and group therapy. In 2003 she abandoned those settings when she discovered the joys of working in an arena and has never looked back. She was proudly involved with Take Flight Farms in Omaha, NE for six years before a recent relocation to the Seattle area where she is currently setting up a practice in equine assisted therapy. Beth has worked with teens and children in in-patient residential treatment settings as well as teens in alternative school placements and children in foster care. This has been both individual and group therapy. She has facilitated groups with eating disordered youth and individual sessions with young adults in residential treatment preparing for transition to independent living. In addition, she ran an ongoing group for older teens and young adults with substance abuse disorders. She has facilitated corporate programs and programs for college students in team building and leadership skills as well as programs designed to help train physicians in better communication skills and more effective nonverbal communication with patients.
Brenda B. Hunter, M.A., LCPC
Brenda earned her Masters of Arts in Clinical Psychology at the University of Arkansas in 1993. The emphasis in her graduate studies was in neuropsychology and brain-behavior relationships. She completed an internship in Nashville, Tennessee with Vanderbilt University and Department of Veterans Affairs internship consortium in 1994-1995, where she rotated through placements at which she received training working with general psychiatric (inpatient and outpatient) populations, substance abuse (inpatient and outpatient), PTSD, and neuropsychological assessment and treatment. After completing her graduate training, she moved to Illinois and worked for the next 6 years in brain injury rehabilitation (both inpatient and outpatient) providing neuropsychological assessment and treatment to individuals and their families. From there she moved into the residential treatment setting where she worked with children and adolescents with mental illness and behavior disorders. She worked for this organization for 7 years, starting as a therapist working in a younger and adolescent group home for the first 2 years. She then moved to the young adult transitional living residential program for individuals with more chronic mental illness and was in this program for the next 2 years. From there she moved to being the Clinical Supervisor of the agency’s Community Counseling Program, where she supervised therapists and case managers in providing mental health services to individuals, couples, and families who presented with a variety of mental health issues, ranging from adjustment issues to chronic mental illness. She now works in Wisconsin for a non-profit organization, where she is a supervisor of two kinds of community service prevention programs that provide clinical and case management services to families in need in the greater Madison area. She is a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor in the state of Illinois and a Licensed Professional Counselor in the state of Wisconsin. She became involved with EAGALA and began practicing EAP in 2002, serving as the mental health professional on the team. Since then she has been actively practicing EAP/EAL, working with individuals (children, adolescents, and adults), groups, families, and couples with a variety of presenting mental health issues or learning goals. She also serves as a trainer for EAGALA and is currently the Chair of EAGALA’s ethics committee.
Debra G. Farber, LPC, NCC
Debra G. Farber is a Licensed Professional Counselor in the state of New Jersey and a National Certified Counselor. She has a Master’s in Counseling from Rider University, Lawrenceville, NJ and Master’s in Communication and Information Studies from Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ. Debra is Advance Certified by (EAGALA) and currently serves on the EAGALA University Committee. She provides EAP services to individuals and groups addressing issues of: addiction; grief; depression; anxiety; post traumatic stress; adjustment and other mental health issues. EAL services have been provided in the areas of team building; organizational restructuring; and staff developement.
Patti Mandrell, M. Ed., LPC
Patti is a Co-Founder of REFUGE Services, a Christian non-profit organization that provides outpatient EAP services to Lubbock, TX and surrounding communities. She serves as director of therapy services supervising other therapists, horse professionals, volunteers, and intern students. Prior, she had served as a program director for a residential treatment center for girls with eating disorders in south Texas. She was the first professional counselor to be nationally certified by EAGALA in the state of Texas. Her husband, Randy, and her were among the first group to reach the EAGALA Advanced Certified status in the country. She has been incorporating EAP for 10 years and has been a therapist for over 11years. She received her master’s counseling degree at Texas Tech University. She has been spotlighted and interviewed in numerous local, state, and national publications and television broadcastings promoting the use of EAP when working with families and children. She has published numerous EAP curriculums for working with children and couples as well as author of the EAGALA endorsed textbook on EAP “Introduction to Equine-Assisted Psychotherapy.” Patti also serves as a trainer for EAGALA’s certification trainings.
Peter Comstock, LCPC, NCC
Peter earned his counseling degree at the University of Southern Maine where he has also done work in the area of clinical supervision. Over the past 17 years Peter has worked in various mental health and addiction programs located in agency, hospital and private practice settings. He has been EAGALA certified since 2002 and has been practicing the EAGALA model of therapy at Painted Horses, LLC in Richmond, Maine since 2008. In addition Peter has been in private practice since 2002 in Augusta, Maine where his specialties are trauma, grief and bereavement issues, anxiety, depression, anger and stress management for both adolescents and adults. Peter also spent six years as a school based clinician working with students and faculty at middle and high school levels.
Ulla Frederiksen, M.A., LLP
EAGALA mentor & trainerUlla is a Limited Licensed Psychologist in the state of Michigan, a license she has held since 1993. She has owned and operated her current private practice, The Sundance Center, since 2001. Her humanistic, experiential & client-centered training at the Michigan School for Professional Psychology has been a perfect fit for the EAGALA certification process. She was certified in 2001, obtained her advanced certification and has served as an EAGALA trainer since 2009. In her private practice, she works with outpatient adolescents, adults, couples and families, with a range of diagnoses including trauma, grief, depression, anxiety, bi-polar, dissociative & personality disorders. She also really enjoys supporting Highly Sensitive People turn their sensitivities into assets. Ulla and her husband, Fred live with their therapeutic herd of seven horses in the beautiful wine country of South West Michigan.