Therapeutic Riding Instructor & Child Development Specialist
Cassandra (Cassie) Porter received her B.S. in Psychology from the University of Texas at Arlington in 2015. Her desire to help special needs children and their families led her to pursue her M.S. in Human Development and Early Childhood Disorders from the University of Texas at Dallas where she will be graduating in December 2017. In Late 2016 she discovered the field of therapeutic horseback riding and immediately began volunteering at a center in Waxahachie. She quickly realized that she had found her calling and began the journey to becoming PATH certified.
She has now joined the team at Paws as a Therapeutic Riding Instructor and Child Development Specialist. Cassandra specializes in providing early intervention therapy for children between the ages of birth to 6 years in many areas including gross motor, fine motor, speech and language, problem solving skills, sensory processing difficulties, adaptive life skills, social/behavioral skills, and literacy acquisition. Sheo also functions as a central resource of knowledge and support for parents learning to cope with the birth of a special needs child or a new diagnosis. Cassandra believes strongly in the healing and motivating power of animals and a natural environment combined with evidence-based practices in helping little ones and their families overcome some of the obstacles that may hinder the pathway into a happy healthy childhood.
She is endorsed by First 3 Years (formerly Texas Association for Infant Mental Health). She specializes in utilizing animals and a natural environment to assist children and their families struggling with developmental delay or associated early childhood problems.
Kelly Jensen, M.A., LPC-Intern
Under the supervision of Brenda Elledge, M.Ed., LPC-S
Kelly Jensen received her Master of Arts degree in Counseling from Dallas Baptist University. She has always had a passion for horses and enjoys working with them. Her horse experience includes Buck Brannaman Natural Horsemanship Clinics, studying with LM Performance Ranch in Oklahoma, and personal horse experience. Kelly works as an LPC-Intern under the supervision of Brenda Elledge,LPC-S. Kelly offers Equine Assisted Counseling, Animal Assisted Counseling, and Traditional Counseling sessions. Kelly personally owns 3 horses, 2 dogs, and 2 cats. When she is not working, schooling, or horsing around, she enjoys activities with her church, family, and friends.
Contact Kelly: KJensen.PawsRanch@att.net
Photo coming soon.
Jacqueline (Jackie) Avalos, M.A., LPC-Intern, LCDC
Under the Supervision of Vicki Moody, MA, LPC-S, LCDC, NCC
Jacqueline (Jackie) Avalos received her Masters of Arts degree in Forensic Psychology in 2013 from Argosy University and has been providing substance abuse and mental health counseling ever since. She is a Licensed Chemical Dependency Counselor and a Licensed Professional Counselor Intern under the supervision of Vicki Moody, MA, LPC-S, LCDC, NCC. She has a passion for those suffering from trauma, chemical dependency, and family issues. Jackie enjoys seeing her clients grow, gain confidence and motivation. She wants to see them become the people they want to be and learn to knock down their own barriers. She has extensive experience in treating PTSD, dual diagnoses, and attachment issues. Jackie is a full member of EMDRIA (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing International Association) and though she practices EMDR primarily, Jackie incorporates other modalities of therapy in the process to include EAC (Equine Assisted Counseling), Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Mindfulness, Family Systems, and Individual Psychology.
Honorably discharged from the Marine Corps in 2010, Jackie served her country overseas for six years and is very engaged in her church and community.
Contact Jackie: JAvalos.firstname.lastname@example.org
PATH Certified Therapeutic Riding Instructor& Equine Specialist
Tiffany started her horse journey at a young age and has been in the Equine Industry for over 20 years. A certified riding instructor in both English and Western CHA; certified PATH Instructor and Equine Specialist with EAGALA, certified saddle fitter and has a strong background in starting colts and training. She loves Natural Horsemanship and has studied and trained using many different modalities - striving for partnership/connection with each horse.
Her desire is to be a life time student and strongly believes in continuing education. “The more I learn, the more I realize how much I don’t know.”
When not doing ES work she teaches riding lessons, managing the family farm that includes her own horses as well as a few retired horses, and the occasional horse that comes along needing rehabilitation. She is a human and equine muscle therapist with Emmett Therapies. In her free time she also enjoys serving in her church and community.
Contact Tiffany: PawsForReflection@att.net
Brian Schehrer, M.A., LPC-Intern
Under the supervision of Brooke Knox, M.S., LPC-S
Brian Schehrer received his Master of Arts degree in Counseling from Dallas Baptist University. He joined the Ranch as a Licensed Professional Counselor-Intern, where he offers Eye Movement Desensitization & Reprocessing (EMDR) counseling and traditional counseling sessions. Brian began his counseling career in 2012 providing trauma-focused counseling to adults. Brian is a trained EMDR counselor and has received specialized EMDR training for processing PTSD, shame, guilt, moral injury, and complex trauma. He is a trained Crisis Incident Stress Management (CISM) responder for Tarrant County. While serving in the Army National Guard and Air Force, he became familiar with trauma, injury, and terrorism. Following the war in Yugoslavia, Brian led 3 NGO relief missions under KFOR control to villages in Kosovo. He is a member of the American Association of Christian Counselors (AACC) and EMDRIA. He loves horses, has a dog and three cats. In his free time, Brian enjoys activities with family and friends, as well as, time spent outdoors.
Contact Brian: email@example.com
Director of Educational Programs
Tannis Lambert has a passion for sharing experiences with animals and nature within a fun and safe learning environment. She has home schooled for 18 years and has been part of many groups along the way. Somehow she always finds herself involved with kid's programs; AWANA, Bible Studies, Mom's Day Out, Parent's Night, Jr. High Leader, Boy Scouts, 4-H, Co-op Nursery, etc. Recently at Paws for Reflection Ranch Tannis is using the skills she has gathered over time to lead the Paws for Fun after school program, Paws for Fun Summer Camp, special needs class field trips, and therapy animal visits to assisted living homes. She is very excited about the Ranch educational programs and excited to grow even more programs.
Contact Tannis: TLambert.PawsRanch@att.net
Our professionals are pioneers in the field of animal-assisted therapies. Team members participate in a wide variety of educational opportunities in order to best serve our clients' needs,
Amy Andra, M.A., LPC
Amy Andra is licensed by the Texas State Board of Examiners of Professional Counselors as an LPC. She graduated from the University of North Texas with a Masters of Education degree in counseling. Amy has worked with adolescents and children in schools as a teacher for 12 years and as a school counselor for the past 3 years. Amy is currently working at the Ranch as a Play Therapist and working towards becoming a registered play therapist. Amy believes that children have an innate ability to heal in a safe environment where they feel free to express themselves in ways that they choose. Utilizing their strengths and emotional resiliency, children have a unique way of coping and can express and process these emotions through play.
Amy lives with her husband and two children. She enjoys training for triathlons, running, spending time with family and friends, and helping support whatever activities her children are participating in.
Contact Amy: AAndra.PawsRanch@att.net
Nicole Litterio, M.Ed.
Volunteer & Outreach Coordinator
Nicole Litterio received a Master in Education at DePaul University and holds an Illinois Professional Educator License Endorsed in School Counseling. She moved to the DFW area in spring 2016 after working as a Case Manager for 9.5 years in the south side of Chicago. She began volunteering at Paws for Reflection Ranch in the fall of 2016 and became the Volunteer Coordinator in 2017. Her passion is to empower individuals to better understand their skills and talents to live more fulfilling lives. Nicole hopes volunteering will help people to learn about themselves and their life purpose in the greater community.
As the Outreach Coordinator, Nicole educates the greater community about the services offered at the Ranch and how others can take part in Ranch activities and services.
When not working or volunteering, Nicole enjoys spending time in nature with her dog and gardening.
Contact Nicole: Litterio.firstname.lastname@example.org
Bio and Photo coming soon!
Barbara Thompson (aka Babs) has lived in the Midlothian area for 37 years. Barbara lives with her daughter, 2 Quarter Horses, 2 "mini horses" of the barking variety (Great Danes) and 3 cats. She has 10 years experience in working with all aspects of therapeutic riding and a wide range of ages and disabilities. Barbara has spent 19 years studying natural horsemanship, has passed Level 3 skills tests in the Parelli Natural Horsemanship program and is working to complete Level 4 requirements. Through the everyday application of natural horsemanship, horses continue to take Barbara to new levels of understanding and communication. Barbara became a PATH certified Equine Specialist to share her passion for horses with humans seeking help with a variety of mental health and learning issues. Barbara works in concert with the counseling team to facilitate a magical healing and learning experience for each client based on their individual needs.
Contact Barbara: PawsForReflection@att.net
Kristen Lowe, M.S., LPC
Kristen Lowe, a Licensed Professional Counselor, received her Master of Science degree in Counseling from Southwestern Assemblies of God University. She is currently pursuing her Doctorate in Marriage and Family Therapy from Texas Wesleyan University. Also a Licensed Minister, Kristen is a trained Crisis Incident Stress Management (CISM) responder for Ellis County and Chaplain for the Waxahachie Police Department.
Always eager to learn more in order to help others, Kristen has participated in trainings focused on trauma disorders, eating disorders, Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD), and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD).
Competing as a barrel racer, Kristen has an extensive background in the world of horses. She understands the wisdom the horses bring to Equine Assisted Counseling (EAC) sessions. Happy owner of 3 horses, Kristen treasures her relationship with each and enjoys the time she spends with them.
When not working, studying for school, or barrel racing, Kristen enjoys family time, serving missionaries, church, and friends.
Contact Kristen: email@example.com
PATH Certified Therapeutic Riding and Horsemanship Instructor
Liana White's passion and dedication for horses is rooted in her childhood in Germany. Life moved her to the United States where she obtained her Associates of Science in Agricultural Sales and Services with Equine Training from Dickinson State University, ND and later on, the Bachelor of Arts with concentration in Therapeutic Horsemanship at St. Andrews University in Laurinburg, NC. In North Carolina, Liana worked under the legendary Reining Horse Trainer Francois Gauthier, where she specialized developing young horses into Reining Show Horses. In Texas, she furthered her skill in training young horses for cutting and cow work, working for Manion Ranch under Cutting Futurity Winner Phil Hanson. Liana gained knowledge about cattle and herd management. One of the mile stones in her career was the coaching at the NRHA Futurity Para Reining Riders. Liana's position as a Therapeutic Riding Instructor at Paws for Reflection Ranch combines her passion to teach special populations the fundamentals of horsemanship, as well as, maintaining the level of training of the lesson horses.
Contact Liana: LWhite.firstname.lastname@example.org
Elissa Jeter, M.A., LPC-Intern, NCC
Under the Supervision of Mark Aldridge, Ph.D., LPC-S, NCC
Elissa M. Jeter, M.A., LPC-Intern received her Master of Art in Counseling from the University of Rochester in New York. Elissa joined the Ranch as a Counseling-Intern under the supervision of Dr. Mark Aldridge, Ph.D., LPC-S. As a member of the Army National Guard, Elissa has provided Behavioral Health Counseling both as a civilian and a Soldier to Veterans, active military, and their families. She has experience in Chemical Dependency, Crisis Counseling, Adolescent Counseling, Sexual Trauma Counseling, PTSD Counnseling, and Interpersonal Counseling. Her passion lies with working with Veterans as they transition to civilian life and reach their full potential. Elissa believes in a holistic approach to Counseling, focusing on every aspect of one's life including Spiritual, Emotional, Behavioral, Cognitive, Social, Financial, and others. Elissa is a member of the American Counseling Association and the American Mental Health Association.
Contact Elissa: EJeter.email@example.com
PHOTO COMING SOON.
PATH Certified Therapeutic Riding Instructor& Counseling Horse Specialist
Even though Katelyn's parents thought that her love for horses was a "typical phase", she has always had a desire to incorporate horses into her life. In 2013, Katelyn graduated from the University of North Texas with her Bachelor's degree that focused on Child and Family Development. In her last year at North Texas, she participated in a school related study, at a nearby therapeutic riding center. This was where Katelyn discovered her true passion. After shadowing and working various positions at the riding center, she decided to move to West, Texas, to begin training to be a therapeutic riding instructor. In the spring of 2015, Katelyn officially became a PATH Intl. Certified Therapeutic Riding Instructor.
The following summer, Katelyn had the privilege of working alongside an Equine Assisted Counselor as a Horse Specialist. This special work experience led her to pursue the path to become a Licensed Professional Counselor to one day in order to help others through Equine Assisted Counseling. Katelyn is currently in the Masters Degree program studying counseling at Tarleton State University.
In the fall of 2015, Katelyn invested in her first horse, a Palomino Quarter Horse, named Ranger. Katelyn and Roger have both recently moved back to the DFW area and joined the Ranch team. They are both grateful and excited about their future in Equine Assisted Therapies at the Ranch.
Contact Katelyn: Crawford.firstname.lastname@example.org
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