Beth Avolio, PhD, has been using horses in therapy and experiential learning since 2003. She is a licensed psychologist in the states of Washington, Nebraska and New York. Dr. Avolio holds advanced certification through the Equine Assisted Growth and Learning Association (EAGALA) and serves as a mentor to others learning to use horses in therapy and coaching through this organization. Dr. Avolio has experience utilizing equine assisted learning (EAL) in areas such as corporate team building, helping physicians learn new communication skills and non-verbal behavior cues and assisting students struggling with behavioral issues. She is a passionate believer in the efficacy of EAL to enhance personal insight and promote behavioral change. Nona Henderson, BS, Equine Specialist Nona’s equine experience spans 20+ years as an equestrian. Nona’s passions are working with students using a variety of instructional methods and breeding and riding horses. She is an equine specialist, certified by EGALA and she was also nationally recognized by American Hanoverian Society as a successful horse breeder. As a rider, she has participated in riding clinics instructed by US and Canadian Olympic team members. As an educator, with a B.S. degree in Elementary and Special Education from the University of Idaho and post graduate work completed at the University of Washington and Seattle Pacific University, she has 18 years of experience in the Washington public school system. She has a diversified instructional background which includes teaching in elementary classrooms and special education classrooms ranging from resource rooms to self-contained learning centers. Nona also has been an advocate and private tutor for special education students. Jana Sopher, MA, LMHCA, Counselor Jana has a master''s degree in counseling and is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor Associate in the state of Washington. She maintains a private practice and works with individuals, couples and groups. In addition to her private practice, she also offers Equine Assisted Psychotherapy (EAP) for individuals, group workshops and retreats. She is Level II certified through EAGALA. A watercolor artist and pianist with many years experience teaching in various capacities contribute to her penchant for bringing out the creativity in people to change unhelpful patterns and effect their own growth. Jana has owned horses and enjoys what they bring to the counseling process toward healing, freedom, and insight.
Samantha Heath-Lange, BS, Equine Specialist
Sam grew up riding horses in SW Washington. She took a brief hiatus from horses to attend the University of WA where she graduated with a BS in Psychology (Animal Behavior). She studied psychological well-being in non-human primates and temperament in infant macaques and baboons at the UW Regional Primate Research Center. It wasn''t much of a leap when she moved into Clinical Research and began studying humans. She helped screen and recruit patients for pharmaceutical studies for a few years and has worked in the Biotech/Pharma industry as a Clinical Data Manager for the last 12 years. When an IPMN lesion was found incidentally in her pancreas in 2005, she became very familiar with the patient-side of the doctor-patient relationship. Sam obtained her HEAL (Human Equine Alliance for Learning) Facilitator certification in 2007 and EAGALA Level II certification in 2010. She owns The Flying Filly, a Center for Equine Facilitated Learning and Psychotherapy, in Lake Stevens, WA.