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Mental Health (MH) Mentors

Approved mentors for the mental health side of the EAGALA team (see also the ES/MH Mentors link for additional mentors)

Note: these mentors and this mentoring program does not qualify as clinical supervision which may be required by licensing boards.


Beth AvolioBeth 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 HunterBrenda 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.
Carolle A. Bell, Ph.D., LCSW
Carolle earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from Baylor University, MSSW from the University of Texas and a PhD from Utah State University. She has over 30 years of clinical experience providing a broad range of services to adolescents, adults and families. After completion of her PhD she entered private practice. As part of her private practice, she was involved in the development and implementation of community based treatment programs for adjudicated youth. She is currently the Director of Equine Services at Falcon Ridge Ranch, a residential treatment program for adolescent girls. She has been providing EAP since 2001 providing services to individuals, families, groups and corporate training.
Debra FarberDebra 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. 
Laura Barnhart, MC, LMFT
Laura received a bachelor's degree in Psychology from the University of Arizona and a master's degree in Marriage, Family and Child Therapy from the University of Phoenix. After spending several years working for counselling agencies in Tucson, she opened a private practice in 2003, which led to a discovery of EAGALA and Desert Dove Farm.  She began working with Desert Dove Farm and the EAGALA model in 2006 and realized a dream she had since childhood: working with people and horses.  She became the clinical director for Desert Dove Farm in 2007 and co-facilitates session multiple times every week.  She was able to adopt her own horse in 2007 and is humbled by him every day.
Lynn ThomasLynn Thomas, LCSW
Lynn earned her Master’s in Social Work at the University of Utah in 1995. She obtained licensure as an LCSW in Utah in 1999. She has been in the field of mental health for 20 years. After obtaining her Bachelor’s in Psychology from Brigham Young University, she worked as mileu staff in various settings, including wilderness therapy, youth corrections, a psychiatric hospital, and a residential treatment center on a ranch setting. After obtaining her Master’s, she continued to focus on adolescents and families – working again in wilderness therapy and residential treatment. She had the opportunity to help start Aspen Ranch in Loa, Utah (youth residential treatment program) where she incorporated EAP, and became its Executive Director, and then the Executive Director for Aspen Achievement Academy wilderness program. She then developed a private practice that focused on EAP. She co-founded EAGALA in 1999 and presently serves as Executive Director.
Patti MandrellPatti 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
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 FUlla Frederiksen, M.A., LLP
Ulla 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, client-centered approach has been a perfect fit for the certification process of Equine Assisted Psychotherapy. She was EAGALA certified in 2001, and obtained her advanced certification in 2009. She has worked with outpatient adolescents, adults, couples and families ranging from low income to upper class. Diagnoses include depression, anxiety, bi-polar, aspergers, dissociative disorders and personality disorders.