The Human Team Members

Brenda Chamberlain, Owner

Certified Mindfulness Teacher
EAGALA Certified Mental Health Specialist
EAGALA Certified Equine Specialist
CO State registration #NLC.0106472

Brenda is a Colorado native who grew up in Rifle and spent her childhood roaming Taughenbaugh Mesa and Mamm’s Peak on her horses. After 18 years of traveling the world  and experiencing life in the big city, she returned to the Rocky Mountains to create her dream life.

Brenda has 25+ years of professional experience providing mental health services to children and adults in a variety of clinical settings. She has specific training in Cognitive behavioral Therapy, Motivational Interviewing techniques Suicide Assessment and Intervention, and Trauma Informed Care.

Brenda is also a Certified Mindfulness teacher with 20 years of personal Mindfulness practice and 3 years of Mindfulness teaching experience.

Additionally, she has spent her entire life working with and caring for horses. Brenda is passionate about both human and equine wellness and is continuously amazed by the profound results when the two are brought together. She is grateful for the opportunity to bring the gifts of EAP/EAL  and mindfulness practices to her community.

Nathan Bell, Owner

Civil Engineer
Jack of all trades.
Head handy-man, fence fixer, horse wrangler and donkey whisperer.

Alex Schwaller, Equine Specialist

 EAGALA Certified Equine Specialist 
Certified Montessori Teacher

Alex grew up in New England and spent many years riding other people’s horses before ever owning her own.

After moving to Colorado in 1979 she worked in the summers as an outfitter and guide; and in winters, she  worked at Krabloonik sled dog kennels in Snowmass.

After becoming a mother in 1988, Alex ran a children’s riding camp in the summers and became a certified Montessori teacher; working at Mt Sopris Montessori school in Carbondale and McKenzie Montessori in Springfield Oregon between 1993 and 2013.

Alex was offered a position working in a therapeutic riding program in Corvallis Oregon in 2013 that offered her the opportunity to combine her 2 great loves in work, children and horses. Alex is also trained in Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, and Trauma Informed Care.

Melissa Wiley, Equine Specialist

Melissa has served as a professional in animal assisted therapies for 13 years. She started her career with animals in 1975 by creating a, then unheard of, in-home pet sitting business. She is a mom, an artist, a Professional Dog Trainer and is developing an Equine and Canine Performance Bodywork and Sports Therapies Practice. She believes the human-animal bond has a profound way of shinning a light in dark places. The founder of EAGALA once said to Melissa, “Everyone has their own best answers”. It brought clarity to the way she practices as an equine specialist and every day since she’s watched people and horses create truth in that statement.

Liz Illick, Mental Health/Equine Specialist

MS, NCC, LPCC
EAGALA Certified Mental Health Specialist
EAGALA Certified Equine Specialist

Liz Illick is a Mental Health Counselor and devoted horsewoman. She moved to the Roaring Fork Valley from Washington, DC in 2018. Liz is certified by the Equine Assisted Growth and Learning Association (Eagala) as both a Mental Health Specialist and Equine Specialist. She received her Masters in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Johns Hopkins University.
Liz has experienced first-hand the healing power of horses. She fell in love with riding in her mid-twenties after some difficult times and through that, she discovered the incredible bond and partnership working with horses creates. The intuitive nature of horses and their distinct personalities allow for growth and discovery.
Liz also provides talk therapy and play therapy in private practice in Glenwood Springs. She provides kids, adults, and families with a safe, supportive, and non-judgmental environment to explore and address life’s challenges. Her expertise includes trauma and attachment, stress and anxiety, depression, grief and loss, LGBTQ issues, eating disorders, poor self-esteem, and relationship and family conflict.

https://surmountcounseling.com/

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