The Human Team Members

Brenda Chamberlain, Owner

Registered Psychotherapist
EAGALA Certified Mental Health Specialist
EAGALA Certified Equine Specialist
Mindfulness Practitioner and Coach

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 travelling the world  and experiencing life in the big city, she returned to the Rocky Mountains to create her dream life.

Brenda has 17 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, Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, Motivational Interviewing techniques Suicide Assessment and Intervention, and Trauma Informed Care.

Brenda is currently studying  to become a Certified Mindfulness teacher.

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

EAGALA Certified 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 is a Colorado native who grew up in Denver suburbs and now calls the Roaring Fork Valley home. She earned her Masters in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Johns Hopkins University.

In her mid-twenties, Liz began exploring her lifelong love of horses. She quickly fell in love with riding and discovered the incredible bond and partnership that emerges when working with horses. Given the intuitive nature of horses along with their distinct personalities, attitudes, and moods, Liz has experienced first-hand the healing power of horses. Working with horses through equine-assisted psychotherapy provides her clients with a unique opportunity to engage in growth and self-discovery.

Liz also works as a counselor in private practice in Glenwood Springs where she provides both kids and adults with a safe, supportive, and non-judgmental environment to explore and address life’s challenges. Her specialty areas of practice include trauma and attachment, stress and anxiety, depression, grief and loss, LGBTQ issues, eating disorders, poor self-esteem, and relationship and family issues.

https://surmountcounseling.com/