Our Team

  Animal Assisted Signup Icon 02 Animal Assisted Signup Icon 01 


Administrative Staff

Mazey and Linda

AAMFT Clinical Fellow LogoLinda Chassman Craddock, Ph.D., LMFT, CAAP

Co-Founder and Executive Director

Linda Chassman is a licensed Marriage, Family Therapist in Colorado and California and has been working with clients since 1986. Before starting AATPC, she had a successful private practice for over 20 years as well as directing several agencies treating severe trauma and chemical addiction.

Dr. Chassman (Dr. Linda) is also an educator, having taught at California State University at Fullerton and CU Denver for 14 years, and consulted to residential treatment programs throughout the U.S. She and her first animal partner, Norman, provided animal assisted therapy for more than 15 years with a variety of clients, including children, adolescents, adults and couples. Dr. Chassman opened Animal Assisted Therapy Programs of Colorado with the inspiration and assistance of Mazey, her former feral kitten that she raised after Mazey and her siblings were found outside in freezing weather. Sadly, Mazey passed away at only 17 months, but made a strong impact on those she helped.

In addition to holding a Doctoral degree in Counseling, and a Master's Degree in Clinical/Community Psychology, Dr. Chassman has advanced certificates in: Animal Assisted Psychotherapy, Animals and Human Health: Animal Assisted Therapy Activities & Learning, Treatment of Child Abuse, & Treatment of Adult Children of Alcoholics. She and Rupert have been Certified as a therapy team from Professional Therapy Dogs of Colorado since 2011. She has lectured around the world and has several professional publications to her credit.

In her private life Dr. Chassman is married with two children and several adopted animals. 

Curriculum Vitae

EllenandSashawithframe2012aEllen K. Winston, M.A., LPC, NCC, CAAP

Co-Founder and Training Director

Ellen received her Master’s Degree in Counseling and a Certificate in Animals and Human Health from the University of Denver. Inspired by her dog Sasha and Sasha’s incredible ability to connect with and soothe people, Ellen founded AATPC with Linda. Sasha has since passed away, but her legacy and calming spirit continue at AATPC.

As a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) and a National Certified Counselor (NCC), Ellen has been working in the counseling field for 15 years. She has experience in a variety of settings, including residential treatment for adolescents, substance abuse treatment for adults, K-8 schools, Head Start Centers, home-based individual and family therapy settings, and community mental health. Working with Sasha and the other Ranch animals, Ellen provided Animal Assisted Psychotherapy to children and families who were struggling with attachment issues, grief and loss, abuse and neglect, mood disorders, social/emotional issues, and behavioral concerns. She was also instrumental in gaining non-profit status for Animal Assisted Therapy Programs of Colorado.

Currently, Ellen is the Training Director, managing the Certificate program remotely from Portland, Oregon. Ellen strongly believes in the healing power of nature, physical activity, and animals. She has two young children and a rescue dog named Luna, who take up most of her free time, but she also enjoys exploring Oregon, going to the beach and mountains, working out, skiing, reading, and spending time in nature.

becki1Becki Taylor

Development Director

Becki joined the AATPC team in January 2020 as Development Director. Becki earned her degree in Music Education from Colorado Christian University. She previously taught elementary school music and was the Associate Director of Denver Brass. Additionally, she leads a children's choir as Minister of Music for Children and Youth at Montview Boulevard Presbyterian Church. 

Becki has a Bernedoodle named Otis and a Quaker Parrot named Rudy. Most weekends you can find her and her dog hiking the trails or camping all around the state of Colorado.  She is a Colorado native with a passion for animals, music and the outdoors.


IMG 8688Melissa Jungbauer

 Animal Care Manager  & Property Caretaker

Melissa has always had animals as a priority in her life and has been fortunate enough to lead a career filled with them. Her devotion to animals started with horses at a young age doing a few riding lessons, but wholly became invested when she was 19. It has been a whirlwind of blessings from the horse from that point on. Prior to AATPC Melissa was a barn manager at a small horse boarding facility in Golden, Co. Melissa started her journey at AATPC in 2019 and has been overjoyed in developing relationships with all the animals. She loves tackling projects on the ranch whether it be prepping the garden or building a guinea pig empire. She lives on-site with her partner, Jake, dog Maple and horse Tunka. You can find her galavanting amongst the mountains, dabbling in one of her many crafty hobbies or spending time with the family... furry or not so furry family.



Lex Baca

Operations Director and Volunteer Coordinator

Lex is the Operations at AATPC. Lex opens the line of communication between interested families or clients who want to join the program. She helps clients throughout their onboarding process and transfers them to their assigned counselors for therapy services. Lex believes that the human-animal connection is a mutually beneficial and powerful relationship that can assist in meaningful ways. 

She is also grateful to be the Volunteer Coordinator. She is present throughout the whole volunteer experience; answering volunteer questions, tours, orientations, and training. Lex loves making connections with individuals and other organizations who want to give back to the community. She strongly believes that volunteers are the backbone of the organization and that AATPC would not be able to do the work they do without the help of wonderful giving volunteers.

Lex holds an undergraduate degree in Human Services from the University of Northern Colorado as well as a certificate in Nonprofit Management from Red Rocks Community College.

alyssa new pic

Alyssa Weidman, MA, LPC, NCC, CAS

Clinical Director & Licensed Professional Counselor

Alyssa is a Licensed Professional Counselor and National Certified Counselor and Supervises all AATPC Interns. She graduated in May 2017 with a Master's Degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from University of Northern Colorado's Denver campus. She joined AATPC as a volunteer in the spring of 2016 and worked as a graduate-level intern for a year while completing her degree. Alyssa is an EMDR-Trained Therapist, Certified Clinical Child & Adolescent Anxiety Treatment Professional, Certified Autism Provider, and has also completed training in TF-CBT and suicide assessment and treatment. She specializes in working with adolescents and adults of all backgrounds and abilities, particularly those on the Autism Spectrum and trauma survivors. 

Alyssa has always loved working with people and animals and was ecstatic to learn that something like animal-assisted therapy existed, knowing immediately she had found her passion. Alyssa takes a holistic and eclectic approach to therapy, believing that all of us are capable of overcoming our existential anxiety and developing the self-awareness needed to explore our unique identity within the context of relationships. Alyssa believes that each client's journey of healing is an individual process with no "one" way to go about it, so she seeks to find the best approach and combination of treatments to meet the needs of each client.

She adores her cats named Dexter and Layla and grew up with a rabbit and two dogs. In her spare time, Alyssa enjoys snowboarding, running, reading, painting and sketching, gardening, houseplants and spending time with her friends and family. 

Bio PhotoHannah Wilkinson

Administrative and Animal Care Assistant

Hannah joined AATPC in September of 2021 as an undergrad intern. We quickly knew she would be hired on! She facilitates administration in carrying out daily operations and also helps with animal care on our property. She hopes to continue the great work offered by AATPC by helping build community and keeping the ranch running smoothly. During college she explored careers in veterinary technology and elementary education as she was passionate about working in both of these populations with which AATPC includes. Hannah enjoys working with others and strives to create meaningful relationships with those around her. In her own experience of the true healing power that comes from the animal-human bond, she was excited to start working for an organization that offered this experience to others in a therapeutic form. Hannah recently graduated with two degrees from University of Colorado Boulder, one in Sociology and the other in Leadership and Community Engagement.

Clinical Staff

lindsey 000

Lindsey Chadwick, MA. NCC, LPC (She/Hers)

Licensed Professional Counselor 

Lindsey has been with Animal Assisted Therapy Programs of Colorado since 2013.  She is a National Certified Counselor and is licensed in Colorado as a Professional Counselor. Lindsey works part-time at AATPC. She has over 13 years of experience in supporting families and kids. 

Lindsey works with her dog partner Maybelline.  Lindsey is certified with Maybel through Professional Therapy Dogs of Colorado. Maybel and Lindsey are both passionate about creating a fun, safe, and loving environment for clients to heal.  Lindsey focuses on person centered and experiential approaches to help clients discover their strengths.  Lindsey loves all the animals at AATPC, as she believes in the healing power of the animal-human bond. Her main areas of expertise are working with at risk youth and families.  Lindsey is experienced with co-parenting issues, trauma, addiction, and family conflict.   

Along with her love of animals and helping people, Lindsey enjoys stand-up comedy, fantasy football, and true crime podcasts.  As a Colorado native, Lindsey spends her free time snowboarding, camping, hiking and exploring the Denver music scene.

Julie Maerz, LPC

Licensed Professional Counselor 

Julie Maerz joined AATPC as an intern in August 2015 and was hired on as staff in September 2016. She received her Master’s Degree in Counseling from University of Colorado Denver. Julie has a bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Northern Michigan University and also a Master’s Degree in Industrial/Organizational Psychology from University of Colorado Denver. Julie previously worked as a personnel analyst for the City of Denver and Denver Department of Human Services. She is passionate about the healing qualities of exercise, nature and animals and believes in a holistic and multifaceted approach to counseling. Julie was a cross-country coach and a fitness instructor and has been active all of her life.

Julie includes a variety of animals in herwork with clients of all ages, couples and families. Julie believes that people want to live meaningful and fulfilling lives and cultivate what is best about themselves in order to enhance their experiences of love, work, play and relationships. Julie is certified in Rapid Resolution Therapy and has training in Synergetic Play Therapy (SPT) and is pursuing certification in SPT as well as Animal Assisted Therapy through AATPC.


Dr. Emma Smith, PsyD (she/her)

Licensed Psychologist

Emma grew up in Kansas City, Kansas, and got her Bachelors in Life Sciences from Kansas State University and after graduation, moved to Lakewood, CO with her black lab mix Riley for an internship at AATPC. During this year, she grew to love psychotherapy, animal assisted therapy, the mission of AATPC and Colorado life. To advance her training & education, she then headed off to graduate school in Glendale, AZ and earned her doctorate in clinical health psychology. She was able to do clinical rotations in a university health center, in Alzheimer's/Parkinson's disease research, in therapy & testing with children, adolescents, adults, and more. The final year of graduate school, she moved to Tyler,TX for her doctoral internship where she worked at a mid-sized, rural hospital. She worked with a variety of folks, including children, teens and adults in inpatient and outpatient settings. Next, Emma moved back to Kansas City for her post-doctoral residency training at the University of Kansas hospital. She enjoyed working with a variety of people, providing services for individuals and groups, as well as living closer to her family, however, the mountains were calling! She moved back to Colorado and is delighted to return to AATPC, now, as a licensed provider!

Emma enjoys spending time outdoors, hiking, biking and playing fetch with her dog Riley. Dancing, yoga, DIY projects and spiritual work help her stay healthy and happy. She recently started a journey in gardening and is currently growing strawberries, tomatoes, lettuce, corn, carrots and a wide variety of weeds. As most of us at AATPC, Emma is an animal lover. In addition to her canine companion, she has an albino corn snake, several fish and a few praying mantises. The unconditional love, present moment focus & novelty that animals and nature provides continues to inspire her. She enjoys working creatively and collaboratively to help people find wellness, happiness and fulfillment in life. Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) are approaches that she commonly utilizes in her work. Emma believes in the importance of incorporating physical, emotional, social and spiritual factors to provide holistic care and help those she works with to live life at its fullest. Thank you for taking the time to read a bit about Emma, she looks forward to working with you!

AllieAllie Thysens MSN, PMHP-BC

Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner

For clients needing to be assessed and supported with psychiatric medications, we have a Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, Allie Thysens, MSN, PMHNP-BC. Allie will complete a full assessment and then have follow-up appointments with AATPC clients at our Barking C.A.A.T. Ranch, Arvada location. Allie currently sees patients on Mondays. All patients being treated by Allie will need to be attending regular counseling at AATPC. 

Allie Thysens is a board-certified, Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner with full prescriptive authority. She is dedicated to providing compassionate, comprehensive, and evidence-based care through comprehensive methodology when treating patients and families. Allie specializes in the treatment of children, adolescents and young adults.

Allie believes that best practice includes working together with patients and all members of their healthcare team to create valuable support and treatment plans for issues surrounding depression, anxiety, emotional disturbances, trauma, behavioral issues, troubled thought patterns, mood lability, difficult life transitions and sleep disruptions.

Because Allie specializes in children, adolescents and young adults, she believes in being a conservative prescriber, and only prescribing the medication necessary to treat presenting issues safely and effectively. She values seeing each individual in their unique way while creating a treatment plan that is customized and personalized.

Prior to transitioning to private practice, Allie worked at Children's Hospital in Colorado, working in the Psychiatric Inpatient Unit, Psychiatric Day Treatment Program, Psychiatric Outpatient Program and the Inpatient/Partial Eating Disorder Program. In addition, she has worked at Denver Health, The Eating Recovery Center and with Centura Health. She currently is seeing patients in private practice and in Community Mental Health in Boulder County.

In her spare time, she enjoys volunteering, playing tennis, thrift shopping and being the proud mama to her orange tabby, Byrdie, who she adopted in 2019.

MikeMike Lathrop, MA, LPC, NCC (he/him/his)

Licensed Professional Counselor and Social Media Coordinator

Mike started off as a master's level intern at AATPC in August 2018 and was hired on to the clinical team in June of 2019. Mike completed his degreee of Master of Arts in Counseling at the University of Colorado Denver. He completed his undergraduate degree at Metropolitan State College of Denver, and graduated with a Bachelor's in Pyschology and a minor in Philosophy. He is now a licensed professional counselor. 

Mike has always had an interest in animals and enjoys getting up close and personal with all of the therapy animals at the ranch. He takes a hands on approach and tries to meet the client where they are at, including working with the animals, playing sports, spending time in the ranch's garden and whatever else is coming up for client's. Mike approaches therapy by working to understand the individual's story and helping the client figure out ways to start writing new chapters to their story that fit where they are at. He is also a geek and loves video games, anime, comics and pop culture. This all ties into his current studies, as Mike is currently working towards becoming a Certified Geek Therapist. 

Mike is originally from Wiesbaden, Germany and has lived in Colorful Colorado since he was five years old. He has furry and feathered friends at home, 2 dogs (Doug and Piggy) and 1 parrot (Puca), which are part of his family. He believes that animals have unique personalities and can contribute a calming presence in and outside of therapy. He loves the outdoors, hiking and traveling the world, whether it is doing a sunrise hike on Mt. Fuji, bog jumping in Ireland, or enjoying great German food by the Elbe, Mike has a great desire to explore.

IMG 5528

Kailey Mulvihill, MA, LPC (She/Her/Hers)

Licensed Professional Counselor 

Kailey originally joined the AATPC community as an animal care volunteer in 2018, was a clinical intern beginning in 2019, and officially joined the AATPC clinical staff as a professional counselor candidate in 2020. She received her Master’s in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Regis University in December 2019 and she is also a Certified Clinical Trauma Professional (CCTP) and enjoys working with clients of all ages and backgrounds. For her undergraduate degree, she attended Bates College in Maine where she studied Biology. Additionally, she has a Master of Arts degree in Education and Human Development from the University of Colorado Denver and worked as an elementary science teacher.

As a clinical counselor, she has an eclectic approach to therapy, and she sees mental health work through a Relational-Cultural lens. She believes that all people are innately good and are affected by their relationships and experiences in life, which at times can impact happiness and their ability to make healthy and positive decisions. In therapy, she offers her clients unconditional positive regard as they explore their relational history and life experiences. From there, they can develop a deeper awareness of how these factors impact the client today.

Our therapy animals can help immensely in her clinical work by providing her clients practice in establishing and maintaining relationships, which is particularly impactful for any client who struggles to build trusting relationships with humans. Animals offer a non-judgmental and honest platform from which clients can feel loved, cared for, and understood. In addition, animals are great at setting boundaries, which, when healthy and clear, can create a great foundation for the development of positive connections.

20190916 134842

Anna Miller, LSW, MSW, AASW, CAAP, SWC

Licensed Social Worker, Animal Assisted Social Worker, Veterinary Counseling Coordinator

Anna is a Licensed Social Worker and Clinical Social Work Candidate for the state of Colorado who possesses additional certifications in Animal Assisted Social Work, Animal Assisted Psychotherapy, and Anxiety Treatment of Children and Adolescents. She is currently pursuing additional licensure as a Licensed Clinical Social Worker. As well as an individual therapist, Anna is the coordinator of AATPC's Veterinary Counseling program that partners with veterinary hospitals and animal-specific nonprofits to provide therapy services for animal care workers who experience trauma in their careers due to veterinary-specific recurrent trauma. 

A graduate of the University of Denver's Graduate School of Social Work and Animal Assisted Social Work program, Anna believes deeply in the healing power of animals and the natural world in the lives of all living beings. Together with her furry therapy partner, Bandit, Anna has been with Animal Assisted Therapy Programs of Colorado since August 2019 in both roles. Anna emphasizes an integrative approach that combines a recognition of the importance of one's understanding of one's own body and brain through a cognitive and dialectical approach with a holistic relational animal assisted lens. As a licensed social worker, she operates on a multi-systemic level that acknowledges a person's gender, sexual orientation, culture, race, socioeconomic status, etc. as intersecting and vital pieces of their identity that will change their experience in the world.

Anna earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Psychology from the Metropolitan State University of Denver in 2017, serving as a research assistant in the field of animal abuse and associated criminal behavior known as The LINK, in what she calls the "dark side of the human-animal bond". This experience instilled a passion for animal-assisted interventions, ethical care of all living beings, and veterinary social work. Her previous position as a Case Manager working with families and adolescents experiencing homelessness and trauma has clarified her desire to work primarily with teenagers and animal care workers as vulnerable populations.

When not spending free time with the animals on the grounds of AATPC, Anna can be found with her nose in a book, surrounded by her ever-growing hoard of dogs, or at the table at the weekly board game nights hosted in her home.

ErinPetersonElizabeth Worth, LPCC

Licensed Professional Counselor Candidate and Survey Coordinator 

Elizabeth graduated from Regis University in December 2020 and is currently an LPCC working toward becoming a Registered Play Therapist. Elizabeth is an EMDR Trained Therapist. She is originally from New Jersey but now considers Colorado home due to her love for the mountains and outdoors. 

Elizabeth loves to incorporate creativity into more traditional approaches to therapy, to help clients feel excited about therapy. She takes a holistic Gestalt and Person Centered approach to healing and understands that each person brings their own uniqueness to therapy. Elizabeth works through a Culturally-Sensitive Trauma-Informed lense in order to best serve clients from all different backgrounds.

Elizabeth believes that healing can happen in many different ways so she works with clients to show them new and different ways of healing. Elizabeth works with body movement, mindfulness, nature, energy, art therapy, and play therapy, to teach clients that there is no one way to heal.  Elizabeth feels that working animals can teach us a lot about ourselves and loves the different ways they can teach us humans how to heal. When Elizabeth is not working with the animals you can find her digging in the garden or playing outside with clients.  

Elizabeth has her own fluffy fur babies at home, two kitties named Jade and Jinx as well as lots of plants. She loves to remind others to be playful and she plays herself by, hiking, skiing, camping, and going to shows in her free time. Becoming a mental health counselor has been a life long dream for Elizabeth and is truly her passion. 

ErinPetersonErin Peterson, LPCC

Licensed Professional Counselor Candidate

Erin first started working at AATPC in January 2020 as a volunteer and then as an intern in August of 2020. Erin attended graduate school at Regis University where she got her Masters of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling.

Erin is passionate about the healing qualities of physical movement, nature, and animals, and thus engages in the therapeutic relationship in a holistic and multifaceted manner. Whether through animals, play, physical movement, being in nature, traditional talk modalities, or even virtual sessions, Erin approaches her work through a humanistic-integrative lens fueled with a heavy dose of creativity. 

Erin specializes in eating disorders, disorder eating habits, and body image, and is currently working on becoming a Certified Eating Disorder Specialist. In addition to working at AATPC, Erin has been a group facilitator at the Eating Disorder Foundation of Denver since May 2020. Erin is passionate about blending her personal experiences in her own recovery with her clinical skills to help clients thrive in their respective recovery journeys. Erin has also been a licensed fitness professional since 2006 and thus uses her knowledge of the body to inform her work.

Originally from Knoxville, TN, Erin has had a deep love for and appreciation of animals from a very young age. In her down time, Erin loves spending time with her partner traveling, hiking, biking, moving, practicing yoga, paddle boarding, reading, baking, gardening, and of course, spending time with her five furbabies. Erin and her husband currently have two dogs (Marley and Teddy) and three cats (Squirrel, Knoxville, and Captain). Erin believes wholeheartedly in the healing power of human-animal connection and is currently training her dogs to be co-therapists with her. 

Lacey Turner bio photo

Lacey Turner, MA, LPCC

Licensed Professional Counselor Candidate

Lacey completed her Master’s in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from New Jersey City University and joined AATPC full-time in 2021. She is currently working towards becoming a Registered Play Therapist and grounds her practice with children in Child-Centered Play Therapy; she also enjoys and has experience working with a wide range of individuals and concerns, where she utilizes an integrated approach to collaboratively meet the unique needs of each person. Lacey feels privileged to partner with an individual on their journey and she hopes to create a safe environment by being authentic, non-judgmental, and compassionate. She humbly strives to be an ally to all individuals and support their various identities, including those in LGBTQIA+, BIPOC, disability, and/or any other marginalized or discriminated communities.

Lacey was raised in Georgia and has lived some years in Texas, Kentucky, and New Jersey, but she is so happy to finally settle down in this beautiful state. In her free time, Lacey enjoys doing just about anything with her spouse and two adopted dogs, Lizzie and Nyx. Some of her favorite activities include hiking, running, paddle boarding, lacrosse, tennis, trying to keep all her plants alive, and napping.



 Shelby Hetherington

Master's Level Intern

Shelby joined AATPC in September of 2021. After graduating from St. Lawrence University in May of 2020 with a Bachelor’s of Science in Psychology, she left her home in New Jersey and moved to Colorado in August of 2020. Shelby is pursuing her Master’s in Social work at the University of Denver with a focus in mental health with a certificate in Animal Assisted Social Work. She is also working towards her certification in Animal Assisted Psychotherapy through AATPC. 

Shelby has completed internships with Domestic Abuse Services at the YWCA in Greenwich, CT as well as at The Bridge Project in Denver. She has been in involved in volunteering since she was little and spent her time in university volunteering for a suicide hotline in upstate New York as well as the local Humane Society. 

Since Shelby has grown up with animals, she always knew she wanted to work alongside animals. As her passion for mental health and interest in pursuing social work and counseling grew, she knew she wanted to work alongside animals to help in the therapeutic process. Shelby is very excited to learn and work alongside the team of humans and animals at AATPC.  

In her free time, Shelby enjoys walking dogs, hiking, working out, and spending time with friends and family! Shelby has two dogs and a bird back home with her parents and has a beta fish named Lennon and is hoping to adopt a fur child soon! 

Alexx Wolf

Master's Level Intern

Alexx is currently interning with AATPC as part of her Masters of Social Work program at the University of Denver. She is also pursuing AATPC’s certificate in Animal Assisted Psychotherapy. She received her Bachelors of Arts from Hampshire College in Amherst, MA with concentrations in Animal Behavior and Clinical Psychology. Her undergraduate thesis, entitled “The Therapeutic Nature of Animals,” explored the impact of emotional support animals on individuals and the college community. 

Alexx believes in the power of animals to facilitate healing. She is excited for this opportunity to develop her skills in cognitive-behavioral therapy, as well as explore therapeutic techniques new to her, such as ecotherapy, horticulture therapy, and play therapy. Taking a holistic approach, Alexx enjoys collaborating with clients and building on their strengths.

While most of her experience has been with children and adolescents, Alexx also enjoys working in therapeutic settings with adults. One of her favorite experiences was volunteering with The Nature Connection in Boston, MA, where animals helped facilitate socialization, stimulate memory, and deepen interpersonal connections for older adults in a group setting. 

Growing up in Connecticut, Alexx’s love of animals was evident practically from birth. She adores all animals, from bugs to bovines, and has a special place in her heart for horses. She has worked on many horse farms and rode dressage for 12 years. In her free time, she enjoys spending time in nature, drawing, collaging, reading, yoga, and playing fiddle tunes on the viola. 

Lauren Moreno

Master's Level Intern

Lauren is a master's level intern from the University of Denver. She is currently in her second and final year of her Master’s of Social Work program with a concentration in Children and Youth and pursuing a certificate in Animal-Assisted Social Work. Lauren completed her undergraduate degree at the University of Northern Colorado, graduating with a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and Criminal Justice and a minor in Leadership Studies. 

Lauren works with individuals of all ages and abilities but focuses primarily on children and adolescents. She comes from a more crisis-centered background and utilizes a more integrative approach. Lauren was raised on a ranch and is excited to incorporate animals into her sessions, as she wholeheartedly believes in the healing capabilities of the human-animal connection. 

Lauren is from Arizona but has lived in Colorado for the past 6 years. She has absolutely fallen in love with the Colorado mountains and nature and wouldn’t want to be anywhere else. When she’s had a long day she likes to hang out with the animals, breathe in the fresh air, ground herself in nature, and maybe even catch the sunset behind the mountains.

AATPC Bio PicturesSam Silvia

Master's Level Intern

Sam is currently interning with AATPC as a part of her Master’s of Social Work program at the University of Denver. She will be completing her master’s program in June of 2022 with a concentration in mental health and trauma, as well as a certificate in Animal Assisted Social Work. She received her Bachelor’s of Arts in Psychology and her Bachelor’s of Science in Chemical Dependency and Addiction Studies from Rhode Island College in Providence, RI. Sam is also planning on pursuing her certification in Animal Assisted Psychotherapy through AATPC.

Sam has experience working in home-based therapy with children in Rhode Island when completing her undergraduate degrees. She also interned at an Acute Stabilization Unit in Providence, RI where she worked with adults who were suffering from Acute and Persistent Mental Illnesses and Substance Use.

Sam has a strong belief in the therapeutic benefits of the human animal bond and how this bond can assist with the healing process in therapy. She has experienced the human animal bond personally throughout her life as she grew up with all different species of animals and experienced working with horses from a very young age. Sam is very excited to learn from and work alongside the team of humans and animals at AATPC.

In her free time, Sam enjoys taking her dog Sadie to dog parks and going on walks, and enjoys binge watching her favorite shows on Netflix. Sam has a two-year-old Golden Retriever and two cats who live back in Massachusetts with her partner. Sam is working on getting Sadie certified as a Therapy Dog through Professional Therapy Dogs of Colorado and plans on working with her as a therapy team in the future.

unnamed 2Alexandra Frincu

Master's Level Intern

Alexandra is an intern at AATPC, who is currently in her third year of her Master’s in Mindfulness-based transpersonal counseling at Naropa University. She also has a bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of Bucharest, where she concentrated on psychology research.

Alexandra has worked with children on the autism spectrum while she was a student in Bucharest, mainly focusing on ABA therapy. She also has worked with people living with a severe mental illness for her practicum in Boulder, Colorado. 

Animals are very special for Alexandra, and she is interested in including them in her career as well. She believes that animals have the power to help people through their healing journey and be ideal friends. Alexandra currently has three dogs and wants to make one of them a therapy dog. She considers them part of the family.

Alexandra was born in a small town (Bacau, Romania), where she lived close to nature. She loves hiking, reading, playing tennis and is passionate about photography. Alexandra moved from Europe to the USA two years ago, with the intention of becoming a knowledgeable therapist. She is currently trained in Gestalt therapy, but uses techniques from art therapy, Jungian psychotherapy, and narrative therapy. She loves working with both children and adults.

unnamed 1 50Lindsay Meyers

Master's Level Intern

Lindsay is a Master’s level intern at AATPC. She is working toward her Master’s degree in Clinical Mental Health - Counseling at CU Denver and will be graduating this coming December. Prior to this, Lindsay received her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology with a minor in Art History at Metro State University.

Lindsay’s graduate work has led to her interest in incorporating the benefits of Animal-Assisted Therapy into treatment with older adults. She is planning to complete AATPC’s certificate in Animal Assisted Psychotherapy and the Intensive Training. She has studied trauma-informed care, play-therapy for children/adolescents and their parents, family systems, and multicultural approaches to counseling. 

Lindsay looks forward to the opportunity to be a part of the important work that AATPC brings to the community. She has personally experienced the healing and teaching that animals naturally bring into the therapy sessions and looks forward to providing this experience to people of all-ages and backgrounds. She believes that animals can help us meet ourselves where we are at in the “here-and-now” while we work through challenges, transitions, growth, change and/or managing our lives more efficiently. 

 Lindsay considers herself a lifelong learner and believes there is value in understanding many perspectives. She enjoys camping, spending time with her family and animals, riding horses, oil painting, and learning to garden. 

Barking C.A.A.T. Ranch
(Center for Animal Assisted Therapy)
7275 Kipling Street
Arvada, CO 80005
P 720-266-4444
F 720-266-4444

Animal Assisted Cause Icon BrightGreen wShadow 144