Our Staff

A caring community of skilled professionals delivering quality
therapeutic and recreational services to people with special needs.

Music Therapists

Christine

Christine Barron, MT

“I am very passionate with Music Therapy and helping others. My good friend Scott, who had Quadriplegia, was a source of inspiration. Scott used music as a way of  self-expression.  After making his own CE with his music therapist, Scott reminded me that the effect of music is boundless.”

Christine is starting her career as a music therapist at FAR and will serve FAR clients in several of FAR’s locations. She is working towards getting board certified as a music therapist.

Christine received her Bachelors of Music Therapy with a minor in Psychology from Western Michigan University. Christine graduated Magna Cum Laude, was on the Dean’s List and received the College of Fine Arts Collin’s Scholarship.

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Christine completed her 900 hour internship at the VA Medical Center where she gained experience working with adults with PTSD, various forms of M.I., substance abuse, cognitive impairment of various types and palliative care.

Jordan

Jordan Blanchard, MT-BC

“I believe music to be integral in a child’s development, and I find it fulfilling to be able to participate in that development.  I use music to help a child grow socially communicatively and emotionally.  I also use music to help children have fun during the process.”

Jordan started his Music Therapy career at FAR in September 2018.

Jordan earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Music Therapy from Eastern Michigan University.  He serves FAR clients at various offsite schools.

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Elizabeth Buckmaster, M.ED., MT-BC

“I love using the motivating, adaptable nature of music to help people reach their potential.  By meeting someone where they are in a musical way, the music therapist can set up an environment that is supportive and nurturing. This creates a safe place to learn and grow."

Elizabeth has practiced Music Therapy for 21 years and serves FAR Clients in Birmingham and offsite locations, providing private music therapy and adapted piano.

She holds a Masters degree in Early Childhood Education from Oakland University and a Bachelor of Music Therapy degree from Eastern Michigan University.  Elizabeth is board certified.

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Elizabeth is a member of the MICHIGAN MUSIC THERAPISTS, Great Lakes Region for music therapy, where she held various offices/positions, including newsletter editor, clinical training liaison and president.  She is also a member of the AMERICAN MUSIC THERAPY ASSOCIATION, where she served as Music Therapy Internship Supervisor.  Elizabeth has presented at several local, regional and national music therapy conferences as well as for other local conferences and workshops.

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Susan E. Gregory, MA, MT-BC

"I believe music therapy provides an avenue for endless self-growth opportunities.  I am continually amazed by the power of music to engage and motivate my clients and am humbled by the successes I observe within sessions.  I am proud to say I work for FAR, an organization dedicated to providing such incredible opportunities".

Susan has practiced Music Therapy for 33 years and serves FAR Clients in Birmingham, and in Detroit at Orchestra Hall,  providing private and group music therapy.

She holds a Master of Arts degree in Music Therapy from Saint-Mary-of-the-Woods College.  She also has a Bachelors degree in Music and Music Therapy from Western Michigan University.

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Susan is a member of the AMERICAN MUSIC THERAPY ASSOCIATION and MICHIGAN MUSIC THERAPISTS, where she serves as chairperson of the Government Relations Committee.

Susan is the recipient of a number of awards and honors, including

  • Golden Apple Award for Outstanding Music Therapist, Wayne County Regional Educational Service Agency, 1994
  • Booker T. Washington Educator’s Achievement Award for Outstanding and Dedicated Service, Detroit Public Schools, 1995
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Patricia Karle, MT-BC

"Music is a vital part of all our lives and as a therapeutic tool it is fundamental to promoting growth and influencing positive change. Research supports what we in the field have long understood about the incredible impact of music therapy. Practicing at FAR and seeing firsthand the difference music therapy makes in the lives of others is a constant source of personal inspiration and professional fulfillment.”

Patty has practiced for more than 25 years and has been at FAR since 2008. In addition to providing clinical services, Patty is also FAR’s Director of Therapeutic Programming.

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She holds a BA in Music with a concentration in Music Therapy from Mount St. Joseph University in Cincinnati, Ohio. She also holds an ASA in Manual Communications and Deaf Studies from Sinclair Community College in Dayton, Ohio.

Patty is a member of various professional music therapy organizations including Michigan Music Therapists (MMT).

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Kirsten Kyle, MT-BC

"Where words fail, music speaks.  Through music therapy I can offer clients the creativity and almost endless adaptability of music to help them build a bridge beyond words—or to find the words.  Music can give voice to the creativity and soul within a person, bringing with it endless growth and possibilities".

Kirsten has been a music therapist for 15 years, including a year in the barrios of Mexico.  She has not only worked in schools, but in a medical setting providing children’s grief counseling, and in an in-patient crisis psychology clinic for teens.  Kirsten has worked with people of all ages and abilities from pre-school to seniors.  Kirsten continues to hone her skills in workshops and seminars so she can provide exceptional care to her clients.

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Kirsten provides private sessions at both the Macomb and Birmingham locations, as well as group activities at the Birmingham site.

She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Music and Music Therapy from Michigan State University and is a member of MICHIGAN MUSIC THERAPISTS.

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Renae Murphy, MT-BC

“I believe that each and every person has the ability to be musical. Within the sessions I am able to uncover the client’s music preferences and talents. Working with the clients and seeing their progress throughout the year and how their musicality develops is one of the highlights for me."

Renae earned a Bachelor’s degree in Music Therapy from Eastern Michigan University. She conducts Music Therapy and adaptive lessons at FAR.

 

 

 

 

 

Grace

Grace Reich, MT-BC

“Music is a tool to give a voice to everyone. As a music Therapist, I work to help clients find their voice and express themselves in a safe and supportive environment.”

Grace is beginning her career as a board certified music therapist at FAR. Grace serves FAR clients at both the Birmingham and Macomb locations and FAR offsite locations. She provides both private and group music therapy.

Grace received a Bachelor’s of Music in majoring in Music Therapy from Western Michigan University.  She completed her music therapy internship at the Kalamazoo Psychiatric Hospital.

 

Bradley

Bradley Tata, MT-BC

“Music is an innately human function.  Any person, in any place can make music.  Through that music, people find themselves.  As a music therapist, it’s my duty to help make that music, and in doing so, assist each of my clients in being the best they can be.”

Brad has been practicing music therapy since 2016. He is a Board Certified Music Therapist.  Brad is serving FAR clients at our main location in Birmingham and at various offsite schools.  He provides both private and group music therapy sessions.

Brad graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Music Therapy from Cleveland State University.

Music Therapist Patrick Heber

Patrick Heber, MT-BC

“I really believe in the power of music and music therapy. When a client is able to fully enter the music and have a truly authentic experience, even if only for a moment – that is something very beautiful, powerful and joyful.”

Patrick started as a Music Therapist at FAR in 2019. He serves FAR clients providing one-on-one and group Music Therapy at our Birmingham, Macomb and offsite locations.

Patrick has a B.A. in Music Education from Michigan State University and earned his Music Therapy Equivalency Distance (MTED) graduate degree from St. Mary of the Woods College.

Art Therapists

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Robyn Ankawi, MA Art Therapist

"Art is not always about pretty things. It’s about who we are, what happened to us, and how our lives are affected.” –Elizabeth Broun. Art therapy is about the process, not the product. It is a profound type of non-verbal communication that allows someone to express themselves in the many dimensions of the self and life.
Robyn currently serves FAR clients at our Macomb location providing art therapy. Robyn has been serving clients at FAR since September 2017. Robyn has a Bachelor’s of Liberal Arts and Sciences with a Psychology major and Art minor from Wayne State University, Detroit, MI.  She has a Master of Arts in Counseling, Art Therapy from Adler University, Chicago, IL. Robyn is currently a registered art therapist (ATR), a Limited Licensed Professional Counselor (LLPC), and a Certified Clinical Trauma Professional (CCTP).

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She is a professional member of the American Art Therapy Association (AATA) and the Michigan Association of Art Therapy (MAAT).

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Rachel Borsand, MA.ED., ATR

“I am a professional who pulls from various modalities of theories including humanistic. While I have learned these theories through text books, it is my personal experience that has really helped me understand the concepts.  I believe my life experience/education has provided me the tools necessary to work with FAR clients”.

Rachel began practicing Art Therapy in 2012. She currently provides art therapy to FAR clients at offsite locations.  Rachel earned her undergraduate degree majoring in Psychology/Art Therapy at Marygrove College and her Masters of Education and Art Therapy at Wayne State University.

Rachel is a member of AATA-The American Art Therapy Association.

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Lisa Crystal, M.ED., ATR

"Growing up in an artistic household fueled my passion for the arts.  I went into art therapy because it combines my love of design, psychology, and helping people with the non-verbal and transformative power of art". Lisa has practiced Art Therapy for 21 years and serves FAR Clients in Birmingham and offsite locations, providing art therapy.

She completed her Masters degree in Art Therapy at Wayne State University and also has a Bachelors degree in Design from Michigan State University.

Lisa is a member of AATA—The American Art Therapy Association.

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Mary Beth Seefelt, MA, ATR

“Art surrounds us in the colors of our landscape and homes, in the music we listen to, the books we read, and even the clothing we dress ourselves in. It’s all in your perspective and willingness to take the time to see it. I believe that there is an artist within each and every one of us and Art Therapy is a way to express and explore our innermost thoughts and feelings through the creative process.

Therapeutic art making is a way to non-verbally foster self-awareness, develop social skills, lower anxiety and increase self-esteem, and more.”

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Mary Beth has practiced Art Therapy for over 20 years and serves FAR Clients in Birmingham, Macomb, and at offsite locations, providing art therapy to individuals at FAR and through FAR in local schools. Mary Beth is also FAR’s Director of Training and Compliance, working with both our administrative and therapeutic staff to ensure consistently high levels of compliance with established regulations while supporting the growth of FAR and the quality of our therapeutic service delivery now and into the future.

Mary Beth completed her Masters degree in Art Therapy at The University of Illinois – at Chicago and also has a Bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts, with a minor in Psychology, from the University of Michigan – Ann Arbor. She is a professional member of the American Art Therapy Association (AATA) and the Michigan Association of Art Therapy (MAAT).

Art Therapist Ellie Lashbrook

Ellie Lashbrook, MA, AT

“Art therapy allows individuals to flourish, grow, and communicate through the creation of their artwork. I am continuously amazed by the incredible transformation and self-expression that can occur while focusing on the artistic process.”

Ellie started as an Art Therapist at FAR in 2019. She currently provides one-on-one and group art therapy to FAR clients at FAR’s Birmingham and offsite locations.

Ellie received both her Bachelors of Art in Art Therapy and Master’s in Art Therapy from Marywood University.

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Victoria Maxin, LLPC, M.A. AT

“My favorite part about being in the field is to be able to help others, guide individuals through the therapeutic process, and to watch their growth!  There’s nothing more rewarding than knowing I am helping make a difference in someone’s life.”

Victoria started her professional Art Therapy career at FAR in 2019. She currently provides art therapy to FAR clients at offsite locations. Victoria has a Bachelor of Science in applied developmental psychology with a minor in general art from Edinboro University of Pennsylvania. She has a Masters in Counseling and Art Therapy from Ursuline College.

Victoria researched, wrote and presented a manuscript on “Exploring the Subjective Experiences of Parental Loss Within Sibling Groups.”

Art Therapist Kelly Darke

Kelly Darke, ATR, M.Ed, BFA

“Art has always been a healing process for me and to be able to help facilitate that experience for someone else is amazing. Art is truly powerful and transformative and I’m honored to be a part of that experience for others.”

Kelly has practiced art therapy for 10 years. She currently serves FAR clients at offsite locations. Kelly earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts with a concentration in painting and metals from Wayne State University.  She also earned a Masters of Educations with a concentration in art therapy from Wayne State University.

Kelly is a member of the American Art Therapy Association and the Michigan Association of Art Therapy.

Dance Therapists

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Kaitlynn Morelli, R-DMT, LPC, CYT

“Through dance, we can transcend all boundaries, connect with the world around us and celebrate every unique quality that we have been blessed with. I have worked with people of all ages and abilities, from infants to seniors, and I truly believe in the magic of dance and movement in the healing process.”

Kaity has been practicing as a Registered Dance/Movement Therapist for 3 years.

She is a Registered Dance/Movement Therapist, Licensed Professional Counselor and a certified Yoga Teacher. Kaity serves FAR individual and group clients as a Dance/Movement Therapist at our Birmingham location and at offsite schools served by FAR.

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Kaity received her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology with a Minor in Dance Studies from Michigan State University. She received her Master of Arts in Dance/Movement Therapy and Professional Counseling from Columbia College Chicago. She is a member of the American Dance Therapy Association.

Recreational Therapists

Danielle

Danielle Conklin, CTRS

“I enjoy putting the fun in functional interventions! Play, fitness, aquatics, and being out in the community can transform our clientele's physical, cognitive, and social well-being in so many ways. I love providing the opportunity for others to have fun, be silly, and develop new skills by participating in recreation and leisure activities. There is power in play!”

Danielle has practiced Recreational Therapy for 4 years and serves FAR’s clients by providing Recreation Therapy at FAR’s Birmingham and offsite locations. She earned her Bachelor’s from Central Michigan University with a major in Recreation, Parks, and Leisure Services Administration with a concentration in recreation therapy and a minor in Communication disorders. Danielle is a member of MTRA-Michigan Therapeutic Recreation Association and Inclusive Fitness Coalition.

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Kelsy Hoemke, CTRS

“Participating in recreation and leisure can help to increase an individual’s quality of life and can often be what someone looks forward to most throughout their day. I enjoy providing the opportunity for everybody to partake in recreation, get lost in the moment, and do what they love to do!”

Kelsy completed her internship at Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital and started practicing as a Recreation Therapist at FAR in 2019.  Kelly currently provides recreation therapy to FAR clients at the Birmingham and offsite locations.

Kelsy received her BS in Therapeutic Recreation with a minor in Psychology from Grand Valley State University. She is a member of MTRA (Michigan Therapeutic Recreation Association).

Recreation Therapist Samantha Reiche

Samantha Reiche, CTRS

Samantha’s philosophy is: “See the able not the label”

Samantha started her Recreational Therapist career at FAR in 2019. She currently provides recreational therapeutic sessions for FAR clients at offsite locations and the Birmingham location, where she provides group sessions for cooking and Social Connections.

In addition to her CTRS, Samantha is certified in First Aid and CPR.  She received her undergraduate degree in Therapeutic Recreation with a minor in Psychology from Grand Valley State University.

Samantha is a member of ATRA (American Therapeutic Recreation Association)

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