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-BC

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 makind his own CE with his music therapist, Scott reminded me that the effect fo 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 isn 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.

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.

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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."

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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.

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".

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Susan has practiced Music Therapy for 29 years and serves FAR Clients in Birmingham, 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.

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

"I believe in music therapy because I believe in music. More and more, science supports what we in the field have long understood about how music influences growth and encourages change from the inside out. Working at FAR and seeing firsthand the difference music makes in the lives of others never ceases to amaze me!”

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Patty has practiced Music Therapy for 25 years and serves FAR Clients in Birmingham, Macomb and at offsite locations, providing private music therapy and adaptive music instruction. Patty is also FAR’s Director of Therapeutic Services, working with our administrative staff to ensure the integrity and development of our therapies now and into the future.

She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Music with a concentration in Music Therapy from Mount St. Joseph University in Cincinnati. She also holds an AAS (associate of applied science) degree in Manual Communications and Deaf Studies from Sinclair College and provides sign interpretation at Rejoicing Spirits services offered at First Presbyterian Church Birmingham.

Patty is a member of the AMERICAN MUSIC THERAPY ASSOCIATION (AMTA), AMTA Great Lakes Region and 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".

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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.

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.

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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.”

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Robyn currently serves FAR clients at offsite locations providing art therapy.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 in the process of receiving her LLPC and becoming a Registered Art Therapist.

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Rachel Borsand, MA.ED

“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”.

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Rachel has practiced Art Therapy for 5 years. 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.

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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.

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

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).

ami

Amy V. Kuzniar ART-BC, SCL, LPC

“I believe making art and its processes allow an individual an experience to learn about the self, explore the world around them, and explore creative possibilities to help understand or master both-in happy and difficult times alike. My goal is to provide time and space to explore such creativity”

Amy has been practicing Art Therapist for 16 years. She serves FAR clients as an Art Therapist with individuals at our Macomb Location and with groups at schools served by FAR.

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Amy earned her BA in Interdisciplinary Arts; Special Education from San Francisco State University. She received her MA in Art Therapy from New York University and her MS Ed in School Counseling from the University of Southern California. Amy is a current PhD candidate in Counseling at Oakland University.

Amy is a Board Certified Registered Art Therapist; a K-12 School counselor and a Licensed Professional Counselor. She had a Fellowship in the Psychiatry department at Cedars Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, CA in 2003-2004.

Amy is a member of the American Art Therapy Association; the MI Art Therapy Association; The American Counseling Association; the Association for Counselor Education and Supervision and the American School Counseling Association.

Dance Therapists

kaity

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 & Coaches

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Mary Einheiser, CTRS

“Working as a recreational therapist, I have had the opportunity to witness the emotional, physical, and social strides my clients have made. From yoga to fishing to basketball, recreation therapy offers a wide array of hobbies and interests for people of all abilities to explore, experience, and enjoy!” Mary has practiced Recreational Therapy for 7 years, and is a member of the Michigan Therapeutic Recreation Association.

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She earned her Bachelor’s from Central Michigan University with a major in Recreation, Parks, and Leisure Services Administration with a concentration in Therapeutic Recreation and a minor in Gerontology.

andi

Andi Halbert, CTRS, RYT-200

"With a person first approach, I value a combination of compassion, motivation, and trust. As a recreation therapist, my goal is to provide a creative and positive environment that focuses on the capabilities and interests of the individual. Let's focus on what we can do, and we’ll grow from there!"

Andi has practiced as a Recreation Therapist for six years and serves FAR clients as a Recreation Therapist and as Director of Summer Programs.

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She has a Bachelor of Science degree from Middle Tennessee State University in Recreation and Leisure Services, with a concentration in Recreation Therapy.

Andi is a member of the American Therapeutic Recreation Association (ATRA), She is a Registered Yoga Teacher through Yoga Alliance, trained in Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction, and specializes in program development.

Andi attended Oklahoma City University as a Dance Performance major and has a combined 15 years of performing and teaching experience in various styles of dance.

Andi received an Outstanding Major Award from MTSU in Recreation and Leisure Services and was awarded Dance Coach of the Year by Universal Dance Association. She served as a panel member for Disability and Your Cultural Organization for the MTSU History Department. Andi was a member of the American Spirit Dance Company, Oklahoma City University; participated as a Rockette in Radio City

Christmas Across America Tour; and was a Dancer and Guest Choreographer for Middle Tennessee Performing Arts Company.

Support Staff

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Pamela A. Ayres, President

"Being the President of FAR is an honor. I love to receive calls or emails from parents sharing success stories about their children. The stories almost always are a thank you to FAR’s therapists who made these breakthroughs possible. I am so proud to be part of it all."

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Pamela has been in non-profit management for over 15 years and with FAR since 2012.  As President, she is responsible for managing the day-to-day activities of FAR with a focus on programs, organizational growth, and fundraising.

She is currently attending The Master of Public Administration (MPA) Program at Oakland University studying Non-Profit Management.  Pamela is Certified as a Protocol and Etiquette Consultant by the Protocol School of Washington, DC and studied at the Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York.

Pamela has a strong commitment to the community and is involved with:

  • Joe Kocur Foundation For Children—Board Member
  • Ted Lindsay Foundation For Autism—Advisory Board Member
  • Orchards Children’s Services-Advisory Board Member
  • Project Giving B.A.C.K (Building A Classroom In Kenya)—Board Member
  • Career Dress-Board Member
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Barbara R. Darga, C.P.A., CGMA, Director Of Finance & Business Management

"I have come to appreciate how much FAR gives to the special needs community. FAR therapists are incredibly gifted and their connections with our clients are so inspiring.  I am blessed to be a part of such a wonderful organization and to work with such great team members." Barbara has 30 years experience in the field of finance and business management and has been with FAR for 2 years.

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She is responsible for all financial information, including coordination of the annual audit, government filings, and insurance. She also manages human resources, IT and offsite contracts.

Barb holds a Bachelor of Business Administration degree from Western Michigan University and is licensed as a Certified Public Accountant in the State of Michigan.

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Valorie Fisher, Administrator, Bookkeeper

"I’m very thankful to work at FAR as I see the hard work of our therapists and instructors resulting in greater confidence and joy in our clients. Working in the front office, I get to greet everyone who visits FAR and try my best to make them all feel welcomed and comfortable."

Val has been in the field of administration and bookkeeping for 25 years and with FAR for four years. She is responsible for client program registration, accounts payable and administrative support.

 

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Patricia Karle, MT-BC, Director Of Therapeutic Services

"I believe in music therapy because I believe in music. More and more, science supports what we in the field have long understood about how music influences growth and encourages change from the inside out. Working at FAR and seeing firsthand the difference music makes in the lives of others never ceases to amaze me!”

READ MORE ...

Patty has practiced Music Therapy for 25 years and serves FAR Clients in Birmingham, Macomb and at offsite locations, providing private music therapy and adaptive music instruction. Patty is also FAR’s Director of Therapeutic Services, working with our administrative staff to ensure the integrity and development of our therapies now and into the future.

She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Music with a concentration in Music Therapy from Mount St. Joseph University in Cincinnati. She also holds an AAS (associate of applied science) degree in Manual Communications and Deaf Studies from Sinclair College and provides sign interpretation at Rejoicing Spirits services offered at First Presbyterian Church Birmingham.

Patty is a member of the AMERICAN MUSIC THERAPY ASSOCIATION (AMTA), AMTA Great Lakes Region and MICHIGAN MUSIC THERAPISTS (MMT).

andi

Andi Halbert, CTRS, RYT-200, Director of Summer Camps

"With a person first approach, I value a combination of compassion, motivation, and trust. As a recreation therapist, my goal is to provide a creative and positive environment that focuses on the capabilities and interests of the individual. Let's focus on what we can do, and we’ll grow from there!"

Andi has practiced as a Recreation Therapist for six years and serves FAR clients as a Recreation Therapist and as Director of Summer Programs.

READ MORE ...

She has a Bachelor of Science degree from Middle Tennessee State University in Recreation and Leisure Services, with a concentration in Recreation Therapy.

Andi is a member of the American Therapeutic Recreation Association (ATRA), She is a Registered Yoga Teacher through Yoga Alliance, trained in Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction, and specializes in program development.

Andi attended Oklahoma City University as a Dance Performance major and has a combined 15 years of performing and teaching experience in various styles of dance.

Andi received an Outstanding Major Award from MTSU in Recreation and Leisure Services and was awarded Dance Coach of the Year by Universal Dance Association. She served as a panel member for Disability and Your Cultural Organization for the MTSU History Department. Andi was a member of the American Spirit Dance Company, Oklahoma City University; participated as a Rockette in Radio City

Christmas Across America Tour; and was a Dancer and Guest Choreographer for Middle Tennessee Performing Arts Company.

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Renae Murphy, MT-BC, Director Of Volunteers

“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.

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Mary Beth Seefelt, MA, ATR, Director Of Training & Compliance

“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.

READ MORE ...

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

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).