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 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.

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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

"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!”

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.

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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".

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.

 

Kate

Kate Sickles, MT-BC

“Music therapy is a wonderful medium for working with individuals with developmental disabilities.  I love writing songs with my clients and making them smile.  It is really rewarding to watch my clients flourish and become more independent through song writing, song performance and other music therapy interventions.”

Kate has been practicing music therapy for 4 years.  She has a B.M.E degree in Music Therapy from The College of Wooster.

Kate will be providing private and group music therapy to FAR clients at our Birmingham location and various offsite schools. Kate is a Board Certified Music Therapist (MT- BC).

Kate is a member of the following associations: American Music Therapy Association and Michigan Music Therapists.

 

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.

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 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.[/expand]

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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 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.

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.

Liza

Liza Hinchey, MA, LLPC

“Working at FAR is one of the most rewarding experiences I’ve had! I get to see every day how art therapy impacts children for the better. Every child approaches the art in such creative and different ways, and I feel truly blessed that I can help them along in their process.”

Liza has practiced Art Therapy for 1 and a half years.  She currently provides art therapy to FAR clients at offsite locations.  Liza earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.  She earned a dual Masters in Clinical Mental Health Counseling and Art Therapy from Wayne State University.

 

Michelle

Michele Kruz, MEd, AT

“As an Art Therapist, my philosophy is simple; assist clients in addressing any concerns they have by utilizing the creative process to help them heal and/or grow. With FAR, I am not only able to help clients reach these goals, I get to witness the beauty of art-expression in action.”

Michelle has practiced Art Therapy for 3 years.  She currently provides art therapy to FAR clients at offsite locations. She has a Bachelor of Arts in Art History with a Concentration in Museum Studies (BA) from the University of Michigan-Dearborn. She also earned a Masters of Art Education with a Concentration in Art Therapy (MEd) from Wayne State University.

Michelle is a member of SMATA - Students of the Michigan Art Therapy Association. She received a Certified Brain Injury Specialist Certification in 2012.

 

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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).

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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

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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 & Coaches

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.

Tim

Timothy Dengel, DBT

“I am very happy to be involved with FAR Therapeutic Arts and Recreation as a Hockey Coach. I am still new to the position of head coach for the FAR Flyers Hockey Team, but have thoroughly enjoyed the experience thus far. FAR has been very helpful and supportive for myself and especially the Flyers. If you are new to FAR or are thinking of someone who may be interested, I happily encourage you to learn more about the program. I am very glad I did.”

Tim serves FAR clients as the coach of our Michigan FAR Flyers Hockey Team.

Tim received his undergraduate degree from Lyman Briggs College Neuroscience-MSU.  He will complete his degree as a Medical Doctor through John F. Kennedy University School of Medicine in 2019.

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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.

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.

Mary is a member of the Michigan Therapeutic Recreation Association.

Avery

Avery Grant, CTRS

“I believe the benefits of Recreational Therapy are measurable in many aspects of life.This can be seen in the joy of activity, trying something new, or the achievement of a goal.  Recreational Therapy offers the ability for social and personal expression and provides a discovery for the fun in life.”

 Avery is starting her career as a Recreational Therapist at FAR.  She has her Certified Therapeutic Recreational Specialist (CTRS) certification.  Avery graduated with a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Therapeutic Recreation from Grand Valley State University.  She will be providing private and group recreational therapy at FAR’s Birmingham location and various offsite schools.  Avery also leads our Social Connections and Bowling groups.

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Avery’s professional accomplishments include an internship at Water Planet in Panama City, FL where she provided recreational therapy interventions and dolphin assisted therapy for children with special needs. She completed another internship at Willowbrook Rehabilitation Services in Brighton, MI, where she provided recreational therapy and community integration for adults with a traumatic brain injury.

Avery is a member of the Michigan Therapeutic Recreation Association (MTRA) and the American Therapeutic Recreation Association (ATRA)