Ann Marie Lewis, M.A. Pennsylvania Licensed Psychologist since 1993
Ann Marie has 31 years working in the field of trauma. She is a Certified EMDR Therapist. Ann Marie is also Certified as an Equine Assisted EMDR Therapist. She is an EAGALA Certified therapist as well.
Ann Marie is the Founder of Equines For Freedom. She has been interested in working with the military since her involvement with the Susquehanna County American Red Cross. The Red Cross was asked to provide mental health assistance for the Family Readiness Group after the deaths of multiple soldiers for the 109th Armory in 2005. Ann Marie has been trained in working with trauma and has taking multiple educational courses to enhance her military experience. She has worked in her private practice treating veterans for several years. Ann Marie is the Clinical Coordinator for Equines For Freedom and has worked as a therapist since opening day November 9, 2015.
Heather Stage, Equine Specialist
Heather Stage is an equine specialist certified through Equilateral™, the Equine-Assisted EMDR Protocol as well as EAGALA. She has completed military culture training courses and has been working with military service members through Equines For Freedom since 2015 and with children who have experienced trauma at Marley’s Mission since 2014.
Heather has been a horse lover her entire life, beginning riding lessons as a child. As a teen, she was involved in showing in local horse shows, competing in English equitation, hunters and jumpers, and was also an active member of the United State Pony Club, Inc. She currently cares for 3 horses at her personal farm and trail rides with friends and family.
Heather turned to horses to find a way to help veterans who did not feel traditional therapy was a fit for them after losing a close friend to veteran suicide, and is Co-Founder of Equines For Freedom.
Marica Ramey, M.Ed., LPC
Marica has been a licensed professional counselor since 2003 and is licensed in both Pennsylvania and Virginia, and holds a master’s level speciality in Military Resilience, in addition to being EA-EMDR certified and completing EMDR I & II, as well as completing EAGALA I training. Her personal & professional pursuit of actively learning about and practicing how to effectively support and facilitate the resilience of our wounded warriors began in 2007, when her husband was injured in Iraq.
Courtney Burgess-Michak, MS, NCC, LPC
Courtney has made it her life’s passion to help others. As a young adult, she volunteered working with deaf children. Courtney then went on to become a radiology technician working at trauma hospitals in Florida and Texas; as well as, a Veteran Affairs hospital. Her life and work experience led her to pursue a new career as a mental health professional. In 2009, Courtney graduated from the University of Scranton with a Masters Degree in Community Counseling. She completed a track of course work in addiction and interned at Clearbrook, a drug and alcohol rehabilitation facility. She also interned and was employed as a mental health counselor at Misericordia University prior to starting her own private practice.
Courtney is licensed by the State Board of Social Workers, Marriage and Family Therapists and Professional Counselors. She is a National Certified Counselor; Grief Recovery Method Specialist; Certified Daring Way™ Facilitator; Certified Equine Assisted Growth and Learning Association (EAGALA); Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) basic trained and Certified EquiLateral™ (Equine Assisted-EMDR). Courtney’s commitment to continuing education stems from her desire to offer exceptional therapeutic services that are most helpful to each individual or group entrusted to her care.
In addition to her work at Equines for Freedom (EFF) and volunteer services, Courtney owns and operates Valor Counseling, LLC in Shavertown; voted 2016 “Best of the Back Mountain New Business.”
Brooke Herman, Equine Specialist
Brooke has been an active Equine Specialist for 4 years. Joining our team in 2016, she became certified in EA-EMDR and transitioned from working with children to veterans. Brooke has over 10 years of experience with horses starting with a standard bread farm where she learned groundwork, training and how to treat injuries and ailments of race horses. While Brooke attended college at Penn State, she began volunteer work at Marley’s Mission and began to learn about the impact horses have in a therapeutic setting. Brooke then transferred to Clarks Summit University to begin studying counseling, and moved from volunteering to working at Marley’s Mission as an equine specialist where she was trained in EAGALA- Part I. Brooke decided that her passion was horses and being an Equine Specialist rather than a counselor so she ended her education in counseling and began pursuing education in Equine Therapy as an Equine Specialist. She continues to care for horses at a private farm where her own horse resides. After rescuing her horse and experiencing first hand how horses have a large impact on the healing of wounds unseen, and having a passion for our veterans she is excited to continue learning to better serve the Veterans and First Responders we serve here at Equines for Freedom.