Don & Zeek
Director of Equine-Assisted Psychotherapy and Learning
Alexia has a master’s degree from Loyola Marymount University in Marital and Family Therapy. She is an EAGALA-certified psychotherapist and registered art therapist. Alexia has worked extensively with adults and children with Asperger’s/autism, ADHD, anxiety and addiction in a variety of settings. Alexia is positive and passionate about working with clients and horses and to have this be a life-changing experience in which the client finds own answers.
Program Director, PATH, International Certified Therapeutic Riding Instructor
Michelle Garza is originally from San Diego. Her love of horses began as a young girl. This led to attending Cal Poly Pomona University where she completed a B.S. in Animal Science, with an emphasis in Equine Industry and a minor in Psychology. Several years later she began interning at a therapeutic riding center in the San Fernando Valley, where she was hired on a year later. It was there that she realized helping and teaching people was a vocation she both had a natural talent for and enjoyed. Michelle has been a certified therapeutic riding instructor since 2001. She currently teaches both disabled and able-bodied riders. She joined the DCLA team as the new program director in May 2015 and is extremely excited to help it grow towards the future!
Professional Clinical Counselor, Equine Assisted Psychotherapist
Jennifer has over 11 years’ experience in the mental health field.She earned her master’s degree in professional counseling with a concentration in Expressive Arts Therapy at the University of Ottawa in Arizona. She has training in trauma-informed therapies, and Equine Assisted psychotherapy (EAP) through EAGALA, and is experienced in working at various treatment centers doing EAP for individuals struggling with addiction, eating disorders, dual diagnosis and general mental health, as well as working with veterans suffering from PTSD. Jennifer takes an experiential client-centered approach, bringing components of expressive therapies into the horse arena.She was a therapeutic foster parent for 7 years and is passionate about supporting people on their journey towards healing.
PATH, International Certified Therapeutic Riding Instructor
Nicole Cook grew up in Virginia having horses in her backyard and riding bareback. She then rode English and jumped courses at The Madeira School and at the College of William and Mary. Moving to Santa Fe after college she fell in love with living and trail riding in rural New Mexico on Spanish Mustangs. Nicole has been a PATH-certified instructor since 2010. She takes a gentle and holistic approach to teaching and believes horses can dramatically improve quality of life for people. She also knows how much riding can transform pain and heal mind, body and heart.
Founder, Executive Director, PATH, International Certified Therapeutic Riding Instructor and Equine Specialist in Mental Health and Learning, EAGALA Certified, M.A.
Joan built her business expertise in the Fashion Industry working as a designer, merchandiser, salesperson and owner. She traveled extensively to major domestic and international markets, bringing back new and innovative ideas. Joan received a Master’s Degree from N.Y.U. including a minor in psychology and a teaching certificate. After 25 years of a successful career, she returned to school to study Equine Management at Pierce College. While volunteering at a Therapeutic Riding Center, Joan found her passion. Seeing there was more of need in the Long Beach and the Los Angeles areas, Joan decided to launch Dream Catcher LA.
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