“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 and honored to be part of it all.”
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, grant writing and fundraising.
Pamela has received her Nonprofit Management Certificate from Oakland University, is Certified as a Protocol and Etiquette Consultant by the Protocol School of Washington, DC and studied at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York City.
She is the proud mother of Christian, her teenage son.
Pamela has a strong commitment to the community and is involved with:
Red Wing Alumni Association — Honorary 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
“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 over 6 years.
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 a Certified Public Accountant in the State of Michigan.
“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 over 30 years and with FAR since 2011. She is responsible for client program registration, accounts payable and administrative support.
“Music is a vital part of all our lives and as a therapeutic tool it promotes growth and influences positive change. 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.”
With over 25 years of professional experience as a Board Certified Music Therapist, Patty joined the FAR team in 2008 and accepted the position of Director of Therapeutic Programming in 2011. She holds a BA in Music with a concentration in Music Therapy from Mount St. Joseph University in Cincinnati, Ohio. She also holds degrees 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).
“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.”
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).
“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.
“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 over 30 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 Bachelor’s degree in Music and Music Therapy from Western Michigan University.
“I love using the 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 over 20 years and serves FAR clients in Birmingham and offsite locations, providing private music therapy, group music therapy and adapted piano lessons.
She holds a Master’s Degree in Early Childhood Education from Oakland University and a Bachelor of Music Therapy from Eastern Michigan University. Elizabeth is board certified.
Elizabeth is a member of the Michigan Music Therapists where she has held various offices and positions including newsletter editor, clinical training liaison and president. She is also a member of Great Lakes Region of the American Music Therapy Association and the American Music Therapy Association. Elizabeth has presented at several local, regional and national music therapy conferences as well as for other local conferences and workshops.
“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.
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.
“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.
“As a music therapist I am devoted to cultivating a safe and inclusive environment for clients of all ages and ability. What I love about music therapy is that it provides a space for people to grow, explore, and express themselves creatively, while having fun”.
Breanna is beginning her Music Therapy career at FAR and will serve FAR clients at several of our locations. Breanna completed her Music Therapy internship at Bronson Methodist Hospital in Kalamazoo, Michigan.
Breanna received her Bachelors of Music from Western Michigan University where she majored in Music Therapy with a Psychology Minor.
“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 earned a bachelors in 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.
Christine completed a 900 hour internship at the VA Medical Center in Battle Creek, Mi. Christine was fortunate enough during her internship to gain experience with individuals that served in the military, palliative care, memory care, psych populations, individuals suffering from PTSD, as well as individuals suffering from substance abuse disorders.
Since her internship, Christine became Board Certified as a Music Therapist in December 2018. Christine has worked with individuals with disabilities in various school districts through FAR Therapeutic Arts and Recreation, which has further increased her passion for music therapy. Christine is very excited to continue her journey as a Music Therapist at FAR.
“ I use a strength-based, positive psychology approach and believe art-making creates opportunities for people to learn about themselves and to connect with others. I agree with Danny Gregory who says: “Art is here to make us feel better and be better. To remind us that we are not alone.”
Margaret comes to FAR with over 30 years of experience. She received her Masters of Education in Art Therapy from Wayne State University and her Bachelors of Fine Arts in Photography from Center for Creative Studies. She provides Art Therapy for FAR at Vista Maria and the West Bloomfield Transition Center.
Margaret participates as a presenter at local and national conferences, she is published in the Journal of the American Art Therapy Association and an active participant in juried art exhibitions. She is a member of the Michigan Association of Art Therapy and the American Art Therapy Association.
Breanna received her Bachelors of Music from Western Michigan University where she majored in Music Therapy with a Psychology Minor.
“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).
She is a professional member of the American Art Therapy Association (AATA) and the Michigan Association of Art Therapy (MAAT).
“Art can be an amazing tool and a rewarding personal experience. I strive to help others use art and the creative process to find their confidence, voice, and sense of empowerment. I have seen art do so much for so many and I feel honored to be a part of this journey and experience.”
Jenna has practiced Art Therapy for two years now. She serves FAR clients at our Birmingham location as well as offsite schools.
She received her Masters of Arts in Mental Health Counseling with Specialization in Art Therapy from Wayne State University and has a Bachelors in Fine Arts also from WSU.
Jenna is a professional member of The American Art Therapy Association and The American Counseling Association.
“Art and the creative process of making can help people to explore themselves and the world around them, empower, build self-esteem and aid in connection with others. I am grateful I get to engage and facilitate this process and see some unbelievable growth.”
Corryn currently serves FAR clients at our offsite schools.
She received her Master in Mental Health Counseling with specialization in Art Therapy from Wayne State University. Her Bachelors in Fine Arts with a double major specializing in painting and in African American Studies is from Eastern Michigan University.
Corryn participated in an American Art Therapy Association focus group on navigating graduate school in 2017. She also was a participant in The Arts in Psychotherapy, Volume 69, July 2020, 101665: Art Therapy with Syrian refugee youth in the United States: an intervention study.
“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. Kelsy 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).
“Recreational therapy is so unique because it includes enjoyment. In 2019, I started a garden with a client and now it is a bright spot in his day, regardless of the tough times he experiences. Seeing the impact this field can make grows my passion for recreational therapy every day.”
Having worked with individuals with disabilities for the past three years, this will be Molly’s first year practicing as a Recreation Therapist in both private and group sessions. She has her Bachelors of Science in Therapeutic Recreation from Grand Valley State University with a minor in studio art. She is also an American Heart Association BLS Provider and CPI Nonviolent Crisis Intervention Certified.
Molly is the recipient of the “I Am Grand Valley” award in January 2018 and 2020, and she is a member of the Michigan Therapeutic Recreation Association.
“Recreational Therapy focuses on an individual’s mental, emotional, and physical health all while targeting their personal well-being. As a CTRS, I love making interventions that are leisure specific to my clientele and watching them have fun during therapy. Recreational Therapy truly puts the fun in functional!”
Summer comes to FAR with two years in practice as a Recreation Therapist. She serves FAR clients with private and group sessions and also in local school districts.
She graduated from Central Michigan University with a Bachelors of Science in Recreational Therapy and minor in Psychology. Summer is currently working on her Masters of Applied Behavioral Analysis with Emphasis with Autism online through Ball State University.
Summer is a member of the Michigan Therapeutic Recreation Association.
“I believe dance and movement have the power to connect and inspire people in a remarkable way. Through our innate capacity for movement and self-expression, we increase our awareness and appreciation of ourselves, others, and the world around us. Ultimately, we utilize our individuality and unique experiences to deepen our understanding of compassion, confidence, and healing.”
Lydia is beginning her therapeutic career at FAR, providing services to various offsite locations as well as individual and groups at FAR’s main location in Birmingham. She is a recent graduate with her Master’s in Arts in Dance/Movement Therapy and Counseling from Drexel University in Philadelphia, PA. She also has her Bachelors of Fine Arts in Dance from Wayne State University.
Lydia is a member of the American Dance Therapy Association.