Meet the Team

FOUNDER

Stacey Garcelon  M.ED, NCC, LMHCA, EMDR

Founder & Director

Stacey is a dedicated and compassionate professional who holds a Master’s degree in education with a concentration in clinical mental health counseling from Indiana State University, South Bend. With a profound commitment to facilitating emotional healing, cultivating resiliency, and promoting mental wellness, Stacey employs a diverse range of therapeutic approaches to address individual, couple, and group counseling needs.

Having specialized in assisting individuals on their journey to recovery from trauma, addictions, depression, grief, and self-esteem/self-worth issues, Stacey’s passion extends to serving veterans, active military, reservists, and their families. Her internship and advanced practicum at the South Bend, Indiana, Veteran Center provided a foundation for her extensive experience working with veterans. Stacey, serving as the elected chairperson of the Northwest Indiana Veteran Suicide Prevention Coalition, plays a pivotal role in coordinating efforts across five contiguous counties to bring an end to veteran suicide. This leadership position reflects her dedication to addressing critical issues within the veteran community.Stacey’s commitment to military cultural competency ensures that she approaches her work with an understanding of the unique challenges and experiences faced by those who have served in the military, and their families.

Stacey’s expertise extends to serving a diverse population including the LGBTQ community, those in recovery, and survivors of intimate partner violence, creating a safe and inclusive therapeutic space for individuals with diverse backgrounds and experiences.

Stacey firmly believes in a client-centered holistic healing environment where individuals are empowered to discover and define their own solutions. Her therapeutic toolkit includes traditional client-centered talk therapy, Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), Trauma-Focused Equine–Assisted Psychotherapy (TF-EAP), Internal Family Systems (IFS), Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT), Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT), narrative/journaling, trauma–informed yoga, and other strategies tailored to meet clients at various points on their journey.

Currently studying Dr. Bruce Perry’s NeurosequentialModel of Therapeutics (NMT) at Purdue Northwest, Stacey brings a cutting-edge and comprehensive approach to her practice. NMT is based on the principles of neurodevelopment, recognizing that the brain develops in a sequential manner and that experiences, especially during critical periods of development, significantly influence neural functioning. Stacey is undergoing training in Somatic Experiencing. Somatic Experiencing differs from traditional talk therapy by emphasizing the importance of the body’s role in processing trauma. It acknowledges that trauma can become stored in the body, leading to a range of symptoms such as anxiety, hyperarousal, and physical discomfort. By working with the body’s natural ability to heal and regulate itself, Somatic Experiencing aims to restore a sense of safety and well-being.

This background coupled with Equine Assisted Services, provides a holistic approach to healing trauma and promoting overall well-being. Both modalities recognize the interconnectedness of the body and mind in processing and recovering from traumatic experiences, and when combined, they offer a unique and complementary therapeutic experience. First trained and certified in the Eagala model from 2016 through 2022, Stacey continues to expand her expertise, remaining actively engaged with the communities of Arenas for Change (ARCH), Horses for Mental Health, and Natural Lifemanship.

A proud member of the EMDR International Association, the American Mental Health Counselors Association, the American Counseling Association, the Indiana Counseling Association, Arenas for Change, and Natural Lifemanship, Stacey aligns herself with professional organizations dedicated to promoting excellence in mental health counseling.

Beyond her professional affiliations, Stacey’s love for horses and recognition of their healing presence led her to establish Anam Cara in 2016. Anam Cara embodies Stacey’s vision of holistic wellness creating a space where individuals can embark on a transformative journey towards healing and resilience. Stacey’s ongoing commitment to her own healing journey has reinforced her belief in approaches that address the physical, mental, energetic, and spiritual impacts of trauma as the most effective and empowering forms of therapy.

TEAM MEMBERS

Sophie Lott

Administrative Assistant

Sophie graduated from New Prairie High School in 2020. Sophie’s passion is caring for animals, specifically horses, as she has two of her own. She has a Quarter Horse named Bucky (pictured). And also Twister who is a pony. Sophie has had Bucky for 12 years and Twister for 6 years. Sophie is the youngest of two and she currently resides in Rolling Prairie with her family. During her quiet time, Sophie enjoys reading books and being with her horses. She also enjoys working at Anam Cara and interacting with the horses. 

 

Sandy Cogswell

Equine Specialist 

When Sandy was about 5 years old her mom took her to see her first horse…..

 

Sandy Cogswell was born in Chicago,  lived in the suburbs and later in South Chicago until shortly after her first son of 2 were born. She then moved to rural northern Indiana and is still there.  She knew the country life was for her and thankfully her wonderful husband now married for over 40 years agreed.

 

When the boys became young men and on their own is when her journey began to learn the horse. She has been around horses since high school age and had a uneasy feeling about the way horses were handled, at least in her world. It wasn’t until her horse reared up and fell on her she realized she had to learn how to train, or better said communicate with the horse or there would not be horses in her life and that was not going to happen, thus began this fascinating subject she cannot get enough of. She has learned the more you know about horses the more you know you don’t know.

This passion is what led her to the realization of horses can help humans other than just riding them. She meet Stacey Garcelon the first time September 2015. Stacey told her of her desire to help people with trauma using horses and psychotherapy. Sandy never heard of such a thing.

They went to their first eagala certification in May 2016.

She is certified in eagala

Certified in Horse Powered Reading.

Completed the non profit leadership course that Healthcare foundation of LaPorte provided.   Completed the fundamentals of serving veterans with Horses.

Caitlyn Kalisik, MSW

Veterans Group Facilitator

Caitlyn served in the Marine Corps for four years as a Motor Transportation Operator and honorably discharged, achieving the rank Sergeant in 2018. Not long after, Caitlyn completed her Social Work degree at Purdue University- Northwest. Today, Caitlyn is a Masters of Social Work student with the Ohio State University, and a therapy intern with Anam Cara. Being a “jack of all trades”, Caitlyn is working towards creating more resources in the community for marginalized groups. Caitlyn hopes to become a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and open her own private practice in Houston, TX where she specializes in treating trauma.

 

Tiffany Downs

Equine Specialist

When I was 12 years old, my family and I went for our yearly trail ride at the local riding stable.  It was then that I knew horses were going to be a large part of my life. 

I acquired my first pony about that time and I worked at this local stable after school to pay off his board.

I never really took official riding lessons but learned how to ride by just riding my pony, Tucker, as fast as we could go through the open field and pastures.  He really did teach me all I ever needed to know about riding and maneuvering through life in general.  

I did not come from a family surrounded by horses and farms.  Oddly enough, my interests then and now are quite different. 

Nether the less, I got every book I could find on horses.  I checked out every book at the library with a horse on the cover. I was passionate.

 

Working at the barn from age 12 to 16 really helped me to establish a good work ethic and granted me with a great knowledge of responsibility.  It was then I decided to go for the “big girl” job and left to explore different career opportunities. 

In 2012, I became certified as a yoga instructor and managed a studio for a few years among other things. But, there was always this yearn to go back to the barn.  To be outside and be out feeding the horses in the early mornings before anyone else was awake!  I craved that. And I missed it. 

It was absolutely time to get back at it.  It was time to really figure out what I was actually going to do with my life. 

During my yoga teacher training and while teaching classes, I found that I was always able to “feel” more then what I was actually seeing. For example, I was really good at helping students make adjustments during classes to better their poses and postures.  

So I knew whatever I decided to do for a career, it was going to be hands-on. 

My love for being at the barn while wanting to graduate up from being a typical stable-hand plus having a really good ‘feel’ in my hands had me doing some math and I decided to go for equine bodywork.   

I ordered Jim Masterson’s book online and took the soonest course I could find. 

I felt assured I was on the right career path.  Helping as many horses as I could through feel and intuition seemed like my cup of tea. 

 

I am passionate about effectively helping as many horses as I can and along the way, I discovered I enjoy helping owners understand more about what their horse maybe trying to express.

Destiny Nugent MSW, ESMHL

Volunteer Coordinator, Horse Care Coordinator

I have always loved horses and caring for others. Here at Anam Cara my passion is able to be combined. I am able to work with horses and be able to put my new degree to work. I graduated from Purdue University-Northwest with me Bachelor’s degree in Social Work. Right after I finished my BSW I went straight into a Master’s program. During my MSW Program I focused on trauma informed care and mental health. As of recently I just finished up my last classes form Denver University! I have so much planed for the next few years to be able to help grow Anam Cara.

Chad Pressler

Pasture Maintenance

My dad worked and loved horse. My mom and dad (now deceased) like to tell the story of when I was about 3, they each thought the other had me with them. When they noticed I was not around they found me in a stall trying to brush a horse’s belly. So, you could say I have always been drawn to horses. I worked at a boarding stable for several years and helped with their “Tack Em Up” program for under privileged kids. I enjoyed teaching the kids very much. Most of my experience is with the Standardbred Harness racehorses. I know firsthand what horses can do for the soul. I started at Anam Cara in Oct of 2023. I take care of the pasture clean up right now. I look forward to getting training to become an equine specialist.

Get in Touch

Phone: (219) 207-7222

Email: info@anamcarastables.org

Address: 4298 E 1000 North, La Porte, IN 46350

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