Aug 31, 2020 11:00AM
By Gisele Rinaldi Siebold
Raphie and Reuben greet a new friend
Horses and Humans Create Compassionate Change
Meagan Good’s vision for Take Heart began in 2009, after reading the book, Hope Rising, by Kim Meeder, which told of Meeder’s work with hurting children and families at Crystal Peaks Youth Ranch, in Oregon. Desiring for years to help people by working with horses, Good realized this was her calling, and enrolled in the master’s of professional counseling program at Lancaster Bible College.
In July 2014, after graduation and visiting Crystal Peaks Youth Ranch for a Similar Ministries Clinic, Good opened Take Heart Counseling and Equine Assisted Therapy. In April, Take Heart moved to a larger farm in Wernersville, with more than 50 acres of pastures, barns and riding areas. The new farm allows the team to serve more people in the Berks, Lancaster and Lebanon communities.
Over the years, Good has continued to study and receive certification in equine-assisted therapy and trauma-informed interventions and has discovered techniques that are efficient and effective. “Building a horse and human therapy team and developing Take Heart into a place of hope and healing has been a real privilege,” she says.
Good is joined by a team of professional, educated, experienced counselors and staff members who specialize in trauma, anxiety, depression, spiritual growth and relationships. Through relationship-focused activities with the horses, they are able to walk clients through a unique healing journey.
Dr. David Brant, PsyD, LPC, specializes in mood and anxiety disorders. He is dedicated to helping individuals, couples and families achieve their goals toward growth and wholeness. His approach includes the whole person, incorporating issues related to emotional functioning, ways of thinking, physical well-being and spiritual matters. In the fall, he will be co-leading a group for veterans with Charlene Shutika, MS, NCC, from Breathe Again Counseling Services.
Gillian Glackin has a master’s degree in marriage and family therapy and is pursuing both a Pennsylvania license as a marriage and family therapist (LMFT), as well as certification as a sex therapist with the American Board of Christian Sex Therapists. She is passionate about freeing people from the unhealthy shame surrounding sexuality. Through a volunteer opportunity with The A21 Campaign (a global anti-human trafficking nonprofit) in Charlotte, N.C., Glackin learned the value of advocacy through connection and hope and uses her experience to help clients find wholeness and healing.
Dana Haldeman, MA, completed her undergraduate internship at Take Heart and returned for her graduate practicum and internship. She graduated in May 2019 from Lancaster Bible College with her bachelor and master’s degrees in counseling. Haldeman is working towards her Pennsylvania counseling licensure, and has obtained certification in equine-assisted psychotherapy through Greg Kersten’s OK Corral Series. She works with children and teens as well as their families to practice relationship skills that allow them to grow.
Carrie Landis is currently finishing her graduate program at Lancaster Bible College. She has been an intern at Take Heart since 2019, learning how to use equine-assisted therapy with clients in a wide variety of situations. She is studying trauma-informed equine interventions through Natural Lifemanship. Her passion is to serve clients who have experienced trauma and want to experience life anew.
Sarah Fry is also finishing her graduate program at Lancaster Bible College. She began her internship at Take Heart this past summer, and is learning how to apply equine-assisted interventions with clients as well. She is passionate about the incredible healing relationship that occurs between people and horses, and the special dynamics that take place when faith is integrated into sessions.
Jean Purdy is Take Heart’s new horsemanship lead. An certified addictions specialist with 60 years of horse experience, she is creating a relationship-based horsemanship curriculum focused on building a trusting relationship with a horse that makes earning a competitive ribbon even more rewarding.
Expanding Take Heart’s reach, Good and her team have recently fostered a partnership with Bethany Children’s Home. They also partner with North Star Initiative and F.R.E.E., both organizations that work with survivors of human trafficking. Their future goals include creating groups for a variety of mental and emotional well-being needs in the community, and building their partnership program and receiving nonprofit status so that funding can be provided for individuals and families who cannot afford therapy.
“Our supportive human team members with different passions and approaches come together with our herd of horses that intuitively and honestly interpret the emotions of those around them to facilitate a process in which clients can gain insight,” shares Good. “I hope to grow Take Heart as a facility where people can come from anywhere to find hope and healing while working with horses.”
Take Heart Counseling & Equine Assisted Therapy is located at 699 Wooltown Road, in Wernersville. For more information, contact [email protected] or visit TakeHeartCounseling.com.
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In-Print, Local Life Depression Take Heart Counseling & Equine Assisted Therapy Meagan Good Anxiety Therapy spiritual growth Healthy Lancaster Dr. David Brant September 2020 North Star Initiative Jean Purdy Bethany Children’s Home Hope Rising Kim Meeder Crystal Peaks Youth Ranch Crystal Peaks Youth Ranch Lancaster Bible College Similar Ministries Clinic trauma healing journey Breathe Again Counseling Services Dana Haldeman Carrie Landis