Kate brings to Soul Friends more than 20 years of clinical
experience working with families coping with grief, trauma
and illness. Kate earned her MSW from Smith College
and her BSW from Elms College; as well, she completed
a graduate certificate in Animal Assisted Therapy and
Education from DePaul University. Kate’s extensive mental
health experience includes work with inpatient medical
and psychiatric hospitals, children’s clinic, private practice,
homecare agencies and hospice. She has presented
across the country on the power of body-centered psychotherapy
and animal assisted interventions for children.
She has specialized in working with children with severe
trauma and grief – and has partnered with community
agencies and the state in adding the comfort of an animal
partner to specific treatment plans.
Contact at firstname.lastname@example.org
Connecticut State University in May, 2006 after completing a master’s research project which explored the role of animal-assisted interventions in the treatment of children with developmental delays. She then spent the next three years at a residential treatment program working with traumatized children and adolescents, and received additional training in Trauma- Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT). Assisting Kate in the provision of individual, group and family therapy in the Soul Friends office and other satellite sites, is her canine partner, Murphy. Murphy is a four-year old Goldendoodle who is a registered Delta Society Pet Partner and an AKC Canine Good Citizen.
Vanessa Pera, MSW, LCSW – Behavioral ConsultantVanessa graduated from SCSU in Spring 2006. She was also a student intern at Soul Friends. Vanessa loves to help families develop meaningful behavioral plans and will be collaborating with the clinical staff as needed.
Alyssa Wurtzel, MSW, LCSW
Alyssa is a social worker in New Britain with a specialization in working with people with serious chronic mental illness and substance abuse. She has a lifelong love of animals, and group work. She assists in group therapy programs at Soul Friends.
Lori Rathchelous, MSW
Lori brings to Soul Friends her experience in grief and bereavement services at her time working at Yale. Currently, completing a post Master’s certificate in Animal Assisted Therapy with Dr. Phil Arkow. Lori welcomed her canine partner, Nutmeg into working in both individual and group therapy services.
Jodi Teitelbaum, MSW Come, Follow Me! Program Coordinator
Jodi first came to Soul Friends has a student intern. She graduated from UCONN in 2007. Currently, she is the coordinator of therapeutic mentoring at Community Residences, Inc. in Southington. She works part-time at Soul Friends, particularly assisting with our Come, Follow me Program,