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THE STAFF

Chris Patella, MS, Recreational Therapy - Founder & Director
Certified Professional Dog Trainer
Registered Instructor PATH, International
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Chris Patella holds a Bachelor of Music from Ithaca College in music education and piano performance. She has a Master's Degree in Recreational Therapy from Southern Connecticut State University. 

After a successful 35 year music teaching career, Chris changed directions towards Recreational Therapy in 2009. With a vision to use Animal Assisted Interventions as the core of her practice, she obtained her certification as a professional dog trainer through Animal Behavior College and is a registered Therapeutic Riding Instructor through PATH, International (Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship).

Chris has been involved in both equine and canine assisted therapy work at AaTs. In addition to her work as director for the program, she assisted clients to develop loving, emotional bonds with our wonderful animal partners. Through the animals, Chris developed a natural relationship with program participants and explored a wide variety of recreational activities, thus promoting a relaxed and healthy life-style.
Chris is part-time retired and enjoys spending her time with her horses (Diesel, Blue, Merle) and dogs (Winnie, Martha, Susie) at her home in the Western Catskill Mountains of New York. She continues work in CT on a part time basis visiting once a month for groups by appointment.

Beth Patella Little, LMSW, MS Recreational Therapy, MS Education - Director AaTs
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Beth holds Master Degrees in Social Work, Recreational Therapy, and Education. She is a licensed Social Worker in NY and currently works full time with children and families in a mental health clinic. She continues to work part time with CT clients both in person and via Zoom. She directs AaTs and is the main point of contact for the organization.

Beth is an Adjunct Professor in the Recreation and Leisure Department at SCSU and teaches a course in Animal Assisted Interventions.

In addition, Beth is a Certified Sound Therapist/Healer. She has studied at the highest level of certification with Zacciah Blckburn, Ph.D at the Center of Light Institute of Sound Healing and Shmanic Studies in Ascutney, VT. She uses this modality in her practice as well as the  animals.

Beth is a seasoned performer in voice and plays piano, guitar, and clarinet. She was nominated as best singer/songwriter in CT (2016) and has completed and released two sound recordings.

She lives in NY with her husband, John. Her farm is next to Chris's farm and all share caring for the animals and very large organic garden. In addition, Beth enjoys her dogs (Chewie, Maggie, Molly), chickens, and bunnies (Bentley and Porsche) and horses (Diesel, Blue, Merle).

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