Chris Patella, MS, Recreational Therapy - Founder & Director
Certified Professional Dog Trainer
Registered Instructor PATH, International
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 has retired this past year and now enjoys spending time at her home in the Western Catskill Mountains of New York. She has a small organic farm and loves hiking with the dogs and riding her horse, Diesel.
Beth Patella, MS, Recreational Therapy - Director
Beth is a Recreational Therapist and Educational Consultant, as well as, a seasoned performer and teacher with over 15 years of experience. Beth has a Bachelor’s Degree (SCSU) in Music and German and a Master’s Degree (SCSU/UNH) in both Recreational Therapy and Education and is a Certified Teacher in the State of Connecticut. She is currently pursuing her Masters in Social Work through Sacred Heart University with the end goal to further her career as a Licensed Clinical Social Worker.
In addition, Beth is a Certified Sound Therapist/Healer, where she has studied at the highest level of certification with Zacciah Blackburn, PHD at The Center Of Light Institute of Sound Healing and Shamanic Studies located in Ascutney, VT.
Currently, in her Therapeutic Practice, Beth uses sound and animal therapy as her two, main modalities. In addition, Beth is proficient in voice, piano, guitar, and clarinet and is completing her second singer/songwriter album and has been nominated as best singer/songwriter in CT (2016).
Beth is an Adjunct Professor at SCSU in the Recreation and Leisure Department and serves on the Board of Directors for Animal Assisted Therapy Services, Inc.