Co-Founder and Lead Therapist
My name is Tara Higgins and I am a Licensed Professional Counselor who believes from experience it takes small and consistent steps in order to work towards goals. I understand the challenges that exists from living in a fallen world that often causes hurt, loss, anger, and sadness. I am a firm believer that you have the ability to increase your personal health to restructure your life so it creates room for self-acceptance and healing. I am an advocate for mental health care to protect the wellbeing of ourselves and our family members. I take the time to understand the culture of your life and family and will assist you with creating interventions that meet your unique needs. I am a certified mental health professional under the Equine Assisted Growth and Learning Association (EAGALA), which has researched and ethical standards with integrating horses in the counseling and educational process. I strongly believe that integrating horses in the counseling process can more quickly breakdown defense barriers and is a highly effective form of therapy that can be used constantly or intermittently with individual, family, and/or group therapy. I have obtained the majority of my experiences working with children and families who are currently in need of immediate behavioral interventions in the home and educational setting.
Meet our Co-Founder and Executive Director of Operations
My name is Derek Higgins and I am the Co-founder and Executive Director of Operations with Horse and Soul Counseling and Higgins Hills Farm. I have 12 years of experience that includes being a general manager of a company, doing account management, marketing, and being in charge of expanding services. I enjoy taking a leadership role with policy and procedures and figuring out how to streamline services to make more them more accessible for the providers and patients. I have also been trained with participating in equine therapy as an equine specialist under the Equine Assisted Growth and Learning Association. I continue to grow with learning the behaviors of the horses and growing in my positions in and outside of the barn. I have multiple responsibilities around the farm and have enjoyed becoming an active community member with providing thoughtful and compassionate experiences around the farm. More often though, I find myself being in charge of the daily management of Horse and Soul Counseling and all scheduled events at Higgins Hills Farm.
Meet Dr. Amy Hebb our Licensed Clinical Psychologist on Site
My name is Dr. Amy Hebb and I am a licensed Clinical Psychologist in both West Virginia and Virginia. Throughout my career, I have worked at various establishments such as teaching at Universities, as well as offering therapeutic and evaluative services in private practices, psychiatric hospitals, crisis care facilities, a chronic pain clinic, inner city and rural schools, and community support and outreach programs. I have most recently added equine assisted psychotherapy to my skill set when in West Virginia and am excited to bring that skill to Horse and Soul Counseling. I enjoy increasing public knowledge about psychology and what the field can do to promote overall health and well-being. In making headway to merge mental health and physical health, I earned a holistic health coach certification by the American Association of Drugless Practitioners (AADP) to join nutrition with mental health perspectives. Ask more more about this approach to mental health. I am also looking forward to offering a wide array of assessments and evaluations, mental health outpatient sessions, and equine assisted psychotherapeutic services at Horse and Soul Counseling. If you would like to sit down and meet me please feel free to call our office and schedule this meeting.
Meet our Lead Equine Specialist
My name is Cara Potter and I have been working at Horse and Soul Counseling since they opened and I am the primary farm equine specialist. I remember meeting Tara Higgins and coordinating about the future program of Horse and Soul Counseling five years prior to seeing our first patient. I find that I have the skill to be able to closely read the cues of the horse's behaviors and communicate them to participants and the mental health professional during sessions. I have extensive experience in training horses, managing equestrian facilities, and training people with handling horses. In addition, I have obtained my sign language certificate and enjoy strengthening my sing language skills with participants who are learning about nonverbal cues and have difficulty verbally communicating. We look forward to expanding our services to the deaf community in the future.