MENTAL HEALTH PROFESSIONALS
Dora Lupo, MS, LMHC, MAC, CASAC
A graduate of New York University with a B.S. in Marketing and Long Island University with a M.S. in Community Mental Health Counseling, Dora works in our Equine Assisted Psychotherapy Program as a licensed mental health professional. A certified EAGALA member, she also holds certifications in motivational interviewing (MI), Ericksonian Hypnosis, Gestalt Therapy, Brief Therapy (NLP), and is a Master Addiction Counselor (MAC), a Credentialed Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Counselor (CASAC), and certified Reiki Level II. Dora has been with Pal-O-Mine Equestrian since 2008. Dora currently works full-time as the Director of the Chemical Dependency and Developmental Disabilities Services of Nassau County.
Ellen Lear, LMSW- Board Member and Director of Community Relations
Ellen grew up trail riding in the hills surrounding her home in Southern California. She was a graphic designer for many years before earning her Master of Social Work degree, leading her to a career change. She became a psychotherapist and had a private practice in NYC for 15 years, working primarily with adults with depressive and anxiety disorders, as well as doing couples therapy. Always in love with horses, Ellen made another career change when she moved to Shelter Island, NY where she owned and operated a large boarding and training facility. In 2006 she founded Foundation GROW, Inc., a non-profit organization dedicated to helping young equestrians in need of financial assistance. Through GROW Ellen learned about Pal-O-Mine, and for several years GROW sponsored a yearly horse show for Pal-O-Mine at the Shelter Island farm. Ellen joined Pal-O-Mine in 2011 where she now combines her mental health expertise with her love of horses as an EAGALA Certified Equine Assisted Psychotherapist and Equine Assisted Learning teacher. She is also a riding instructor and volunteer photographer at Pal-O-Mine’s many events. As Director of Community Relations, Ellen is involved in the planning and organization of many of Pal-O-Mine’s fundraising events.
Ginny Porto, LCSW
Ginny is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker. She attended the University of Georgia for undergraduate degrees in History and Spanish followed by Fordham University for her MSW degree. She joined the Pal-O-Mine team in 2014 and practices Equine Assisted Psychotherapy and Equine Assisted Learning as the mental health professional using the EAGALA model. Prior to Pal-O-Mine, Ginny worked as a therapist in various mental health settings, including Diagnostic Residential Center, Rapic Intervention Center, and outpatient mental health clinic. She has experience providing mental health services to children, adolescents, adults, and families from all backgrounds. She has received specialized training in the treatment of Trauma and Abuse and concentrated her Masters work on children and their families. As a lifelong horse lover, Ginny came to Pal-O-Mine to join her two passions of helping others and working with horses. Ginny is fluent in Spanish, which allows us to reach those who may not otherwise be able to receive services at Pal-O-Mine.
Mandi Budah, M.A., LMSW
Mandi started at Pal-O-Mine in the summer of 2011. She is dually certified through EAGALA as both an Equine Specialist and a Mental Health Professional, certifying her to facilitate Equine Assisted Learning groups and Equine Assisted Psychotherapy sessions. Mandi is a Licensed Social Worker and also holds a M.A. in Forensic Psychology from John Jay, along with her undergrad degrees, a double major in psychology and sociology. She is the founder of Budah and Associates, LLC and serves as the Suffolk County representative in Honorable Judge Camacho’s alternatives to incarceration youth court. Mandi is instrumental in referring at risk youth to Pal-O-Mine through the court system. She has grant writing skills that are integral to expanding the programs at Pal-O-Mine.
Mary Ann McGrath, LCSW
Mary Ann has been a practicing social worker for over twenty years. Having worked in the field of addictions and early childhood education, she maintains a full-time private practice in North Massapequa. She works with adults, addressing issues involving depression, anxiety, grief and trauma. She is trained in both EMDR and Thought Field Therapy. Her lifelong passion for horses led her to Pal O Mine, where she was certified by EAGALA as a Mental Health practitioner for Equine Assisted Psychotherapy. She works with both groups and individuals here at Pal O Mine, using the Equine Assisted Psychotherapy model, thus joining her love of horses with her love of therapy.
Rachel Gearwar, LMSW
Rachel came to Pal-O-Mine as a graduate student intern in 2011. She graduated with her Masters in Social Work from Adelphi University and is certified by EAGALA as a Mental Health practitioner for Equine Assisted Psychotherapy. She is currently going for her dual certification through EAGALA. She is a job coach for the work-study program, an equine assisted learning facilitator for the BOCES School districts and a natural horsemanship teacher. Rachel received her BA in Psychology from Stony Brook University and has completed Crisis Prevention, Intervention training, EAGALA military training and vaulting training. In her free time she enjoys riding western and dancing.
Rosemary Ferrero-Manginelli, LCSW, CASAC, NCAC II, SAP
Rosemary joined Pal-O-Mine Equestrian in 1999 as a volunteer Full Charge Bookkeeper and quickly became more involved assisting with grant writing, therapeutic horseback riding lessons, supervising the Equine Assisted Psychotherapy program and introducing the EAGALA model to Pal-O-Mine Equestrian. Holding an Advanced Certification in Equine Assisted Psychotherapy, Rosemary specializes in working with clients with drug and alcohol issues, women’s issues, stress management issues, HIV/AIDS issues, and a variety of other mental health concerns and disabilities. Rosemary is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, a Credentialed Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Counselor, a National Certified Addiction Counselor, a Certified HIV Pre/Post Test Counselor, a Substance Abuse Professional, and EMD-R trained. Rosemary is an alumni of Molloy College with a B.S.W and C.S.W and Fordham University with a Masters of Social Work. She currently works in New York City for the Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services (OASAS) as a targeted investigator in the Bureau of Quality Analysis and Enforcement.
Tessa Van Florcke, LMSW
Tessa grew up around horses and spent most of her free time during high school at the barn. After graduating from Towson University in 2010 with a B.S. in Psychology, Tessa earned her Masters in Social Work in 2016 from Adelphi University. Tessa is certified in the EAGALA model as both a Mental Health Practitioner and an Equine Specialist. She is also a Credentialed Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Counselor Trainee (CASAC-T). In addition to working at Pal-O-Mine with the BOCES program and our Women’s Herd group, Tessa worked as a Foster Care Caseworker for 5 years with SCO Family Services and currently works at the Town of Babylon Youth Institute seeing adolescent clients for individual therapy.