What is the Advisory Council?

The Advisory Council is a group of experts carefully selected to provide essential input and feedback for the development and improvement of FAA programs. Advisory Council members share in the mission and vision of FAA to "equip trauma care providers with arts-based tools and training for a world where wounded hearts heal beautifully."

Distinct from the governing board, the Advisory Council has no legal responsibilities or financial obligations to First Aid Arts. Participation is on an at-will, ongoing basis with no formal contract or term of duration.


Dan B. Allender

Dr. Dan Allender received his M. Div. from Westminster Theological Seminary and his Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology from Michigan State University.

Dan taught in the Biblical Counseling Department of Grace Theological Seminary for seven years (1983-1989). From 1989-1997 he worked as a professor in the Master of Arts in Biblical Counseling program at Colorado Christian University, Denver, Colorado. Dan served as President of The Seattle School of Theology & Psychology in Seattle, Washington (2000-2009) and continues teaching as a Professor of Counseling there. 

He travels and speaks extensively to present his unique perspective on sexual abuse recovery, love and forgiveness, worship and other related topics. He is the author of The Wounded Heart (NavPress),The Healing Path (Waterbrook Press), How Children Raise Parents (Waterbrook Press), To Be Told(Waterbrook Press) and has co-authored five books with Dr. Tremper Longman, III, Intimate Allies(Tyndale House Publishers), The Cry of the Soul (NavPress), Bold Love (NavPress), Bold Purpose(Tyndale House Publishers) and The Intimate Mystery (IVP). 

He and his wife, Rebecca, live in the Puget Sound area and have three children and two grandsons.

Watch a video of Dr. Allender talking about First Aid Arts.


Becky Allender, MACI

Becky Allender is an abuse advocate intercessor that has worked on the streets of Seattle with teenage prostituted girls at New Horizon Ministries and works with her husband Dan in providing prayer and wisdom during Allender Center for Trauma and Abuse events. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Education from Ohio State University and her Master’s in Curriculum and Instruction from Colorado Christian University. Becky is the mother of two daughters, Annie and Amanda and one son, Andrew, and the grandmother of two boys, Cole and Van and one granddaughter, Elsa. She is passionate about joining others to hear Jesus and advocating for the dignity, honor, and power of women to live freely and ferociously for God. (And yes, her husband wrote her bio.)


Jennifer Baggerly

Dr. Jennifer N. Baggerly is Professor of Counseling at the University of North Texas-Dallas. She is Past Chair of the Board of Directors of the Association for Play Therapy (APT) and the former chair of the APT research committee. Jennifer is a Licensed Professional Counselor Supervisor, a Registered Play Therapist Supervisor and a Field Traumatologist. A recipient of the Outstanding Play Therapist Award from the Florida Association for Play Therapy, she has provided child mental health services locally and disaster relief services internationally, including victims of Hurricane Maria, Oklahoma Tornados, Hurricane Katrina, and the tsunami in Sri Lanka. Dr. Baggerly’s  multiple research projects have led to her being recognized as one of the lead play therapy experts in the world. She has over 60 publications, including five books, numerous peer refereed journal articles, many books chapters, and several videos. She is also the lead editor of the recently published book “Child-Centered Play Therapy Research: The Evidence Base for Effective Practice” and co-author of “Group Play Therapy: A Dynamic Approach”. Jennifer is a recognized authority on play therapy and has presented internationally in Argentina, Canada, England, Hong Kong, Sri Lanka, and Taiwan.

Carlene J. Brown, Ph.D., MT-BC

Dr. Carlene J. Brown, assistant professor at Seattle Pacific University, holds a B.A. in Music Education and Music Therapy, Emmanuel College; an M.A. in Systematic Musicology, University of Washington; and a Ph.D., Systematic Musicology, University of Washington. She is a Board Certified Music Therapist, CBMT, and director of SPU’s Music Therapy program, the first and only program in Music Therapy in the state of Washington.


Patti Catalano, MT-BC

Patti Catalano is a board–certified music therapist and is credentialed in Neurologic Music Therapy. She received her undergraduate degree from the University of Dayton in Ohio. Her clinical internship was done at Children’s Hospital in New Orleans, LA where she worked with children hospitalized for rehabilitation and acute medical problems. Patti also worked on the pediatric floor of Charity Hospital as part of a music therapy grant through the Orleans Parish School District.
She has lived in the Seattle area for 22 years with her husband and four children and during that time has worked with people of all ages—from tiny infants to vital 100+ year olds. In her private practice she has had clients who span all ages and abilities but who are all special and unique and who have shared with her their joy through music making. Her experience includes music therapy with children and adults with physical and developmental disabilities, children with autism, early intervention, older adults and geriatrics, adults with Alzheimer’s and dementia, pain management and oncology, and health impaired/orthopedically handicapped children.


Amber Elizabeth Gray

Amber Elizabeth Gray is an internationally recognized expert in refugee mental health and torture treatment. She provides training and consultation nationally and internationally on clinical treatment and program development for survivors of trauma secondary to torture, war, combat, trafficking, organized violence and natural disaster. She has almost thirty years experience in human service work with displaced people, refugees, and survivors of human rights abuses and 18 years clinical experience with refugees and asylum seekers. Amber is published and a frequent speaker on many of the subjects she trains on. She established New Mexico’s Refugee Mental Health program, the first of its kind in the U.S., in 2007; and coordinated the program for 7 years. Currently a Clinical Advisor for The Center for Victims of Torture, she is past President of the Board of Directors for TASSC International, and Director of Restorative Resources Training and Consulting. She trains health and mental health professionals and paraprofessionals on such topics as working with traumatized children; models for the cross-cultural application of psychotherapy; somatic and creative approaches to trauma therapy that integrate local, individual and community resources and traditions;  clinical issues in work with survivors of combat, war and political violence; and staff care. She is the 2010 recipient of The American Dance Therapy Associations “Outstanding Achievement Award”.


Dr. Dean Hirsch

Dr. Dean R. Hirsch serves as a part-time consultant to a number of non-profit agencies that are providing assistance domestically and internationally. His focus remains on programs serving the poor and disadvantaged. Among his clients are World Vision, KPMG and Child Help.

Hirsch, who was World Vision International president from 1996 through September 2009 and served as Global Ambassador for World Vision until 2010, is known for refocusing WV’s development and advocacy work on children. Under Hirsch’s watch, WV dramatically scaled up its relief operations, and grew its income five-fold.

A veteran of world trouble spots including Somalia and North Korea, Hirsch has worked extensively in disaster and post-conflict situations. He has helped set up famine relief in Ethiopia, AIDS prevention work in Africa and Asia, and peace building programs in countries such as Bosnia, Rwanda and El Salvador.


Mike Hogan, MBA

Mike Hogan is the Director of Strategic Partnerships for International Justice Mission. IJM is a human rights agency that secures justice for victims of slavery, sexual exploitation and other forms of violent oppression. IJM lawyers, investigators and aftercare professionals work with local governments to ensure victim rescue, to prosecute perpetrators and to strengthen the community and civic factors that promote functioning public justice systems.

Before joining IJM in 2009, Mr. Hogan worked as a Business Analyst and Project Manager with Peet's Coffee and Tea at their corporate office in Berkeley, California, where his responsibilities included evaluating business processes, producing cost-benefit analyses and supervising projects.

Prior to his time at Peet's Coffee and Tea, Mr. Hogan served his community while working as the Missions Director at The River Church Community in downtown San Jose, California. As Missions Director, Mr. Hogan managed economic relief programs aimed at serving underprivileged populations both in his local community as well as the disadvantaged in other areas of the world. Mr. Hogan also managed service projects to various parts of the developing world. He has led trips spanning a wide range of human rights issues, from providing law enforcement training and aftercare for victims of sexual abuse in Huánuco, Peru, to HIV and AIDS prevention in Malawi. Previously, Mike served for four years as the InterVarsity Campus Director at the University of California, Santa Cruz. Mike holds a B.A. in Religious Studies from the University of California, Santa Cruz as well as an M.B.A. from Santa Clara University.

Mr. Hogan is based out of Portland, Oregon.


Kirsten Hutchison, MT-BC

Kirsten Hutchison is a board-certified music therapist and a certified Neurologic Music Therapist. She is also trained in the Sanctuary® Model of care, which is a psychosocial education curriculum for victims of trauma. She received her degree from Utah State University and completed her clinical internship at Bethany Children's Home in Womelsdorf, Pennsylvania working with teens in a residential care facility. Kirsten has been working extensively with children and teens with multiple disabilities including autism spectrum disorders, other developmental disorders, and emotional and behavioral disorders. She also has experience with adults in a nursing home, inmates in a minimum security correctional facility, and women in an eating disorders clinic. Kirsten has been working at Music Works Northwest since October, 2010. She has brought with her experience with group facilitation, and has assisted in developing and implementing new social and developmental groups for Music Works Northwest. Kirsten is bilingual and speaks both English and Japanese. When she is not doing music, her interests include writing, hiking, camping, learning, reading, and spending time with her wonderful and supportive husband.


Mindy Kalee, LMHC, RYT

Mindy Kalee, LMHC, RYT is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor and Registered Yoga Teacher in Washington state. She received her Masters of Arts in Counseling/Psychology from The Seattle School of Theology and Psychology in 2006. She worked as the Counseling Capacity Building Coordinator for service providers of children who were rescued from sex trafficking in Phnom Penh, Cambodia from 2007-2009.While in Cambodia, she facilitated a small scale research project on "Vicarious Trauma in Service Providers for Victims of Commercial Sexual Exploitation in Cambodia." In addition, she has facilitated training and speaking engagements on the topic of human trafficking both internationally and around the United States. She was trained in Child/Adolescent Forensic Interviewing by the Federal Bureau of Investigation in 2009. In 2010, Mindy worked on a project in Sierra Leone, Africa assisting service providers working to educate the community on the issue of human trafficking. Mindy is the owner of COEUR Yoga and Therapy; a practice offering psychotherapy and yoga in Seattle. In her free time Mindy loves relaxing with a good book, cycling, rock climbing, practicing yoga, and finding lots of things to laugh about. To read more visit:


David Knott, MT-BC

David Knott, MT-BC, NMT is a board-certified music therapist, fellow in the Academy of Neurologic Music Therapy, instrument maker, improvisor and composer living and working in Seattle. He specializes in using improvisation to engage and facilitate therapeutic change with critically ill children.

Since 1981, David has been playing and recording his own music solo and in collaboration with others. His interest in music and soundmaking comes from a personal, intuitive response to vibration gleaned from early years spent exploring his grandfather’s junkyard, the process of building his guitar at the Roberto-Venn School in 1994 and every improvised musical experience. With instrument building, performances, workshops and recorded works, he seeks to stimulate the listener to a point of resonance and discovery of their own musical being.

In addition to periodic solo performances and sonic socials, he is a founding member of animist orchestra – an ensemble that uses natural materials to create very quiet, subtly evolving soundscapes. Additionally, he has made interactive installations in public and private settings which seek to provide participants with opportunities to realize kinesthetic expressions in sound and promote deeper listening.


Steffanie Lorig

Steffanie Lorig (Art with Heart, Founder/Executive Director) left her successful and award-winning design career to become the founding director of Art with Heart in order to focus her talents and heart on helping children in crisis. Before doing this, she enjoyed designing for clients such as Microsoft, Children’s Hospital of Orange County, Harcourt, Nordstrom’s and others. She is the visionary and author or co-author of Art with Heart’s therapeutic books for kids: Oodles of Doodles, Chill & Spill, Magnificent Marvelous Me, and Ink About It . She co-wrote a children’s picture book with her husband entitled Such a Silly Baby (Chronicle). She enjoys bettering the world – one child at a time.


Cathy Malchiodi

Cathy Malchiodi, PhD, LPAT, LPCC, ATR-BC, REAT, is a Board Certified and Licensed Professional Art Therapist, Licensed Professional Mental Health Counselor, Registered Expressive Arts Therapist, and Research Psychologist. Cathy is an Honorary Life Member of the AATA and served on their Board of Directors for eight years as Secretary and Treasurer. She is a past member of the American Counseling Association’s Governing Council as well as past President of the Association for Humanistic Counseling and currently serves on the boards of several international organizations. Cathy has written and/or edited 19 books on art therapy and expressive arts including Handbook of Art Therapy (2nd Ed), Creative Interventions with Traumatized Children (2nd Ed.), Art Therapy Sourcebook, and the forthcoming Trauma-Informed Expressive Arts Therapy®and recently published, When Children “Clam-Up;” Facilitating Therapeutic Communication. She also serves as a Series Editor for Guilford’s Creative Arts and Play Therapy publications and on the Editorial Boards of the Arts in Psychotherapy and several other international journals. Cathy regularly writes about art therapy, expressive arts therapy and related topics for Psychology Today’s Arts and Health, a popular blog read by over 4 million readers.

A guest lecturer around the world, Cathy has given more than 400 invited presentations and workshops throughout the US and internationally; she regularly returns to Australia for multi-city lecture tours and workshops. In 2017, Cathy was invited by the Singapore Ministry of Health to present a series of lectures and workshops on Medical Art Therapy to help establish the profession of art therapy in that country. Her 30 years of experience in trauma intervention inspired her to create the Trauma-Informed Practices and Expressive Arts Therapy Institute, dedicated to expanding awareness and knowledge of the importance of the expressive arts in trauma reparation and recovery. Founded in 2011, the Institute’s growing faculty of credentialed creative arts therapists teaches courses grounded in mind-body, resilience-based and wellness-oriented expressive arts; to date, over 15,000 practitioners have participated in the Institute’s courses and programming. 

Cathy has worked for three decades with survivors of interpersonal violence, disaster, and medical illness. More recently, she has been working with active and returning combat military and their families through the Department of Defense, designing arts-based resiliency programming for children, families and couples and providing individual therapy to veterans with posttraumatic stress and traumatic brain injury. Cathy’s interest in art therapy began as a student at the Museum School of Fine Arts in Boston MA where she studied multicultural arts, painting and conceptual/performance arts. She currently works in mixed-media including altered books, large-scale collages and printmaking. In her spare time, Cathy recently became a recreational pilot because of her lifelong fascination with Amelia Earhart and Chuck Yeager, and well, she likes the idea of being an “aviator.” She is also grateful to have her husband David, feline supervisors Zoolee and Finnegan, family and so many wonderful friends around the planet in her life. 


Laurie Mowry-Hesler, MA, ATR-BC, MFT

Laurie Mowry-Hesler is a Resident Marriage and Family Therapist in Virginia as well as a Registered Board Certified Art Therapist. Mrs. Hesler received her Bachelors of Fine Arts in Elementary and Secondary Art Education from Southern Methodist University, Dallas, TX, in 1981 and her Masters of Art Therapy from George Washington University, Washington, D.C. in 1985. She also is a Licensed MFT in California.

Her clinical focus is working with children with developmental concerns as well as families and marriages. She has extensive experience working with children diagnosed with a wide variety of difficulties in both therapeutic and educational settings. She utilizes her background in Art Therapy when working with children who have been non-responsive to more traditional verbal therapy. Many of the children fall within the spectrum of Autism and Pervasive Developmental Delays. These children often struggle with profound to moderate speech and language issues and learning disabilities.

Mrs. Hesler has also worked with “at risk” emotionally disturbed children and adolescents and early intervention programs for preschoolers. Mrs. Hesler additionally has served as a Site Supervisor for George Washington University Art Therapy Graduate Students as well as currently supervising a John’s Hopkins graduate counseling student. She is also an independent contractor for The Expressive Therapy Center in Rockville, MD and McLean, VA.

Mrs. Hesler has been married for 24 years, is a mother of four (one internationally adopted specials needs child), served on the mission field for 8 years, is a pastor’s wife, and worked with children, families, single adults, and young married couples struggling with life’s challenges.


Jonathan Nambu

Jonathan Nambu and his wife, Thelma Nambu, are the founders of Samaritana Transformation Ministries based in Quezon City, Philippines.

Samaritana is committed to sharing and living out the Gospel among Filipino women caught in prostitution, in partnership with other members of the Body of Christ. Thelma serves as Program Supervisor and Jonathan is the Executive Director.

Jonathan and Thelma are also on the leadership team of the International Christian Alliance on Prostitution as the Asia Regional Representatives.


Thelma Nambu

Thelma Nambu and her husband, Jonathan Nambu, are the founders of Samaritana Transformation Ministries based in Quezon City, Philippines.

Samaritana is committed to sharing and living out the Gospel among Filipino women caught in prostitution, in partnership with other members of the Body of Christ. Thelma serves as Program Supervisor and Jonathan is the Executive Director.

Jonathan and Thelma are also on the leadership team of the International Christian Alliance on Prostitution as the Asia Regional Representatives. 


Amanda Root

Amanda Root is the founder of Talitha Arts, a non-profit organization that hosts arts workshops with survivors of human trafficking in India. Amanda resides in the United Kingdom with her husband. 


Nisha Sajnani

“First Aid Arts provides necessary skills to facilitate empathy, attachment, connection, creativity, and a renewed sense of vitality for care providers working within trauma affected communities. Their curriculum is well-researched, tested, and flexible enough to meet the needs of organizations.”

Dr. Nisha Sajnani is the Director of the Drama Therapy Program and the Theatre & Health Lab at New York University, and Editor of Drama Therapy Review. She is a member of the Critical Pedagogy in the Arts Therapies Think Tank and founding member of the World Alliance of Drama Therapy. She is a visiting faculty with the Harvard Program in Refugee Trauma and research fellow with the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama (UK). Her artistic and written scholarship reflects an interest in the role of improvisation and performance in stimulating discovery and addressing concerns related to identity, difference, migration, and place. Dr. Sajnani is the recipient of the Corann Okorodudu Global Women's Advocacy Award from the American Psychological Association, the Gertrud Schattner Award from the North American Drama Therapy Association, and the first Diversity award from the American Society for Group Psychotherapy and Psychodrama.   


Renee St. Jacques, PsyD

Dr. Renee St. Jacques earned her doctorate in counseling psychology from Northwest University. Her primary area of passion and experience is with women, sexual abuse, sex trafficking aftercare, and trauma recovery.

From 2012 to 2013, Dr. St Jacques served at Union Gospel Mission’s Hope Place women’s shelter counseling women from prostitution, sexual abuse, chemical dependency, and domestic violence backgrounds. Her dissertation explored the democratization of Western psychological interventions and factors of successful therapy as applied to different cultural contexts. As a part of this effort, in winter of 2013, she conducted her ethnographic research in Manila, Philippines in collaboration with First Aid Arts. This work has produced movement arts interventions included in First Aid Arts programming.

Dr. Renee St Jacques offers services that uniquely blend compassion with results.  Specializing in psychology and business, she delivers quality counseling, coaching, and consulting services for individuals, couples, and corporations. Learn more and connect through her website:


Karin Stevens

Karin Stevens began her training most notably with Pacific Northwest Ballet, Spectrum Dance Theater and The Seattle Children’s Theater. Her artistic lens has been influenced by a diverse movement background and travel, including a theatrical performance experience as a teen in Tashkent, Uzbekistan and a year studying dance in Spain as a young adult. While completing a B.A. in dance from the University of Washington, she was awarded a Mary Gates Endowment for Student Leadership Grant for her work with at-risk youth through dance. In 1999, Stevens began presenting her work and since has completed more than 60 dances. As Director of Dance at Dr Philips H. S., Orlando, FL, 2000 – 2003, she created many notable dances and was awarded multiple invitations to present in various national and local dance festivals, including a request to teach and choreograph for The Orlando Ballet School. In 2003, Stevens was awarded a full scholarship and teaching assistantship for the Mills College MFA Dance program. While dancing with the Mills Repertory Dance Company her performance in Molissa Fenley’s, Water Courses, was recognized in the Voice of Dance. Following graduate school, Stevens formed Oakland Dance Encounter, collaborating with local composers and performing in many Bay Area venues. Stevens returned to Seattle in 2007 to form Karin Stevens Dance. 2009 – 2011, her company was established as the resident dance company of the Fremont Abbey Arts Center. As Dance Curator for the Fremont Abbey Stevens produced a number of curated dance events and assisted in the mission and launch of dance educational classes, workshops and community outreach. Stevens has danced for VOCI Dance, Double Vision, Omega West, Push Up Something Hidden Dance, Westwick Dolder Dance Theater, Molissa Fenley and Dancers, Penny Hutchinson, and various Seattle, Los Angeles and Bay Area independent choreographers. In February 2009 she joined master choreographer Molissa Fenley, as an associate artist, at the Atlantic Center for the Arts. The versatility of Stevens ability has been seen on the stage with Taproot Theatre, Book-it Repertory Theatre and through a commission by Theatre Puget Sound. Her company, Karin Stevens Dance, collaborates with many local and regional artists, composers, and music ensembles. Karin is also the mother of three daughters!

Nancy Stillger

Nancy Stillger (Art with Heart, Program Manager), holds a BA in Economics from Scripps College and a MA in Urban Planning from the University of California at Los Angeles. Nancy was the recipient of an Arts Administration Fellowship with the National Endowment for the Arts. She has over twenty years of experience in non-profit administration. Her experience includes working with at risk youth on murals in LA, conducting oral histories, community outreach, fundraising, volunteer management, program development, and strategic planning. She believes strongly that art can transform lives. Nancy enjoys spending time with her family and dogs, hiking and gardening.


Kathy Stout-Labauve, MSW

Kathy Stout-LaBauve served as Vice President of Aftercare for International Justice Mission until 2015. IJM is a human rights agency that secures justice for victims of slavery, sexual exploitation and other forms of violent oppression. IJM lawyers, investigators and aftercare professionals work with local governments to ensure victim rescue, to prosecute perpetrators and to strengthen the community and civic factors that promote functioning public justice systems.

Ms. Stout-LaBauve is a licensed clinical social worker who has practiced in the field of trauma her entire career. She holds a BA in sociology from the University of Southwestern Louisiana and a MSW from Louisiana State University. Ms. Stout-LaBauve served as the Founding Director of the University Medical Center Rape Crisis Center in Lafayette, Louisiana, where she established the first rape treatment program in an eight-parish area. In this role, she served as a liaison between the rape crisis center and the District Attorney's office, law enforcement agencies, public and private hospitals and the media. In 1983, Ms. Stout-LaBauve was appointed to the Governor's Task Force on Rape and worked with the Louisiana Legislature to better protect victims. She was the Founding President of the Louisiana Foundation Against Sexual Assault, a network of professionals throughout the state who worked to impact public policy on sexual violence.

Following her work with the University Medical Center Rape Crisis Center, Ms. Stout-LaBauve opened a private psychotherapy practice in San Antonio, Texas, where she specialized in trauma recovery for 15 years. During that time Ms. Stout-LaBauve also taught trauma treatment protocol to students and professionals in graduate school classes and regional workshops, and founded the San Antonio Trauma and Dissociation Study Group.

Ms. Stout-LaBauve joined International Justice Mission in 2006 as the Trafficking Aftercare Specialist. She was responsible for developing protocols with IJM and aftercare partner staff for programs serving sex trafficking survivors in Southeast Asia and South Asia. In 2008, Ms. Stout-LaBauve became the IJM Aftercare Specialist and was responsible for coordinating global aftercare efforts in all of IJM's international field offices. As Vice President of Aftercare, Ms. Stout-LaBauve currently directs IJM aftercare efforts around the world to ensure the comprehensive needs of survivors of violence are met effectively and compassionately.


Amber Pauline Walker

Amber was born in Seattle, Washington and began writing as a child while simultaneously enduring complex trauma. She has experienced generational poverty, human trafficking, multi-faceted abuse and homelessness as well as being an At Risk Youth from the age of thirteen. In 2008 she expanded her passion for communication and storytelling when she began working as a public speaker; initially addressing domestic poverty and eventually incorporating her experiences with trafficking and complex trauma as well as systemic oppression, vulnerable populations and generational factors.

Amber came into contact with First Aid Arts in November of 2014. The FAA approach immediately resonated with two of the core elements of her personal experience - the creative arts and surviving trauma. Amber began working in collaboration with First Aid Arts in Seattle in July of 2015 and now serves as an advisor informing First Aid Arts as an artist and survivor of trauma. Amber deeply enjoys spending time challenging stereotypes and unconscious assumptions with her two sons: James Michael and Preston Lee. 

Watch Amber's Story here.