Ted Wiard, LPCC, CGC
Author, Founder and Executive Director of Golden Willow Retreat
Ted Wiard along with his wife, Marcella, created Golden Willow from a combined vision of compassion and healing towards all life. Ted is a licensed clinical therapist, certified grief counselor, an ordained minister, a New Mexico certified schoolteacher and a certified tennis professional. Ted’s passion for working with grief, in its many forms, arose from his own personal losses in which he realized there were very few places that offered support and healing from grief. While working at Betty Ford Center, Ted counseled individuals and families with clinical and spiritual support through the recovery process, realizing that many individuals rarely touch the underlying conditions that led them to their dysfunctional behaviors. He has written numerous articles on the subject of emotional healing, grief, loss, trauma and the connection verses disconnection of spirituality in grief, loss, life transitions as well as addiction and relapse prevention. His book, “Witnessing Ted, The Journey to Potential Through Grief & Loss”, is a sensitive guide on the six aspects of grief and the journey to a wiser more authentic life. He is sought out for speaking engagements nationally to offer his inspirational and dynamic message of hope and healing.
Jim Lengerich, LPCC
Jim has been a full-time resident of the Taos area for over 40 years. He obtained a Masters Degree in Counseling from Southwestern College in Santa Fe and am a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor (LPCC). He has been working with individuals, couples, families, and groups for over 17 years both in private practice and as a contract counselor/therapist for various nonprofit retreat centers including Golden Willow Retreat and the National Veterans Wellness and Healing Center. The focus of his work has been varied but mainly around issues of grief and loss, trauma (PTSD), addictions and overall personal growth mentally, emotionally and spiritually. My work includes Mindfulness, Body-Centered Therapy, Brainspotting which is most effective in treating and healing victims of trauma and PTSD, Energy work, Shamanic Practice and leading healing ceremonies and rituals. I have trained extensively with various indigenous elders, shamans and medicine people from North, Central, and South America in the healing potential available from Spirit through ceremony and ritual. The ceremonies and individual work in my practice assists people to work through their issues and awaken to one’s true essence with a deeper sense of connection to themselves, nature, their families, communities, and Spirit.
Mark Speight, LMHC, Therapy
Mark is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor and a graduate from Southwestern College in Santa Fe. He holds a Master of Arts Degree in Counseling and has an Ecotherapy Certificate from SWC’s New Earth Institute. Prior to becoming a therapist, Mark had a career in public service providing legal counsel to the U.S. Congress on foreign policy and international aid programs. He traveled the world and interacted with many individuals, groups and cultures. Through this experience, he learned to listen deeply and to respect different perspectives and diverse world views. Mark finds that by being fully present and attuned to a person’s story, a healing presence emerges as they find the source of healing and growth within themselves. Mark takes a person-centered therapeutic approach and works with clients in this relational space where energy and information flow to gently guide them through the uniquely human process of “conscious grief.” Mark has led several Therapeutic Writing Practice Groups in Santa Fe and Taos.
Haley Demaree, MA, CGC
In Haley’s worldview, authentic embodiment and expression of one’s true self is the pathway to living one’s best life. Haley approaches therapy from primarily a Person-Centered and Humanistic standpoint, with heavy influences from Ecopsychology and Somatic Experiencing. She believes in the inherent wisdom of the body, mind and soul of the person (or client) in front of her and views them from a holistic standpoint. In therapy, Haley works to create a safe space with unconditional positive regard and empathy to facilitate the person’s authentic expression of themselves. Her trainings and certificates include: Trauma, Grief & Renewal Certificate – The New Earth Institute of Southwestern College, Ecotherapy Certificate – The New Earth Institute of Southwestern College and Mirroring the Four Shields of Human Nature – The School of Lost Border
Karsyn Lahann, MA, LMHC
Born and raised in Southern New Mexico, Karsyn quickly fell in love with the beauty and culture that is Taos County and its people. Karsyn is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor and obtained her Bachelors in Psychology and Masters in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from New Mexico State University. Karsyn has experience working with children, adolescents, adults, families, and couples. Karsyn’s primary background has been in acute mental health and substance use, with a focus on how loss and trauma impact both respectively. Karsyn utilizes a person-centered and psychodynamic approach with the hopes of helping individuals work towards their true authentic self and healing the mind, body, and soul.
Lisa Harris, Yoga, and Meditation
Lisa was introduced to the principles of holistic living through her Grandmother who taught her the art of mindfulness, balance, and how to live life with gratitude and forgiveness. Lisa has been a student of yoga for over 20 years, studying and teaching in The Berkshires, New Mexico, Costa Rica, and New York City(where she is originally from). Teaching for 17+ years and certified in multiple disciplines, her approach is to honor the uniqueness of individual students and determine a comprehensive plan that can be comfortably incorporated into their daily lives. lives. Her yoga classes combine the various disciplines of Hatha, vinyasa, ashtanga, anusara, pilates, feldenkrais, yoga somatics, therapeutics, and meditation. Lisa’s goal is to help her students find more strength and ease in their bodies, learn to slow down, reflect inward and be able to redirect thoughts and patterns that no longer serve their highest good. She joined the GWR family in 2015 and feels grateful to be a part of this healing and transformational community where she continues to make heartfelt connections with the people with whom she interacts. In addition to yoga, Lisa assists in coaching the Taos High School tennis team is current President of the Taos Fall Arts Festival, loves travel, the ocean, and the beautiful skies and mountains of Taos!
Melissa Ortiz, Massage
Melissa was born in the Sangre de Cristo mountains and feels blessed to still call Arroyo Hondo her home. Her family has been here for many generations and she was brought up with traditional Hispanic healing. She enjoys working with prayer, herbs and doing spiritual cleansing. She also continues to study different healing modalities in order to provide the best care possible. Melissa has a strong connection to the land and finds it peaceful and healing. Her community is very important to her and she has been providing massages for the people in her village for the last ten years. She says, ” It is such an honor for me to be able to offer my gift and be a part of the healing process.”
Julie Tato, Mindful Meditation
Julie has practiced and taught mindfulness & loving-kindness meditation in both secular & Buddhist settings since 1988; has worked professionally with children, youth, families, and the elderly for over 40 years; and serves as an inter-spiritual chaplain & bereavement counselor at Anvoi Hospice in Taos. Julie is trained as an instructor of Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction, Mindful Schools Curriculum, and Insight Meditation. She has lived in Northern New Mexico since 1988, is a long-time member of the Lama Foundation spiritual community, and a committed student of all things sacred, including the path of recovery from loss for herself and others. She is deeply supportive of the integration of all spiritual traditions, including connection to family/community and the natural world.
Rebecca Ford, Operations Manager
Rebecca Ford is our Operations Manager at Golden Willow Retreat. She is a visionary business leader with over 20 years of experience in corporate leadership and business development for top Fortune 500 companies. Rebecca became a Certified Grief Educator through the David Kessler training program in the Summer of 2022. She is currently enrolled in Adams State University’s masters program for Clinical Mental Health, is completing her Trauma, Grief and Renewal Certificate Program through Southwestern College New Earth Institute, and is certified by John Hopkins University in Psychological First Aid. Rebecca has years of experience with team building and business management that has required her to demonstrate active listening and communication skills. Rebecca’s goal is to foster team collaboration that ensures all guests of Golden Willow Retreat are cared for in a kind, gentle manner and that they feel seen, heard, and valued on their path with grief, loss, and transition.