KIM SULLIVAN, MA, LPC, RPT, NCC
Kim and her family are long-time residents of Central Texas. She earned her BS in Secondary Science Education from The University of Texas in Austin in 1986, later expanding her certifications to include Elementary Education, Special Education, and Art Education. After teaching elementary and secondary science, she returned to school, graduating from Texas State University in San Marcos, TX, in May 2015, with her MA in Professional Counseling.
Kim received master's-level training in Child-Parent Relationship Therapy, play therapy, and expressive arts therapy. Her counseling experiences include working with behavioral and emotionally challenged adolescents at a residential psychiatric facility, play therapy with children on the Autism spectrum, adapting and leading a play-based parent education group for new/expectant mothers, and leading adult counseling groups at a local behavioral health hospital.
She and her counseling partner Gordon completed their advanced training at the Animal-Assisted Counseling Academy at Texas State in October 2017, becoming a certified counseling team in August 2019. Kim has been active as a volunteer with her therapy donkey and horse since 2008. Training in the areas of Equine-Facilitated Play Therapy and Natural Lifemanship have helped Kim and her equine partners, Lewis and Rocky, build upon skills learned while volunteering. Kim now serves as a facilitator with the Animal-Assisted Counseling Academy and hopes to share her equine knowledge with other animal-assisted therapists..
As a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC), Registered Play Therapist (RPT), and National Certified Counselor (NCC), Kim is continuing her education in the field of Equine-Assisted Counseling by attending trainings that will allow her to bring even more healing to clients and their families.
PET PRACTITIONER TEAM
AUSTRALIAN CATTLE DOG MIX
Born in October 2012, Gordon had a rough start in life. Someone wrapped something tight around his snout and he fractured his front legs. The scars behind his nose are all that remains from those injuries, however. Gordon has lived with Kim's family since January 24, 2013, which we celebrate as his Gotcha Day.
Gordon and Kim attended the Animal-Assisted Counseling Academy in 2017, passed their Pet Partners Team Evaluation in 2017, and also passed their Animal-Assisted Counseling Certification Evaluation in 2018. Gordon joins in both indoor and outdoor counseling sessions.
Cattle dogs love to work. and Gordon seems to take his work seriously - even when playing. His strengths are joining in with children during play therapy and helping adolescents and adults gain confidence to confront their own painful pasts.
Rocky stands about 38 inches at his withers, qualifying him as a "Class B Miniature Horse." He was bought at an auction by his previous owner, so very little is known about his background. When he did not work out for his previous owner, Kim bought him.
When he first arrived, Rocky was fearful of people and a bully to all of the larger horses in the pasture. Through much hard work and patience, Rocky learned to trust again. He and Lewis are barn buddies and enjoy each others' company.
Rocky has worked as a volunteer therapy horse with Kim since 2009 and they passed their Pet Partners evaluation together in 2013. He seems to enjoy interacting with all ages, but has especially shines when working with special needs individuals.
Rocky helps in community outreach and will join in sessions once a suitable equine location is secured.
At only 34 inches in height, Lewis is a little donkey with a huge heart. He came to live with Kim's family in 2007 when he was about 7 years old. He and Kim have volunteered together since 2008 with several local therapy-equine groups.
Lewis and Kim passed their Pet Partners evaluations in 2015 and 2017. Lewis has become a bit of a local personality and has appeared in two television news reports as well as having been featured in his own children's book. Like Rocky, he continues to periodically volunteer in the Round Rock and Williamson county communities as an ambassador helping at festivals, church celebrations, and other special local events.
True to his donkey-nature, Lewis is intelligent and curious. He seems to enjoy learning tricks and playing. Currently he knows how to smile, shake hands, roll a ball, shake a pom-pom, and can even paint. Lewis is also generally calm and gentle, which helps him to connect well with those who are feeling anxious or sad.