About Acres For Life
A unique approach to
making a difference in people’s lives.
No matter who you are and what you’ve been through,when you drive into Acres, you are right where you need to be.
Experience You Can Trust
Located in the beautiful countryside outside of Minneapolis, MN,
Acres for Life naturally fosters therapeutic and personal development transformation, which is why our clients come from all over the world.
Years Serving Clients
People’s Lives Transformed
We Are In A Mental Health Crisis.
So many need help now
more than ever.
Stress from COVID-19 — along with stress related to health care, the economy, racism and the presidential election — is seriously threatening the mental health of our country, according to a new national survey from the American Psychological Association.
(APA, October 20, 2020)
We support the following:
Individuals Struggling with Challenges
Mental Health Equine Businesses
Company Leaders & Teams
Donors and Sponsors
H.O.R.S.E – Our Signature System
Ensuring our clients achieve positive and transformative change in their life.
Each Acres treatment team consists of a licensed Mental Health Professional, a qualified Equine Specialist, and the horses, with you at the center. We believe the best solutions come from within, and our goal is to create the space providing the latitude for you to discover, learn, and grow from the unique qualities of the horse-human relationship.
Our process involves no riding and is ground-based with no previous experience with horses necessary.
Our program is committed to ongoing feedback to provide you with the best services possible.
Acre’s unique team approach considers the Mental Health Professional, the Equine Specialist, and the herd equal partners. All sessions are on the ground and involve movement, physical activity, and relationship-building with the horses.
The horses’ unique sensitivities and special capacity to read and respond to your non-verbal cues can lead people to powerful emotional breakthroughs and life-changing insights, even when nothing else has worked.
Acres for Life, a collaborative team approach that works.
Acres professionals recognize the role safety plays in the success of our client’s treatment sessions. To feel comfortable addressing difficult and personal experiences, one must feel safe both emotionally and physically.
Acres professionals hold space in a non-interpretive, client-centered approach, while the horses’ special capacity to read and respond to peoples’ non-verbal signals and cues provides a natural judgment-free unfolding. Giving people a safe environment where they can discover solutions to difficult issues.
Any mental health program must create emotional safety.
Because horses allow you to reflect and gain understanding of painful experiences or challenging situations, working with them can help you gently heal from a variety of psychological issues, and also to help organizations improve effectiveness and performance.
By interacting with the horses, clients learn to build healthy relationships and gain insight into their own emotions, reactions, and the stories we tell ourselves about the past.
People step into a new way of being.
“This is a calling
– not a job for us.
We believe in miracles and experience them here every day”.
– The Acres Team
Meet the Team
Equipped with highly specialized facilitation skills, including the horses, to provide you
with the best possible care.
Our Team of Horses & Humans
We are blessed with a team of smart, kind, and conscientious humans and 23 amazing horses serving our clients and making the Acres life running smooth and making a big impact.
Lynn is the CEO of Acres for Life, which she co-founded in 2001.
Lynn is guided by her passion for helping others experience the powerful connection with horses and nature.
Lynn has experienced firsthand the deep and profound healing that can occur through these connections, and is a firm believer in the power of incorporating horses into mental health and personal development to make a difference in the lives of her clients.
Her vision is to provide people with opportunities to reclaim and embrace what is rightfully theirs—their joy and happiness.
Lynn’s education includes a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Wisconsin, a Master’s Degree in Professional Counseling, and a Master’s Degree from Hazelden Graduate School of Addiction Studies. She continues to grow and learn daily working alongside the awesome Acres for Life team and as part of the Arenas for Change Creators team! Lynn is inspired and encouraged by by both as we connect through the power of shared stories!
Heather joined the Acres for Life team in 2007 and has a deep love of all aspects of working with her clients and horses, including facilitating sessions.
She is passionate and caring, guiding individuals, groups, families, and youth to their own transformative healing with horses.
Heather serves as Chief Operating Officer and is the glue and the backbone that makes all of us at Acres look good. She keeps the Acres for Life engine going, taking care of onboarding our clients, and ensuring they have what they need.
She manages the entire team of over 50 and also takes care of the herd and our facilities.
Heather holds Eagala Advanced Certification, is certified as a Therapeutic Coach®, and holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Conservation and Biology. She also has a Master’s Degree in Integrative Recovery for Co-Occurring Disorders as a Licensed Alcohol and Drug Counselor and Licensed Professional Clinical Counseling.
Sally Jane Mixon
Sally has known that there is something special about horses since she was a young girl. From that time on, she knew she wanted to work with them on a much deeper and richer level to bring hope to the hopeless.
In her roles as Chief Development Officer and Equine Trainer at Acres, Sally combines her expertise as a professional exercise jockey and her passion for raising awareness of the power of this work through not only helping clients, but also through fundraising.
Sally is also the Founder and President of Abijah’s Hope, an organization committed to making a difference in the professional racing world – retraining horses to be placed in healthy new roles to be of service in mental health equine practices like Acres For Life.
Sally holds a Masters in Professional Counseling. She is Eagala Advanced Certified and holds the Eagala Military Designation.
Credentials: MSW, LICSW
Jennifer joined the Acres for Life team as Clinical Director in 2020. She graduated with her Master’s in Social Work from the University of Washington in Seattle in 2003, and currently practices as a Licensed Independent Social Worker in Minnesota. Jennifer’s experience as a mental health therapist includes working with people across the entire lifespan, those struggling with trauma and PTSD, anxiety, depression, and other mood disorders, substance abuse, Borderline Personality Disorder, and attention issues. In addition, Jennifer has specialized in providing therapy to individuals with intellectual disabilities. Currently, Jennifer sees clients in private practice and provides clinical supervision to new professionals in the field. When she is not working, Jennifer enjoys spending time with her family and walking in nature.
Military Services Coordinator
Vietnam Veteran, MS in Education, Eagala Model Equine Assisted Psychotherapy Certified Practitioner
Larry is a U.S. Navy Vietnam veteran. He served a 19 month deployment in the Vietnam war zone aboard the USS Oklahoma City CLG5. He recently retired after over 40 years working in higher education for several universities, including the University of Minnesota.
Larry grew up around horses as a Minnesota farm kid. After he left the Navy he attended the University of Minnesota, Indiana University, and met and married his wife, Sarah. (She and her horse came as a package deal.) Horses have been a part of their lives ever since. Together they raised daughters and Norwegian Fjord horses.
Eagala Model Equine Assisted Psychotherapy Certified Practitioner
Cheyenne’s love for horses began around 12-13 years old after spending time with a close friend and her horses – doing chores, riding, and eventually bought her first horse. In 2017, she graduated with a degree in Equine Science and began working for a local vet. As she became more and more engulfed in the horse world, she heard about Eagala and knew she wanted to become certified. In 2018, she attended her first Eagala training in Eau Claire WI and was hooked. She was later introduced to Acres for Life and felt it was, “A dream come true to be hired!”
During her free time she enjoys riding her horses at home and spending time with her friends and family.
MA, LADC Model Equine Assisted Psychotherapy Certified Practitioner
Kelsey recently graduated from Hazelden Betty Ford Graduate School with a master’s degree in Addiction Studies: Integrated Recovery for Co-Occurring Disorders. At the age of 8, Kelsey fell in love with horses, and learned firsthand the healing that can come from these amazing animals. At the age of 16, she began her dream of wanting to work with horses to help people experience healing in the same way she had. Kelsey has several years experience in working with children, at-risk youth, and men and women who are struggling with addiction. Through her experience in working with women in a family treatment setting, Kelsey developed her passion for helping families begin to heal from the impact of addiction and co-occurring disorders. When she is not working, Kelsey can be found somewhere in the world traveling and experiencing life in different countries, or at home with her rescue pup.
LMFT, Eagala Model Equine Assisted Psychotherapy Certified Practitioner
Trisha is a Licensed Married and Family Therapist with over 15 years of experience in the field. She received her Masters degree in Marriage and Family therapy from Bethel Seminary in 2004 and currently works as an independent contractor at a mental health group in the Shoreview area serving children, individuals, couples and families. As a military spouse she has a special interest in serving military and veteran populations. Trisha is also a Certified Daring Way™ Facilitator which is based on the research of Brené Brown. She is excited to bring this work into the Dare to Rise retreats. She was certified in EAGALA in 2019. As a child she dreamed she would one day work with animals and in that dream she assumed she would be working with people to help animals heal. In a twist of fate, she now has the honor to partner with animals to help people heal at Acres for Life and she is so grateful.”
MA, LPCC, Eagala Model Equine Assisted Psychotherapy Certified Practitioner
Throughout her life, Trish has been drawn to the outdoors where she felt the grounding, comfort and healing that is experienced when connecting with nature and animals. She is grateful to have found herself at Acres for Life in the later stage of her career where she can combine this connection and her clinical experience with the transformative practice of the Eagala Model utilizing horses and the nature that surrounds them.
Trish is a licensed Professional Clinical Counselor and received her Master’s Degree in Counseling Psychology from the University of St. Mary’s in 1994 and became Certified in Eagala in 2019. Trish brings to AFL over 30 years of experience advocating, evaluating, treating, and learning from individuals and groups as they move through life’s challenges, losses, and changes, often simultaneously experiencing mild to severe symptoms of mental health disorders especially anxiety and depression. Over her career she has provided a variety of therapeutic interventions, with the past 8 years practicing and teaching the skills found in Dialectic Behavioral Therapy (DBT) within a Partial Hospitalization Program and performing Crisis Psychiatric Consultations within metro area hospital Emergency Room.
MA, Eagala Model Equine Assisted Psychotherapy Certified Practitioner
Carmen graduated from St. Mary’s University – Twin Cities in 2015 with her Master’s Degree in Marriage and Family Therapy. In addition to working at Acres for Life she has a private practice in Saint Paul. She develops a relationship with each client built on trust and mutual respect, and establishes a safe therapeutic environment that empowers each person to uncover their true potential and live a happier, more satisfying life. Carmen enjoys being able to combine her passion for helping people heal with her love of nature and animals. Carmen joined the Acres team in the summer of 2015. She works with kids through adults, individuals, couples and families.
How It Works
Our professional facilitators and the horses create an environment for our clients to experience lasting positive outcomes.
The Acres Approach is guided by a team consisting of licensed, credentialed Mental Health Professional, a qualified Equine Specialist, and horses working together with you.
When inside the arena or pasture with the horses, your entire experience is on the ground with the horses front and center, never ridden, and left unhindered. They are considered equal partners on the treatment team.
Learn to strengthen your resilience as you discover new ways of living more fully present.
Find HOPE again, knowing that someone else is in your corner.
Come Join Us and Be a Part of the Acres Family!
Schedule a Call to learn:
- How you can experience a session, remote or in-person,
- Inquire about our programs,
- Or how you can be a sponsor.
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