MEET THE TEAM

MELISSA BENINTENDI, MA LPC

``Many of us have been taught that selflessness means prioritizing everyone else first. But what if selflessness really means losing track of self-consciousness and ego as we pursue joy, spirituality, and depth? To be selfless is freedom from guilt, shame, and self-judgment. When we are pursuing our own freedom we heal others in our path as well.``

I inspire other healers to be the best healers possible. We can be more than just acceptable, but exceptional – beyond the average experience.

I was trained at Assemblies of God Theological Seminary and graduated in 2012. For several years I worked as a therapist for men and women struggling with addictions. I found that no matter who I was talking to the root of the struggle was the trauma of their past. These experiences taught me to see struggle for what it is, pain from our past intruding into our today.

I decided I wanted to understand how to help people heal from their experiences so they could have the healthy and joy filled lives they craved. I help my patients look at the past, not to blame or avoid, but to find the freedom to finally move forward.

I decided to receive training in EMDR Therapy so I could be more effective at addressing the traumas and adverse life experiences my clients were dealing with. As I moved into private practice I became a Certified EMDR Therapist and an EMDRIA Approved Consultant. In addition, I am currently studying to be an EMDR Trainer. These trainings have changed my ability to help people heal and I am grateful to have the opportunity to help other therapists gain the same experiences.

- Melissa Benintendi, MA LPC

profile image

JENNIFER SAVAGE, MA LPC

Out of suffering have emerged the strongest souls; the most massive characters are seared with scars.`` -- Khalil Gibran

``I approach every interaction with the utmost compassion and understanding. I work to guide those I work with in navigating life, viewing the world through healthy and clear lenses. I specialize in trauma focused therapy utilizing Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing Therapy. This approach highlights the brains capacity to independently heal with the support and guidance of a therapist. It is such an honor to be able to walk along side each person as they find the courage to do this incredible work.

There is something so magical about watching a humans capacity for healing become their reality. We created Beyond Healing Center to provide a safe and beautiful environment to heal from past wounds and present pain with guidance and support for mind, body and soul.``

I have been a therapist for 10 years and have dedicated myself to knowing how to support people as they heal from trauma. I also support other therapists, as both a consultant and trainer, to become skilled trauma therapists.

- Jennifer Savage, MA LPC

profile image

BRIDGER FALKENSTIEN

``I believe that we are wired to connect with each other in deep and meaningful ways throughout all of our lives. While ideally this would happen free of pain and sadness, most of us aren’t that lucky. From one single event to a lifetime of pain and suffering, I work with people all across the map to help them shed the scars of their pain and embrace the warmth and beauty of their best self. With total compassion and an unconditional posture, I seek each person’s flourishing in every moment I get to spend with them.``

I am trained in Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing Therapy (EMDR) and use a body-based understanding of what is going on underneath the emotions, pain and struggle for people that come to therapy. This approach allows me to meet people in the throes of their pain and to become a co-regulator for them as they learn to enjoy the beautiful connection and safety they were designed for.

I am very glad and so fortunate to be practicing alongside such gifted and compassionate clinicians at Beyond Healing Center. We each come to the table in slightly different ways to offer the people we serve a safe, beautiful and connected environment for their holistic healing.

Alongside my practice as a therapist, I am very passionate about teaching and equipping counselors in their development as clinicians to go out into the world and bring healing and rest.

- Bridger Falkenstien, MS PLPC

profile image

RYAN SAVAGE

“Stay patient and trust your journey.” - Brian Ford

My journey has led me to many different places over the last 15 years. My own struggles and challenges have forced me to grow as a person and find my true identity. When I find that my identity is congruent with the life I have ahead of me, I find peace in the work ahead.

I've had the honor of serving hundreds of students and teachers over the past 10 year as a teacher and administrator. Throughout my career as an educator, I noted multiple opportunities to support the individual growth of those around me.

Watching the work of the Beyond Healing Center from afar, I quickly noticed that I wanted to be a part of this amazing team. I knew that I could apply my strengths to support them as they work so hard to bring healing to other people. As the coordinator, I get to provide organization, direction, and management for the therapists and clients of Beyond Healing Center.

- Ryan Savage, Executive Director

profile image

CALEB BOSTON

``I'm a therapist with Beyond Healing Center and graduated from Evangel University with a Master's of Science in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. I am an EMDR trained clinician and have a passion for integrating body-based, nervous system informed, and developmentally-sensitive interventions into my clinical practice to help clients see the adaptability of their mind and the beautiful potential for healing.``

- Caleb Boston, MS PLPC

profile image

KARA BRYANT

``I’ve always had a heart for supporting people in their pursuit of health and happiness. The service of Massage Therapy allows me to do that.``

I graduated from the Professional Massage Training Center, Springfield, in 2010, and began working at Zen3 Spa and Bodyworks where I spent the next eight years honing my skills, adding modalities to my repertoire, and becoming very attuned to the physical body. I joined the team at Beyond Healing to begin my own practice and incorporate my experience to help people recovering from PTSD and Trauma, as well as people seeking self care, stress relief, muscle and joint pain relief, and improving flexibility and movement.

The foundation for my massage practice builds upon the Precision Neuromuscular Training, which was integrated into my clinical program at PMTC. Neuromuscular training allows me to work WITH the nervous system when treating the body for muscle pain, especially involving soft tissue.

I hold certification in Level One Thai Massage, which integrates deep stretching, joint movement, and static massage moves to create a dynamic modality that improves balance and flexibility. I also hold certification in Level Two Reiki. Reiki is a powerful modality that improves our overall sense of well being and balance. I also incorporate the use of stones and chakra balancing to help my clients feel supported, calm, and energized.

- Kara Bryant

profile image

RACHEL CAGLE

``I believe that the relationship between the client and therapist is an integral part of the healing process and it is my goal to meet you where you are and walk with you on your healing journey. I feel our work together should be a collaboration, connecting human to human, to build a relationship that will facilitate healing.``

- Rachel Cagle, MS PLPC

profile image

BROOKLYNN COOK

``I am currently an undergraduate at Missouri State University, studying Psychology and minoring in gender studies and diversity studies. I plan to graduate with my bachelor’s degree in the winter of 2021 and then apply to graduate school to further my education.

I currently work part time as a spa coordinator at a local spa as well as Beyond Healing Center as an intern/social media coordinator. Through Beyond Healing Center, I have the wonderful opportunity to learn the “behind the scenes” of a counseling business before I complete my bachelor’s degree. Aside from social media and podcast postings, I also welcome clients who are participating in the retreats to make sure they feel comfortable during their stay. In the future, I hope to complete my master’s degree in counseling and become a LPC. Through Beyond Healing Center, I hope to continue learning more about EMDR therapy to help piece together my area of interest. I hope that one day I will be able to incorporate EMDR therapy into my practice to help others through their healing journey.``

- Brooklyn Cook, Retreat Coordinator

profile image

JAMIE EGGERT

``I believe in connecting humans back to the Earth as a source of healing. Because of this, I am exploring how to use adventure-based therapy in my work with my clients. Currently, I am able to offer therapy intensives outside, whether that's sitting in a quiet park or hiking a local trail. Through Beyond Healing Center, I am also able to offer healing retreats using Equine Therapy on a beautiful farm.``

- Jamie Eggert, MS PLPC

profile image

KELSEY ESTHER

``I provide my students with the time, space, and support to process and integrate their healing. I teach embodiment practices that reconnect you with yourself and your intuition, so you can walk through life feeling safe, stable, and empowered.
My aim as a teacher is to provide you with an environment to heal and the tools to see and care for your whole self. I approach teaching through my understanding of biomechanics, yoga tradition, and nervous system regulation.``

- Kelsey Esther, Yoga Teacher

profile image

CONNOR GOOCH

``My role as a therapist is to guide and facilitate the healing process of my clients as they return home to themselves. This ``coming home`` process involves attuning to our bodies as we befriend the wounded or exiled parts of our psyche, welcoming them back to the table and listening to what they have to say.``

- Connor Gooch, MS PLPC

profile image

GAYLA GRAVEN

``Trained as an Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) certified therapist, I specialize in complex trauma from childhood including sexual abuse and religious abuse, addictions, codependency, and self-esteem issues. I am dedicated to helping people heal from their past and construct the future they desire. For anyone dealing with sleep disturbance, resurfacing memories, active addiction, relapse, or panic attacks, know there is help and recovery.``

- Gayla Graven, LCSW MAADC II EMDR Certified

profile image

DREW JANSEN

``Life can be a struggle at times. We can get stuck and have difficulty finding answers on our own. But you are not alone and there is hope for a better future. I provide a safe and compassionate space for you to share your story and together we will work to find a solution. I work with individual clients, couples, and in group settings. All beliefs and backgrounds are welcome. I believe in taking a holistic and client-centered approach and believe that therapy should meet the client's individual and unique needs. The relationship between the counselor and client is a special one and I would be honored to have the opportunity to earn your trust and walk beside you as you break through the barriers that are preventing you from living a happy, healthy, and fulfilling life.``

- Drew Jansen, ME, PLPC

profile image

CASARAH PENG

``I have such an appreciation for being allowed to walk beside individuals, couples, and families during their healing process. I base all of my therapeutic interactions on the relationship with those who are allowing me to be a part of their journey. Whether you have experienced trauma or have a severe and persistent mental illness, are experiencing marital problems, or just need someone to listen to whatever is going on, I want to sit with you through that and make it to the other side together.``

- Casarah Peng, LCSW

profile image

MARIBETH PRIMM

``I'm an EMDR practitioner, and that is my primary model for therapy. I also incorporate existentialism, spirituality and positive psychology as part of my approach. What we do will be based on what you need, how you learn, and what is meaningful to you. I specialize in addictions, religious trauma, and PTSD, but sometimes it's just an exercise in my holding space for you to make sense out of life's confusions.``

- Maribeth Primm, LPC, NCC

profile image

ANGELA SASTRY

``I believe providing encouragement and acceptance are important to the therapeutic process. Therefore, I apply an integrative, contextually client-centered approach to helping individuals achieve their goals and maintain personal wellness. Mixing conventional and alternative approaches, I draw on a variety of styles and techniques to incorporate what will be most helpful. By working toward identifying and fortifying unique strengths, you are better able to attain lasting personal empowerment and overall good health.``

- Angela Sastry, LPC, NCC, BHC St. Louis

profile image

CALLI WIATT

``The gift of therapy lies in the journey for both client and therapist. It is my belief that therapy is most effective when those involved allow themselves to be impacted by right relationship with the other. Only through right relationship, co-regulation and genuine empathy can true healing occur.``

- Calli Wiatt, MS, PLPC, NCC, RYT 200

profile image