Maria Katsamanis, Psy.D.
SROH Research Director EAP/EAL
EAGALA Certified Mental Health Professional & Equine Specialist
Founder - Horses for Healers Workshop (SROH)
Dr. Katsamanis is a licensed Clinical Psychologist in both New Jersey and New York and holds a doctoral degree in Clinical Psychology. She is certified as a Mental Health Professional through the Equine Assisted Growth and Learning Association (EAGALA). Dr. Katsamanis has earned a Bachelor's of Art in International Relations and two Masters: a Masters of Arts in General Psychology and a Master's of Science in Clinical Psychology. Her graduate school background includes a concentrated focus on metaphors, non-verbal communication, hypnosis and psychophysiology. While pursuing her graduate studies she worked as a flight attendant for three years. She maintains a faculty appointment as a Clinical Assistant Professor at Robert Wood Johnson Medical School (RWJMS) and a teaching appointment supervising psychology graduate students at the Graduate School of Professional Psychology (GSAPP), Rutgers University. She founded an elective course at RWJMS, collaboratively with Rutgers University Equine Research Center (Carey Williams, Ph.D.) to teach the importance of nonverbal language to assist medical students in their interpersonal relationships as healthcare practitioners and improve bedside manners. Her professional affiliations include being a member of the Animal/Human Interaction: Research and Practice Session, Division 17, American Psychological Association. She was recently elected to participate as a member of the EAGALA Research Advisory Group. She has numerous publications in the area of psychophysiology and has a focused interest in breathing behavior and its effects on health and performance. She was recently nominated for the 2009 "Outstanding Teacher" Award by the Psychiatry Residency program at Robert Wood Johnson Medical School-University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey.
Dr. Katsamanis has had a lifelong passion in honing her skills to become a more accomplished horsewoman. One of her earliest memories is saving her pennies to buy horse training packages. Her first teacher, at 12 years old, was a 6-year old Quarter Horse mare who taught her to speak softly and carry a big carrot! Since then, there were many other notable 4-legged teachers but always her first mare, Shalimar, lingered in her mind. After 20 years, she finally tracked down and re-united with Shalimar who was now 27 and looking fantastic…younger than ever! Many of life's lessons were learned atop or next to a horse and Dr. Katsamanis has continued to advocate the value of lessons learned from nature. She has completed training as a Certified Equine Massage Therapist and is apprenticing with a French Classical Dressage trainer.