Meet Our Team
Calgary, Alberta & St. Albert, Alberta
Blake Ausmus is a Registered Psychologist in Alberta. He is the owner of Sano State Health Clinic and he practices in Calgary and St. Albert.
Blake has been practicing biofeedback and Neurofeedback therapy in Calgary since early 2014. Since then, his practice has evolved to include counselling as well. He finds fulfillment in helping people overcome trauma (both physical and emotional) through various approaches and therapies. Using a non-judgmental approach in mental health is essential to him, as he recognizes the importance of clients feeling comfortable in order for progress to occur.
Blake is passionate about technologies and how they can be implemented in therapy. He has been trained in several different types of Neurofeedback and, as a result, clients of Sano State have access to cutting-edge therapies that are non-invasive, but very effective, to support treatment. Blake is fluent in Spanish and earned a BA at the University of Calgary in Spanish before finishing his M.Sc. in Psychology at Walden University. He also completed a Ph.D. in Psychology at Walden University.
Kayla Taylor is a Registered Psychologist in Alberta. She is the co-owner of Sano State Taylored Psychology Inc. and she practices in Calgary.
Kayla is passionate about mental health and wellness and has been practicing in the field since 2010. She is a strong believer in holism, mind-body connection, and the importance of healthy and secure attachments to our overall health and wellbeing. Kayla works with adults, children, adolescents, and families. She supports clients through various approaches in talk therapy and play-based therapy, Neurofeedback Therapy, and Biofeedback.
Kayla has a Master’s of Science degree in Counselling Psychology from the University of Calgary. In her spare time, Kayla enjoys spending time with her family and socializing with friends, exercising, travelling, and reading and learning.
Registered Social Worker,
Agnieszka (pronounced ahg-ñeh-sh-ka”) is a registered social worker (RSW) with a Master of Social Work degree in Clinical Practice from the University of Calgary. She helps folks (individuals, couples, all relationships, and families) find their inner strengths and wisdom, through a gentle internally focused process of connecting with the whole self and finding new ways of seeing and understanding experiences.
She has experience supporting diverse people through diverse problems including depression, anxiety, grief and loss, work-related stress, the challenges of immigrant experience, addiction and recovery, religious trauma and healing, parenting (children and adolescents), and ecological grief and anxiety.
Agnieszka is trained in Hakomi Mindfulness-based Body-psychotherapy, Narrative Therapy, and Systemic Family Therapy, and has some training in Internal Family Systems. She is certified in Hakomi Mindfulness-based Somatic Psychotherapy (CHT) and is a Registered Marriage and Family Therapist (RMFT). In her personal time, Agnieszka loves to be out in Nature, either completely alone, or with family (partner, three teenage kids, and their flat-coated retriever Rayla). She also loves to read and study textbooks, write poetry, knit and crochet, and sing.
Ricki Gillespie is a Registered Psychologist and assessor. She is passionate about helping families find answers to their questions and setting them up for success. The assessment process can be daunting, but Ricki hopes to bring it back down to earth and give her clients real life recommendations. Her work experience includes Alberta Health Services and group care work with youth.
In her free time, Ricki loves creating art, spending time in nature, and watching documentaries. Ricki lives in a very small town in Central Alberta with her three children, husband, and two cats.
Kari Cole is a Registered Psychologist with a Master’s Degree in Counselling Psychology. She has been registered in Alberta since 2016 and practices out of the Killarney office in Calgary.
Kari’s client-centered and holistic approach is based on developing therapeutic relationships grounded in compassion. She works with children, adolescents, young adults, and their families.
Kari creates a safe, non-judgemental space and takes a collaborative stance in therapy to foster mental health, wellness, and lifelong resiliencies. Her integrative approach draws from evidence-based practices such as Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), Emotion-Focused Family Therapy (EFFT), Solution Focused Therapy (SFT), and Experiential Therapies (Art/Play).
Some of Kari’s areas of specialization include anxiety, mood challenges, attention problems (ADHD), self-esteem, grief, emotional regulation, eating disorders, and self-harm. She considers it a great privilege to be a part of each client’s process towards increased wellness.
In her free time, Kari loves spending active time in nature with her husband and two children. She also enjoys scrapbooking, reading, creating new healthy recipes, and learning through professional development.
Angie Smith is the Office Manager and also a Neurofeedback Practitioner at our Douglasdale office in Calgary. Angie believes in a holistic approach to health where client needs are individualized and prioritized. She began her career in Human Resources where she spent nearly 10 years helping manage benefits plans and disability cases. Through this, she discovered her passion for health and more specifically the links between mental health and nutrition.
Angie has received her certification for Holistic Nutrition as well as personal training and group fitness classes and she brings this knowledge and passion for health and wellness with her to the clinic each day. In her spare time, Angie loves being active and spending time with her family and friends.
Office Manager and Neurofeedback Practitioner
Emily is a Neurofeedback Practitioner in Calgary. She is currently a psychology student at St. Mary's University. Emily has a strong desire to help others with their mental health. This desire has led her to participate in different volunteering opportunities such as the Big Brothers/Big Sisters program and the Child and Youth Advocacy Initiative. She enjoys learning about different therapies and their benefits, biofeedback being one of these therapies of interest. In her free time, Emily enjoys reading, walking, and painting.
After a 24-year maternity leave, Kristen is excited to return to work as the Office Manager and Neurofeedback technician at our Killarney location.
Kristen was an ex-pat in Southern California with her husband and four kids for two years; now, the Pacific Ocean runs through her Calgary-born and bred veins.
Kristen enjoys adventures with her family, a memorable time being when they drove over 2000 km in 24 hours to witness a total lunar eclipse, which was completely life-changing.
Kobe Bryant once read to her kids.
Kristen loves words, grammar and dissecting perfectly crafted sentences from the New Yorker.
One of Kristen’s favourite sayings is, "If you want something done, ask a mom, unless it's a trip to the ER, then don’t ask. It isn’t broken. You don’t need stitches." Kristen is currently pursuing part-time studies in the field of psychology.
Office Manager and Neurofeedback Practitioner
Emma Nash is a Neurofeedback Practitioner in Calgary and has been a valued member of the Sano State team since 2018. She is also a student at Mount Royal University working toward a major in psychology and a minor in math.
Emma is fascinated with Neurofeedback Therapy and how it helps a variety of people to improve their mental health. Her passion for learning within the field of psychology developed from a love for helping others. In her free time, Emma enjoys being outdoors and spending time with family and friends.
Alissa Van Buren is a Neurofeedback Practitioner in the Killarney office in Calgary. Alissa graduated from the University of Alberta in 2022 with a Bachelor of Science with Specialization in Psychology. Alissa’s favourite courses included elements of neuroscience, cognitive psychology, and interpersonal relationships and she is very excited to be working in an environment that incorporates all of these areas. Alissa is passionate about promoting the importance of mental health and hopes to continue learning and growing in the field by going to school for her master’s in counselling, with her end goal of becoming a registered psychologist.
Alissa loves plants and believes that we should tend to our brain like we tend to our plants, giving them all the resources and care that they need to flourish! In her spare time, Alissa enjoys playing piano, reading, and volunteering at her local food bank. Alissa aspires to create a world where mental health is prioritized, allowing individuals to thrive and achieve their full potential!
Alissa Van Buren
& Neurofeedback Practitioner
St. Albert, Alberta
Miranda Gibbons is a Neurofeedback Practitioner and Office Manager in St. Albert. Miranda began her career as a Registered Massage Therapist practicing in Alberta for ten years. Throughout this time Miranda worked in a variety of settings and eventually went on to own and operate a spa and wellness center. After so many years of hands-on work with clients Miranda really began to see the link between mental and physical health and began favoring a holistic approach to client wellbeing and promoting a healthy and balanced lifestyle.
Miranda happily joined the Sano State team in February of 2022. In her free time, Miranda enjoys spending time with her family, getting outdoors, and staying active. She can be frequently found in the neighborhood yoga studios or out on the trails running, biking, or exploring with her daughter.
Karolina Balint is a Neurofeedback Technician in St. Albert. She is currently pursuing her Bachelor of Science in Psychology at the University of Alberta. Joining the St. Albert team with experience in the hospitality and forestry industries, she looks forward to helping people achieve their best selves through Neurofeedback Therapy.
In her free time she loves to hike, camp, and learn new languages. She also enjoys volunteering with Brain Waves teaching children the importance of helmet safety, and fundraising for Doctors Without Borders with Friends of MSF at the University of Alberta. Karolina plans to pursue her MSc in Psychology after completing her BSc, and looks forward to a rewarding future in mental health care.
St. Albert, Alberta
Student Counsellor/Neurofeedback Practitioner
St. Albert, Alberta
Thomas Benowicz is a Student Counsellor working under Blake Ausmus’s supervision in St. Albert. He is going into the second year of his Master of Education in Counselling Psychology at the University of Alberta, where he previously obtained his Bachelor of Science (Honours Program) in Psychology.
Thomas has been working in professional psychology for several years and has experience in both counselling and neurofeedback. He has worked with clients living with anxiety, depression, ADHD, family and relationship conflicts, and grief. He also has experience in supporting students and assertiveness training. Thomas believes in using a collaborative approach to create a safe, non-judgmental environment where each individual client can pursue their goals in a manner that is right for them. Since counselling sessions often include addressing difficult or painful topics, Thomas integrates empathy and humour into his work to support clients in whatever they may be dealing with. He practices from an integrated perspective and uses techniques from acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT), cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT), and person-centered therapy.
Brittany is a doctoral student at the University of Calgary, where she earned her Master of Science in Educational Psychology with a specialization in School and Applied Child Psychology. Her graduate research focused on the lived experiences of nondisclosure of an autism diagnosis from a guardian with adults on the autism spectrum. Her dissertation research will continue to aim to serve the families and individuals on the autism spectrum and autism community.
Brittany has received formal training and supervision from registered psychologists in the assessment of standardized measures with 3.5 years of experience administering psychological, neuropsychological, psycho-educational, and disability assessments in both clinical and school-based settings. On top of assessment, Brittany has training and experience in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, providing developmental and behavioural interventions, counselling, and social skills interventions. She is a certified clinician for the Program for the Education and Enrichment of Relational Skills (PEERS) and has 7+ years of experience working with children, adolescents, and adults with various developmental, mental health and co-occurring conditions.
Brittany is particularly passionate about working with neurodiverse children and teens, working from a strength-based and developmentally appropriate approach. She emphasizes the importance of the therapeutic relationship and aims to create a non-judgmental, supportive environment for her clients to explore their feelings, values, and growth.
Alicia Adams is our Communications Coordinator. She is the friendly first point of contact when you reach out. Alicia brings a 20+ year history in customer service. Before joining the Sano State team, she worked with one of Canada's largest airlines for almost a decade. That industry's varied and demanding nature was excellent for honing her ability to connect with people and get to the heart of their needs. Alicia is a people person at her core and is passionate about mental health and wellbeing. Through her lived experience, she has witnessed the capacity for growth and change and is
committed to helping people find this within themselves.
Alicia is a busy mom of three and enjoys reading, podcasts, knitting, and crocheting. She is also a self-proclaimed nerd with many areas of particular interest, especially in musical theatre, film and television. It is a passion born out of her time studying at MacEwan University's Theatre Arts Program, and she loves nothing better than diving into a fan-favourite series or film with her husband!
Allana is our social media creator and manager, though she has formerly done many roles within the clinic.
Allana graduated from the University of Calgary in 2020 with a Bachelor of Arts in Linguistics and a Minor in Anthropology. Currently, she attends the University of British Columbia and is working to complete a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology.
Allana has been in the therapy world since 2018 when she became a Developmental Aide. In this role, she supports children with neurodevelopmental disorders, such as ADHD, ASD, and Deafness. In 2021, she was the co-head of a grassroots organization that supported individuals who had experienced sexual violence. She has also spent time in the community as a recreational sports coach in gymnastics and dance.
Allana’s own personal experiences have helped her become a strong mental health advocate, fostering not only compassion and empathy but also a drive to increase the efficacy of health and therapy services. She is passionate about diversity and multidisciplinary interventions. With skills in American Sign Language, she hopes to increase the reach of therapy services.
Outside of work, Allana spends her time playing music, volleyball, and video games. She strongly values her relationships and hopes to bring a positive experience to every person she meets.
Senior Neurofeedback Practitioner and
Social Media Manager