Our Team


Janelle Nimer, Ph.D., LCSW, has 10 years of experience in animal-assisted interventions (AAI). In 2003, while working on her master’s degree, Dr. Nimer began researching AAI. Dr. Nimer’s research on AAI has been presented at International Society for Anthrozoology and International Association of Human-Animal Interaction Organizations.  She also published her AAI research in peer-reviewed journals.  Dr. Nimer completed a three-year doctoral fellowship in Veterinary Social Work in 2009. She has been teaching AAI to graduate students in Social Work since 2009 at the University of Tennessee and currently at the University of Utah.

Dr. Nimer turned her research into practical experience in 2004 when she began volunteering with an affiliate of Delta Society (now known as Pet Partners).  As a volunteer for Delta Society, Dr. Nimer and her pet partner, Annie, lifted the spirits and improved depression and anxiety of patients by visiting hospitals and mental health clinics in Salt Lake County. In 2009, Dr. Nimer completed her first equine certification.  In 2013, she became the Board Chair of Therapy Animals of Utah (a Pet Partner affiliate).  She is a co-owner of both the Utah Healing Center and the Animal-Assisted Healing Center where she includes AAI, along with other evidenced based practices, in her outpatient mental health practice.  In addition to using canines in her practice, Dr. Nimer contracts with ranches across Northern Utah to incorporate equines into her therapy.  Dr. Nimer’s passion is working with children and adolescents who have experienced trauma or who have disabilities.



Janet is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker who is currently the Clinical Director of the Utah Healing Center.  She has over 25 years experience working with children, adolescents, and adults achieving their therapeutic goals. Janet graduated from Westminster with a degree in Psychology and from the University of Utah with a Masters in Social Work. She has worked at the University of Utah Hospital as a Crisis Worker in the Emergency Room and as a Mental Health Examiner for Salt Lake County. Janet has been an expert witness in District and Juvenile Court. She has experience in doing Critical Incident Stress Management (CISM) with first responders to a disaster, and employees of organizations, who have experienced a life changing trauma incident. Janet is currently a volunteer with the Red Cross on the Disaster Mental Health Team.  She is also a Certified Crisis Counselor for the State of Utah.  Her expertise includes trauma focused therapy.  Janet is a Certified and an approved EMDRIA Consultant. She has extensive training in EMDR, specifically in treating complex trauma (multiple traumas), sexual abuse, and women’s issues.  She also has extensive training in Trauma Focused-Cognitive Behavior Therapy (TF-CBT). She approaches therapy from a systems perspective including the entire family even when working with individuals.  Janet uses an array of evidence-based practices with all her clients.  She specializes in diagnosing, treating and developing appropriate treatment plans for individuals and families.  Janet has worked with mood disorders, traumatic events, chronic mental health problems and parenting issues.

photo-on-9-25-16-at-1-18-pm-4Mary Coombs is a CSW with a bachelor’s degree in Psychology and a Master’s degree in Social Work. She is trained in a broad range of therapeutic approaches including Global Social Work, Motivational Interviewing, Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, Positive Behavioral Supports, Trauma Informed CBT, Gottman’s Relationship Counseling, and Expressive Art Therapy. Her background has equipped her to utilize creative and movement based approaches as well as concrete behavioral frameworks. Overall Mary strives to fit her approach to each individual or family in a flexible atmosphere which emphasizes personal aspirations, strengths, and hopes.

Mary is passionate about assisting individuals with both chronic and acute concerns including eating disorders, significant and persistent trauma, addiction, mood disorders, suicidal ideation and self-harm, questions of identity, grief and loss, sexual dysfunction, psychosis, and more.

Mary’s personal philosophy is one of meeting an individual without assumption or judgement. She identifies as and LGBTQ affirming therapist, and believes it is her role to create a safe, inclusive, and affirming environment for individuals from a variety of contexts through the emphasis of respect and collaboration.





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