We are a close-knit team of occupational therapists who are passionate about collaboration and ongoing learning to help kids experience joy and reach their full potential.
Amy Buchholz, OTR/L
Occupational Therapist, Lead Clinincian & Co-Owner
Amy is passionate about her work with children, and finds joy and fulfillment when helping families. She has been practicing as a pediatric occupational therapist since 1999, when she received her degree from the University of Florida.
Having worked in many pediatric practice settings, she's firmly settled on the small patient practice as the best way to connect with a family and support system. So she founded Bright Spot with her partner Ryan in 2017.
She has sought extensive post-graduate training and is committed to continual learning to stay at the forefront in her field:
- Level 1 Intensive Mentorship at the STAR Center
- mentorship in the DIR/Floortime Approach with Profectum faculty member and educator Kiegan Blake, OTR/L, M.A.Ed.
- SOS Feeding approach, Therapeutic Listening, Astronaut Training, Pediatric Yoga, and Collaborative Problem Solving among others.
Amy is a craft artist on the side, an acrobat in a local circus company, and a lover of dance.
Emily Schmidt, MOT, OTR/L
Emily graduated from Loma Linda University in 2010 with a Masters degree in Occupational Therapy. Having first worked in the public schools, she became part of the team at Sensory Kids in 2012. She has received extensive training and mentorship during that time, and has always been passionate about continuing to further her knowledge base. She has received training in the Level 1 and 2 Intensive Mentorship programs at the STAR Center, and has completed courses in DIR/Floortime, the SOS protocol for feeding therapy, and Handwriting Without Tears. She enjoys developing relationships with kids and families, and is passionate about the intensive model of therapy and parent education. She strives to create strategies and therapeutic tools that families can take home to help their kids live more functional and happier lives. Outside the clinic, she enjoys spending time with family and friends, and loves climbing & paddleboarding.
Allison Lenherr, OTR/L
Allison is a compassionate, versatile, and curious therapist who loves to seek out exciting new adventures, and what better place to do that than at Bright Spot! She graduated with her doctoral degree in occupational therapy from the University of the Sciences in Philadelphia in 2014, and has been diversifying her practice and skill set ever since. As a clinician and a person, Allison is very passionate about promoting mental health through engagement in meaningful occupations, and empowering neurodivergent folks of all ages through collaborative consideration of the sensory systems in need of support to promote improved self-regulation and well-being. Allison has had the unique opportunity of working with kids and families in school-based and clinic settings across the US and internationally in Bangkok, Thailand. While working there at a special education international school, she was able to expound upon an appreciation and understanding that culture is deeply embedded in who we are as occupational beings, and is therefore a crucial component to consider in the treatment planning process. Allison is looking forward to putting down roots here in Portland, and supporting the Bright Spot community through learning, playing, and adventuring together!
Ellie provides the kind and warm presence in our office to welcome families, while supporting the administrative aspect of services.
When she's not in the office, she is working hard to fulfill her dream to become a pediatric speech-language pathologist, currently working through the master's program at PSU. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with family and friends, going on walks with her partner and exploring all the excellent coffee shops around Portland.
Megan's friendly face will cheerfully meet and greet children and their families in the clinic, and behind the scenes she'll be working hard to provide high quality care to all through administrative support services. Megan is a "Jill of all trades" with a professional background in workshop facilitation, education, administration/human resources, and patient advocacy. Her constant longing to learn and grow makes her a inquisitive and bold part of our team.
Outside of the office Megan enjoys spending time with her sweet dog Mowgli, playing piano and ukulele, singing, and being social with friends and family. She continues to find ways to provide support and advocacy to others and takes pleasure in enjoying all the adventures the beautiful Pacific Northwest has to offer!
Operations, Finance, & Project Manager
Ryan is a graduate of Carnegie Mellon University where he studied electrical and computer engineering. He began his professional life as a systems engineer in the aerospace industry before leaving to pursue other interests.
He entered the world of small business to manage finances and operations for a custom bicycle company (Ryan loves bicycles). And then joined Amy to support her work, as partner in life and business, and has been co-owner and practice manager of Bright Spot for four years now.
His skills as a systems engineer and exceptionally organized, thoughtful, and efficient human have translated incredibly well to laying the foundation for a small clinic. He maintains a strong focus on the client experience, to establish clear communication and understanding with parents about their insurance and billing during the therapy process.
Outside the office, Ryan enjoys running, cycling, tennis, and meditation.