The Xena Project Welcomes New Clinical Director


Released by: The Xena Project

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Beasley, Texas – Critical stress management expert Sherry Cardinal has joined The Xena Project as the organization’s first Clinical Director, greatly expanding capacity to help veterans struggling with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and other turmoil.

Sherry is the founder and CEO of Critical Incident Stress Management (CISM) International, through which she offers critical incident response and safety programs to individuals, businesses, and corporations. She is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, and brings more than 36 years of experience in private practice to The Xena Project. Sherry is often lauded for the inclusion of Animal Assisted Therapy in her programs, and created Equine Assisted Psychotherapy protocols for those in need of an extra healing touch to work through trauma or mood disorders.

“While attending a tour and demonstration at the Xena Project with the Gulf Coast Women’s Equine Association, I became both personally and professionally excited by the program,” says Sherry of her decision to officially join the Xena Team. “The uniqueness of the Xena horse and its applications, as well as the depth of knowledge and commitment of Executive Director Jan Shultis had me enchanted right from the start. Sometimes you just know you are in the right place at the right time. As a mental health professional that does animal assisted therapy and serves first responders and military, I fully understand and appreciate the need for such a veteran-oriented program in Fort Bend County. I felt an immediate connection and commitment to the goals of the Xena Project, and feel honored that I will have the opportunity to contribute to its growth and success.”

In her new role at The Xena Project, Sherry will be available for individual and group counseling services, train other team members in crisis management, and lead development of mental health programs to meet the needs of veterans the organization serves.

Sherry is a long-time resident of Fort Bend County, and currently volunteers in the community as the Clinical Director of the Fort Bend County Sheriff’s Office CISM Team and Emergency Ministries Association for Crisis Intervention Response and Training. She has previously served as a founder and Executive Director of several non-profit social service agencies, including the Fort Bend Women’s Center and Rape Crisis Programs in Richmond, Texas and the Domestic Violence Association in Santa Clarita California. Sherry is an ordained minister, and includes pastoral care in her work when appropriate.

“We are grateful to welcome Sherry, and humbled that she believes in the healing power of our programs,” says Director Jan Shultis, a Navy veteran who founded The Xena Project after a deployment with the Army to Afghanistan. “The addition of a Clinical Director paves the way for dramatic expansion of mental health programs available through The Xena Project for both veterans and family members.”

In 2000, at the request of a major drilling company in the Houston area, Sherry designed and implemented a Critical Incident Stress Management program to serve the offshore community. She is now consulting with other businesses on similar types of programs.

Sherry has also been recognized by the American Academy of Experts in Traumatic Stress with the Diplomate credential for her experience and contributions to the field of traumatic stress.

The Xena Project is a veteran-operated 501(c)3 that facilitates healing for veterans and their families through equine and animal therapy. The inclusion of cutting-edge simulation technology makes the organization uniquely able to serve individuals with traumatic physical or brain injury. Located near Houston, they are the only initiative of this kind in the country, and attract a broad spectrum of needs, including veterans struggling with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Learn more at

To learn more about Critical Incident Stress Management International, please visit

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