The horse and human bond is both ancient and sacred. Horses have always been an integral part of our existence on this planet. As naturally intuitive, sensitive, and social creatures, horses seek relationships based on trust and respect and thus encourage humans to practice the same. It is an honor and gift to partner with, learn from and commune with these animals.
Equine Assisted Psychotherapy
My approach to equine therapy is relational, somatic and experiential, meaning that we will be working with what is being experienced between one another and the horses, in the body, in the present moment. This work invites you to move beyond the stories in the mind and gently towards what wants to be expressed in the body. When done in a gentle and titrated way, this approach can help reset the nervous system, heal old attachment patterning, and renegotiate past traumas.
My approach draws primarily from my training in the EQUUSOMA® model for Horse-Human Trauma Recovery. One of the goals of trauma recovery is that of somatic renegotiation – having a different outcome to a familiar situation, or experiencing oneself differently in a familiar situation. Growing our capacity to be with our internal experience and challenging external stimuli provides a gentle way of working with sensations, arousal and activation in the autonomic nervous system, and thwarted survival responses (procedural or implicit body memory) by building capacity to bear witness to what is happening inside in small, incremental amounts (titration). only self-regulation but also greater organization and coherence is crucial in order to develop resilience. Repairing attachment and boundary ruptures helps increase our capacity for connection and closeness as herd/pack animals and supports the release and metabolization of high survival states. This involves working with the components of attachment in mammals: safe haven, secure base, proximity seeking and separation distress. Experiencing co-regulation is an important part of the process of developing self-regulation and secure attachment.supports the ability to experience progressively larger thresholds of activation and embodiment in order to both respect and grow the window of tolerance.
Equine therapy can be supportive either as a primary treatment or as an adjunct to traditional "talk" psychotherapy. Interactions with the horses take place on the ground and riding instruction is not part of the process as the focus is on the relationship with the horse which will act as a vehicle to promote insight and transformation. Anyone apprehensive about up-close and personal interaction with a horse can learn by observing them and engagement with the horses is always based on choice and readiness. The horses are our revered partners in this work and will also engage with us based on their own choice and readiness. Healing with horses is not healing for anyone if it is done at the expense of the horse. The relationship between the therapist and client is one of the most important factors in all forms of therapy. I offer free initial phone consultations so we can determine together if I personally and if equine therapy will be the best fit for you at this time.
Relationship support for humans and their equine life partners.
Groups and Teams
In collaboration with my partners in the Ranch Life Collective I offer customizable equine experiences for your group or team. Using the pure and reciprocal relationship with the horse as a vehicle to promote insight, learning and connection, these exploratory workshops offer a unique opportunity to access your authentic self and true leadership style in a beautiful natural setting.
The body of research is growing that supports the many benefits of communing with horses and the science is clear in the many positive impacts that these animals can have on our emotional and relational worlds, from hormones and neurotransmitters to brainwaves and heart fields. That said, there is something spiritual and mysterious about how evocative and profound even short interactions with horses can be for people and there is something to be said about embracing that unknown. If diving into this mystery intrigues you, please reach out to learn more about how the horses support you and your team on your journey.
I offer consultation in the following areas of specialty: