Equine Psychotherapy Institute

Change occurs in the present moment. When we can be fully present to what is being experienced in the body/mind we can move through the experience. This opens up a space within yourself for more of who you are. Showing kindness to our experiences and ourselves supports us into the unknown of who we could be. This is my experience of this model.

7 Principles of the Equine Psychotherapy Institute

An I-Thou relationship has its primary focus in regards for the others feelings,wants and needs,the most important intention in the relationship.

1.Relationship-Equine sessions are grounded in an unique practitioner-horse-client therapeutic and learning relationship as the primary pathway for growth and healing- the I-Thou relationship.

2.Specialist Trained Practioners- each practitioner is trained in all  competency areas including human development and change processes, horses and horsemanship, and specific horse -human dynamics and practices.Practitioners offer sole practitioner sessions and team/co facilitator sessions based on competency, ethics and expertise.

3.Ethics- the practice is guided by clear and contracted ethical guidelines covering safety, professionalism and commitment to both personal growth and continuing professional development.

4. Theory of change- practitioners practice from a foundation knowledge and experience of how change occurs for people, and how change happens with horses and humans in the unique EAP/L learning environment.The theory of change is explicitly taught and practiced on- Awareness, I-Thou Relationship,Experiments and Horse-Human change dynamics and guides the ethics of our work.

5.The Way of The Horse.-practitioners support clients to develop “horse” capacities for health and wellness including awareness,presence,congruence,being grounded,embodied and in contact.

6.Holistic-EPA trained practitioners work actively with all levels of self- experience and relational experience-working with breath,body feelings,thinking,beliefs, values,behaviour and spirituality.Its focus is on the interconnectedness of all levels of functioning and on self in contact/relationship.

7.Personal Work and CPE– practitioners commence very deep personal work in the training and continue this commitment to themselves as a way of life.All practitioners are committed to personal and professional development as the foundation for ethical and professional and effective practice.

Horses in Equine Assisted Learning.

Horses offer an authentic physical,non verbal contact and Relationship.This is a natural ‘disturbance of homeostasis’ for a client, as it is true contact, a unique relational opportunity and different human-human contact and relationship.

*Reflect- horses reflect the person they are with, by there responses.This non-judgemental and non verbal feedback is unique to the persons energy,feelings,thoughts and behaviour.

*Model- horses model healthy functioning-embodiment,contact,congruence,presence,here and now being,emotional intelligence,clear communication,leadership.

*Evoke- relational experiences with horses can trigger feelings unfinished business,out of date patterns and are of transference .

*Confirm-some horses offer a confirming presence-unconditional,non-judgemental presence and acceptance, a loving presence.This is the attitude and intention that practitioners are  emulating in offering an i thou attitude.

* Holding and Movement-horses move us and hold us through touch,movement, and the opportunity to be held emotionally and physically in mounted session.This touch, receiving and holding is unlike anything available in room based sessions and can feel like a mothers holding-physical and emotional attunement, safety ,connection.