Equine assisted therapy sessions
- meeting the herd at liberty (liberty means the horses are free to come and go as they choose)
- meeting an individual horse at liberty
- interacting with one horse online (the horse has a halter and lead on)
Your sessions with the herd may involve different types of interactions including, but not limited to, being with the horses in a relaxed manner, touching and grooming the horses, inviting the horses to participate in activities with you.
All interactions with the horses are designed to help you explore the issues or themes that you bring to, or that arise during, the session. The Equine Psychotherapy Institute model of equine assisted therapy is based on mindfulness, gestalt and somatic experiencing practices of psychotherapy. It involves improving awareness of thoughts, feelings, behaviours and patterns and provides opportunities to explore these further with the horses. Equine experiments are used to try out new ways of thinking, feeling and acting while sharing or getting feedback from the horses. It is a gentle type of therapy, but make no mistake, it can also be a very powerful process of growth and self-discovery.
What does equine assisted therapy help with?
Equine assisted therapy can help with a wide range of problems including:
- social skills
- self confidence
- grief and loss
- personal development
- and more!
What if I’m afraid of horses?
Experiences with the horses can also be conducted over the fence, so that you can experience the horses and the amazing things they have to offer, from a location that helps you feel more comfortable. One of the reasons we have small ponies as part of our practice is that they can feel less intimidating for people who are uncertain around horses. If you chose to interact with the herd more closely, you will always be supervised, and I will be right there with you if that is what you need.
What should I wear?
You must wear closed in shoes. I can tell you from experience that a 500kg horse standing on your foot isn’t the most enjoyable experience. Even the ponies weigh over 100kg!
Long pants are also strongly recommended, everything else is up to you. In summer, although there is shade, sunscreen and a hat are a good idea. In winter, we have limited shelter where you can also interact with the horses so a waterproof coat will help you enjoy your experience.
Last but not least, please do not wear your best clothes. Our horses aren’t show horses, they roll in the dirt – a lot! If you are interacting closely with the horses you will probably get dirty.
I offer bulk-billed services under the Better Access initiative. Please see your GP to discuss your eligibility for a mental health care plan or discuss a referral with your psychiatrist. You may like to direct them to our Referral Information page to help them make an informed decision.
Private Health fund rebates may also be available for psychology services depending on your level of cover.
DVA Health Cards (Gold and White) are accepted as payment upon a GP referral.
Currently operating on weekdays and weekends. Depending on the time of year, early morning or evening sessions may be available. Give me a call and we can arrange a time to suit!