Melbourne Equine Assisted Counselling works with individuals, siblings and groups offering sessions for children, teens and adults. Equine Assisted Counselling is a form of animal assisted therapy where the horse acts as a co-facilitator and is a holistic alternative to traditional room based therapies.
Therapy sessions are held in a rural setting just outside the Mornington Peninsula with a specially selected herd of horses and other animals. Sessions focus on Mindfulness, somatic experiencing based activities and include spending time with the horses. This could be brushing, leading, and guided activities, it is not about horsemanship skills and there is no riding involved. Mindfulness is a state of open, nonjudgmental acceptance which when incorporated with the horses may help to support self-awareness and growth through experiential learning.
Animal Assisted Therapy incorporates a trauma informed approach and can help to increase awareness of emotions and behaviours that are no longer serving you well. It can support healthy contact with others, through experiential lessons that the horses and other animals have to teach us. It has been found to increase self awareness, as the horses model being grounded and always live in a state of full bodied awareness. Animal Assisted Therapy may also increase the possibility to learn new life skills and gain confidence.
Equine therapy has been found useful for mental health issues such as depression, anxiety, trauma, eating disorders, addictions and more. It has also been found to be useful for people on the autism spectrum, and those struggling with social and emotional transitions.
Horses are very unique large animals, being animals of prey they have highly evolved senses and respond intuitively to the other. They are non verbal, which makes them sensitive to reading body language and they are even able to sense slight physiological changes within another horse or human. This gives them the unique ability to perceive emotions, which can promote self-awareness, through their immediate feedback.
No horse experience is needed, and anyone can participate. No riding is involved.