Equine Facilitated Psychotherapy Training 2020
with Miranda Carey & the herd at Llwyna Farm
The women of my family have for generations held a profound relationship with horses, living side- by-side with herds allowing a valuable insight into the complex nature of these highly empathetic creatures. As a child, under the guidance of my grandmother, I experienced the extraordinary healing power of horses and witnessed their ability to reconnect humans with deep instinct and intuition. This sparked a life-long passion to help others reconnect with their own interior worlds through working with herds.
My earliest memories are of my grandmother’s relationship with horses which she bred, nurtured and lived with as an extension of her family. After an early childhood loss of witnessing my brother’s death, my grandmother encouraged me to spend as much time with horses as possible facilitating a deep healing process. My connection with horses is integral to my ancestral narrative, my daily life and my own process of healing and self awareness. Following another personal loss, I decided to commit to this work leading to training in Equine Facilitated Psychotherapy in Arizona and bringing this extraordinary work to the UK in 2006.
When reflecting on my work with the horses, clients repeatedly say being with horses reminds them what it means to be alive. EFP is about living, unlike therapeutic practices which excavate the psyche in interior spaces, this seeks to offer the client an open landscape filled with life; the horses remind us there is a life-force beyond our traumas and trappings, they do not judge, they simply allow us to see with more clarity and to remember our own animal & intuitive selves, reconnecting us to our bodies and there we have a roadmap to our emotional lives.
My experience in this work has revealed that with time and the appropriate environment horses accurately reflect a client’s issues acting as natural and honest diagnosticians offering a perspective which resonates with therapists’ humanistic and gestalt training. In order for horses to be able to do this, they must live as a herd in a safe and open environment where they can roam, develop familial relationships and friendships displaying behaviour horses living as individuals or in confined spaces cannot. I have nurtured an ideal space to support the emotional development of the herd, living on a beautiful ecologically diverse farm where they roam throughout the year in a safe and supported environment.
My training provides the opportunity to observe horses in their environment, their interactions with one another and with humans. Once these interactions are understood, this knowledge enables the therapist to step aside when with clients, supporting a direct interaction with the horses. The role of the therapist is to observe and translate the behaviour of the horses and feedback observations to the client, helping them to process and hold what emerges from the work.
Working with a herd of horses is comparable to working within a team, I have continuous peer supervision which brings huge support as well as challenges. The horses are wonderful teachers of humility. My herd come from five generations of my matrilineal line, with three horses bred from my grandmother’s herd at the farm. Working with a herd so closely connected to my family I have been able to expand my own understanding of family beyond the conventional nuclear human idea, similarly couples who are unable to have children found that working with the horses has helped them to feel part of a greater herd.
A unique part of what I have witnessed in my work with the herd is how horses teach us about our interconnection between all beings as described so beautifully by the Italian theoretical physicist below:
As Carlo Rovelli states in Seven Brief Lessons on Physics (2015)
“We thought that we existed as unique beings, a race apart from the family of animals and plants, and discovered that we are descendants of the same parents as every living thing around us. We have great-grand parents in common with butterflies and larches. We are like an only child who in growing up realises that the world does not revolve only around himself, as he thought when little. He must learn to be one among others. Mirrored by others, and by other things, and by other things, we learn who we are.”
I trained as an Equine Facilitated Psychotherapist in 2006 and I was the first therapist to introduce the Epona Approach to the UK. Over the years, I have developed a unique approach to Equine Facilitated Psychotherapy and Family Constellation Work alongside the herd, combining my experience as a practicing psychotherapeutic counsellor and supervisor with a deep matrilineal and relationship to horses.
Working in the fields of bereavement, relationships, fertility, sexuality, trauma, addiction, adoption and youth for more than two decades, my approach is holistic combining the somatic (of the body), systemic (of the family) and shamanic (of the spirit). This work supports clients through a journey of self-discovery towards achieving connection between body, mind, spirit and environment.
I trained at Epona in the USA under Linda Kohanov and Kathleen Barry Ingraham. I am a provider of counselling for Gloucestershire County Council staff and external supervision for Jamie’s Farm, Gwent Police Force, Heads of Primary and Secondary Schools in Gloucestershire and Gwent NHS. I also supervise a wide range of counsellors and psychotherapists in private practice.
Other organisations I have worked for include Cruse, Bristol Drugs Project, Gloucestershire Young Carers, Mind, CLD Youth Counselling Service and Hope.
Since 2006, I have been running individual and group workshops in Family Systemic Work both with and without the herd, an ongoing supervision groups with the herd and a self-development group called “Growing with the herd”.
More recently, in 2016, I returned to Eponaquest for further training in leadership and am now approved to deliver Master Herder leadership training, which is applicable to a business or family situation.
• Equine Facilitated Psychotherapist, Epona Approved Instructor
• Dip. Humanistic & Integrative Counselling, bcpc
• Leadership Trainer, Master Herder Approach, Eponaquest
• Family Systemic Work, CWT
• Dip. HE Youth & Community Work, UWE
• Trained in Couples Counselling with Jill Gabriel
Is this course for you?
Working with horses can be exposing and they will bring emotional challenges and trainees must be prepared & open to this possibility. For this reason, we strongly advise participants to have some of the qualities and experience listed below to come to the course:
· Training in counselling/psychotherapy
· Experience and love of horses
· An ability to self-reflect & a commitment to self growth
· A willingness to explore your shadow
· A practical, physical, emotional and financial commitment to the training
This is not a beginners' course and participants will also need experience of therapeutic groups and individual personal therapy. To assess applicants' suitability for the training, Miranda and Kate Edser, who has supported Miranda running workshops since 2010, will take applicants through an introductory workshop. Successful candidates who complete the course will benefit from regular experience with Miranda’s herd, with opportunities to practice with each another as well as receive supervision in the development of their own work. Participants will also have the opportunity to lead a one-day workshop together, putting their training into practice with the herd.
20th - 24th April 2020
13th - 17th July 2020
12th - 16th October 2020
Participants must commit to attending on all of these dates.
The group will be for six - eight people.
£4,000 (an initial deposit of £1,000 to be paid on enrolment and the balance before 31 March, 2020.
The fee includes all training, three hours of supervision during the course, lunches and drinks. It does not cover accommodation. The gypsy caravan will be available to book in to hire, and there are local bed and breakfasts & glamping nearby.