5th Edition July 20
Contents Photographs from Eagala
Welcome from Newsletter Team
Developments from Eagala
Continued Education Opportunities
Horses Help APP!
Network Group updates
6 - 12
Piper’s Hill College – Approach to Wellbeing
Scope of Practice – CPD development
18 – 21
Case Study – Israel
22 - 27
Welcome to the 10th Edition of the Eagala EME Newsletter Dear Members, friends and followers It's been a busy past year and has seen many positive changes taking place with Eagala as it prepares for its next level of growth and support for its members. We will aim to update you on all of these within this e-newsletter. This e-newsletter has two purposes, one: to keep you as members in touch with what is happening with Eagala and two: to enable you as practitioners to share best practice and information on what you are up to. Please continue to send in your news, case studies, research & evaluation results and anything else you think will support members and promote Eagala model services. We hope to hear from all countries in the EME region and will of course share developments from the region. At present we are only hearing from a limited number of members in only a few countries from the region. As we would really like to expand the scope and geographical area of the newsletter, please get involved and send us the news and stories from your area so that the region as a whole can be represented. Any members who are interested in supporting the production of the EME e-newsletter, contributions would be gratefully received. This would include researching, connecting with members for information, laying up and editing the e-newsletter. Continuing Professional Development (CPD) is a key element to your certification renewal. Reading this e-newsletter will qualify for CPD hours. To register fill out the online form and submit: http://www.eagala.org/enews_ce Eagala EME Regional team
Developments from Eagala New Training format 2017 has seen a change to the training format with the previous Part one and Part two training now combined into a five day fundamentals training. This has been very well received with positive feedback from all attendees. Completed PART ONE? Special offer to complete certification If you attended the Part One training in 2016 you can still qualify to complete your certification by attending the five day fundamentals training at the Part Two rate of $750 UD Dollars. EME Training schedule for 2018 Confirmed training 25th – 29th April 2018 – Athens, Greece – Fundamentals training 25th – 29th May 2018 – Cumbria, UK – Fundamentals training 30th June – 2nd July 2018 – Wexford, Ireland – SkillSets training 1st August – 5th August 2018 – Staffordshire, UK – Fundamentals training 8th - 12th October 2018 – Israel – Fundamentals training We are also considering Spain and The Netherlands as hosts for the Fundamentals training in 2018. Please email eme@Eagala.org if you are interested in receiving more information on this option. Returnees: To attend the training at the returnee rate, there is a 12 month grace period. If you are a current member or your certification expired no more than 12 months ago you can attend at the returnee rate. The returnee rate is $595 US Dollars and includes your certification renewal fee. To book onto the training go to: https://store.Eagala.org/collections/Eagalaevents/europe-middle-east Specialist Network Groups Eagala is making changes to how the Committee’s work including University, Military and Corporate. The idea being that instead of having committees centrally at head office in the US, Special interest networks will be set up in each region with members who work in these areas and / or hold the special designation. These Special interest networks will incorporate the functions previously carried out by the committees as well as provide opportunity for learning, sharing and networking. More details on this will follow by email from Eagala along with surveys to find out what area you work in. You can also email eme@Eagala.org to let us know your area of interest so we can add you to the appropriate network. www.Eagala.org
New Eagala Pre-training Webinar The Eagala Pre-training Webinar is a new requirement for members getting initial certification, and it’s now live! Currently certified members can check it out and see what the newbies are watching. It’s a great resource to explain the model and the training program. Feel free to share it with others who may be interested in Eagala Certification. Continuing Education Opportunities The Post-training assessment and mentoring is a great learning resource for currently certified members who want to deepen their knowledge of the Eagala Model. Taking this assessment is now also a requirement for those who participate in the Independent Study Program for 4 Continued Education hours that can be earned from home.
UK 2018 Networking Forum Learn / Share / Network / Grow! Networking dinner on the 7th April 2018, followed by a day packed with learning, networking, connecting and supporting each other grow and develop our Eagala model programmes on Sunday 8th April 2018! At: Derby Equestrian College, Broomfield Hall Campus, Morley, Ilkeston, Derbyshire E7 6DN
This forum will qualify 6 hours Continued education for Eagala certification renewal
Focusing on: • The horses and their welfare • Creating and sustaining a successful Eagala model business • Forming special interest networks for learning and supporting each other For more information and to book online:
https://www.eventbrite.co.u k/e/Eagala-2018-uknetworking-forum-tickets- 42417713523
We are looking to host more one day networking forums in different countries in the EME region. Please speak with your network coordinator if you are interested in supporting these forums. For more workshops and events please click here to visit the Eagala store
Horses Help APP – Grants available! The horses help APP was launched in March 2017 and is a great marketing resource to leverage social media to raise awareness of the Eagala model services and our global practitioners. There are some great resources for members to use including articles, videos, case studies etc. and all actions in sharing are rewarded with points and prizes. Through sponsorship the Horses Help APP is now offering you a chance to win up to £1000 towards your programmes as a reward for actions taken. Check it out if you haven’t already… You can go to your apple or android app store and search for Horses Help, or here are direct links: * Here is the link for iOS: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/horses-help/id1209659200?mt=8 * And here is Android: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.horseshelp.horseshelpapp&hl=en
Network Group Activity We have had a number of positive changes to network groups including strengthening some areas with Co-coordinators. We thank Felicia Katarina Lundgren, Sweden, Audrey Honeyman, UK, Ana Bordjan, Slovenia and Mariel Schaefers, The Netherlands for their past support as coordinators and wish them well with their practice. We have also had a number of new groups created: Eagala Wales, UK Eagala France
We welcome new coordinators: Regional Coordinator supporting EME region network coordinators: Philippe Dâ€™Helft My name is Philippe Dâ€™Helft and I have just taken on the role as regional coordinator for the EME region. I was network coordinator for Ireland from 2013 till 2017 and have been part of the EME regional team since 2015. To continue to grow the Eagala model in the EME region I firmly believe that we need a strong network connected by the members and supported by Eagala. I am also very aware that we have a large and varied region and that different countries have different cultures, habits, languages and requirements. I am very willing and eager to learn about the countries and people throughout the region so please send on any comments, questions or advice regarding your own country or region. I can be reached on EMEnetwork@Eagala.org. I look forward to working with all of you.
The Netherlands Co-coordinator: Marjon Ledderhof-Hegeman As a child Marjon was lucky to grow up with horses. After years working as an engineer and business consultant she returned to what she really liked, a combination of horses and humans. In 2009 she became a certified Eagala member. Marjon is counsellor and is now working on her thesis for getting her degree for Bsc in applied psychology. She is working with adults and children, with her own horses as well as with others on different locations. Marjon is keen to let others get familiar with Eagala and to keep up the good work of the Eagala network in the Netherlands and helping it grow.
UK London and South East Co-coordinators: Susanne Adamthwaite and Kelsey Thacker Kelsey Thacker - I work for the sister charities, Strength in Horses and Learning Through Horses, in Edgware, North London where I serve as an EAGALA certified equine specialist in EAP and EAL sessions alongside clinical psychologists and psychotherapists. (http://sihequinetherapy.org/) I have been riding and caring for horses for 23 years and became involved in the field of equine-assisted therapy at the age of 14 when I started volunteering at a therapeutic riding centre near my hometown in the US. After working at riding schools and therapeutic riding centres across the United States and engaging with a wide variety of people with physical, mental and emotional difficulties, I experienced the profound psychological benefits that horses can have on humans. I am also a qualified yoga teacher and am working towards my masterâ€™s degree in systemic psychotherapy while continuing to study and explore intelligent horsemanship methods. Suzanne Adamthwaite - I did my EAGALA training back in 2010/11 as an Equine Specialist. I am a BHS intermediate instructor and training to be a British Dressage judge, I teach judge and coach for 2 local riding clubs as well as our local pony club when I am not freelancing. With my other hat on I work from home giving Reiki treatments, crystal healing and hot stone chakra massaging which I have been doing for about 10 years now. Previously I spent 20 years successfully recruiting and training sales teams around the country. I therefore believe that along with my passion for horses and healing I would bring to the role sales skills, coaching, planning and structure. I have always been organised and have good geographical knowledge of most of the southern half of the country. My passion for horses started about the age of 7 and is still going strong now. I care about and am truly passionate about welfare of both horse and human. I have direct strong social skills and am a great team player.
UK Wales Coordinator: Lilwen Selina Joynson Lilwen Selina Joynson is a Welsh speaker and was born and bred on a dairy farm in Pembrokeshire, West Wales. Riding ponies and horses from an early age with a strong line of horsemen on her fatherâ€™s side, no surprise to see her schooling and breeding her own horses, namely Welsh Section A Ponies and Welsh Part breds. In 2007 she choose to return to study as an undergraduate in Integrative Counselling at Roehampton University in London and has successfully completed a BSc degree. Discovering Eagala in 2009, she then spent the following years delivering to people from a variety of backgrounds, including different culture, age, as well as rural and city backgrounds. Specialising in Equine Assisted Therapy working with young adults and families with various struggles. Lilwen Selina is passionate about Eagala and has been supporting British and European students to make a choice on which Equine therapy model to work with. Lilwen Selina has been instrumental in encouraging new members to join and support them to develop their skills and confidence to work with clients through the Eagala model. She strongly believes this model will be delivered in mainstream mental health and wellbeing practice, partnering with the local Health Authorities to implement nonintrusive and effective interventions, as well as preventative programmes. Founder and director of Horse Sense for Life, Lilwen Selina delivers Equine Assisted Learning to services and corporations throughout UK and Europe. In 2015 she was elected to be a member of the Regional Eagala Europe Middle East team, developing the way we grow the membership and support the team-approach delivery. Lilwen Selina recently moved back to West Wales, is excited to grow a Welsh network of professional and ethical Eagala facilitators. She is a successful networker and creative entrepreneur, keen to market and grow this model throughout Wales.
France Coordinator: Leonie Janssen Leonie Janssen is 48 years old, mother of 2 girls of 17 and 18 years old and 15 horses, big and small. I am Dutch, but already 23 years in France. I did not lose my Dutch accent and I made a lot of language errors, but it doesn't stop me to communicate and from moving forward. ď Š I have been certified by Eagala since 2015. I discovered Eagala in the Netherlands in 2012 and I did my training in Denmark and Sweden, and helped to organise to Eagala conference in the Netherlands. Since my certification, I have been working half-time with my horses. The therapeutic intervention team are; a local psychologist in MH (socio-medical specialist) and myself as ES (equine specialist), and 15 horses (Friesian, Comtoise, Fjord, mini-shetland's and a donkey). We are specialized in working with post-traumatic military and SOS-women. I would like to develop a network in France to organize and promote Eagala. Precisely because the Eagala method is unique and not comparable with some other methods. Today in France we are only talking about 'EquithĂŠrapie', but it will be good to specify methods and target groups. We need to gather and distribute information, organize conferences, and above all trainings. The biggest challenge is going to be the translation. In France we can only have success when all the information is distributed in French. I speak 4 languages (NL-ENG-FR-DE) and I think with your help we can develop the method of Eagala in France.
Slovenia Coordinator: Irena Gubina Irena Gubina is an Equine Assisted Co-therapist in MKZ (Youth Health Resort) Rakitna, Riding Instructor, Equine Behaviour Diploma (Ethology Academy, SA), Eagala Member and Network Coordinator for Slovenia my web page: http://irenagubina.net/en/
UK NW/NE Group Co-coordinators: Laura Brennan and Susan Kinder Horse Magic is a collaboration between LifeSupport Services and Laura Brennan Equestrian Centre. Horse Magic offers Personal Development & Growth Programmes, Team Bonding Sessions, Workshops on various themes and Therapy for individuals and couples. Susan Kinder is a Registered member MBACP (Accredited) counsellor, psychotherapist and clinical supervisor with over 25 years of experience of working in the therapy industry. Trading as LifeSupport Services Susan provides therapy to the general public as well as to private, public and third sector organisations. She also provides clinical supervision and consultative support to trainee and experienced therapists and to organisations (see www.yorkshiretherapist.co.uk ) Laura Brennan is the equine expert. She is a qualified British Horse Society A. I., INT S. M. and Registered BHS Instructor. Laura has worked in the equine industry for the past 14 years, and for nine years has run the Laura Brennan Equestrian Centre (approved and www.Eagala.org
registered by the British Horse Society, and consistently graded highly commended for customer care, horse welfare, stabling and working procedures) where with 21 horses she delivers teaching and coaching to develop horses and equestrians aged from two to adult (see www.laurabrennanec.co.uk ) We are both qualified with and registered members of Eagala. Having completed the training ‘Fundamentals of the Eagala Model’ we are eager to continue our learning, gain more experience of the model, and share information about Equine Facilitated Learning and Equine Assisted Therapy and any upcoming events with like-minded Eagala professionals. We have taken on Networking and Co-ordination role for the North East area. We see this role as a vehicle for us all to use for Continuing Professional Development, to provide a meeting place to discuss EFL & EAT and as a resource for the Eagala family in this part of the world.
Attending a networking group has many benefits including: great way to meet with other Eagala members gain continued education hours for your certification renewal enhance your skills and knowledge through the practice sessions discuss business development ideas with other practitioners network and develop friendships keep your passion and interest in the Eagala model have fun while learning We have 20 networking groups in Europe and the Middle East who are run by dedicated volunteer network group coordinators. This important role in Eagala supports our members through our region. Please email EMEnetwork@Eagala.org to get details of your local network group coordinator. www.Eagala.org
Piper’s Hill College, Naas takes a novel approach to Wellbeing through a Collaborative Community Equine Education Project. Piper’s Hill College, Killashee, Naas, Co. Kildare, Ireland A new approach to Wellbeing In Piper’s Hill College we have taken a new approach to Wellbeing which included both staff and students. We looked at changing the physical environment in which students attend classes, from indoor to outdoor, and added horses. Caitriona O’Meara, Wellbeing Coordinator, and lifelong horse lover (!) had bent Principal Colm O’Connor’s ear on many occasion, citing the many benefits of contact with horses for a wide range of issues from behavioural to teamwork. Colm, took a chance and the school piloted a project in 2012, with students with behavioural issues. The students went to a yard in Edenderry and took part in specifically designed tasks in Equine Assisted learning sessions, using the Eagala model. The project worked well and feedback from students, parents and teachers was positive. Following on from this we ran further sessions from a yard in Naas. Caitriona brought her horses to the yard and facilitated sessions with a co facilitator Jean Robertson- Blue Feather Counselling and Psychotherapy. These sessions were designed again for behavioural issues and also for building teamwork and problem solving skills within class groups.
In September 2017, we ran staff wellbeing activities which included Yoga, Orienteering and Equine Assisted Learning. Equine Assisted Learning was over-subscribed so we had to redirect some teachers into other groups. Teachers who had heard Caitriona talking about it, but didn’t understand it, came back with “now I understand what you were talking www.Eagala.org
aboutâ€?. One of the joys of experiential learning is that you learn your own way, through doing and figuring out the task, at your own pace and in a way that works for you. See picture for staff feedback.
Logistics in running Equine Assisted learning sessions for the students were becoming a problem, so the school began looking at various different ways in which we could run sessions closer to the school without students missing out on too many classes. In summer 2017, Caitriona completed a course in UCD on Entrepreneurial Education where she got to trial her idea- to approach local builders, Ballymore, beside the school for the use of a paddock, and so the Collaborative Community Equine Education Project was born! Don McMahon and Liam Flynn, in Ballymore, were more than accommodating. They organised a paddock, cut the grass, fenced and gave us access to the paddock from the school grounds.
As part of the New Junior Certificate Wellbeing Programme, we had sat down in May 2017 and looked at ways in which we could teach the SPHE course, using skills that teachers had already trained in. Que a little more ear bending! So we looked at the topics that could be covered using Equine Assisted Learning and included it on the scheme. This year, as part of the SPHE course, the students are learning Communication skills with themes of teambuilding, problem solving, confidence building, leadership, resilience and decision making, outside with the horses. The paddock beside the school meant that students could walk out the door and into the paddock, have their SPHE class and go back inside. We trialled it with class 1 Erne, and the range of learning that the students fed back was mind blowing. It's experiential, so students learn for themselves, at their own pace. Refer to pictures below to read the feedback comments from the students regarding their own learning, on a range of topics, after just one session.
The Guidelines for the Wellbeing programme state that: “Students’ Wellbeing is present when students…..” Realise their abilities Are physically well Can cope with normal stresses of life Have a sense of purpose Are part of the wider community
These themes are interwoven in the Equine Assisted Learning Sessions. While covering the course we are helping students to develop a sense of self, helping them to realise their abilities, giving them a sense of purpose, and building their self-esteem, as part of a community, in a safe environment. Next year we hope to roll it out to all first year and second year students as part of SPHE, and teambuilding for TY personal development groups. Caitriona teaches Engineering and Technical Graphics in Piper’s Hill College. She is a trained Equine Assisted Learning and Therapy Facilitator since 2010, and she is one of five Irish Instructors in Monty Roberts’ Methods of Natural Horsemanship. Jean Robertson of Blue Feather Counselling and Psychotherapy is a Psychotherapist and Equine Assisted Learning and Therapy facilitator. Jean has recently completed her MA in Pluralistic Counselling and Psychotherapy with a focus on Equine Assisted Therapy. Caitriona O’Meara Eagala Equine Specialist 00 353 86 3753341 www.caitrionaomeara.ie Jean Robertson MIACP Eagala Mental Health Professional 00 353 85 8273565 http://bluefeathercounselling.squarespace.com
EAGALA Practice Supportive CPD: My Experiences of the Temenos Certificate in Counselling Children and Young People (C&YP).
We all know that the EAGALA Model is an extremely effective treatment modality for Children and Young People (C&YP). I am a qualified UK psychotherapist with an MA in adult psychotherapy. I certified with EAGALA in 2008 in both roles. In the same year, I co-facilitated an individual EAP session for a young person. In 2013 I cofacilitated a six week EAL group for approximately 6 young people. In both instances I decided to facilitate the sessions, because the ES I was working with for each were both extremely experienced in working with C&YP and I work with that client group in my Craniosacral Therapy practise. I have some regret for those decisions. I do believe I was useful in the sessions due to the changes we witnessed and the feedback we received, but I was still working outside of my scope of practise or competency. During the sessions I was stressed, uncomfortable and unsure. The group was particularly challenging. I was overwhelmed in the first three sessions. My ES was so supportive before, during and afterwards. What I was most impacted by was my â€˜Sâ€™s. www.Eagala.org
I was suddenly in front of a group of young people, some of whom were similar to those I had been bullied by when I was young. When these group members challenged what I was saying, part of me was that young person again. I was frightened. I had to hold that as best I could in the moment. After session three, my supervisor was excellent in picking me up. She helped me find my professionalism and self-belief again. I went into session four with a plan about what to say and do. I finished session six with a sense of achievement, but I didn’t want to facilitate anymore C&YP EAP sessions. However a felt sense of those experiences stayed with me. I really appreciated the clarity, flow, fast pace and directness of those sessions. And I kept having enquiries for C&YP EAP, which I was turning down. So I decided to enrol on a relatively new Counselling C&YP Certificate course. It was run by Temenos, an established training provider for the PersonCentred Approach for over twenty years in Sheffield. The tutor was Sue Lewis, a wellknown, respected and experienced C&YP counsellor. The course was five weekends over the winter of 2016 and spring of 2017. The days were long from 9.30am to 5.30pm and intense. The course structure was a mixture of presentations, discussions, supervision and practise sessions. There were four pieces of work to complete including an essay. Paints, books, toys and sand trays were available to use at all times. There was a wide range of experience in my group from practitioners just starting working with C&YP to extremely experienced. My learning needs for the training were all met comprehensively. I wanted information about the developmental stages of children and young people. To meet this need I decided to prepare a presentation on the subject. This helped clarify the developmental models I already use. As well as introducing me to three extremely useful models to help with planning EAP/L sessions for C&YP and being clear what level of processing to expect from the clients. They also helped me to understand what had happened in the two EAP C&YP experiences I had had before. These theories were Piaget’s Cognitive Developmental Theory, Erickson’s Psychosocial Stages of Development and Kohlberg’s Stages of Moral Development. I wanted clarity about safe-guarding responsibilities. I received a wealth of information and experience about this and became confident in my own ability to effectively research these issues. I wanted tools to relate to parents and guardians. I was reminded that clear contracting, boundaries and knowing your legal responsibilities were key to negotiating your way around each individual situation. I started to feel more confident and calmer around this topic. Other really important learning was about multi-agency work, play therapy and psychodrama. I was struck with the similarities between the theory and practise of play therapy and psychodrama with EAP/L. This new information deepened my understanding of www.Eagala.org
the effectiveness of equine work. We also had a discussion about facilitating groups of Young People. Everybody agreed that this was very challenging due to the relational dynamics of that age group. It was so important for me to hear that. Unexpected benefits of the training were that the group wanted to learn about EAP and EAGALA and a few of us, who lived near each other, formed an ongoing peer supervision group for our C&YP work. This group is planning to hold some of its meetings at the stables with my herd. The most important motivation for doing the training was to clarify if I did want to work with this client group in my EAP practise. The answer is yes I do, but in partnership with a voluntary or statutory organisation at first for support. Before this happens I would like to introduce some Shetland pony co-facilitators into our herd, to offer a range of heights for C&YP clients.
I consciously made the effort to take my equine co-facilitators symbolically into the course with me. A cuddly toy look-a-like of my herd leader, Sorrel, sat next to me at all times. Before the course began I managed to find toy model representations of the whole herd to work with in the sand trays. Strangely the sand trays always seemed too small.
Alexandra Graves Eagala Equine Specialist and Mental Health Professional email@example.com
Case study – Israel “The only thing that a child needs is for an adult to believe in him.”1 For Joe2, it was Michelle, the social worker. Below follows the case of a 16-year old teenage girl, who was the result of a short and miserable marriage between parents who did not really think or understand the damage that was caused to the child during their divorce. Furthermore, as a ‘bonus’, they also chose to give her a boy’s name. Add to this story the need to explain to everyone she meets that she is a girl (in spite of the name that is clearly masculine and her external appearance that lacks gender specificity). It is, therefore, not surprising that at age 14, she had already been labelled as "trouble maker" in the community where she lives. In the professional jargon, she was diagnosed as “having a non-adaptive personality.” October 2012 After two years of attempts to find a solution for Joe outside of her home (which always ended in her running away, usually by hitchhiking), Michelle, the social worker, succeeded in persuading the decision-makers in the social services department to accept Joe’s request to return to live with her mother on the kibbutz (a collective community in Israel that was traditionally based on agriculture). They created for her a systemic personally-designed intervention program. Michelle, who had participated in one of my Eagala demonstrations, thought that this therapy could be right for Joe, and the teenager agreed to try it out. We began our work…
Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach All of the names are pseudonyms, in order to protect the anonymity of the people involved in the therapy. 1 2
After gaining deep knowledge about the characteristics of “non-adaptive personality disorder,” I developed a clear agenda concerning the goals of the therapy (improvement in Joe’s ability to cope with stress and frustration) and the way to achieve them (via improvement in the sense of capability). The main idea was to give Joe “simple” tasks which would strengthen her self-confidence and slowly raise the level of difficulty until, in the end, she would be able to bear frustration in order to continue to deal with complex missions. The program "worked" more or less during the first sessions, but it was "ticking bomb" that “blew up in my face.” (It wasn’t really a surprise, as I know today.) Joe made it extremely clear to me what her opinion was of my horses, of me, and of my family (it turned out that she can actually express herself verbally very well). She threw stones at me when I prevented her from going out to the road to hitchhike and she called the police emergency line in order to complain that the horse instructor is harassing her. At this point, it was decided to stop the sessions, and each one of us went on her way. Michelle continued to give her support and help her until, in the end, Joe succeeded in achieving what she wanted more than anything, to be recruited into the army “like everyone.”
Be careful what you wish for3 The Israeli army is not especially tolerant of personal needs, and each time someone deviates from its rules, the punishment is immediate. December 2016 After a year of coping with the rules of the military framework and serving five days in army prison, for inappropriate behaviour, Joe calls Michelle, the social worker, and tells her that her commanding officer told her: “If you don’t get therapy now, you will most likely end your life as a criminal, in the best case scenario, or as a corpse, in the less successful case.” She asked Michelle to find her a “workshop for nerves.” Of all alternatives, Joe chose to give a second chance for a corrective experience with my herd. 22 December 2016 – Thursday afternoon, the first session At age 20, Joe doesn’t need to worry any longer about getting a ride; she arrives at the farm on her own. The keys to the car are in one hand and the cell phone in the other. Four years have passed and her outward appearance has barely changed; she is short, thin, and almost fragile. She looks a little bit embarrassed by the situation, but she is completely committed to achieving the goal. Joe came for therapy because she is “tired of exploding all of the time.” She phrased the goal that she wishes to achieve in therapy in a clear and short sentence: “To move to the side and to count to three when someone annoys me.” This is definitely a clear, realistic and measurable goal, and we hoped that it is also attainable. We agreed to begin a program of five sessions, once a week in the afternoon. Her commanding officer committed to letting her leave the base early on the days of the therapy. For the first activity, we invited Joe to look at the horses and choose with whom she wanted to work. While Joe stood outside the arena, next to the fence one of the horses came close; Joe petted it: “she feels nice,” she mumbled and continued to walk along the fence and to look at the horses. After a while she chose another horse “because he is the prettiest.” She entered the arena, got closer, touched, and in the end, said that “he isn’t willing to come with me because he doesn’t trust me; I don’t trust either.” The main theme that arose was: movement = trust
no movement = suspicion.
A week later, during the second session, we invited her to create an area that represents “a place of trust” and to bring horse, or horses to there. She marked a place with two cones in the middle of the arena. In the beginning, she went over to Faran (the horse she had chosen in the previous session). After a short while, she moved over to another horse, and then returned to Faran and again another one and back.
This saying is used to tell people to think before they say that they want something, suggesting that they may not actually want it. Be careful what you wish for; you may just get it. https://www.merriamwebster.com/dictionary/(be)%20careful%20what%20you%20wish%20for 3
All the four horses were standing in the same part of the arena and not moving; there was no movement. Only the young woman was changing her place. At some point, she went out of the arena for a moment, picked a piece of rope and leaned over the fence to come back. The moment she straightened up all the horses began to walk towards her, (as if a hidden hand pressed an ‘on’ button). In response, Joe stepped back in rush. When we check in she said that “if I am close, he can kick me.” The third session began with a feeling of despair. Joe shared her feelings that nothing is happening and there is no chance that today will be different. “I will never be able to move them” she state. In spite of this, Joe agreed to enter the arena and try. However, very quickly she sat on the fence and we noticed that the horses moved away and dispersed throughout the arena (this was definitely a SHIFT). When we asked what's going on her answer was “I am powerless; nothing is happening and there is no chance that something will happen.” I admit that at this point my partner had to hold me with all of his strength to prevent me from “saving her” and suggesting that she use a halter and a rope. Instead, we invited her in the time that was left, to do something with the horse that she had labelled as “Fear.” We moved away and Joe continued to stand for a few minutes without moving and so where the horses. Suddenly the horse, “Fear,” raised her head and looked across to Joe's direction. Very slowly, Joe began walking toward the horse, stopped next to her and it looked as if they were looking at one another, in the eyes, and, as if in slow motion, we saw Joe runs her hand on the horse’s neck and continued to walk toward the horse she had chosen in her first session and stood very close to him, while leaning against the fence. Another horse came close and stood on her other side. (Another) SHIFT.
The time was over, so we approached and asked what happened and the verbal answer did not change: “Nothing happened.” “Well, we noticed that now, for close to an hour, nothing has happened. But if we remember correctly, your wish was to succeed that nothing will happen in counting to three. I think we already reached 3,000 and you haven’t yet exploded.” The smile that crossed her face stayed with me for a very long time after she left. We agreed to have an additional session next week to end the process. The plan was to transfer the success from the arena to her life on the outside, by employing a direct metaphor. We placed an obstacle in the middle of the arena and we planned to ask Joe to choose a horse that most reminds her of someone who annoys her and, together with the horse, cross the obstacle. www.Eagala.org
What happened, in the end, was that reality surpassed the imagination. It turned out that Joe had already applied the insight without our help for conceptualization. In her direct manner, she talked about one of the soldiers who “gets on her nerves”. Instead of her usual exploding reacting, she told him that "he is acting like shit", and walked away. Well as we already learned in Eagala just like in life, every plan is the basis for change. Since the original plan was no longer relevant, we decided to let Joe choose the activities that she wanted for the final, farewell session. Joe chose to put a halter on "Fear" and cross over the obstacle. They crossed the obstacle in a smooth motion, and Faran went over the obstacle on its own initiative right behind them. To summary, what had changed from the first time to the second: 1. The level of motivation – Joe seemingly came the first time of her own free will. However, the word ‘seemingly’ is key; she did not really come of her own free will. 2. Letting go the agenda – as part of my professional developmental process, the transition from instructor to facilitator. 3. Teamwork, using the Eagala model – empowerment and the professional ability of co-work when both team members are Eagala certified (as opposed to the first time when I worked with an amazing therapist who, however, did not have expertise in the Eagala model). Rut Scharia "Horse Your Mind" Eagala Equine Specialist and Mental Health Professional Network Coordinator for Israel
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