HorsePlay" Comes to the Hudson Valley
Equine-Assisted Psychotherapy Offers Clients Strides to Success
Field Riding Club, Kerhonkson, NY -There are new beats sounding in the realm of psychotherapy ....hoof beats, that is. It
could well be the sound of HorsePlay . . . Picture 1, 2, maybe 3 or more horses in a field or arena with a psychotherapy client
and a 2-person team of providers: a Mental Health Professional (MHP) and an Equine Specialist (ES.)This is the growing
field of Equine Assisted Psychotherapy, or EAP. HorsePlay, based at Nichols Field Riding Club in Kerhonkson, is the area's
new, and only, program to offer equine-assisted learning and psychotherapy.
IS EAP? EAP incorporates horses experientially for emotional growth and learning. Participants learn about themselves
and others by participating in activities with the horses, and then processing (or discussing) thoughts, beliefs, behaviors,
and patterns. Relationships are developed and nurtured: client to self, client to others and client to the world at large.
The facilitators' primary roles include setting suitable experiences, posing problems, setting boundaries, supporting clients,
ensuring physical and emotional safety, and facilitating the learning process. EAP can serve as an adjunct therapy to a client's
ongoing treatment plan or, as is the best case for some, the alternate approach to talk therapy
a powerful and exciting way to access genuine feelings, conditioned patterns and get to the source of both discomfort and
wellness. The lessons learned penetrate deeply facilitating shifts in behavior and perspective in a way that bypasses the
defenses of the mind." -- Therese Bimke, HorsePlay MHP
YOU LIKE TO GET INVOLOVED? HorsePlay was organized by Cori Nichols, an Eagala Certified Equine Specialist and owner
of Nichols Field. She works with area MHPs and is currently seeking additional MHPs and team-members to expand the opportunity
to serve those in need of help. Neither client nor MHP need any previous horse experience. If you are a therapist, social
worker, addictions counselor or other licensed MHP and would like to learn more about how EAP can bring benefit to your clients
and your practice, please contact HorsePlay. Nichols will offer you a private tour of the farm, an opportunity to meet
the herd, watch an EAP demonstration, or participate in a session yourself. The facility provides for year-round work. "We
embrace the "challenges of winter" in a life-like way --- out in the open!" comments Nichols.
WHY HORSES? Horses provide opportunities to develop work ethic, responsibility, assertiveness, communication,
and healthy relationships. They are large and powerful, which creates a natural opportunity for some to overcome fear and
develop confidence. Accomplishing tasks with horses, in spite of those fears, creates confidence and provides for wonderful
metaphors when dealing with other intimidating and challenging situations in life. Horses are very much like humans in that
they are social animals with defined roles within their herds. They have distinct personalities, attitudes, and moods. An
approach that works with one horse does not necessarily work with another. In other words, horses provide vast opportunities
for metaphorical learning. Because the horse is sensitive to non-verbal communication, they respond to what messages the client
gives them at the moment. Their responses begin to feel very familiar to clients, namely just like how their spouses, children,
and co-workers respond, or how their addictions, fears, dreams, etc. play out in their lives. The horses become very real
symbols of these relationships and allow clients the opportunity to work through how to change these aspects of their lives
in an experiential, in-the-moment and emotionally safe way.
WHO IS THIS FOR? EAP
offers opportunity for individuals, families, and couples dealing with challenges including depression, grief, trust issues,
anxiety, separation, abuse, addictions & recovery, PTSD, and additional mental health challenges.
ABOUT HorsePlay HorsePlay was created by Cori Nichols, a lifelong horsewoman, riding instructor, and owner of
Nichols Field Riding Club in Kerhonkson, NY, HorsePlay's home-base. Nichols is a Certified Equine Specialist with EAGALA (Equine
Assisted Growth and Learning Association) and for many years has been incorporating EA Learning into her riding instruction.
"EAP is a natural extension", she says. "The dynamics between horses and humans are palpable. I'm witness to
journeys, leaps, and bounds made here everyday." Nichols now works side-by-side with MH practitioners, providing EAP
and EAL sessions throughout the year. The farm is set on a private 72 acre parcel just minutes from the Hudson Valley
Resort in the Granite section of town. The property boasts a 12,000 sq foot covered arena, newly constructed center-aisle
barn, 60 ft round pen, horse-course of obstacles, and a herd of beloved equines. Nichols Field is open for visits and tours
WHAT IS EAGALA? (Equine Assisted Growth and Learning
Association)Founded in 1999, EAGALA is the leading international non-profit association for professionals incorporating horses
to address mental health and personal development needs. EAGALA has over 4,500 members in 50 countries. The model is a structure,
facilitation style and standard for conducting Equine Assisted Psychotherapy and Equine Assisted Learning. All EAP sessions
are conducted by a 2-person team: an MH practitioner and an Equine Speciailst.The EAGALA model incorporates the following: The
Team Approach Focus on the Ground Solution Oriented Code of Ethics
WOULD YOU LIKE TO LEARN MORE? www.EAGALA.org http://facebook/eagalaglobal
Nichols (845) 616 - 3608 Cori.Nichols@aol.com www.NicholsFieldRidingClub.com HorsePlay on FaceBook
Click attached for a brief but insightful interview with EAGALA founder Lynn Thomas http://comcastnewsmakers.com/2015/04/28/eagala/
To be a HorsePlay team member, a mental
health partner/practitioner does not need to be EAGALA certified. It IS however, very helpful to attend workshops and/or
participate in Eagala model demos. The next EAGALA training in our region will be in April (they are held all over the world.)
Note: these workshops fill up rather quickly.
Petersburg, Virginia, - Part 1April 21 2016 - April 23 2016. Sign
up: currently open. Price: $600. Early-bird discount available.
Many more EAGALA videos on YouTube.com
Eagala Facebook Page