Welcome to The Equine Psychotherapy Institute

I am so passionate about this wonderful work with horses supporting, assisting, facilitating, modelling and teaching us so much about health, relationship, leadership and wellbeing.

My husband Noel and I have been working in the Mental Health and Wellness field for a collective 40 years. Together we have worked in the Psychotherapy, Mental Health, Psychology, Counselling, Consultation, Organisational Development, Therapist Training, EAP and EFL Practitioner Training, Trauma and Personal Development fields, and, we continue to do so with much to learn.

After researching and training in many diverse EAP and EFL Models over the years to advanced levels, I developed a Model of Equine Assisted Psychotherapy and Equine Facilitated Learning that is firstly, uniquely Australian, and most importantly, founded on solid psychology, psychotherapeutic, facilitation and conscious horsemanship theory and practices. This is our difference. There is no other model of EAP and EFL like the EPI Model in Australia, and I think this is in part due to our unique collective wealth of qualification, experience and expertise in the field .We are a registered Mental Health Social Work, Psychologist, and Psychotherapy trained team, with years of experience in training psychotherapists and facilitators, a passion for personal and spiritual development, who live and learn with our herd of 10 colourful horses and 2 gorgeous daughters, in the beautiful region of Daylesford, Victoria.

It is easy for us to teach, train and support people in this work because we have incredible human wisdom to draw from – in the teachings of mindfulness psychotherapy, gestalt therapy and somatic trauma therapy – and incredible horse wisdom to draw from. We like to think of it as one ‘newer wisdom’ (psychology and psychotherapy wisdom) meeting an ‘older wisdom’ (horse wisdom and the natural world wisdom). Even though I created or founded the EPI Model, my husband Noel has supported me and the development of the Model tremendously through his theoretical and experiential expertise as a Gestalt Therapy Trainer for 12 years and a Trauma specialist practitioner and Psychologist. Though I have trained in many models of EAP and EFL, including Eagala and Kathy Pike’s Equine Facilitated Learning model, it was the Gestalt Equine Institute of the Rockies training that had the biggest impact on me personally and on the development of the EPI Model. Duey Freeman and Joan Rieger from the Gestalt Equine Institute of the Rockies have been inspirational teachers and wonderful people who walk the way of the horse, and supported me to step into creating this wonderful Training Program in Australia. Every training that I have experienced, has been a wonderful learning experience for me, helping me to develop clarity, to further define and refine my ethics, professional integrity and commitment to what I believe is ‘best practice’.

Everyday my dreams come true, as I witness clients and students come home to themselves – to a place of new awareness, embodiment, choice, emotional intelligence, valuing uniqueness and an intimate connection to others– with horses supporting this deeper connection and healing process in a way that only horses can.

I am no stranger to needing support myself, and my horses support and challenge me, everyday, so that I can both be as healthy as I can, and, be available to support others in relationship. My horses appear to find much pleasure in the relationship we have, and, the contact my clients and students offer them, as they step towards awareness and contact, choice, flexibility and intelligence.

I hope you enjoy your visit and meeting our herd.

Meg Kirby,
Founder, Facilitator, Trainer
EPI Model