Student Calendar

Training Calendar - Equine Psychotherapy Institute - Victoria, AU

2018 Foundation Training Dates

Please Note – for all EAP/EAL Foundation Training Programs are 15 days and both EAP and EAL students attend the same training. Please email The Institute equinepsychotherapyinstitute@gmail.com and request and Application Form. Once received, you will receive more information regarding your course, location, accommodation ideas etc. equinepsychotherapyinstitute@gmail.com
Northern NSW (Kyogle) EAP & EAL Practitioner Training

Intensive 1 – February 5 – 9, 2018
Intensive 2 – March 12 – 16, 2018
Intensive 3 – April 16 – 20, 2018

Fees $​1500 plus GST for ​each Intensive OR $4200 plus GST upfront discount payment
Includes Manuals and Light Vegetarian Lunches​
Trainer – Sue Lamond


Queensland – Sunshine Coast 
EAP & EAL Practitioner​ Training
Intensive  1 – March 19 – 23, 2018
Intensive  2 – April 23 – 27, 2018

Intensive 3 –  May 28 May – June 1, 2018

Fees $​1500 plus GST  for ​each Intensive OR $4200 plus GST upfront discount payment
Trainer – Meg Kirby & Co-Trainer – Deborah Walker

Includes Manuals and Light Vegetarian Lunches

Western Australia – Bullsbrook – ​EAP & EAL ​Practitioner Training
Intensive  1 – March 26 – 30, 2018 (including Easter)
Intensive  2 – April 23 – 27, 2018 (including ANZAC Day)

Intensive 3 –  May 21 – May 25, 2018

Fees $​1500 plus GST for ​each Intensive OR $4200 plus GST upfront discount payment
Trainer – Louise Atkinson

Includes Manuals and Light Vegetarian Lunches

Queensland – Sunshine Coast EAP & EAL Practitioner​ Training
Intensive  1 – August 20 – 24, 2018
Intensive  2 – September 24 – 28, 2018

Intensive 3 –  October 29 – November 2, 2018

Fees $​1500 plus GST  for ​each Intensive OR $4200 plus GST upfront discount payment
Trainer – Deborah Walker, Psychologist  Assistant – Noel Walker, Psychologist
Includes Manuals and Light Vegetarian Lunches


Victoria EAP & EAL Practitioner Training

Intensive 1 – September 10 – 14, 2018

Intensive 2 – October 22 – 26, 2018
Intensive 3 – November 26 – 30, 2018

Fees $​1500 plus GST for ​each Intensive OR $4200 plus GST upfront discount payment
Includes Manuals and Light Vegetarian Lunches

Trainer – Meg Kirby

To apply for ALL programs – please email equinepsychotherapyinstitute@gmail.com and request and Application Form.

2019 Foundation Training Dates

Victoria EAP & EAL Practitioner Training
3 Week ‘Block Training’
3 consecutive weeks, excluding weekends

Intensive 1 – February 4 – 8, 2019
Intensive 2 – February 11 – 15, 2019
Intensive 3 – February 18 – 22, 2019
Fees $4000 plus GST
Includes Manuals and Light Vegetarian Lunches

Trainer – Meg Kirby

To apply for ALL programs – please email equinepsychotherapyinstitute@gmail.com and request and Application Form.

​Advanced Training 2018

“Trauma and Attachment: Somatic and Holistic EAP/EAL practice”

Trauma – Informed Practice in the EPI Model

Dates – May 16 – 20, 2018

Venue – The Institute

Fees – $1500 plus GST

The following ‘trauma informed’ equine assisted psychotherapy and learning advanced intensive will introduce students to a best practice 3 stage trauma model that covers the core principles of safe and effective trauma practice supporting survivors of acute and complex trauma. The 5 day intensive will explore the principles of embodied resourcing, cultivating safe body awareness, mindful attention, tracking and supporting nervous system regulation, and fostering corrective experiences for new learning and neural pathways. Discussing these trauma principles in the context of Equine Assisted Practice will give the participant practical strategies for engaging our equine friends in helping clients to reduce Autonomic Nervous System arousal, challenge unhelpful trauma generated beliefs, and to renegotiate trauma in safe and effective ways.

The intensive will integrate principles from the “the way of the horse”, Gestalt therapy’s holistic emphasis on mindful awareness, resource building, the paradoxical theory of change, re-embodiment and working relationally will be explored in the context of trauma. The highly effective body work approaches of Peter Levine’s Somatic Experiencing (SE), Pat Ogden’s Sensory-motor psychotherapy is also strongly woven  into this approach, and Dr Bruce Perry’s Nuerosequential Framework. Day 5 will include discussion on attachment, particularly disordered attachment.

The format of the module will be based on the use of equine experiential exercises, skills based practice sessions, small group conversations, theory presentations, use of case material and discussions in the large group.

By the end of the 5 day intensive, participants will expect to:

  • Gain an understanding of a 3 stage trauma model that helps clients renegotiate trauma without becoming re-traumatized.
  • Understand the definition of trauma, what a traumatic event is, and the psycho-biological process that leads to the development of post-traumatic stress responses.
  • Understand the mediating factors that hinder or support the development of post trauma symptoms.
  • Develop a solid understanding of the somatic, emotional and cognitive resources a client requires to help negotiate trauma and how to cultivate these.
  • Learn how to work effectively with the issues of shame, guilt and self-criticism that often accompany traumatic symptoms.
  • Learn how to use awareness and somatic mindfulness as a tool to complete, transform and integrate traumatic memories.
  • Understand how to take a more active and directive role in therapy – through the use of psycho-education, pacing, resource building and ‘relational modulation’ of clients autonomic nervous system.
  • Understand the  purpose of memory work, and requisite skills for processing traumatic memories without re-traumatization.

Gain an understanding of a number of useful equine experiments that:

  • Support the client to integrate traumatic memories and their effects to clients in a safe way.
  • Understand how to support clients to use bottom up and top down strategies for traumatic processing and symptom reduction.
  • Understand how to identify clients different attachment styles and to apply appropriate equine experiments.

 “Freedom from the Inner Critic”

Working with Core Beliefs, Shame Dynamics, Self-Compassion and the Adult Self in EAP / EAL practice

4 Day Advanced EPI Model Intensive

Dates – March 25 – 28 2019

Fees – $1200 plus GST

Overview: This four day experiential and practice focused Training Intensive will provide an opportunity to extend the EPI Model Foundation practice, by engaging in an in-depth experiential inquiry and exploration of the topics of self-criticism, shame, core beliefs, self-compassion and present-centred awareness practices….supporting a return to wholeness and dis-identification from fixed self-diminishing beliefs.

Day 1 & 2  will  deepen the inquiry into the barriers to self-compassion, being where we are and trusting the inherent intelligence and dynamism of our embodied being and natural awareness. It will explore the risks,  challenges and required supports and practices in befriending ‘what is’, cultivating radical acceptance and letting go of the self-improvement project. A number of practice strategies and skills will be introduced to support this development –  present centred inquiry, embodiment, self-compassion, mindful presence, and ‘staying with experiential intensity’ capacities. Latest research into self-compassion, emotional regulation and mindfulness practices will be presented in this context.

Day 3 & 4 Will explore the relational and existential functions of ‘introjects’ and the ‘inner critic’, how they develop, function, impact and organize our experience of self and other. Inquiring into our investment in  maintaining our introjects, and the obstacles to letting them go’ will also be addressed.  A number of interventions will be discussed to help access, recognize and support dis-identification  from fixed introjects,  the ‘inner critic’ and shame physiology.

This 4 day intensive will use a mixture of didactic teaching, discussion, demonstrations, equine  experiential exercises and skill practice sessions to make the concepts and methods more intimate. The focus will also be on applying these concepts in an equine assisted psychotherapy and learning context. There will be a strong focus on offering experiential exploration and practice skill development.

By the end of the Intensive you will take away a personal and professional understanding of –

  • The developmental, existential and relational function of introjects and the ‘Judge or ‘Inner Critic’.
  • Various types of introjects and manifestations of the ‘Inner Critic’
  • How introjects organize our perception and experience of reality – including our perceptual, somatic and relational fields.
  • The relationship between the Inner critic, shame, identity and basic trust in self-regulation and the paradoxical nature of change.
  • The concept of the ‘adult’, ‘judge’ and ‘child’ and how it can be useful in guiding clients to ‘dis-identify’ and separate from unhelpful introjects and their undermining impact
  • Strategies to access, identify and work with implicit core introjects and ‘the judge’ from a phenomenological, developmental and relational perspective.
  • Practical skills and techniques to develop self-compassion, presence, emotional regulation and trust in the paradox of change – including, staying with  and transforming difficulty affects and ‘core vulnerabilities’.
  • How to usefuly cultivate practices that build inner and outer supports to bring awareness, space, choice and flexibility into your experience and your life.
  • How to offer equine experiments to support the exploration of the Inner Critic and Shame Dynamics

1 Day Introduction to EAP Workshop 

1 Day Public Workshop for Mental Health / Clinical Practitioners

The Clinical Practice of Equine Assisted Psychotherapy (EAP) : a trauma-informed model of EAP for psychologists, social workers, registered counsellors and psychotherapists”

This 1 Day Workshop will introduce you to the innovative field of equine assisted psychotherapy (EAP) that emerged out of the broader field of Animal Assisted Therapy (AAT) in the 1990’s. This Workshop will overview – the history of the broader field; the history of including horses in mental health / clinical practice; define EAP and it’s scope of practice; introduce the variety of models practiced around the world and the clinical populations served by EAP; overview the clinical practice of EPI Model EAP (the equine psychotherapy institute model ); introduce ethical issues for practitioners, clients and horses in EAP clinical work, and, discuss the current state of evidence based practice in this emerging and engaging field of clinical practice.

Importantly, participants will be introduced to an Australian model of EAP that is internationally renowned, developmentally sensitive, trauma-informed, and, well placed for advancements in evidence based practice.

2018 Dates Available – Thursday March 15, Thursday April 29, Thursday May 10

Times – 9am-5pm

Venue – 459 Telegraph Rd, Mt Prospect, Victoria

Registration – Email equinepsychotherapyinstitute@gmail.com / 042 537 1729

Program Fee – $240 – includes lunch, tea/coffee

Learning objectives include

  • Gain an understanding of EAP as both an emerging and powerful clinical practice – for Psychologists, Social Workers and registered Counsellors and Psychotherapists
  • Learn the history of the field of AAT, EAT, EAMH and EAP
  • Develop an understanding of why and how horses are included in clinical practice
  • Learn What EAP looks like ‘in the paddock’
  • Understand how the clinical principles and practices of Therapeutic Relationship, Mindfulness, Distress Tolerance, Emotional Regulation, and working within the Window of Tolerance are central to the EPI Model EAP
  • Understand how EPI Model EAP supports Learning through Doing, re-wiring neural pathways, and therapeutic change through the lens of interpersonal neurobiology
  • Experience a EAP-taster – participate in or observe an EAP demonstration session (with institute herd of 12 horses) to enhance understanding of the clinical practice of EAP

About the Presenters

Meg Kirby is a Mental Health Social Worker with over 20 years experience in child, adolescent and family psychiatry, psychotherapy, and clinical social work practice. Her latest significant achievement includes being the founding the The Equine Psychotherapy Institute in 2011, offering internationally renowned training, education and supervision for mental health practitioners passionate about animal assisted clinical practice. Meg is the author of “An Introduction to…”. Meg has trained well over 130 psychologists, social workers, counsellors, psychotherapists, MH Nurses and clinicians in EAP since 2011, and continues to be a passionate spokesperson for the effectiveness of EAP in clinical work.

Noel Haarburger is a registered Psychologist of over 20 years, with a specialist interest in trauma-informed psychology, psychotherapy and neuroscience. Noel has worked across the fields of mental health, juvenile justice, addiction, sexual assault, and trauma.  Currently, Noel is in private practice as a Psychologist, Supervisor, Specialist Workshop presenter in the neuroscience of attachment, trauma, and, Trainer at Gestalt Therapy Australia. Noel offers advanced training to students and therapists at The Equine Psychotherapy Institute, offering specialist intensives in Trauma, Attachment and Addictions. He is excited about how horses can be incorporated into clinical practice to enhance effectiveness, engagement and ‘bottom up’ brain-body based therapeutic approaches.