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The Equine Psychotherapy Institute

world-class education

The Equine Psychotherapy Institute

world-class education

Change... The way you live. The way you work. The way you make a difference.

Equine Therapy Exposed

Australian first!

Postgraduate Equivalent Training in Equine Assisted Psychotherapy - PACFA Specialist Accreditation (AQF Level 8 equivalent). New Institute postgraduate education pathway available for 2021.

Just Published - Equine Therapy Exposed by Meg Kirby.

This unique book exposes exactly how Institute EAP and EAL practitioners practice with different clients, to support incredible change. Click here to find out more.

Are you passionate about horses and helping people?

Equine Assisted Psychotherapy Training
online eap & eal training

Learn to be an Equine Therapist with Australia's leading Equine Assisted Psychotherapy & Equine Assisted Learning education expert

Demand is increasing for skilful, ethical and professional equine assisted therapy and learning practitioners – our rigorous education, training, and continuing professional development programs will support you to be the competent, confident, and creative professional you were born to be. The Equine Psychotherapy Institute offers Training and Certification in the professional practice of Equine Assisted Psychotherapy (EAP) (Counselling /Mental Health), Equine Assisted Learning (EAL) and Specialist Training in Animal Assisted Psychotherapy, and Nature Based Psychotherapy.

The Institute founder, Mental Health Social Worker and Psychotherapist of over 23 years, Meggin Kirby, pioneered the first uniquely Australian model of EAP and EAL in 2011, which has become internationally renowned and revered. Students travel from far abroad – Russia, Poland, England, Denmark, Holland, United States, Canada, New Zealand, and of course, all states of Australia to Certify in EPI Model EAP and EAL. In 2020, we offered our first online EAL/EAP Training and Certification program.

We have training facilities in NSW (Kyogle), QLD (North Brisbane), VIC (Mount Prospect) and WA (Bullsbrook).

Internationally renowned, nationally revered

Take a tour of The Equine Psychotherapy Institute here

You are in excellent hands! Our faculty is world-class! Our staff team is a multidisciplinary team made up of clinical social work, psychology, counselling, gestalt therapy and trauma-specialists. All of our faculty live with their own herd of horses, and breathe, love and learn with horses as a life-choice. We are all passionate about equine assisted practice! Join our international community of practitioners for life, and step into your dream practice – combining your love of horses and desire to help people grow, heal and change.

Our training programs are different.

Our training is life changing.

Are you ready for change?


I could not recommend this training highly enough. It is testament to the model, the institute and Meg as a trainer, that the training was so effective and engaging even when shifted to being online due to COVID-19.  I felt both challenged and supported professionally and personally, and have come away feeling very motivated to start working in this field, knowing I have joined a community of very committed and supportive professionals. I loved how the course presented a whole philosophy with the EPI model on our experience and relationship with ourselves, with clients and with horses. I feel very moved to have had this opportunity to pause and build greater awareness in these areas.

Ella - Social Worker and EAP Student


It was an absolute honour and delight to be a part of such a well-structured and facilitated foundation training program. The training has opened up so many insights into my own personal relationships. I had numerous “ah-ha” moments and I am learning to be kinder to myself. My professional development during this training has grown exponentially. I have been provided with a unique skill set to enable me

and my equine partners to support others within my business setting to experience their own personal growth. I’ve also met the most supportive peer network of amazing women who I am glad to be sharing and supporting along this journey.

Belinda - Manager and EAL Student

"Horses see the real you.
Being seen is incredibly healing."
Meg Kirby

Just published!

Equine Therapy Exposed: Real life case studies of equine assisted psychotherapy and equine assisted learning with everyday people and horses

In this book you will get a sneak peek into the innovative field of equine assisted practice, rich with real life case studies from Australian practitioners supporting a wide range of clients including Indigenous youth, children with complex needs, and adults and young people recovering from trauma and PTSD. See for yourself how equine assisted therapy offers effective support and change for clients with autism, anorexia, addictions and more. Featuring a uniquely interactive and engaging format, this book delivers insight from one of Australia’s leading education experts in Equine Assisted Psychotherapy.

See what International Psychotherapy and Education Leaders are saying about Equine Therapy Exposed:

Meg Kirby has truly lifted the lid on the inner workings of equine assisted psychotherapy and learning, an area that has often received little attention and understanding in the public domain and academic literature. In particular, a fascinating insight is provided into the experiential method that underpins The Equine Psychotherapy Institute’s successful model. Through this book, one is able to gain a deeper knowledge of how the client, practitioner, horse, and environment subtly interact to influence the conduct of therapeutic sessions. A strongly client-centered approach is evident throughout the broad variety of case study discussions, highlighting the vast array of clients who may benefit from this innovative approach to health and wellbeing.

Carlie J. Driscoll, PhD

Associate Professor & Director University of Queensland Animal-Assisted Interventions Alliance

Equine Therapy Exposed is a valuable resource for anyone interested in a real-life glimpse into the EAP/EAL process taught by The Equine Psychotherapy Institute. This book beautifully illustrates the power and effectiveness of the EAP/EAL process, and how it supports new opportunities and choices for relationship and emotional growth. In the unique case studies presented, each one demonstrates the co-creative process between the practitioner, client and horses, and how moving into contact and connection provides the foundation for profound healing and change. This book will inspire you!

Joan Rieger, MA, LPC

Director of the Gestalt Institute of the Rockies & Gestalt Equine Psychotherapist

Meg Kirby has written a dynamic and valuable book that provides readers with a unique glimpse on how she has learned to apply equine therapy services at her Institute. The book is filled with tremendous insights and practical suggestions. I believe that this book would be immensely helpful to professionals attempting to work alongside horses to support their clients’ wellbeing.

Aubrey H. Fine Ed.D. Professor Emeritus CA Poly State University, Licensed Psychologist

Editor of The Handbook on Animal Assisted Therapy

Meg Kirby’s Equine Therapy Exposed is an outstanding book for beginners as well as experienced equine assisted therapy practitioners. The case studies are rich and varied. The practice points and comments are very helpful in illustrating specific aspects of equine assisted psychotherapy. Equally, this text is a fantastic resource for integrating psychotherapy with a range of somatic and nature-based therapies, not just equine therapy. The AWARE Therapy TM model is highly innovative, weaving together seminal psychotherapeutic approaches with eastern wisdom and meditative traditions – Meg is a woman after my own heart!

Melissa O’Shea, PhD

Clinical Psychologist, Academic and Yoga Teacher, Master of Clinical Leadership (MCL)

Deakin University

Equine Therapy Exposed, by Meg Kirby, takes a significant and meaningful step in the advancement of the professionalization of the fields of Equine-Assisted Psychotherapy and Equine-Assisted Learning. Presenting a model which she has developed (EPI Model and AWARE Therapy TM), that takes advantage of mechanisms unique to these two fields, Kirby is actually showing the reader an approach as opposed to a manual. This distinction is critical in that it allows for flexibility that focuses on the needs of any given client, at any given point in time, as opposed to focusing on rules to be followed.

The case studies splendidly help the reader understand both the depth and the processes that can be achieved in psychotherapy and in learning, with the help of the integration of equines into the setting, through the use of this approach.

Nancy Parish-Plass, MA Social Work and Certified in Advanced Psychotherapy Studies

Founding and Current Chairperson of IAAAP Israeli Association of Animal-Assisted Psychotherapy

If you are interested in how to work relationally with horses in a psychotherapy and learning context, this book clearly outlines The Equine Psychotherapy Institute’s methodology and provides case studies to illustrate how the theory underpins practice. The AWARE Therapy™ model provides a clear framework for practitioners to embrace the Gestalt foundations of here-and-now, embodied relationships.

As a follow-up to her first book, An Introduction to Equine Assisted Psychotherapy: Principles Theory and Practice of the Equine Psychotherapy Institute Model, this book showcases the adaptability of the approach to a wide range of client populations and highlights the importance of allowing each session to organically emerge through the relationships between practitioner, horse, and client.

Veronica Lac, PhD

Executive Director The HERD Institute®, USA

As the involvement of equines and other species in psychotherapy becomes more popular, resources are increasing dramatically. Many focus on the benefits to humans without delineation of the theoretical principles underpinning the approach or consideration of the animals' experience. It is refreshing to read a volume that highlights these critical factors while telling the human story as well. Meg Kirby's edited volume, Equine Therapy Exposed, does just that. She and the contributing authors have created a readable, well-organized, and compelling book that starts with a grounding in Kirby's AWARE™ Therapy's principles and concepts, and follows with case studies that provide depth of understanding of core therapeutic principles applied with a diverse range of presenting concerns and clients. In particular, I appreciate the focus on acceptance, not only to foster the client's awareness and journey through the experiential process, but also of the horses, respecting them as the unique and individual sentient beings that they are. Thorough elucidation of therapeutic processes when animals are involved remains relatively uncommon in the literature. Brava to Meg Kirby and contributors for creating this most helpful exploration of just that!

Risë VanFleet, PhD, RPT-S, CDBC, CAEBC/Coauthor with Tracie Faa-Thompson of the award-winning Animal Assisted Play Therapy, Principal, International Institute for Animal Assisted Play Therapy

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