I am so passionate about our wonderful work with horses, animals and nature 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 EAL Practitioner Training, Trauma and Personal Development fields, and more recently Animal Assisted Psychotherapy and Nature Assisted Therapy.
My clinical experience over the last 23 years began in Adult community mental health, moved into inpatient and outpatient Child and Family psychiatry, before settling into private practice as a psychotherapist working with adults, children, families, couples and organisations.
After over 10 years in psychotherapy and coaching private practice I moved into Training psychotherapists, counsellors, social workers, psychologists, teachers and horse people in equine assisted practice, and I have been doing that now for over 10 years!
Before training, I researched and trained in many diverse EAP, EAL and EFL Models over the years to advanced levels. I developed a Model of Equine Assisted Psychotherapy and Learning in 2011, that is firstly, uniquely Australian, and most importantly, founded on solid psychology, psychotherapy, neuroscience, equine studies and ethical horsemanship.
This is our difference. There is no other model 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 12 colourful horses.
We have incredible human wisdom to draw from – in the teachings of mindfulness psychotherapy, gestalt therapy, somatic trauma therapy and neuroscience – and incredible horse wisdom, animal wisdom and nature-based 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 16 years and a Trauma specialist practitioner and Psychologist of over 20 years.
Every day 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 self, others and the world– with horses, animals and the natural world or country, supporting this deeper connection and healing process in a unique, experiential way.
I look forward to connecting with you and supporting you on your journey into equine assisted practice, animal assisted practice and nature-based therapy.
Meggin KirbyFounder, Facilitator, Senior Trainer, The Equine Psychotherapy Institute.