The Equine Psychotherapy Institute

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Got questions? Here are our most frequently asked questions!


Frequently Asked Questions about our Postgraduate Equivalent Training in Equine Assisted Psychotherapy (EAP)


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Is your Postgraduate Specialist Training in EAP a Government-endorsed qualification, delivered by an RTO?

Here is some essential background information regarding PACFA and our Postgraduate Equivalent Training in Equine Assisted Psychotherapy as a PACFA Accredited Specialist Training Course:

PACFA is completely independent of TEQSA and ASQA. PACFA is a not-for-profit, peak membership and registration body that has its own accreditation system that is independent of the government.

TEQSA is the Australian government’s quality assurance and regulatory body for tertiary / higher education.

ASQA is the Australian government’s regulatory body for vocational education and training delivered by RTOs (Registered Training Organisations).

TEQSA registers tertiary education providers and provides government accreditation for courses.

PACFA is a membership and registration body that has its own accreditation schemes, and is not a registered training organisation.

For further context, the counselling and psychotherapy field is not regulated by the government unlike other health professions such as psychology, social work, occupational therapy and nursing to name a few. It is a self-regulated profession and PACFA is the peak body that provides the self-regulatory function for the profession. As the profession is not government regulated, there isn’t a minimum set of training standards required by the government which needs to be completed before someone can use the title ‘counsellor’ or ‘psychotherapist’ and can legally practice. Counsellors and psychotherapists are not required by law to be registered, registration is voluntary.

Counsellors and psychotherapists’ qualifications can range from certificate and diploma level through to post graduate and doctorate qualifications. PACFA has set very stringent training standards for our registration. So anyone who wishes to register with PACFA must complete an AQF 7 -9 qualification such as a Bachelor, Graduate Diploma and Masters qualification through a tertiary provider which has government accreditation from TEQSA or ASQA. Additionally they must also meet our Training Standards. Those who complete a PACFA accredited course are automatically eligible to register with PACFA.

Those that complete a Specialist Training (like our Postgraduate Equivalent Training in Equine Assisted Psychotherapy) are not automatically eligible to register with PACFA because Specialist Training schemes are a ‘specialisation’, and registrants are required to first have training in counselling and psychotherapy that meets PACFA’s Training Standards. Anyone completing a Specialist Training may still register with PACFA if they can show that they have another qualification that meets their Training Standards or whose overall experience and training is equivalent to PACFA’s Training Standards.

In summary, our Postgraduate Equivalent Training in Equine Assisted Psychotherapy is a Specialist Training, that is accredited by PACFA (assessed as Level 8 AQF) and is aimed as further professional training for registered psychotherapists, counsellors, psychologists, social workers, mental health nurses and mental health occupational therapists. It is not a government qualification regulated by ASQA or TESQA, it is accredited and regulated by PACFA, as the peak body for counselling and psychotherapy.

The Equine Psychotherapy Institute is not an RTO and is a private provider of specialist training, aimed at post graduate level.

Does your Postgraduate Specialist Training in EAP make me eligible to apply for a Masters Degree?

This training alone does not make students eligible for Masters level study. Please enquire directly with your future institution for eligibility criteria specific to your situation.

Does the Postgraduate Specialist Training in EAP make me eligible for PACFA registration?

This training does not lead to registration with PACFA. PACFA have assessed this as a Specialist Training at a Postgraduate level.

Why complete the Postgraduate Specialist Training in EAP?

For those wanting a thorough training that can be listed on your CV as Postgraduate Specialist Training in Equine Assisted Psychotherapy and want to know they have completed the most comprehensive and highest level available training in Equine Assisted Practice, then the Postgraduate Specialist Training in EAP may be for you.

All other Frequently Asked Questions

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Can I train with you if I am not a registered Counsellor, Psychologist, Social Worker or other mental health professional?

Yes, you train and certify as an Equine Assisted Learning Practitioner, offering social emotional learning programs, personal development or professional development programs (such as team building and leadership) with horses. Find out more here.

How do I apply?

Head to our Apply Now page and enter your details, plus the name of the program you are interested in. We will then email you an Application Form to complete and return to us.

Once you have emailed your completed form to us, we will confirm your place in the training. You then will receive a Welcome Letter with further information regarding the training, location, etc.

Can the EAP Foundation Training be utilised as accrued CPD (Continuing Professional Development) points?

Yes! The ACA, PACFA, AASW and APS accept the training as CPD.

I have completed a Certificate II, III or IV in equine studies, mental health, or community services, can I certify as an equine therapist?

You need to be a registered mental healthcare professional. You need to have a Diploma in Counselling with current registration with ACA (or similar) or a degree or Masters level qualification and current registration as a counsellor, psychotherapist, social worker, psychologist, psychiatrist, credentialed mental health nurse or MH occupational therapist, in order to train and certify in our Equine Assisted Psychotherapy training.

If you are not trained and registered as above, you can train and certify as an Equine Assisted Learning practitioner, offering social emotional learning, personal development, and professional development programs with horses, not, therapy with horses.

I am an experienced MH Practitioner (e.g. psychologist, social worker, psychotherapist), do I have to complete the entire 15 days or 40 online classes foundation program, or can I apply for credits or RPL (recognised prior learning)?Here

The Foundation Training Program is a specialist and unique psychotherapy model, and all practitioners need to learn the theory, principles, practices and unique ethics regarding EAP.

No previous training will teach you what the EPI Model Training teaches you. Hence, there are no applications for RPL and all students must complete all the foundation training and assessments to certify.

When and Where do you run your next EAP/EAT/EAL Training Program?

Check out the Training Calendar to find out when the training you are interested is running in Australia and Internationally, or online.

If you do not find a program or dates you are looking for, just email the Institute and ask about upcoming training in your state/country.

You can also sign up for our training updates email.

Are you an RTO?

The Institute is not a registered training organisation. We are an independent specialist training centre delivering specialist training in EAP (EAT/ EAMH) and EAL for 12 years. Our focus is on helping students develop the foundation skills and core competencies required to offer safe, professional, ethical and inspirational EAP and EAL Programs.

The Institute trainers are experienced mental health practitioners with a wealth of professionalism and experience in human healthcare, horses/horsemanship, and the unique dynamics that occur in EAP (EAT) and EAL.

Becoming an RTO does not guarantee an experienced and sophisticated curriculum or training experience for students. Integrity, experience, professionalism and ethics supports best practice training programs.

Our Graduate Diploma in Equine Assisted PSychotherapy is a specialist training accredited by PACFA and we are also a proud member of IAHAIO

How can I find out more?

You are welcome to email or call the Institute on 0437 882 600 to find out more.

You may also like to check out the Testimonials we have received from students.

How can I stay in Contact with the Institute and hear about upcoming Training Programs?

If you wish to updates about our upcoming events, trainings, and any news, please subscribe to our email list.

How can I learn more about the EPI Model before committing to the Training Program?

1 Day Intro Course
Attend our 1 Day “Introduction to Equine Assisted Therapy” which is delivered throughout the year in Queensland, Victoria, South Australia and Western Australia.

This is the best way to learn more about the field of EAP and EAL practice, and the EPI Model. Find out more on our 1 Day Workshops.

Text Book
You can also purchase Meggin Kirby’s textbook – “An Introduction to Equine Assisted Psychotherapy: principles, theory and practice of the equine psychotherapy institute model.”

You can buy it as a paperback or eBook at most online book retailers, including:

Why do EAL’s learn alongside EAP’s and learn psychotherapy principles and practices?
EAL Practitioners are trained in a psychotherapy model to:
  • Ensure client safety (emotional and physical safety). If clients are triggered into deeper psychological processes, the EAL Practitioner is skilled in basic counselling and psychotherapy skills, trauma sensitive practice and skills to resource, ground and re-focus sessions back within the clients’ ‘window of tolerance’.
  • Ensure practitioners begin their Personal Work. EAL’s begin deeper personal development in the training and have the opportunity to know their personal patterns well (counter-transference issues) that impact on client safety and professionalism if left unconscious or un-aware. That way EAL’s have an opportunity to be aware and skilful practitioners.
  • So EAL’s have the exposure to clinical practice and psychotherapy practice which can provide an opportunity (for those inclined) to choose to further develop their skills and qualifications, via pursuing further education and registration as a Counsellor, Psychotherapist, Social Worker or Psychologist, for example.
Ask us!

Call us on 0437 882 600 or email and ask questions!

Once I have completed the training, can I still access support from the Institute?

We value connection, so once you are trained, you will be a part of our community of practitioners across Australia, NZ and internationally.

Here is how we can support you once you have finished foundation training:

  • Invitation to attend an EPI Network Meeting free of charge
  • Join our closed EPI Facebook group, where we share all things health wellbeing, horses, EAT/EAP/EAL/EFL!
  • EPI Conferences
  • Advanced Trainings (i.e. Trauma, Working with Children, Addictions and much more)
    Supervision and Mentoring

We are open to suggestions from our community of practitioners about what they want and need to stay connected.

Do you accept Payment Plans?

The Institute is committed to supporting people to receive professional and ethical training in the fields of equine assisted learning and equine assisted psychotherapy, so always do our best to work with you and your budgeting.

You are welcome to email us to request a payment plan. We will consider all requests.

Want more information?

If you have any questions, contact us to find out more.