The Equine Psychotherapy Institute

World Class Education
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Our Faculty & Team


We have an experienced faculty of trainers from around Australia that help us deliver the highest quality training to our students. We also experienced professionals that support our students and graduates with professional supervision.


Meg Kirby equine therapy trainer


Meggin is the Founder of The Equine Psychotherapy Institute.

MASW (Social Work)
Dip. Gestalt Therapy

A Leading International Education Expert in Equine Assisted Psychotherapy, Animal Assisted Psychotherapist, Author, Founder and Senior Trainer at The Equine Psychotherapy Institute, Mental Health Social Worker and Gestalt Therapist of over 23 years, Supervisor, Leadership Coach and Mentor.

Meg is passionate about supporting people from all walks of life to discover true freedom, to begin to deeply trust the wisdom of their body, feelings ad whole-being, and to fall in love with Life, with the support and wisdom from horses, all animals and nature.

Meg began working in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Mental Health Inpatient and Outpatient Units, before moving to Adult Mental Health Therapeutic Community practice and working with Dual Diagnosis and Complex Needs, and finally settling into Private Practice as a Psychotherapist incorporating room-based, equine assisted, animal assisted and nature assisted psychotherapy for children, adults, couples, families and organisations.

In 2011 Meg created and founded The Equine Psychotherapy Institute offering Australia’s first comprehensive, private training pathway for students looking for robust education in equine assisted psychotherapy (for registered mental health professionals) and equine assisted learning (for teachers, animal-based professionals, coaches and disability workers). The Institute is internationally renowned and nationally revered for delivering a trauma-informed, unique psychotherapy model, founded on an ethical inclusion of horses (and all animals). Meg developed her innovative I-Thou-Horse-Person-ship approach, to ensure horses’ subjective experience was included in all EPI model sessions, to protect horse welfare and include an ethical foundation. Further-more, in 2016, Meg published her first book “An Introduction to Equine Assisted Psychotherapy : principles, theory and practice of the Equine Psychotherapy Institute Model”, and, recently authored her new book, “Equine Therapy Exposed,” now available. This book is an innovative behind the scenes look into what equine therapy is, and how it works, with diverse clinical clients. This recently published book has already received praise from academics and leading professionals in the field, across the nation and globe, for its engaging and in-depth look inside the inner workings of equine assisted therapy and learning.

Having trained and supervised hundreds and hundreds of professionals in equine assisted psychotherapy, animal assisted psychotherapy and nature assisted psychotherapy from all over the globe, Meg keeps herself grounded everyday with the support of her talented and beautiful faculty team of 12 amazing staff, loving husband and daughters, family herd of 12 wise horses, 3 expressive cats, her loyal dog Bear and rabbit Darcy … and will soon be blessed to care for 4 young kangaroos, in her newly developed Kind Kangaroo Sanctuary. Meg lives and breathes equine, animal and nature assisted psychotherapy as a Way of Life.

Get your copy of Equine Therapy Exposed here.

Noel Haarburger equine therapy trainer

Noel Haarburger

Senior Trainer

B.B.SC, B’Ed (counseling)
Adv Dip Gestalt Therapy
Somatic Experiencing Practitioner (SEP)
Gestalt Therapist
Trainer at GTA

Noel has been a faculty member and trainer at GTA (Gestalt Therapy Australia) since 2001, and now works in full time private practice as a Psychologist and Psychotherapist working with individuals and couples, as well as offering supervision to allied health professionals. He also practices and trains Equine Assisted Psychotherapy, Animal Assisted Psychotherapy (canine) and Nature Assisted Therapy.

He has worked extensively in a wide variety of counselling and psychological services since 1995, including most recently the role of Senior Psychologist at Malmsbury Youth Justice Centre for 4 years. Previous to this he has worked in family counselling, drug and alcohol, sexual assault, problematic gambling, men’s behavioural change programs, and the mental health fields.

Noel has a special interest in Trauma and Body Work, as well as integrating developmental/attachment perspectives, Buddhist psychology and non-dual spiritual approaches into his work. He is a certified ‘Somatic Experiencing’ practitioner, which utilises highly effective and safe body awareness methods for negotiating and releasing trauma, developed by Peter Levine. Noel is also an ongoing student of the ‘Diamond Heart approach’, a western psycho-spiritual school that integrates mindfulness, western depth psychology, Sufism and Buddhist approaches to personal and spiritual development.

Noel is excited about the human-animal connection and the power of animal assisted psychotherapy and nature assisted therapy. He co-facilitates with Meggin offering the Foundation and Advanced trauma training at the Institute.

Noel Haarburger equine therapy trainer

Sue Lamond

EPI Trainer

Masters in Gestalt Psychotherapy
Advanced EPI Therapist
Adult Education Trainer
Supervisor for the Equine Psychotherapy Institute
Supervisor for Lifeline
Life Coach

I began study many years ago with an interest in how humans relate to each other, and why we respond in life the way we do. My curiosity has always been to explore the balance of human born and conditioned responses. This curiosity has driven my interest as a lifelong learner and trainer in this field. My studies have been in counselling, training, and life coaching, even exploring alternate therapies models to expand my knowledge. My most recent study has been a Masters in Gestalt Psychotherapy.

My deep love and respect of horses had me bring the human development and the horse love together into the equine assisted psychotherapy field. I have been working in this field for ten years, initially studying other EAP models until finding one that felt more congruent with myself, and more comprehensive and effective for my clients. I am very passionate about the Equine Psychotherapy Institute model, which drove my decision to become a trainer and supervisor for the Institute, as well as going on to further training in working with trauma, children and adolescence, and veterans advanced workshops, leading to becoming an advanced practitioner with the Institute.

Working in private practice at Northern Rivers Equine Assisted Psychotherapy in Kyogle, the far north of New South Wales, I have a beautiful herd of horses and a therapy / training facility where I work with individuals and small groups. As a therapist my special interest is in working with trauma, as well as personal and professional development and leadership. I am always excited to support new practitioners to learn the EPI model well, and practice in a way that is going to support them and their clients best.

I offer training in the EPI model to new practitioners at my facility which is situated just below the QLD border in NSW for those interested in becoming EAP or EAL practitioners in this field.

Noel Haarburger equine therapy trainer

Louise Atkinson

EPI Trainer

ACA Registered Counsellor
EPI Trainer
Member of the College of Supervisors/Australian Counselling Association
EPI Supervisor

I have been involved with horses since I was 10 years old and am experienced in many equine disciplines.

I have been a Natural Horsemanship Instructor since 1996 where I have been helping people understand their horses so they can develop better relationships and work together harmoniously. This usually meant the human needed tochange both mentally, emotionally and spiritually. This inspired me to look into EAL so that I can help people that don’t have their own horses to become the best versions of themselves that they can be. I am also passionate about helping those that are less fortunate to become who they want to be.

I live in Bullsbrook, WA, with my small herd of horses who ably assist my clients to become aware of whatever they need to become aware of in their journey of self-discovery and personal growth. I love what my herd offer each person, and I never know what their offer might be. They really surprise me sometimes with their intuitive behaviours. It keeps the work alive and interesting for me.

I work with individuals, teenager to adult, women’s groups and corporate groups. I specialise in addiction recovery support as well as trauma therapy. I offer the EPI model practitioner training in Western Australia. I have developed a business essentials program to help new practitioners start up their own businesses. I also offer individual support through Skype and telephone for those that are unable to be with me in person.

Noel Haarburger equine therapy trainer

Heather Lucass

EPI Supervisor

EPI Model EAP Practitioner
EPI Trainer
BA Hons Psychology and Law
Graduate Diploma in Secondary Education (Science)
Post Graduate Certificate in Education (PGCE Secondary Science)
Member of the Queensland College of Teachers (QCT)
Diploma of Counselling (ACA)
Master of Professional Psychology (Psychologist, provisional registration)

I am a qualified Teacher, Counsellor, provisional Psychologist, Equine Assisted Psychotherapy practitioner and EPI model Trainer.

Having had the privilege of growing up with horses and other animals, I came to this work with an intrinsic understanding of the importance of nature in the field of healing and growth. Completing my training with the Institute provided an evidenced-based road map to integrate this work into my practice. I am passionate about sharing the Institute’s model and excited to support students on their journey with this amazing work.

I feel grateful that in my role as an EPI model trainer, I am able to combine my passion for this work with my background in education and training. I have over 10 years’ experience in teaching science and psychology and have held a number of positions in secondary schools and colleges in the UK, Thailand and Australia. My experience includes Special Educational Needs specialist, Teaching and Learning Coach, Student Wellbeing Leader, Pastoral Leader, Head of Sixth Form and Curriculum Lead for Science and Psychology. I also worked with local government schools implementing canine facilitated positive behaviour programs for disengaged students.

Additionally, I have a background in training dogs and horses, and I am passionate about relationship-based horsemanship, believing connection and safety are the foundations of a happy herd. I have an interest in supporting healing from trauma in both humans and animals and integrate a trauma-informed approach in my teaching, training and psychotherapy practice. I have also completed advanced training with the Institute in the role of Animal Assisted Psychotherapy in Treating Developmental Trauma in Children.

I live in the small suburb of Moorina, North Brisbane, where I run Brisbane Equine Assisted Therapy with my herd of horses and my 2 dogs.

Noel Haarburger equine therapy trainer

Maelani Mills

EPI Model EAL Practitioner
EAL Trainer
EPI Supervisor and Assessor
BA Communications

I am delighted to be a part of the incredible EPI team in a role that supports students through this transformational personal and professional journey.

Having developed and nurtured a strong connection with them from a young age, horses have provided constant support throughout many life joys and challenges. I am now honoured to share this love and experience with others.

It has been an ultimate dream to combine the life changing effects of deeper self awareness and personal empowerment with the wisdom and magic of horses. I was fortunate to discover and complete my training at EPI, where I immediately felt that I had arrived home to exactly what my dreams were made of.

In addition to being an EPI model EAL practitioner, I have my B.A. in Communications from the University of San Diego, am a registered yoga teacher, a current counselling student (AIPC) and trained in personal growth coaching (Natural Success Academy).

I live in Melbourne with my husband, son, and Jack Russell. My small but mighty herd of Toto, Bear and Pilton live in Greenvale, Victoria where I run my own EAL practice.

I offer supervision support, exam assessments, as well as business planning sessions and look forward to connecting with you on this truly unique journey!

Noel Haarburger equine therapy trainer

Paula Jewell

EAL Trainer

EPI Model EAL Practitioner
Program Development
Animal Specialist

I am honoured to be part of the team here at The Equine Psychotherapy Institute.

I come from a background working in Human Services, focusing on the areas of homelessness, youth at risk and domestic violence before a career (and tree) change led my husband and I to country Victoria in 2012 where I began working fulltime at Edgar’s Mission Farm Animal Sanctuary.

Here my love for all animals and my ability to naturally connect with them was nurtured and I gained invaluable firsthand experience in what relational interactions with animals (particularly prey species) truly entail. I have experience in caring for the lifelong physical, social and emotional needs of many species, including horses, cattle, goats, sheep, pigs, alpacas, rabbits, turkeys, chickens, ducks, dogs, cats and even a peacock!

Throughout my years with this organisation, I wore many hats including but not limited to Animal Care Manager, Communications and Social Media Officer, Education Assistant, Accounts and Payroll Officer and, perhaps most importantly, Personal Assistant to a very special, rescued battery hen named Little Miss Sunshine!

It was this relationship with Little Miss Sunshine, and then the thousands of other chickens I helped rescue and care for, that truly opened my eyes and my heart to the intrinsic wisdom of animals as well as their abilities to breakdown our barriers to connection and transform our lives in the most meaningful of ways.

I am the Owner Operator of Macedon Ranges Animal Assisted Learning and my husband Darin and I run a small chicken sanctuary on our 12 acre property called Sunshine Hill where we rescue and rehabilitate chickens in need. We and our feathered family (who all have names and unique personalities) also share our hearts and home with Dini and Wallace the dogs, Lily, Bert and Celia our cats, Cricket and Goldie Duckworth the Pekin ducks and Charlie and Ruby the horses.

I’m excited to meet you all and experience this enriching and heart opening journey together. Thanks for helping to make our world a more beautiful place.

Noel Haarburger equine therapy trainer

Jo Steiner

Student Support

I live with my dog Wombat, cat Jasmine and two sons in the Daylesford area. I have a lifelong love of animals (and their ability to co-regulate). I began my studies in Biology, and completed an Honours Bachelor degree in Zoology at Monash University.

Subsequently, I landed a job at the Veterinary School, Melbourne Uni, which progressed to a PhD studying the immune system of sheep!

In the early 2000’s I met my husband, moved to the country and started a family. I decided to retrain, and was drawn to the EPI Model of equine assisted practice. In February 2019 I completed the Foundation EAL Training.

I began working at the Institute earlier in 2019 with farm and administration duties. My new role is Student Support, supporting students to complete the training requirements, submitting integration papers, exams, CDP requirements, and online networking co-ordinator going for EPI Zoom Network Meetings.

I am hoping to offer all students and practitioners ongoing support as needed, to stay connected to our wonderful EPI community!

Noel Haarburger equine therapy trainer

Valence Williams

Equine Specialist

EPI Model EAL Practitioner
Horsemanship Coach
Meditation Teacher

I offer equine specific support to students at the Institute. I teach our 2-day Equine Studies and Horsemanship Clinic at the Institute, and offer private, online support and coaching at Soul Horse Revolution (Ballarat based).

I previously focused on training horses for people, however, now my Soul Horse Revolution consulting coaches people for horses! Horsemanship coaching with SHR is science based and relationship-centred and supports horse people to develop two-way communication and calmness in their horsemanship practice.

I am also a Meditation teacher and teach Meditation with horses. I have studied Equine Psychology, EPI EAL, and I’m registered as a professional member of the IICT (International Institute for Complementary Therapies) recognised in the modalities of Equine Meditation, Meditation Teaching, Holistic Counselling and Personal Training.

I will be offering supervision sessions and support for students looking to integrate ponies or horses into their AAP. I look forward to getting to know you all.

Noel Haarburger equine therapy trainer

Steph Milburn

EPI Supervisor

EPI Model EAP Practitioner
Bachelor in Psychological Studies, Masters of Counselling specialising in children and adolescents.
Qualified Horse Safety Australia Riding Instructor.

I am a qualified counsellor registered with the ACA and certified with EPI as an EAP practitioner. I work from my home in private practice with a herd of 7, including 3 miniature ponies, dogs, cats and chickens. I’m passionate about the EPI model and specialise in working with children and adolescents with trauma backgrounds and special needs but also work with adults. I offer individual sessions and some group school holiday programs that focus on the principles of the Horse Wisdom Program.

I have a background working in primary school settings and was also a riding instructor coaching for over 10 years and ran my own riding school helping children and adults to connect with horses. I now work full time from home whilst also being a mum to two beautiful little girls.

I offer supervision via zoom/phone for those of you working specifically with children who need support with this tricky population who don’t always fit the EAP structured process! I look forward to chatting with you (EPI Students and Practitioners) if you have any questions.

Noel Haarburger equine therapy trainer

Nadine Delaney

EPI Supervisor

EPI Model EAP Practitioner
Mental Health Social Worker

I’m an Accredited Mental Health Social Worker and with my herd of 5 horses and ponies, puppies and cats, I work in private practice in the Hunter Valley in NSW.

Along with being an EPI trained EAP, I am also registered with Medicare and the NDIS. My work background includes roles in Child Protection, Out of Home Care, investigations, carer training and assessment, staff training, compliance and practice quality.

I work mostly with children and young people who have special needs, trauma, mental health challenges and a range of disabilities. I generally offer individual sessions during the school terms and I also run The Horse Wisdom program for groups during the school holidays.

I am very grateful to have been invited to be a supervisor with the EPI. I’m able to offer sessions in person (to those local), over the phone or through zoom/facetime.

I hope to be able to support people to work creatively with children and young people, implementing the Horse Wisdom program, with both individuals and small groups and offering our amazing EPI model of Equine Assisted Therapy and Learning.

I’m also open to sharing my experiences of starting out in private practice (which was a little scary after so many years working for government and non-government agencies) and navigating the ‘wonderful world’ of the NDIS. Please let me know if I can assist and I look forward to getting to know everyone along the way.

Noel Haarburger equine therapy trainer

Lisa Toman

EPI Supervisor

Gestalt Psychotherapy (MA)
Equine Assisted Psychotherapy (Advanced Cert)
Outdoor Leadership (Cert),
Sensory Motor Art Therapy (Cert)
Systemic Family Constellations (Facilitator Training Cert)

For as long as she can remember Lisa was outside. She has a particular interest in the interconnectedness, of all living things. How this relates to our, physical, emotional and spiritual wellbeing. How relationship with the natural world, including animals, horses, nature and art can enrich our lives, enhance our sense of wellbeing, belonging, connectedness, ease, wonder and aliveness, make us better equipped to meet challenges.

In her work with people Lisa draws over nineteen years experience, a background in Outdoor Leadership, Gestalt Psychotherapy; Equine Assisted Psychotherapy; Mindfulness; Embodied Awareness; Creative and Expressive Art therapy.

Particularly interested in expanding the human relational field and the benefits of the natural world in supporting the healing of trauma. Lisa has worked extensively in a variety of counselling and psychological services, including most recently the role of Equine Assisted Psychotherapy specialist and individual therapist at Byron Private Treatment Centre for 5 years. She also has experience in related areas and has worked in drug and alcohol, disordered eating, trauma recovery, and mental health fields.

One of Lisa’s greatest passions is supporting and mentoring students, through their professional modalities and their personal life. Available for both Supervision and Psychotherapy face to face or online to EPI students, trainees and practitioners.

In her personal experience, based in beautiful Byron Bay, Lisa is a mother to three grown boys. You’ll most likely find her canoeing on the Brunswick River, riding on the beach with friends or exploring and wandering in nature.