The Equine Psychotherapy Institute

World Class Education
  1. Home
  2. |
  3. Specialist Training
  4. |
  5. Working with Children & Adolescents

Working with Children and Adolescents in Equine Assisted Practice


In this training intensive you will deep dive into the world of children and adolescents! Specifically, you will be learning about the developmental ages, stages and needs of young people, and how this shapes your equine assisted practice. EAP and EAL is very different with adults, and young people! To ensure your language, approach, positioning and orientation is child-centred, you will learn about child psychotherapy principles, child-centred play therapy, child-focused gestalt therapy, and psychodynamic principles, in the context of equine assisted psychotherapy and equine assisted learning. Importantly, you will overview our psycho-educational program, EPI Horse Wisdom ®, including how it is delivered to individual child clients and groups of children and adolescents. By the end of this intensive training, you will feel confident to understand and apply our EPI model psycho-educational and psychotherapy approach with young people.

animal assisted therapy dog

Who is this training for?

This training is for you if you have already completed our EAL or EAP training and have a special interest in expanding and deepening into the wonderful world of working with primary school aged (5-11 year olds) and secondary school aged (12-18 years of age) children and adolescents.

If you wish to work with young people in the context of school groups, child psychotherapy, individual or group experiential learning or therapy sessions with horses.

You have already a good foundational understanding and application of the EPI model with adults, and now you want to learn about how you apply your knowledge and understanding in an age or developmentally appropriate way.

Additionally, you may wish to understand the unique skills and competencies you need to work with young people on the autism spectrum, with a range of intellectual abilities and mental health diagnoses, including trauma.

Horse Assisted Learning session - working with  adolescents

How is the training delivered?

This training is inherently experiential, and will include the use of experiential experiences and exercises, skills-based practice sessions, small group conversations, theory presentations, use of case material (video and written), and discussions in the large group.

The program is delivered online, via Zoom.

Horse Assisted Therapy  session - working with children
Horse Assisted Learning  session - working with children
Horse Assisted Therapy  session - working with  adolescents

What are the Learning Objectives?

  • Understand the developmental ages, stages and needs of children and adolescents.
  • Learn and Apply the basic psychotherapy principles and practices of child-centred play therapy, child-focused gestalt therapy, and psychodynamic principles in the context of equine assisted psychotherapy and equine assisted learning.
  • Understand and apply the unique intake format when working with children including individual child, parents, family assessment sessions and formulation /feedback session
  • Understand the difference between a psycho-educational session and psychotherapeutic session, and psycho-educational interventions and psychotherapeutic interventions.
  • Learn specific child and adolescent focused equine experiments you can offer your clients to facilitate change.
  • Understand trauma and how it affects the brain, nervous system, emotions, cognitions and behaviour or the child.
  • Understand and apply trauma-informed equine assisted practice principles with the young client.
  • Utilise the EPI Horse Wisdom ® supporting the social-emotional learning of the child or adolescent.
  • Integrate I-Thou relationship across the practitioner-young person-horse and herd system, to support healing in relationship and safety in relationship.
  • Understand and articulate the Learning Goals and Therapeutic Goals in working with children and how these goals shape the design of the equine experiences.
  • Utilise and discuss a range of equine experiments including liberty, on-line, led mounted, and creative projective experiments, that are appropriate for diverse young people with different referral issues and presenting needs.
  • Assess the appropriateness and benefit of utilising evaluation tools (psychometric tools) for different young clients to track your EAP or EAL effectiveness with specific client cohorts.

What is the Investment?

3 Days Training $1,100 plus GST

Why Train with Us?

We are an established training organisation and have been training practitioners in equine assisted psychotherapy and equine assisted learning since 2011.

We have a created a unique Psychotherapy Model of EAP and EAL, so your specialist training regarding working with children and adolescents is founded on psychotherapy theory and practices, particularly play therapy, gestalt therapy, psychodynamic therapy, and trauma therapy.

Your primary trainer, Meggin Kirby, has experience of assessing, treating and working with children, parents and families in the context of inpatient psychiatric units, community out-patient settings and private practice as a mental health social worker, child psychotherapist, parent therapist and family practitioner.

Meggin is passionate about creative, child-centred, developmentally appropriate and trauma-sensitive approaches to working with children and young people, and absolutely loves integrating horses (and other animals) in the process of both EAP and EAL.

The children love being outdoors, with horses, animals and the natural world in the context of learning and therapy, and are wonderfully supported to learn, grow, develop and heal in this unique context of safe, engaging and fun relationships.
This training program is designed to support you to successfully extend your EPI model practice, to become even more creative, informed and effective with practicing with young people.

Who is our trainer?

This specialist training is facilitated by our senior trainer, Meggin Kirby, who has clinical, psychotherapy, personal development, leadership experience of over 20 years in the therapy field.

Meggin Kirby
Author, Creator and Founder of The Equine Psychotherapy Institute, Mental Health Social Worker, Gestalt Psychotherapist, I-Thou horse-woman.