Equine Therapy Advanced Training


Woman doing advanced training in equine therapy with horse in arena.


Advanced Training in Equine Therapy is offered every year to Practitioners and Students who have completed the Foundation Training Program, and choose to specialise or undertake Continuing Professional Development.

These may include –

  • Trauma and working with the brain, body and whole person
  • Attachment and developmental work
  • Working with Couples and Families
  • Equine Assisted Leadership
  • Working with Children and Adolescents
  • Working with Addictions
  • Working with the Inner Critic and Shame dynamics


“Trauma and Attachment in EAP/EAL practice”

Trauma – Informed Practice in the EPI Model

Dates Dec 7 – 11, 2020
Venue The Institute
Fees $1500 plus gst
Registration Please email admin@equinepsychotherapy.net.au

The following ‘trauma informed’ equine assisted psychotherapy and learning advanced intensive will introduce students to a best practice 3 stage trauma model that covers the core principles of safe and effective trauma practice supporting survivors of acute and complex trauma.

The 5 day intensive will explore the principles of embodied resourcing, cultivating safe body awareness, mindful attention, tracking and supporting nervous system regulation, and fostering corrective experiences for new learning and neural pathways.

Discussing these trauma principles in the context of Equine Assisted Practice will give the participant practical strategies for engaging our equine friends in helping clients to reduce Autonomic Nervous System arousal, challenge unhelpful trauma generated beliefs, and to renegotiate trauma in safe and effective ways.

The intensive will integrate principles from the “the way of the horse”, Gestalt therapy’s holistic emphasis on mindful awareness, resource building, the paradoxical theory of change, re-embodiment and working relationally will be explored in the context of trauma.

The highly effective body work approaches of Peter Levine’s Somatic Experiencing (SE), Pat Ogden’s Sensory-motor psychotherapy is also strongly woven  into this approach, and Dr Bruce Perry’s Nuerosequential Framework.

Day 5 will include discussion on attachment, particularly disordered attachment.

The format of the module will be based on the use of equine experiential exercises, skills based practice sessions, small group conversations, theory presentations, use of case material and discussions in the large group.

By the end of the 5 day intensive, participants will expect to:

  • Gain an understanding of a 3 stage trauma model that helps clients renegotiate trauma without becoming re-traumatized.
  • Understand the definition of trauma, what a traumatic event is, and the psycho-biological process that leads to the development of post-traumatic stress responses.
  • Understand the mediating factors that hinder or support the development of post trauma symptoms.
    Develop a solid understanding of the somatic, emotional and cognitive resources a client requires to help negotiate trauma and how to cultivate these.
  • Learn how to work effectively with the issues of shame, guilt and self-criticism that often accompany traumatic symptoms.
  • Learn how to use awareness and somatic mindfulness as a tool to complete, transform and integrate traumatic memories.
  • Understand how to take a more active and directive role in therapy – through the use of psycho-education, pacing, resource building and ‘relational modulation’ of clients autonomic nervous system.
  • Understand the  purpose of memory work, and requisite skills for processing traumatic memories without re-traumatization.

Gain an understanding of a number of useful equine experiments that:

  • Support the client to integrate traumatic memories and their effects to clients in a safe way.
  • Understand how to support clients to use bottom up and top down strategies for traumatic processing and symptom reduction.
  • Understand how to identify clients different attachment styles and to apply appropriate equine experiments.


“Freedom from the Inner Critic”

Working with Core Beliefs, Shame Dynamics, Self-Compassion and the Adult Self in EAP / EAL practice

4 Day Advanced EPI Model Intensive

Dates 1st – 4th December 2020
Fees $1200 plus gst
Registration Please email admin@equinepsychotherapy.net.au

Overview: This four day experiential and practice focused Training Intensive will provide an opportunity to extend the EPI Model Foundation practice, by engaging in an in-depth experiential inquiry and exploration of the topics of self-criticism, shame, core beliefs, self-compassion and present-centred awareness practices….supporting a return to wholeness and dis-identification from fixed self-diminishing beliefs.

Day 1 & 2  will  deepen the inquiry into the barriers to self-compassion, being where we are and trusting the inherent intelligence and dynamism of our embodied being and natural awareness. It will explore the risks,  challenges and required supports and practices in befriending ‘what is’, cultivating radical acceptance and letting go of the self-improvement project. A number of practice strategies and skills will be introduced to support this development –  present centred inquiry, embodiment, self-compassion, mindful presence, and ‘staying with experiential intensity’ capacities. Latest research into self-compassion, emotional regulation and mindfulness practices will be presented in this context.

Day 3 & 4 Will explore the relational and existential functions of ‘introjects’ and the ‘inner critic’, how they develop, function, impact and organize our experience of self and other. Inquiring into our investment in  maintaining our introjects, and the obstacles to letting them go’ will also be addressed.  A number of interventions will be discussed to help access, recognize and support dis-identification  from fixed introjects,  the ‘inner critic’ and shame physiology.

This 4 day intensive will use a mixture of didactic teaching, discussion, demonstrations, equine  experiential exercises and skill practice sessions to make the concepts and methods more intimate. The focus will also be on applying these concepts in an equine assisted psychotherapy and learning context. There will be a strong focus on offering experiential exploration and practice skill development.

By the end of the Intensive you will take away a personal and professional understanding of –

  • The developmental, existential and relational function of introjects and the ‘Judge or ‘Inner Critic’.
    Various types of introjects and manifestations of the ‘Inner Critic’
  • How introjects organize our perception and experience of reality – including our perceptual, somatic and relational fields.
  • The relationship between the Inner critic, shame, identity and basic trust in self-regulation and the paradoxical nature of change.
  • The concept of the ‘adult’, ‘judge’ and ‘child’ and how it can be useful in guiding clients to ‘dis-identify’ and separate from unhelpful introjects and their undermining impact
  • Strategies to access, identify and work with implicit core introjects and ‘the judge’ from a phenomenological, developmental and relational perspective.
  • Practical skills and techniques to develop self-compassion, presence, emotional regulation and trust in the paradox of change – including, staying with  and transforming difficulty affects and ‘core vulnerabilities’.
  • How to usefuly cultivate practices that build inner and outer supports to bring awareness, space, choice and flexibility into your experience and your life.
  • How to offer equine experiments to support the exploration of the Inner Critic and Shame Dynamics


“Working with Anxiety and Depression”

Understanding and Working with Anxiety and Depression in EPI Model EAP and EAL

4 Day Advanced EPI Model Intensive

Dates  June 8 – 11, 2020
Venue  Ann Poulsen (EPI EAL/EAP) Northern NSW – 79 Burringbar Rd, Burringbar, 2483
Fees $1200 plus gst
Registration Please email admin@equinepsychotherapy.net.au

Overview This four-day workshop (2 days on anxiety and 2 days on depression) will provide an overview of working with depression and anxiety in the context of the EPI model of equine assisted psychotherapy and equine assisted personal development (learning).

Learning Objectives include:

  • Learn relevant Trauma, Neuroscience, Cognitive Behavioural, Internal Family Systems and Experiential theory and practice in working with clients with anxiety and depression, in the context of equine assisted practice.
  • Understanding the five main anxiety diagnoses – PTSD, Panic, generalized anxiety, Social Phobia and OCD.
  • Understand the common underlying aetiology and drivers of anxiety and depression that often live in the ground behind the figure of anxiety and depression. This may include identifying the shame dynamics, trauma, fixed meaning making and identities, and unresolved attachment issues that can fuel the development of anxiety and depression.
  • Utilise polyvagal theory to understand, treat and identify a client’s nervous system/ state and how this often underpins clients’ symptoms of depression and anxiety.
  • Use ‘parts of self’ language as a map and treatment tool to effectively work with and heal protective and disowned parts of self.
  • Understand how to help clients re-frame and de-pathologize their relationship to anxiety and depression in a way that reduces its perpetuation.
  • Learn a helpful 5-step process to help clients learn to regulate, resource, accept and deepen their understanding of their symptoms in a way that supports change.
  • Understand how horses and the horse-human bond can support and transform stuck and dysregulated moods and nervous system states that drive depression and anxiety.
  • Learn Equine Assisted experiments and practices that support these therapeutic goals.

This advanced training intensive will teach a number of practice skills to help your clients work towards understanding and healing their depression and anxiety. The workshop will integrate knowledge and practices from neuroscience, somatic experiencing, Gestalt therapy, Internal family systems theory, Buddhist psychology’s self-compassion practices, and relational and field theoretical approaches to supporting clients to regulate their emotions and nervous systems with greater agility, and experience greater psychological well-being.

Methodology Experiential exercises, equine practice sessions, Large group discussion, didactic teaching, and demonstrations.

Lead Facilitator Noel Haarburger, BBSc, BEd(Counselling), Adv Dip Gestalt Therapy, ClinMGANZ, MAPS is a faculty member and trainer at GTA (Gestalt Therapy Australia), and works in full time private practice as a Psychologist (20 yrs registration), and Psychotherapist working with individuals and couples, as well as offering supervision and running workshops to allied health professionals and organizations.

Since 1995, Noel has worked extensively in a wide variety of counselling and psychological services including youth justice, 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 in his practice. He co-facilitates with Meg Kirby offering the Foundation and Advanced trainings in trauma, addictions and shame for the EAP/EAL Training program and the Advanced Trauma program for the AAP Training.