Equine Assisted Psychotherapy (EAP) Training & Certification


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Our Institute is an IAHAIO Accredited Training Organisation



EAP Practitioners

Our Certified EAP Practitioners are registered mental health and clinical professionals (psychologists, psychiatrists, social workers, counsellors, psychotherapists, mental health occupational therapists and nurses) who have also successfully completed over 120 hours training, supervision and assessment in EAP , and now offer it as specialist clinical modality within their professional field of practice.

EAP is otherwise known as ‘equine therapy’ or ‘horse therapy’, delivered by clinicians, who offer treatment for mental health conditions. counselling and psychotherapy services.


Equine Assisted Psychotherapy (EAP) Foundation Training & Certification (120 hours)

3 Foundation Training Intensives – each Foundation Intensive is 5 Days in duration (15 Days – 120 hours)

You will learn:

  • The core competencies of Equine Assisted Practice – theory and practice of psychotherapy change processes; horse safety, safety guidelines and understanding horses; the unique dynamics that occur in EAP/equine assisted therapy.
  • An overview of The Equine Psychotherapy Institute (EPI) Model.
  • Underpinning Psychotherapy theory – gestalt therapy, awareness/mindfulness, phenomenology, developmental/attachment, trauma-informed, somatic experiencing, theory and principles.
  • Practice methodology, including – somatic, emotional, cognitive, behavioural, brain-body, relationship and group
  • The ‘what’ and ‘how’ in EAP processes – the theoretical and experiential foundations.
  • I-Thou Horsemanship, horse psychology, herd behaviour and the 8 Keys to including horses in psychotherapy, in EPI Model EAP processes.
  • An Introduction to different applications – individuals, couples, families, groups, clinical work, personal development, children, addictions, corporate work and leadership.
  • EPI Model psychotherapy theory of change – this includes understanding how people grow and change generally, and how change happens in equine-assisted processes.
  • EPI Code of Ethics, Ethics and Horse Welfare in EPI model practice.


Training Learning Objectives:

  • To understand the theory and practice of the EPI Model.
  • To understand and apply the psychotherapy, experiential and creative principles and practices underpinning the EPI Model.
  • To understand ethical issues and professional standards of practice and safety practices with horses and clients.
  • To develop assessment, process and closure skills.
  • To review and apply counselling micro-skills, including somatic, emotional, cognitive, relational and behavioural interventions
  • To create appropriate and graded experiments to offer diverse clients and client groups based on assessment and client presentation, with professionalism and sensitivity.
  • To understand and apply stage 1 trauma skills
  • To offer trauma-informed equine assisted practice.
  • To apply a developmental lens in understanding symptoms, presenting behaviours, patterns.
  • To develop skills in working with unconscious process including belief, relationship and behaviour patterns.
  • To understand and apply relational practice in the context of equine assisted therapy.
  • To articulate clear therapeutic goals and design appropriate equine experiments to meet client need/presentation
  • To understand and be guided by self-awareness and ‘self as therapist’, understanding the impact of practitioner core themes, patterns and countertransference.
  • To understand horse psychology, herd behaviour and appreciate the relational dynamics that horses bring to the process.
  • To understand the relationship between practitioners and their horses and the impact on safety and efficacy of the work for clients, horses and practitioners.
  • To develop core competencies in horse safety, horsemanship, therapeutic process and group process.
  • To understand and practice I – Thou Horsemanship ™.
  • To understand and practice the Horse Wisdom Psycho-Education ™ program.
  • To identify practitioner limitations, underdeveloped areas and be committed to continuing personal and professional growth and development.
  • To begin your successful EAP practice with basic business orientation.



Intensive 1 – 5 Days Training $1500 plus gst
Intensive 2 – 5 Days Training $1500 plus gst
Intensive 3 – 5 Day Training $1500 plus gst
Upfront Discount Training Fee– $4200 plus gst (SAVING OF $300)

Block Training – (February Victoria only) – $4000 plus gst, inclusive 15 Days
Skype/Phone Supervision Sessions – 4 Sessions – $120 per session (paid at time of session)


Certification with the Institute requires:

  • Attend all 15 Days Foundation Training (3 – 5 day Intensive format)
  • Complete 5 Phone / Zoom Supervision Sessions with EPI Supervisor ($120 plus gst per Supervision)
  • Complete 2 EAP/ EAL Clinical/Practice Sessions and keep case notes
  • Facilitate 1 EAP/ EAL Practice Assessment Session (during training day 12-15)
  • Complete 3 Integration Papers (1000 words each)
  • Attend 2 Day Equine Studies Clinic OR Apply for RPL Form (documenting qualification, knowledge & skills)
  • Submission of 1 x Horsemanship Video (basic horse handling and training skills)
  • Satisfactory completion of open book Exam (must be completed within 3 months of )
  • Signed/compliance with Institute Code of Ethics.
  • Includes Required References and Reading during training

All completed within 12 months duration.


The Training journey is:

  • An experiential and process-oriented training.
  • Personal work is an important foundation for the learning process.
  • Theoretically grounded – the EPI Model EAP is a specialist Psychotherapy Model
  • Practitioner and practice oriented
  • Research focused – we have developed an EPI Evaluation and Research tool for certified practitioners to use.
  • Integrating the horses as co-facilitators, assistants, teachers and supports for building true awareness and contact.
  • Relational and relationship-based learning.
  • Includes Liberty, Ground-based and Mounted experiences with horses for the purpose of supporting awareness, growth and healing.


Post Training Support

  • After completion of training students/practitioners will:
  • Join relevant EPI Network Groups.
  • Have eligibility to EPI Closed Facebook Group.
  • Access EPI Supervision.
  • Access EPI Model Psychotherapy as needed for ongoing support and professional development.
  • Access ongoing Professional Development opportunities – Advanced Training, Conferences etc.
  • Access to EPI Model Evaluation tool and research your program support.
  • Have lifetime access to the EPI Community of Practitioners.


To Apply for our Life Changing EAP Training Program NOW:

  • Check the ‘Practitioner Training Dates Calendar Page’ to confirm you can attend all 3 Intensives in the EAP Training Foundation Program.
  • Email equinepsychotherapyinstitute@gmail.com to request an Application Form. Complete and email back. Preference will be given to those applicants intending to complete all 3 intensives in EAP Foundation Training & Certification.
  • Once your place has been confirmed, you will receive a Welcome Letter, this will give you information to support you in arranging accommodation, transport, required reading and other information to support preparation and planning for your successful training experience.
  • Begin your training journey and know that you are 1 step closer to beginning your dream career as an Equine Assisted Practitioner and you will be supported for the life of your training and practice.


Time and Venue for Training

Victoria Site Training – The Equine Psychotherapy Institute – 459 Telegraph Rd, Mt Prospect. Victoria

Please see your ‘Welcome Letter’ (once application is received and accepted) for NSW & WA Venues

Arrive 8.45- Training – 9am-5pm


Deposit / Fee Payment and Conditions

Once the Application is received and confirmed you will be required to pay non-refundable $200 deposit which will be deducted from the total training fees. For example – $200 will be deducted from the $1,500 training fee for Intensive 1 and the remaining $1,300 will be required 4 weeks prior to day 1 of training.
If opting for Foundation Program pre-payment, a $200 deposit will be paid for the 15-Day Foundation Program and $4000 will be due 4 weeks prior to commencing Intensive 1.

Full Payment is required 4 weeks/1 month prior to training, unless negotiated otherwise. Training fees are non-refundable; however, students who have made payment and cannot attend the training dates as initially contracted will be offered a place in future Training Programs/Dates (within a 12-month period). If students choose not to continue the training, fees are non-refundable. Applicants review and consent to the refund policy in the Application Form.

In the case of an emergency, accident or illness, students are encouraged to contact the Institute directly to arrange reimbursement of fees paid, for total of 80% of fees paid.


Introducing our Senior Trainers

Meg Kirby – Author, Creator and Founder of EPI Model, Mental Health Social Worker, Gestalt Therapist/Psychotherapist, I-Thou horsewoman.
Noel Haarburger – Psychologist, Psychotherapist, Gestalt Therapy Trainer, and Trauma Specialist and Assistant with Somatic Experiencing Australia.

Meg and Noel are experienced trainers, psychotherapists, group facilitators, supervisors, consultants and registered mental health professionals whom live and learn with a herd of 12 horses as part of their extended family. Please visit the website to view interstate EPI Trainers in NSW, QLD and WA!
Further enquiries or questions are welcome. Please contact The Equine-Psychotherapy Institute on:

Mobile – 0437 882 600
Email – admin@equinepsychotherapy.net.au

This training program is designed to support you as a practitioner to be personally and professionally competent in working with horses and humans for the purpose of human growth and development, where the horses are honoured as teacher and co-facilitator. We will support and challenge you to grow and feel ‘held’ as you grow into grounded and authentic practitioners. Our Program sets a high standard for students, practitioners and the wider international community.