Equine Assisted Psychotherapy (EAP) Foundation Training

What is Equine Assisted Psychotherapy (EAP)?

EAP is an innovative approach to clinical practice and psychotherapy where clients are invited into safe relational experiences with horses to address therapeutic goals. It is a fast-growing modality across Australia and the globe. EAP is engaging and effective for diverse clients including adults, children, adolescents, organisations, and specialist client groups such as Aboriginal youth, veterans, and clients with trauma, anxiety, depression, and addictions.

Who is this training for?

If you are a psychologist, counsellor, mental health worker, or social worker who love horses, then becoming an EAP practitioner might be the next step in your career.

How is the training delivered?

The Training is delivered over 3 Intensives of 5 Days duration (one Intensive per month over three months - 15 days total) at our training locations in NSW (Kyogle), QLD (North Brisbane) and WA (Bullsbrook).

Once a year, we also offer a 3-week, consecutive “block” training in Mount Prospect, VIC - our immersion training! This suits international students and national students who need to fly in, train, and fly home. This includes training from Monday to Friday each week, for three consecutive weeks, with weekends off in between for integration and processing. This also suits some students who learn best in this immersion-style format.

We also deliver our Training online. Again, this suits international and national students who are unable to travel and have to fit training around work, family and life commitments.

equine psychothearpy

What are the Learning Objectives?

  • To understand the theory and practice of the EPI Model and AWARE Therapy™.
  • To understand and apply the psychotherapy, experiential and creative principles and practices underpinning the EPI Model and AWARE Therapy™.
  • 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 processes including working with fixed cognitive, behavioural and relational 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 and physiology, 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 Horse-person-ship™.
  • To understand and practice the EPI Horse Wisdom ® program.
  • To identify practitioner limitations and be committed to continuing personal and professional growth and development.
  • To begin your successful EAP practice with basic business orientation.
equine therapy
equine therapy

What can you expect from the training journey?

  • Experiential
    It is an experiential and process-oriented training.
  • Professional and Ethical
    Students develop professional practice and ethical boundaries to conduct safe, appropriate equine assisted practice.
  • Personal
    Personal work is an integral part of the Foundation Training.
  • Theoretical
    Theoretically grounded.
  • Practice-based
    Practitioner and practice oriented.
  • Research focused
    We encourage research and evaluation of programs.
  • Horses as Teachers
    Including the horses as co-facilitators, assistants, teachers and supports for client change.
  • Relational
    The model is Relational and grounded in relationship-based learning.
  • Experimental
    Includes Liberty, Ground-based and Mounted experiences with horses for the purpose of supporting client change.

Certification is optional. Students who have completed 120 hours of training will receive a Certificate of Completion. 

What are the Certification Requirements?

  • Attend all 15 Days Foundation Training (see Online Foundation Training for Online requirements)
  • Submission of 3 Integration Papers
  • Facilitate one 30-to-60-minute practice assessment in Intensive Three
  • Complete at least 5 EAP/ EAL Clinical/Practice Sessions and keep case notes
  • Complete 4 Phone / Online Supervision Sessions with EPI Supervisor ($150 plus GST per Supervision)
  • Complete 1 Business Coaching Session with an EPI Trainer/Supervisor (optional)
  • Complete 2 Assessment Feedback Sessions with EPI Assessor for Theory Exam feedback and Equine Studies Assessment feedback ($150 plus GST per Assessment Feedback Session) 
  • Satisfactory completion of open book Theory Exam (must be completed within 3 months of training completion)
  • Completion of Self Paced Virtual Equine Studies course (included in course fees)
  • Satisfactory completion of Virtual Equine Studies Program and Horse-person-ship Assessment, consisting of Exam, Equine & Facilities Assessment & Screening Tool and I-Thou Horse-person-ship Video (must be completed within 3 months of training completion)
  • Sign with Institute Code of Ethics
  • Includes Required Reading and active participation during training
  • Completion of at least 3 personal EAP/ congruent psychotherapy sessions (recommended)

All completed within 12 months.

What is the Investment?

Training Cost:

Foundation Training Investment: $5,400 plus GST ($5,940 inc GST)

Certification is optional. Should you choose to certify, the certification costs are:

Zoom / Skype / Phone Supervision Sessions: Sessions are $150 plus GST per session (invoiced and paid at time of session)

Zoom / Skype / Phone Assessment Feedback Sessions: Sessions are $150 plus GST per session (invoiced and paid at time of session)

Plus cost of personal Equine Assisted Psychotherapy / congruent psychotherapy sessions.


What support will you get?

After completion of training students/practitioners will:

  • Join EPI Online Network Group
  • Join EPI Closed Facebook Group
  • Access EPI Supervision
  • Access EPI Model Psychotherapy (as needed)
  • Access ongoing Professional Development opportunities – Advanced / Specialist Training, Conferences, Assisting in training etc.
  • Have lifetime access to the EPI Community of Practitioners

The Equine Psychotherapy Institute is an approved training provider with the International Institute for Complementary Therapists (IICT). Our students are eligible for membership with IICT and the additional professional benefits this provides.

Why Train with Us?

We are uniquely placed given our training is pitched at the standard you would expect from a post graduate training. The standard of training is high, aimed at a post degree level or equivalent.

We are celebrating our 10th year of training in EAP! We are an established training organisation and have been successfully training hundreds of practitioners since 2011.

We have a unique approach to EAP. Our EPI Model is a psychotherapy model, that is fundamentally founded on ethical practice with both clients and horses. Our faculty is highly qualified and experienced in EAL and EAP, and live and breathe this work.

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, development and healing, where the horses are honoured as teacher, assistant 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.

As a graduate of our training, you can choose to become a member of our EPI community of practitioners and get access to ongoing support, supervision and advanced, high quality specialist psychotherapy training.

Meet Our Faculty
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