The Equine Psychotherapy Institute

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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.

Equine Assisted Psychotherapy - The Equine Psychotherapy Institute
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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.

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How is the training delivered?

Once a year, we offer a 3-week, In-Person Immersion Training in Mount Prospect, VIC. 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.

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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.
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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.
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What happens in EAL sessions

What are the 2024 Completion Requirements?

  • Attend all 15 Days of Foundation Training (see Online Foundation Training for Online requirements)
  • Complete at least 5 EAP/ EAL Clinical/Practice Sessions and keep case notes
  • Complete 6 Phone / Online Education Support and Supervision Sessions with EPI Supervisor
  • Completion of Self-Paced Virtual Equine Studies course (included in course fees)
  • Includes Required Reading and active participation during training

All must be completed within 12 months of the commencement of training.

What is the Investment?

2025 Foundation Training Investment: $6,600 plus GST ($7,260 inc GST)

Payable as 3 x installments of $2,200 plus GST

Price includes 120 hours of trainer-led training, 6 hours of Education Support and  Supervision Sessions

Virtual Equine Studies Program to be completed within 12 months (included as part of your course fees)

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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

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 join our EPI community of practitioners and get access to ongoing support, supervision and advanced, high quality specialist psychotherapy training.