“Attending the EAL training was a massive growth point for me personally… I realised that all the personal work I had done on my own self-awareness, spirituality and other methods I had used had never really reached the depth of this work. The support I received was life changing. The professional learnings were also on a very deep level. As I needed to undo some of my current professional frameworks to allow the new information to be downloaded. The I- thou relationship particularly was actually very moving for me because I feel it is what I value in my professional practice although I felt through years of operating in other frameworks, I had moved away from it. It felt like a breath of fresh air to look at it from this view point, it felt authentic, caring, in tune and a very humanistic way of working with people. I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to go through the training process from a very experiential hands on learning.”
Lara Baker, Cairns – Trainer/Consultant 2018
“My overall experience with The Equine Psychotherapy Institute and the EPI Model, is a striving for excellence and professionalism, accountability, and both personal and professional growth for anyone participating in the training offered. I still sit with the deepest gratitude for the weeks of intensive learning, and experiences with our horse partners that again, and again proved testament to the immense value of this work.”
Vicky MacKensie – 2018
“The EPI three-week intensive was a thoroughly rewarding and transformative experience. I left with new friends, an equine community and a solid theoretical, practical and experiential framework from which to platform into my own equine psychotherapy practice. The course is well balanced and in-depth, challenging, supportive, experiential and practical, and offers ongoing study and supervision to deepen learning and practice and connection with the EPI community. I was very impressed with what I learned both personally and professionally, and see that the EPI model marries very well with my training and practice as a psychologist.”
Emma Bleaney, Victoria – Block Training Group 2018
“It took me a few years to get up the courage to apply for the course, I had completed my Masters in Counselling and knew what I wanted to do was be an Equine Assisted counsellor but I just didn’t know the best path to go down to do so. I looked at numerous other reputable courses but kept coming back to EPI model, it was empirically based and rich with theory. One weekend when I was about to make a decision on whether or not I should do it, I received an email from Meg saying there were just 2 places left! I booked, and called my husband to say I would be going away for 3 weeks and he would be home with my 3 year old daughter. It was scary, and a huge investment for us financially at the time but I had no idea how it was going to change my life. I was met by the most diverse, supportive, like minded group of people and the three weeks that transpired were full of learning, growth and beautiful experiences that I will hold very closely to my heart. Not only did I learn all about the EPI theoretical framework but I learnt about myself, I am so excited about setting up my own business and helping others on their journey to self discovery with the assistance of horses. Thankyou Meg, Noel and your beautiful herd.”
Stephanie Milburn – Counsellor, Foundation Training participant, and now certified EAP Practitioner! – 2017
Conference Testimonials 2016
“Thankyou Meg and Noel for such a fantastic conference. The diversity of the speakers brought richness that I was able to draw from, translate, and will apply to my EAL Practice….the centre is looking great…I love the new conference building”
Rosie Wiles – EAL Practitioner
“The EPI Conference was a great opportunity to re-visit and refresh the work, network with other practitioners, and to be inspired by the work others are doing”
Sophie Lord – EAP Practitioner
“The EPI Conference offers the opportunity to reconnect with other practitioners, hear about what others are doing, where they have come from and where they are heading in this work! It’s an invaluable opportunity to recharge and reassess where I am on my own journey…”
Larissa Judd – EAL Practitioner
“Professional model, beautiful environment, warm atmosphere, great food, and consistently well presented topics. Thank you.”
Sam Naidu – EAL Practitioner
“Loved the support, connection, and commradarie with the institute. Great to be a part of this”
Jeanette Russell – EAC Practitioner
Other participant Comments
“Educational, inspirational, great place to connect with other lovers of the model”
“I loved the power and authenticity of this model and work. It is something you live and breathe, not just something you do for work”
Post Conference Testimonials 2016
“The conference and post conference workshop were fantastic. The workshop was on developmental attachment and trauma which is a niche interest of mine, and how to intergrate the psychotherapeutic process with horses. It was really incredible. I’ve previously done a 5 day trauma intensive with Noel (the presenter) and I’ve done a lot of study on trauma and attachment over the years, but for some reason this one day really brought it all home for me in a powerful way. I had many ah ha moments and I feel more confident about offering complex trauma recovery sessions.”
Sam Naidu – EAL Practitioner
“The personal development work we are doing makes it so much easier to identify and understand these patterns in others and it will be a privilege to support clients to explore these contact styles (relationship patterns) in themselves, with the unique input provided by horses.”
Robyn Wickham, EPI Student, Northern NSW Training Program, May-June 2016.
“I couldn’t have imagined the changes that have happened within me while being involved in the training with the EPI. The training was everything I had hoped for and so much more! This is such a valuable experience and I know I can easily turn it in to a career. The trainers are exceptional, knowledgeable and professional. The facilities are lovely and the food amazing. I recommend this training to anybody who is interested in improving not only other people’s lives but their own lives and those of the horses they are in contact with.”
Alissa Klein, Participant 2015 Training group.
“Before enrolling in the EPI Training, I wondered if I had what it took to become a EAP; Did I have enough experience in my working life or as a horsewoman? Had I done enough personal and professional development to be able to get the most out of it? Did I have what it took to create my own business and follow my dream of helping children and young people and working with horses all at the same time? Absolutely! I found the EPI training thorough, comprehensive and pitched at a level I could relate to. The content was delivered in a very accommodating way and I didn’t feel ‘out of my depth’ or unsupported. Our training group was an extraordinary bunch of individuals, with varying backgrounds, ages and life experiences and together we created a safe, enriching and fun learning environment. Meg, Noel and their team are extremely experienced, knowledgeable, approachable and supportive. Highly Recommended.”
Nadine Delaney, Social Worker, Horse lover, Training Group 2015
“After working as a provisional psychologist for 3 years, I was looking for an alternative therapy to explore and compliment my existing skill base. I came to Equine Psychotherapy Institute on the verge of serious burn out and overwhelm. I had been working very hard for years and slowly felt as if I was losing the spark of passion that had brought me to helping others. I had become disillusioned with bureaucracy and paperwork that seemed to pigeon hole clients, therapists and services with rigidity and inflexibility. I was lucky enough to work for an organisation that truly supported their employees and encouraged me to find an outlet that would reinspire my passion and love for the work. I wanted a therapy that had solid theoretical and evidence based support that would combine my love of horses and people, and excited me both professionally and personally. I found that through Equine Psychotherapy Institute. I thought I was just signing up for a year long training program that would complement the work I did in my current role and potentially lead to providing an equine psychotherapy service through the organisation. It has been so much more than that. The experiential nature of the training program meant I was able to come to terms with being on the verge of burnout and was able to let go of a huge amount of grief I had been experiencing. This was along with profound learnings that beautifully complemented and deepened my room based sessions I was currently providing clients. The training provided a solid theoretical foundation for the experiential work and was delivered in a framework of strong ethical practice. Both Meggin Kirby and Noel Haarburger provided a wealth of knowledge in psychology, social work and psychotherapy amounting to many years of experience between them that was reflected in the training delivery and support provided to students. I have now started my own business with full confidence that both Meggin and Noel are available to provide supervision and support as I develop and grow my business. Even more than that, I am now as passionate as ever about helping others and have experienced a reinvigoration both personally and professionally. The training provided by Equine Psychotherapy Institute was a turning point in my life, and I am now creating the life I only dreamt about previously”
Linda Spencer, Clinical Counsellor and Life Coach, 2011 Training group.
“I have gained and learnt so much from all the training offered. It was rich and incredibly complex in theory and content, yet profoundly simple and freeing in application. Integrating this approach personally and professionally has provided me with freedom…trust…active curiosity…and creative intelligence to flow. It has been an absolute privlege and joy to begin this exciting journey (in equine psychotherapy and learning)”.
Cindy Biggs, Drugs and Alcohol Counsellor/Support Worker, Unitingcare, Victoria, 2012 Training group.
“I have been interested in equine psychotherapy for many years and during this time have researched different approaches and attended different training models. In working as a psychologist for 11 years it was crucial to me that any model of animal assisted therapy was supported by strong foundational theory, practiced techniques, accountable professional integrity, and utmost respect for our animal counterparts. I found these ideals difficult to attain until I met Meg and Noel. The Equine Psychotherapy Institute Practitioner Training program offered me the opportunity to expand not only my room based clinical skills but to confidently and competently use Equine Assisted Psychotherapy in practice. The strong emphasis in theoretical learning, both in gestalt and horsemanship, combined with experiential learning in a supportive, experienced group, more than met my hopes for learning in EAP, and in my experience is highly unique in the EAP and EAL Training field.”
Melissa Johnstone, Psychologist, and horsewoman., NSW, 2011-2012 Foundation Training group.
“I came to the training with a broad plan, to better myself…help others better themselves…and work with horses. My growth started right from day one with me learning to be aware of my feelings…learning about awareness…by the time I got home I knew I had changed, and who I thought I was and what I believed, was not anything like who I wanted to be. I used to think I was generally pretty aware, but now believe I didn’t really understand what being aware even was. I am working…toward being the person I have had a glimpse of being able to be.”
Ian Wilson, Horseman and Tradesman, NSW, 2012 Foundation Training group.
“I would like to thank you very much for the EAP Practitioner Training. The theoretical framework embedded in the training has enhanced my experience of understanding and working in relationship with horses and humans. Each intensive provided comprehensive theory, experiential opportunities, and supported supervision which aided my ongoing learning. Specifically, I enjoyed learning about Gestalt theory, Mindfulness, Body Sensing and I-Thou Horsemanship, much of which has overflowed into my room-based work. I found the clarity you have around ethical practice and your conscious teaching of safety and efficacy in the therapeutic relationship supports a ‘best practice’ philosophy. Finally, I love the journey I have begun in deepening my awareness of ‘self as practitioner’ inside and outside the paddock, and, I look forward to the Advanced EAP Practitioner Training program.”
Naomi Ross, Provisional Psychologist, Eagala certified practitioner, Victoria, 2011-2012 Foundation Training group.
“When I signed up for the training I expected to leave with a head full of knowledge but I came away with a body full of experience. Thank you Meg and Noel for creating a truly memorable training experience”.
Melinda Rabbetts, Mental Health Social Worker, SA, 2011-2012 Foundation Training group.
“After training in the 3 Foundation Intensives at the Institute in EAP/L, I felt too overwhelmed with the personal development side of the training (as I had never done personal development before in my life!) to continue. SO, I trained in another model of EAP/L hoping I might find something more suitable for me. However, after training in another model, it only made it crystal clear to me what an incredible model the institute was offering, so comprehensive, professional and how it went right to the core of how change happens for people!!!! Clients and myself included!!!! Now, I cannot get enough of it, I regularly assist at the Institute and just attended the Trauma Intensive which was not only fantastic, but also included cutting edge neuroscience based work with trauma clients.”
Lisa Nye, Mental Health Support Worker, Ponyland Assistant, 2013-2014 Training and Assistant in Training.
“the (institute) training was one of the most personally and professionally difficult things I have ever done….and the most transformational. Quite simply, it has changed my life”.
Keira Arthur, Horseperson, EAL Practitioner, 2014 Training group.
“The EPI trauma Intensive was professionally empowering and enlightening. The content, although extensive and technical, was presented in an easy and pleasant way to understand. I have a much deeper understanding of trauma from both a practitioner and client point of view. Experiencing it in such a safe and supportive environment has expanded my own development as a person more than any personal/professional development course I have attended.”
Louise Atkinson, 4 Star Parelli Instructor, Counsellor, EAP Practitioner, 2014 Training in Western Australia.
“From this (trauma) intensive I feel I have gained the knowledge and the skills as a thereputic practitioner to work much more effectively with clients have experienced trauma, and have PTSD.”
Sophie Lord, Psychotherapist, EAP Practitioner, Training Group 2012, Advanced Training group 2014.
” we’re all here to do the best we can to help others, and what I feel excited about also is really understanding and supporting myself with this model of training….the training has changed my life”.
Teena Woodall, Horseperson, EAL Practitioner, 2013 Training group.
“Thank you Noel and Meg for offering the EPI Model trauma training (at the equine psychotherapy institute).
The trauma intensive helped to consolidated a lot of the previous training I have done in this area. I have returned to work with this valuable resource and have found it has enriched both the work I am offering in the paddock and my room based therapy.
I also returned home feeling inspired and grateful to all the wonderful women I spent time with and the amazing work they are doing.
Much love and gratitude.”