Equine Assisted Trainers – Institute Faculty

Meggin Kirby

Author, Creator, Founder, Trainer, Psychotherapist & Transformational Leader

Trainers - Equine Psychotherapy Institute - Victoria, AU

(BA(Psychology), MASW, Dip Gestalt Therapy)
Founder of The Equine Psychotherapy Institute and The Equine Psychotherapy Institute (EPI) Model
Psychotherapist, Gestalt Therapist & Equine Assisted Psychotherapist
Mental Health Social Worker

I began my Mental Health Social Work and Gestalt Therapy practice almost 20 years ago. I love the depth of the Psychotherapy work I have been able to offer my clients over the years, and, I am aware that my work with clients and students supports me to be the ‘best’ I can be – aware, grounded, present and connected. The work with horses supports this process beautifully.

I work as a Trainer, Psychotherapist, Coach and Facilitator with Individual, Couples, Families and Groups. I find my work enriching and a privilege. Currently, I am enjoying working with small groups and large groups, including counselling teams, personal development groups, corporate leadership groups, and supervision groups.

After moving to the Daylesford area 10 years ago, I have been able to really extend my other passion – living and learning with horses. I care for and live with a herd of 12 horses, and have regular horsemanship lessons, building my approach of Í- Thou Horsemanship. My herd continue to teach me more than I could ever hope for.

Many years ago I started reading about Equine facilitated Psychotherapy and Learning, Equine assisted psychotherapy, and the diverse equine inspired learning programs and theories around the world. This was a natural progression for me because my horses had always been incredible personal growth teachers for me – facilitating my awareness, and stretching me into my core issues and own unfinished business, so that I continued to face feelings and patterned ways of thinking and going. The constant non-judgemental challenge I face in being in relationship with my magnificent and loving horse-friends, provided the impetus for me to seek out training and books to stretch me along my journey. I wrote my first paper on Equine Facilitated Psychotherapy processes 14 years ago. From 2008 I completed many EAGALA part 1 & 2 trainings, ‘Tools for the Trail’ and Advanced trainings, Gestalt Equine Psychotherapy training intensives with Gestalt Equine Institute of the Rockies (GEIR), and level 1 Kathy Pike Training in Equine Facilitated Coaching. I have explored the works of Linda Kohanov, Arianna Strozzi, the McCormicks, Barbara Rector and many more authors, and have loved every minute of it!

I developed the Equine Psychotherapy Institute Model (EPI Model), which is a comprehensive and coherent Psychotherapy Model of both Equine Assisted Psychotherapy and Equine Assisted Learning. I recently authored my first book on the same topic. The EPI Model offers the field an in-depth and sophisticated psychotherapy model of EAP and EAL that is all inclusive, theoretically comprehensive, and unlike other Models offered in the US and around the world. I am thrilled to be practicing it and teaching it to many wonderful students across Australia, New Zealand, US and Russia! I am honoured to offer transformational training, supporting students to become skilful, grounded, aware and successful EAP and EAL practitioners, and, innovative Horse Wisdom personal development and leadership programs. My vision is to support people all around the world to reconnect with their deeper nature, true power, passion, and compassion … with horses.

Noel Haarburger

Noel Haarburger Equine Therapy trainerEPI Senior Trainer – B.B.SC, B’Ed (counseling), Adv Dip Gestalt Therapy, Somatic Experiencing Practitioner (SEP). MAPS. ClinGANZ, Psychologist, Gestalt Therapist, and Trainer at GTA

Noel has been a faculty member and trainer at GTA (Gestalt Therapy Australia) since 2001, and now works in full time private practice as a Psychologist and Psychotherapist working with individuals and couples, as well as offering supervision to allied health professionals. He also practices and offers Equine Assisted Psychotherapy.

He has worked extensively in a wide variety of counselling and psychological services since 1995, including most recently the role of Senior Psychologist at Malmsbury Youth Justice Centre for 4 years. Previous to this he has worked in 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.

Having been trained and mentored by Gestalt Equine Institute of the Rockies (GEIR), Noel is now excited about the horse-human connection and the power of equine psychotherapy in his practice. He co-facilitates with Meg offering the Foundation and Advanced trauma training in the Equine Psychotherapy Institute Model. He offers his experience and wisdom in training Psychotherapists and facilitators, weaving his expertise in somatic experiencing and gestalt therapy into the unique training program.

Louise Atkinson

EPI Trainer – ACA Registered Counsellor, EPI Trainer and supervisor, 4 Star Parelli Professional.

I have been involved with horses since I was 10 years old and am experienced in many equine disciplines.

I have been a Natural Horsemanship Instructor since 1996 where I have been helping people understand their horses so they can develop better relationships and work together harmoniously. This usually meant the human needed  to change both mentally, emotionally and spiritually. This inspired me to look into EAL so that I can help people that don’t have their own horses to become the best versions of themselves that they can be. I am also passionate about helping those that are less fortunate to become who they want to be.

I live in Bullsbrook with my small herd of horses who ably assist my clients to become aware of whatever they need to become aware of in their journey of self-discovery and personal growth. I love what my herd offer each person, and I never know what their offer might be. They really surprise me sometimes with their intuitive behaviours. It keeps the work alive and interesting for me.

I work with individuals, teenager to adult, women’s groups and corporate groups. I specialise in addiction recovery support as well as trauma therapy. I offer the EPI model practitioner training in Western Australia. I have developed a business essentials program to help new practitioners start up their own businesses.  I also offer individual support through Skype and telephone for those that are unable to be with me in person.

Deborah Walker

Deborah Walker Equine Therapy trainerEPI Supervisor – Trained in the UK, I migrated to Australia in 1993 and I am a fully registered Generalist Psychologist with over 19 years experience, working in organizational, clinical and health psychology.  I along with my husband Noel am a director of Trinity Psychologists Pty Ltd, which was formed in 1999 and has provided psychological services to the Public, Corporate and Education sector since then.

I am passionate about recovery from trauma, positive psychology, positive workplace cultures, positive leadership and actively seeking wellbeing and I am well-known speaker on these topics around Australia. I am even more passionate about the EPI model and the way horses can and do transform therapy and learning. I have been working with my herd of horses since completing my foundation training in 2016 and am continually amazed and professionally refreshed by what the horses have to offer our clients.

I completed the Trauma intensive in 2017 and I am currently in the second year of training with Somatic Experiencing Australia.

I have had the privilege of living with horses for 15 years and now live on the beautiful sunshine coast with my herd, my 4 dogs, chickens and my wonderful husband who is also a psychologist and EAP practitioner.

I love training and am so proud to have the opportunity to bring this wonderful model to students wishing to study on the sunshine coast.

Sue Lamond

EPI Trainer – A Registered Counsellor, Advanced EPI Therapist, Adult Education Trainer and Supervisor for the Equine Psychotherapy Institute and Lifeline, Life Coach, and 4th Year Gestalt Masters student.

I began study many years ago with an interest in how humans relate to each other and why we respond in life the way we do. My curiosity has always been to explore the balance of human born and conditioned responses. This curiosity has driven my interest as a lifelong learner and trainer in this field. My studies have been in counselling, training, and life coaching, even exploring alternate therapies models to expand my knowledge. My most recent study has been, a Masters in Gestalt Psychotherapy.

My deep love and respect of horses had me bring the human development and the horse love together into the equine assisted psychotherapy field. I have been working in this field for ten years, initially studying other EAP models until finding one that felt more congruent with myself, and more comprehensive and effective for my clients. I am very passionate about the Equine Psychotherapy Institute model, which drove my decision to become a trainer and supervisor for the Institute, as well as going on to further training in working with trauma, children and adolescence, and veterans advanced workshops, leading to becoming an advanced practitioner with the Institute.

Working in private practice at Northern Rivers Equine Assisted Psychotherapy in Kyogle, the far north of New South Wales, I have a beautiful heard of horses and a therapy / training facility where I work with individuals and small groups. As a therapist my special interest is in working with trauma, as well as personal and professional development and leadership. I am always excited to support new practitioners to learn the EPI model well, and practice in a way that is going to support them and their clients best.

I offer training in the EPI model to new practitioners at my facility which is situated just below the QLD border in NSW for those interested in becoming EAP or EAL practitioners in this field.