Equine Assisted Psychotherapy


What do I wear

EAP work is offered outside so pleae check the weather and wear appropriate clothing, for example a rain jacket if required or sun smart clothing, including a hat. Closed in shoes must be worn at all times.

Do you have a cancellation policy?

Yes. If you need to cancel a pre-arranged session, this must be done with a minimum of 24 hours notice otherwise a cost may be incurred on your behalf.

Why choose EAP over more traditional therapy?

Do you (or your client) learn best by doing something rather than just talking about it? Have you (or your client) tried room-based counselling and not gained benefit or lasting change? Has your client refused to access other services? Are you after an intervention that compliments existing treatment? Are you more likely to feel calm and relaxed in the natural environment than a traditional room-based setting? If you answered yes to one or more of these questions, then EAP could be for you, or your client.

What happens in a typical session?

Sessions will vary depending on a number of factors including the purpose of the session (e.g., therapeutic or educational), whether it is individual or group-based, and the stage the intervention is at. You can, however, expect some of the following:

  • Sessions may occur take place in a room, paddock or arena or a combination of these.
  • You will be provided with safety guidelines regarding the horses and how to keep yourself and the horses safe.
  • Seesions with the horses do not involve riding.
  • You will be treated with compassion and respect.
  • You will be invited to engage in experiences with the horses targeted towards your therapeutic or learning goals.
  • For groups: In a group session you may be required to participate and share your experiences and engage in activities with other group members and the horses.
  • For individuals: There will be a focus in the initial session on discussing your individual circumstances, the bounds of confidentiality, difficulties, and goals and a plan for moving forward will be developed.
  • Prior to your first session you may be required to complete confidentiality and indemnity forms
  • Any information disclosed in sessions, case notes, or assessments will be kept confidential within the bounds of my legal responsiblities. If there is any need to disclose your personal information, you will be asked.
  • You may be asked to complete assessment forms to establish a starting point from which to work and track progress over time.

Do I need any prior experience with horses?

No. Clients do not need to have any prior experience with horses. If you have never met a horse or are even fearful of horses, you can benefit tremendously from EAP. In fact, the absence of preconceived notions about horses can assist in learning and growth. All clients are provided with safety guidelines prior to any interaction with horses and any activity involving the horses will be designed with your level of comfort in mind. If you suffer from horse or grass allergies it is advised you take your usual antihistamine medication prior to coming or bring it with you. The same applies for asthma medication or anaphylatic medication.

What model is used at The Wellbeing Paddock?

The Wellbeing Paddock uses the Equine Psychotherapy Institute Model, which is a unique and comprehensive psychotherapy model with it’s own theory, principles, and practice methodology in line with best practice therapy. It is an Australian model that is relational, ethical, mindful, trauma-informed, effective, deeply respectful of clients and horses, and is founded on psychological and psychotherapeutic theory and practice. The model draws from gestalt therapy, mindfulness-based therapy, Buddhist psychotherapy, and somatic experiencing (somatic trauma practice).

What do we do at The Wellbeing Paddock?

Equine Assisted Psychotherapy (EAP) is offered at The Wellbeing Paddock, along with traditional room-based counselling. Various thearpy modalities such as Cognitive Bevavioural Therapy (CBT), Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), and Mindfulness Congnitive Therapy are offered. Jane also works with individuals or groups either in a therapeutic or educational context. Jane works with a variety of clients; individuals and groups of all ages with various backgrounds. At The Wellbeing Paddock, Jane specialises in working with youth at-risk and antisocial behaviour by resourcing participants to build resilience and teach them the life skills necessary to foster emotional, social, behavioural wellbeing and to thrive.

Why work with horses?

The potential benefit horses can offer human is unquie and powerful. These benefits are difficult to emulate in a room based setting with only the facilitator and client. Within the facilitated therapeutic setting, horses offer an opportunity for learning, growth, change, and improved wellbeing in clients. Horses are able to do this as they possess natural characteristics including their capacity to evoke emotion in humans, offer relational experiences, offer an authentic and non-judgemental response to humans, provide feedback to humans regarding their thoughts, feelings, behaviours, intentions, and approach, and they model healthy behaviour.

Is horse riding involved in EAP?

No. At The Wellbeing Paddock, there is no horse riding or mounted work involved in any of the services that are offered. Any work with the horses is done with you on the ground, interacting with the horse/s in a way that feels safe and right for you.

What can EAP assist with?

EAP can assist clients of all ages with a range of issues including, but not limited to:

  • Regulating emotions (including anxiety, depression, anger, and stress)
  • Social skills
  • Behavioural problems
  • Relational issues
  • Trust
  • Boundaries
  • Communication
  • Assertiveness
  • Building resilience
  • Addictions
  • Eating disorders
  • Trauma
  • Impulse control
  • Confidence and self-esteem
  • Mental health
  • Grief and loss
  • Leadership
Some common therapeutic and learning goals that EAP can address include:
  • For children:
  • EAP can support them to play, express, learn, develop mastery, form relationships, build social skills, increase autonomy, develop self-responsibility, increase emotional intelligence, and teach them how to soothe and regulate their own emotions.
  • For Adolescents and Adults:
  • Regulating and resourcing
  • Safe relational experiences
  • Increased awareness
  • Increased awareness of patterns that no longer serve the client well
  • Experiment with, develop, and rehearse new ways of being and behaving
  • Become emotionally connected and expressive
  • Learn life skills

Where are we located?

The Wellbeing Paddock is located at 99 Crosby's Lane, Mansfield, Victoria. The driveway is a shared road. The Wellbeing Paddock is the property on the right. Please turn into the first drive way through the double gates towards the little shed with the verandah. Parking is availiable out the front of the shed or behind the shed. Please drive considerately as the neighbours share our driveway. Please be considerate if another client is still in session and please arrive at the scheduled time to avoid disrupting another client. Thank you.

What happens if there is poor weather?

If the weather is too inclement, a room based session may take the place of an outside EAP session.

Can I claim the cost of my session through medicare, private insurance or NDIS?

Not currently, however, this is currently being discussed by government and may change in the near future. Private health insurance extras cover with Bupa and Medibank private will subsidise the cost of sessions. If you have a self-managed NDIS fund you can claim EAP sessions or counselling sessions.

What is EAP?

Equine Assisted Psychotherapy (EAP) is a form of animal-assisted psychotherapy involving the client, practitioner, and the horse/s. It is an experiential (learning through experience) approach to psychological intervention and personal development. This means that learning, growth, and change occur through experiences had with the therapist and the horses. The horses, with their unique attributes, support the therapeutic and learning process.

What qualifications does my practitioner hold?

Jane is a registered Counsellor with the Psychotherapy and Counselling Federation Association (PACFA). Having completed a Masters in Counselling (Monash University) and a Masters in Education Student Wellbeing (Melbourne University).

She is a certified Equine Assisted Psychotherapy Practitioner in the EPI model.

Jane has successfully completed the Intensive Trauma training through the Equine Psychotherapy Institute.

Jane has also attended Positive Psychology training and has taught Positive Education in schools and has run workshops at a Positive Education Schools Association(PESA) conference attended by over 800 international and national professionals in mental health. Jane has since developed her own school program called PosEQ (Positive Education and Equine Assisted Learning) which was trialled as a pilot program was then funded and supported by the Positive Education Institute, research was conducted to ascertain the validity of the program as a Positive Psychology adjunct and was funded and integrated into the school program. The work has been seen by researchers in the positive psychology field and a research paper is currently being written and supported by Dr. Suzy Green founder of the Positivity Institute and Melbourne University.

As a currently VIT registered teacher for 18 years, she has worked as a Primary School Teacher, Secondary School Teacher and has lived for many years working in various boarding schools performing Student Wellbeing roles. She hold a Bachelor of Science (Ag) and a Diploma in Education (Charles Sturt University).