Healing Strides offers Mental Health, Learning, and Coaching opportunities to those who are in need of personal support. Our models take place on the ground, rather than on horseback, with clients telling their story through interactions with the horse. Fostering close communication that is helpful for working through complex emotions, trauma, and abuse. Populations that we serve include individuals, families, military, first responders, and groups.

Our effective, compassionate work with this community has proven to change lives and build stronger individuals that have shown resiliency. Come and experience growth and enhanced well-being, with our professionals. When inside the session area, all work is done on the ground with the horses front and center, deliberately unhindered and never ridden, allowing them to interact with the client as they wish. This creates the space for the client, with the support of the professional facilitators, to reflect, project, and make deep connections, allowing healing to take place over time.

Equine Assisted Psychotherapy:

Healing Strides chooses to use the Eagala model as their primary model for Equine Assisted Psychotherapy (EAP).
The Eagala Model provides a standard and structure for providing Equine Assisted Psychotherapy and Equine Assisted Learning sessions. Practicing within a model establishes a foundation of key values and beliefs, and provides a basis of good practice and professionalism. The Eagala Model provides a framework of practice, but within that framework, there are infinite opportunities for creativity and adaptability to various therapeutic and facilitating styles.

The HSVA Eagala Team

The Horse: Horses have many characteristics which lend them to be effective agents of change, including honesty, awareness, and the ability to use nonverbal communication. The role of the horses in an Eagala session is to be themselves.

The Equine Specialist (ES)- The ES chooses the horses to be used in sessions, works with the Mental Health Professional to structure sessions, keeps the equine log to document horse behaviors in sessions, stays aware of safety and welfare of clients, horses, and team, and makes observations of horse SPUD’s (an Eagala-developed observation framework taught in the certification training program) which can bring potential metaphors.

The Mental Health Professional (MH): The MH is responsible for treatment planning, documentation of clients, and ensuring ethical practice. The MH builds on the ES’s horse observations, bringing in the metaphoric and therapeutic/learning relevance of the session.

Eagala and Mental Health Services:

  • Individuals/ Families
  • Groups
  • Leadership/ Team Building
  • PTSD
  • Grief and Loss
  • Sexual Assault Awareness Prevention Intervention- Title 9
  • Veterans
  • Corporate Training
  • At-Risk Youth/ Bullying
  • Internships
  • CEU’s
  • And more, please contact us

Equine Assisted Learning: (EAL)

Healing Strides has a Virginia Licensed Teacher working with our students and our horses to provide open and honest learning opportunities for individuals who are looking for personal support to reach personal goals. Examples are power tools for living, anti-bullying and other programs.

Click here RISE to learn more about our educational program. EAL is not the same as RISE.

Equine Assisted Coaching: (EAC)

Healing Strides has Certified Life Coaching to help individuals reach personal goals and to establish tools for your personal tool box. Seeking a deeper understanding of self helps in all areas of your life. Your goals will be discussed and a plan will be customized to fit your personal needs. EAC is a program that works with individuals, couples, parenting, families and groups. Team building, leadership and professional development.

Working in the arena with the horses is a powerful model for developing personal and or professional goals. The power of the horse allows us to be honest as they reflect our emotions back to us.

Also see Equine Assisted Leadership Development.

For more information please call 540.334.5825

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