Why Equine-Assisted Therapy?
The sessions consist of completing non-riding tasks with the horses as a skilled masters level therapist guides them through the healing process.
Animals can create an environment of safety where some clients don't feel safe. Kona and Breeze, the therapy dogs are gentile companions who offer extra support in therapy sessions.
Some clients lay with the dogs during the entire session as this makes it easier for them to talk more openly. Some help train the dogs to do new tasks which helps to build confidence. Kona can be a bit anxious at times and it helps if the clients see how he comforts himself so they can better learn to self-soothe.
Equine-assisted therapy is a form of experiential therapy when traditional therapy is unsuccessful.
Jacqueline is a Licensed Professional Counselor and a National Certified Counselor who uses her own individual model (in development) of treatment for children called the Icarus Model. She currently conducts research with colleagues to show the effectiveness of equine-assisted psychotherapy to improve her practice model.
Jacqueline has had over 25 yrs experience riding and training horses. She sees safety as the first priority as working with horses can be dangerous. She has been practicing equine-assisted therapy for over 10 years and has had many successful outcomes in fewer sessions than traditional therapy. Since she is an empath she is able to understand the animals and children in a different way which fosters healing and trust. She also practices as a neurodivergent therapist.
Psychological Diagnoses Treated:
Chronic Pain Support
Horses are prey animals so they have to be able to read people's (predator) feelings in order to stay alive. In the wild horses read predator's feelings so they can tell if a nearby predator is hungry or not otherwise they would not be able to survive.
For example, if a zebra needed to replenish itself at a watering hole in Africa it would need to know if the nearby predators are hungry or not. Once the predators are full the zebra is able to go to the watering hole with little danger.
Jacqui has been counseling children and young adults for over 10 years in Arizona, and has been working with horses for over 25 years. She started out riding for pleasure and then turned it into a career through offering riding lessons and horse training. Jacqui has been a member of several animal rescues since 2004 and has been studying animal behavior since she was in high school. Jacqui was initially trained in EAGALA (Equine Assisted Growth and Learning Association) and has attended some Epona workshops. She is also a board approved licensed clinical supervisor who runs an East Valley Mental Health group for professionals. She has experience treating chronic pain in nursing homes. She was also the head social worker at the largest freestanding inpatient psychiatric facility. She is an empath which helps her to understand her clients a bit faster and really help them progress in a way that fits them best. She has a passion for treating people who have physical limitations due to a medical conditions as she herself has EDS which has impacted her ability to train and ride horses as often as she would like. She has overcome much of her limited mobility by utilizing positive psychology and homeopathic remedies. She is a fighter and refused to let this diagnosis ruin her passion to be active both riding horses, swimming and long distance hiking.
The new state of the art facility is located in a private setting which includes 8-9 ft high block fencing all around to ensure as much confidentiality as possible when working outside with the animals. There is also a coded gate to ensure the property is secure and there are no unauthorized visitors. Jacqui personally designed the barn and arena to fit the needs of the horses and clients so they can be comfortable in all weather conditions.
She sees healing as a holistic process which is why she has a team of naturopathic doctors, personal trainers and nutritionists available for consults. She is trained in CMHIMP which integrates natural remedies and nutrition in treatment to achieve the desired results. Treating the entire body and ensuring everything is in balance is imperative to healing psychologically. Jacqui attends holistic healing trainings on an annual basis to stay current with the practice.
Jacqui developed a passion for working with children at a young age. She worked with children with Autism in the North Carolina school system where she helped to design a program for children with Autism so they could be integrated with general ed classes. Her dream was to incorporate children with animals as a way to heal from mental illness and life stressors. She is a passionate individual who will go above and beyond for her clients. Office hours are flexible to meet the needs of busy clients. Video sessions are also offered for established clients.
Licensure: I am licensed by the Board of Behavioral Health in the state of Arizona LPC-15857. Please feel free to verify my license through www.azbbhe.us.
As a young girl, horses helped me build confidence and determine what I wanted to do with my life. My horses have pushed me to overcome traumas and interpersonal struggles in my own life. I would like to share their healing power with others.
Photo of of CEO “Jacqui”