Equine Assisted Therapy (EAT) refers to a broad range of treatment modalities where mental health professionals work alongside horses to support and improve social, emotional and physiological health.

EAT is experiential, meaning that learning occurs through doing: hands on activities, observing, touching, smelling and hearing. This allows us to activate all of our body senses rather than relying on or over-using our ‘thinking’. This provides wonderful alternative to traditional talk therapies and often compliments room based treatment.

EAT is suitable for people of all ages and is easily adapted for couples, families and groups and is considered effective in the support and treatment of Post Traumatic Stress Disorders (PTSD), Anxiety, Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD), Trauma, Addiction, Eating Disorders.

What is Equine Assisted Clinical Psychology?

Equine Assisted Clinical Psychology (EACP – known as Heads & Tails) is dedicated to advancing the standards of excellence in experiential clinical psychology and supporting children, young people and families towards social, behavioural and emotional change.

Heads & Tails is committed to providing equine assisted therapy that is effective for children and young people that struggle to engage in or respond to traditional room-based therapies provided by a child therapist.

We know that every child is unique and we tailor our services to match the needs of the child, taking them from where they are to where they need to be through animal therapy sessions that build relationships and inspire them to be all that they can be.

The Heads & Tails EACP Model

The Heads & Tails Model of Equine Assisted Clinical Psychology is –

  • Mindful (Awareness based)

  • Relational (Relationship/attachmentbased)

  • Trauma-informed(Neuroscience based)

  • Developmentally sensitive(understands the trajectory of ‘development’ in relationship)

  • Working with Horses as teachers of awareness, embodiment and relationship, and, supports for learning about relationship, mindfulness, aliveness in a new, holistic, engaging and safe way.

While other models may use somewhat different therapeutic teams, the ‘Heads and Tails’ specific pairing brings the strengths and scientific rigor of Clinical Psychology, Neuroscience and Psychiatry into the process of the work with the Equine Specialist and horses, and thus is referred to as Equine Assisted Clinical Psychology (EACP). Animal assisted therapy is well-established (Parish-Plass, 2013), and equine therapy is a new and exciting development (See Letini & Knox, 2015) that engages clients with horses within a clinical, therapeutic framework.

The Heads & Tails model of psychological intervention is based on several programs successfully offering equine therapy across the UK, USA and Canada (Anthony & Cramer, 2007) and incorporates principles from the Australian Equine Assisted Psychotherapy Institute’s (EPI) Model of Equine Assisted Psychotherapy (Kirby, 2016) and The Neurosequential Model of Therapeutics (Perry & Dobson, 2013).