Equine Explorations

EquUSessence Somatic Psychotherapytm

The intention of EquUSessence Somatic Psychotherapy is to offer participants
the opportunity to learn about and experience an interactive process with horses
that creates and enhances  Safe Connection with Self and Others.

Equine Somatic Psychotherapy is a powerful and efficacious therapeutic approach that assists individuals in healing relationship/intimacy issues (both with self and others), abuse, mood disorders, addictions, and grief.

The foundation of the way we relate to others rests on our ability to be in physical, emotional, intellectual, and spiritual connection with ourselves. If we are disconnectd within, our ability to relate to others will be troubled. Discovering our internal cohesiveness and wholeness will reflect in our relationships with others.

Like humans, horses are social beings. For survival, their essential nature is to be in connection and maintain congruency within their herd. They have defined roles within their herd structure, and possess distinct personalities, attitudes, and moods.  As prey animals, horses are hyper-sensitive to their surroundings, have evolved an intricate non-verbal communication system, and activate an instinctive flight response when they detect a threat to their environment. Similar to humans, horses need to develop a sense of trust—with other horses, and with the humans who are in contact with them--in order to feel safe and remain calm. As “natural emotion regulators,” horses can help us facilitate the process of transforming emotional discomfort and feelings of aloneness into a sense of oneness with self and others. 

What participants say:

"At one point in the couples workshop, one of the horses approached me. Sherry asked me to notice what I was feeling, and I related that I was nervous because I wasn't sure what he was going to do. He was very close to me, with his head right next to my body. I was guided by Sherry into my body to really feel the feelings, and to breathe, and allow the feelings to move through me. As I allowed this, I began to feel calm and safe. Less worried about what 'might' happen, I settled into the moment and with the help of the calm presence of the horse, I allowed the moment to 'be' as it was. Feeling the calm energy of the horse allowed me to find my own calm place within. Since then, when I am in a situation where anxiety begins to rise, I recall the memory of this experience to help me in becoming calm and more fully in my body, rather than in my head where the anxieties can keep me stuck." L.M., Tucson

"When my husband and I attended the couples workshop, our goal was to work toward re-establishing our connection with one another. We were a tad apprehensive, not knowing what to expect. We moved out to the corral on a beautiful Tucson morning, where we were introducted to Sherry's five horses. We had some interactive time with them, followed by some couple-related experiential work and group discussion. Our nervousness dissipated immediately. After lunch, we had another opportunity to work with the horses, which was powerful and very positive. Fun, even. We felt much more of a sense of intimacy and connection by the end of the workshop, which has carried over into our everyday lives, as well. We both highly recommend this experience. " T.Q. & J.Q., Tucson

"I had been using Equine Therapy for some time and jumped at the chance to participate in the men’s relationship workshop.  I had entered the workshop hoping to learn a bit more about myself and successful relationships.  What I came out of the workshop with was a validation that what I had learned and felt
 in individual therapy was working.  It was fantastic to gain an instant bond with the other men in the group while sharing what most men can’t – intimacy about ourselves – with strangers – with aide of the therapy horses!  The seminar provided me an opportunity to practice and observe what I had been learning and provided me with a better understanding of the power of being in the moment, allowing myself to be vulnerable, and to trust in my relationship with myself and with others! "  D.L, Tucson

I was not sure what to expect when I attended the Men's workshop. The first word that comes to mind is "amazing." Issues I was struggling with gently came to the surface through the interaction with the horses and facilitators. I felt I received some great insights and awareness not to mention some much needed healing. I have encouraged others to look into participating in this experience." C.M., Tucson 

"My  recent experience when I attended the EquUSessence Somatic Psychotherapy Training was awesome! Not only was I able to explore new ideas and strategies as a therapeutic equine facilitator for my own clients, I likewise was able to look internally at myself and how my own energy and presence can impede or improve the therapeutic experience for my clients. Thanks for putting together a great program and reaching out to others in the equine therapy community--together we ALL can make a huge difference in our clients' lives!"  Bambi S., QMHA, CTEI--N.E.A.T. (Nevada Equine Assisted Therapy)

"The facilitators did a remarkable job at honoring my presence and my entire being as a participant in the Somatic Psychotherapy Training in November 2013. They embody the work they do and their energy is palpable in that they care for all of us, humans and horses. I learned how to slow my energy down, to feel it, and to simply be with what is for me, and feel safe in doing so. I was able to be a 'client' again and participate in a healing circle with others and the horses. These faciliators are strong professionals in their work and have done their homework. Namely, refer to the horses and have the wonderful gift of asking good questions, and being present for each and every participant. They truly went on my journey with me."  Michael P., MA, EGE, Minnesota