What is a Psychologist and what is a Clinical Psychologist?

A psychologist is a highly qualified specialist in understanding and treating psychological and emotional issues. Clinical Psychologists have a higher level of specialist training and expertise in psychological assessment and diagnosis, and individualisation of clinically effective treatment of psychological and emotional issues utilising best practice empirically supported techniques.

What is the difference between a Psychologist, a Psychotherapist and a Counsellor?

Psychology is a regulated profession in Australia and to practice, psychologists must have at least 6 years of training, be registered with the Australian Health Care Practitioners Association and engage in ongoing training and education. Psychologists registered with the Australian Psychological Society have at least 6 years of training. Those with doctoral degrees have trained for 7 – 10 years.

Psychotherapists and counsellors may or may not have formal training as these professions are not formally regulated in Australia, although membership of the Psychotherapists and Counsellors Federation of Australia is only opened to qualified practitioners. Psychotherapists typically have 3-4 years of training. Counsellors may have tertiary training or experiential training ranging from 1 month to longer periods.

What does a Psychologist do?

Psychological therapy can include cognitive, behavioural or psychotherapeutic interventions, emotional regulation training, social skills enhancement, or personal development work in both individual and group settings. Psychologists also conduct psychological or educational assessments, and are qualified to diagnose psychological disorders.

What is Equine or Animal Supported Psychological therapy?

Equine or animal supported psychological is therapy in contact with one or more equine/animal co-therapists and supported/facilitated by a qualified psychologist. Animal assisted Psychological Therapy can include psychotherapy, CBT, mindfulness, DBT or other empirically supported psychological therapies, and can only be facilitated by a qualified psychologist.

What is the difference between Equine Assisted Psychology, Psychotherapy, Learning, and Hippotherapy?

Equine or Animal assisted Psychology is psychological therapy in the company and with the support of a therapy animal. Psychologists use empirically supported therapies as per room based psychological therapy, but in the paddock with a horse or pony, or in the company of an assistant animal in the room or a play space.

Equine/Animal assisted Psychotherapy (EAP) is Gestalt based experiential theory in relationship with an an animal and conducted by a qualified psychotherapist.

Equine or Animal assisted Learning (EAL) is goal focussed work with horses. Conducted by a non-mental health professional, an animal therapy practitioner or equine professional and does not address deeper underlying issues.

Hippotherapy is therapeutic riding.

Is Equine therapy horse riding?

No. Horse riding and Riding for the Disabled are activities that may be of great benefit to clients, but these activities are not therapy. We can recommend some great riding coaches and RDA in our region if your child or teen wants to learn to ride. Our therapy sessions may or may not involve some mounted sessions, but clients will not be holding reins or riding per se.

Is my child suitable for Equine or Animal Assisted therapy?

If your child likes animals and is not at risk or aggression toward our animal therapists, yes they may suit this work. We do however prioritise the health and welling of our non-human therapists, so if a child has a history of harming animals or of aggression toward them, we sadly cannot accept a referral. Similarly, the care of our clients is important to us, and if a child may abscond, or if a child has a condition involving psychotic episodes, we cannot keep them safe on such a large property so we usually refer them on to a room based therapist and can not accept them as a client.

What does an animal assisted session look like?

A first session is typically an introductory meet ’n’ greet, finding out background to the presenting problem and a brief history, and working out first steps and which animal suits your child. Every child seems to de drawn to their own animal therapist, or the animal picks them!

Further sessions may involve play therapy, leading or grooming, paddock work or indoor work with the horses, in room work with the kittens, observational and play or art work with the chickens, or games. Sessions may also involve cognitive behavioural work, deeper therapy and strategy development or skill building. Every therapeutic journey is unique and we work to best suit you or your child.

What do I wear?

Clients working with horses need to dress for the weather and wear closed toe solid shoes for paddock work. Indoor sessions simply require appropriate clothing for the environment.

What is your cancellation policy?

Sessions run no matter the weather, and we have lights for evening sessions. Our cancellation policy is a 50% fee for a cancellation within 24 hrs of the appointment, and 100% for a cancellation on the day. We have an extensive waiting list and can easily fill cancellations so please let us know so we can offer your spot to someone else on the wait list.