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Equine Psychotherapy Institute Model

The 7 Principles of Practice of the EPI Model

The EPI Model has 7 Principles of practice that ensure professionalism, safety and ethics in the work:

  1. Relationship
    Sessions focus on the horse-client-practitioner relationship as the container and medium for change. Equine experiences are relationally offered, the model rests on the therapeutic belief and research indicator that it is the ‘relationship that heals’.

  2. Holistic Practice
    The approach works across all layers of human experience and functioning, and is processed by the practitioner across all layers of human experience, including somatic (body), feeling (affect), cognitive, behavioural and relational experience.

  3. Ethics
    The approach is an integrated and ethically driven model, where values and ethics that guide practitioners are drawn from the APS (Psychologist ethics), AASW (Social Work ethics), Eco-psychology and Animal Welfare Ethics.

  4. Theory of Change
    The theory of change is drawn from a coherent and comprehensive system of psychological and psychotherapeutic theory and practice. It is explicitly taught to practitioners, and guides the focus of sessions for effective outcomes.

  5. Horse Wisdom Psycho-Education
    The model teaches students and clients life lessons from horses. Horse Wisdom psycho-education is integrated into this model of therapy and learning, and thus incorporates a unique educational approach. Importantly, the horses participate in sessions in a unique way governed by the I-Thou Horse-person-ship approach, created by Institute founder, Meggin Kirby.

  6. Specialist Trained Practitioners
    All EAP and EAL practitioners are trained in 3 specialist fields - change processes in psychotherapy and experiential learning, equine studies and horsemanship, and, the unique horse-human dynamics in EAP and EAL. EPI Foundation Practitioner training includes 124 hours of training and supervision, and additional final assessment processes. EPI Advanced training includes 220 hours of training and assessment.

  7. Personal Work and Professional Growth
    EPI practitioners are committed to their personal growth and professional growth as the foundation for ethical and professional practice. Practitioners begin deep personal work in the training and commit to ongoing personal therapy to keep their work safe and effective for their clients, and to ensure congruence of the work.

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