horse-oneWhat is Equine Assisted Psychology?

Equine Assisted Psychology (EAP) is an innovative, professional and experiential approach to psychological intervention. During EAP sessions, horse act as assistants and co-facilitators in the therapeutic process.

Many different models of EAP exist, and it is important to remember that not all EAP practitioners work the same way. Melissa’s knowledge and skills as a psychologist form the theoretical basis for EAP sessions, and as a practitioner she is unique in being a psychologist offering this model of work. The model of EAP used by Melissa is informed by principles of Therapeutic Relationship, Mindfulness, Trauma Theory, Narrative Therapy, Attachment Theory and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy.

The focus of EAP is on personal and psychological development for the client rather than development of horsemanship skills.

EAP can be  useful therapeutic approach for clients of all ages, and a range of different mental health, trauma and relational issues. EAP is also useful in skills building for individuals and groups.

What Happens During EAP Sessions?

Your individual needs will be discussed during an initial telephone call, and an appointment will be set for the EAP session. Depending on the goals for the session, one or a number of horses will be chosen to participate in your session. Upon arriving at the centre, you will be met by Melissa Johnstone, and introduced to the horse/horses chosen for your 1 hour session.

During sessions, clients are offered physically and emotionally safe experiences with horse for the purpose of developing psychological and social skills, building self-awareness, self-resourcing and exploring relationship.

Activities are creative and relational, and will vary according to client needs and therapeutic goals.

About the Horses…

A number of different horses are included in the therapeutic herd, ranging from miniature horses to quarter horses and arabians. Each horse has been selected on the basis of their temperament and suitability to client work.


More Information

Sessions occur on a private property 5 minutes from the main street of Tamworth, in purpose built yards with undercover options. The property address will be provided upon booking.

Payments for EAP sessions must be made prior to the appointment, and a cancellation policy applies.

Safety is of paramount importance, and all clients are required to wear protective clothing including enclosed shoes, and when required helmets will be provided.