What degree you are studying for?
Clinical Mental Health and Clinical Rehabilitation Counseling (CMHCRC) at Thomas University, in Thomasville, Georgia.
What attracted you to MoonRise Therapeutics, and to apply for a possible internship?
I am blessed to have been introduced to Moonrise through a local practicing therapist that posted my need for fieldwork placement on the Upper Valley listserv. The next blessing was DJ responding to it. I was drawn to Moonrise because of the rich and rare opportunity in counseling fieldwork to get experience integrating animals in the therapeutic process. I grew up around horses and had a horse when I was young, but have not been around horses for years. When I interviewed at Moonrise, I was captured by the atmosphere and could tell it was a very special place with healing and enriching energy, animals, and people.
Why equine therapy?
I would like to share that equine-assisted psychotherapy, as practiced at Moonrise with Gestalt theoretical orientation, has given me an immense appreciation for experiential and social learning. I am beginning to understand how powerful lessons and connections are when they include others and lived experiences, as opposed to reading, talking, or thinking about lessons and connections. (Also important, but I now see how sometimes greater depth and meaning is available when more integration is practiced.)
What has surprised you about the partnership with the horses at MoonRise?
How much the horses keep teaching me! And how being here, and connecting with the horses and people at Moonrise continue to concretize and further-integrate wisdoms that life has been opening me to.
What are three things you have learned about yourself in relation to partnering with the horses for therapy work?
1. I can develop cognitive, social, and emotional skills that enable me to:
a) Identify when a triggering social interaction is fundamentally a
situation of someone around me being in the process of learning certain
b) Successfully process a situation and maintain my own functioning.
c) Promote my own and others' growth as opposed to staying stuck in
feeling and thinking states that are useful for and part of thorough
processing, but otherwise can be barriers to connection and progress.
2. I can develop skills to channel my energy in ways that support
myself and others.
3. I am successful when I operate from a place of patience. Such
as, moving patiently, interpreting and responding patiently, giving
myself patience in the context of compassion for the inevitable gaps
between my passions, goals, and accomplishments.
How do you see clients responding to the horses - can you give an example?
I think connection and response to the horses is highly nuanced, but some examples might be finding peace; strengthening skills like leadership, boundary making, and need-recognition; intrapersonal discovery; and becoming more open to others experiences, and depth of processing.
How do you see the horses responding to the clients - can you give an example?
Observing the horses responses to others is something I want to notice more. What I do notice is horses are ALWAYS noticing. They are supremely perceptive and it is beautiful to watch how they understand people's needs and engage in ways that facilitate growth and the meeting of those needs.
What word comes to mind when you think of each horse?
Bart: Clan elder
Krystall: Misassumption (because he has helped me challenge and recognize faulty conjecture)
Millie - Inner-child
Spirit - Devotion
Where do you see yourself in the near future and do you think horses will be part of it?
In future years I would like to be part of a healthcare and advocacy community that integrates what I view as essential modalites for flourishing. I also would like to have my life structured in a way that enables me to participate in both vocational (counseling) and avocational (writing/creative projects) callings.
My passions are very broad right now, but I plan to maintain and build my network in the equine community. If my future personal and/or work lives are not directly connected to horses, the window MoonRise has given me into this world is one that I will forever be connected to and one that I want to share with others who are desiring more connection.