Berkshire HomeStyle Magazine

Berkshire HomeStyle Profiles Berkshire HorseWorks

Berkshire HorseWorks Featured in
Berkshire HomeStyle Magazine ~

In the August 2013 edition of Berkshire HomeStyle Magazine, a wonderful article was published profiling Berkshire HorseWorks and the EAGALA Model of Equine Assisted Psychotherapy (EAP) and Equine Assisted Learning (EAL) we practice here. Please take a moment to click through to their online magazine and read the article.


Berkshire HomeStyle August 2013

Berkshire HorseWorks Opens For Business

Berkshire HorseWorks at Berkshire Equestrian Center

The article below was published in the Berkshire Eagle and is reprinted here with their permission. Thanks go out to writer Adam Poulisse and the Berkshire Eagle Editorial Staff.

Lorraine Brill pets horses at  Berkshire HorseWorks

Lorraine Brill pets horses on Thursday at a demonstration of equine-assisted therapy that has been implemented by Berkshire HorseWorks at the Berkshire Equestrian Center in Richmond. (Ben Garver / Berkshire Eagle Stafr)

Berkshire HorseWorks: Equines and human therapy

Adam Poulisse • Berkshire Eagle • June 24, 2013 – RICHMOND: Buddy, Herman and 007 know how to help people work through their issues, from addiction to coping with tragedy.

They are keenly aware of others’ feelings, and will never utter a judgment. Their presence alone can put a grin on your face – especially when they start nudging you or try to munch on your notebook.

By the way, Buddy, Herman and 007 are full- grown horses at Berkshire Equestrian Center on Perry’s Peak Road.

On Thursday, about 50 mental health specialists and horse experts gathered inside a shaded arena at the center to watch as the three horses led volunteers through a demonstration and open house of what can be expected in the upcoming Berkshire HorseWorks.

Hayley Sumner of Berkshire HorseWorks

Created just six weeks ago, Berkshire HorseWorks will implement the Equine Assisted Growth and Learning Association (EAGALA) model to treat mental and behavioral challenges, including post-traumatic stress disorder, trauma, eating disorders and anxiety.

The EAGALA model uses equine-assisted psychotherapy and equine- assisted learning to help many different patients, from veterans returning from service, to children bullying others in schools. Hulahoops, pool noodles, traffic cones and buckets are just some of the props that can be used along with the horses. It was established in the Southwest in 1989.

Thursday’s demonstration was, held, in part, to catch the attention of mental health professionals in the Berkshires and to certify them in the EAGALA model to do work for Berkshire HorseWorks.

“The model is very solutionfocused,” said Hayley Sumner, the founder of Berkshire HorseWorks and who is certified in the EAGALA model. “If someone is doing an activity to work on an issue, then they are basically delving into their own being to find their solutions.”

Berkshire HorseWorks will operate out of Berkshire Equestrian Center.

“I see this kind of program as a way of really forwarding individuals and forwarding groups and providing insight,” said Carl Dunham, the owner of Berkshire Equestrian Center.

Unlike other horse therapy, the clients never saddle up and ride the horses. Instead, their two feet – and the horse’s four hooves – stay firmly planted on the ground.

“Horses are so intuitive they reflect your behavior,” Sumner said. “When you meet the horses on the ground, the horses can be themselves. When you put someone on their back, they’re going into a different world that is not their natural behavior.”

Animal therapy, mostly using dogs, has made recent headlines to help those affected by tragedies like the Boston Marathon bombings and the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. “[Horses] are flight animals, and in order to protect themselves they’re able to read people very well,” said Jimmy Downes, the owner of Relatively Stable, LLC out of Newtown, Conn. ” Clinically, the social worker gets to find out about their clients 10 times faster than in an office model. Anything they can do can become significant to the client’s session.”

Horses at Downes’ stable helped families and friends of some of the victims cope with their grief and emotions using the EAGALA model. Downes and Ellen Donaghey of Brewster, N.Y. are two of the four EAGALA models trained at Relatively Stable.

“We got to see the people have an opportunity to do something that was able to brighten their day,” Donaghey said. “They had an ability to be themselves and, for the first time, actually felt some release and happiness. It became a routine that they could be comfortable with.”

Downes and Donaghey led groups of volunteers in three demonstrations of the several Berkshire HorseWorks activities specialized to help a patient work through their trauma.

Dominick Sacco, a therapist at Monument Valley Middle School in Richmond, participated in one of the demonstrations: He was one of four linked together that had to act as one human body to get a horse over a small hurdle.

Sacco uses dog therapy with his students, but after Thursday, he hopes to use the EAGALA model in the future.

“I feel the horse is an incredible medium for treatment,” Sacco said. “We can’t bring a horse to a middle school, but we can bring a middle school to a horse.”

Adam Poulisse’s article is also available at BerkshireEagle.com.

Press Release – EAP Demonstration at BHW

FROM: BERKSHIRE HORSEWORKS LLC /EQUINE ASSISTED GROWTH AND LEARNING ASSOCIATION (EAGALA)

CONTACT: HAYLEY SUMNER, HAYLEY@BERKSHIREHORSEWORKS.COM, 310 488-9777


For Immediate Release

HORSES , HULA HOOPS, MENTAL HEALTH PROFESSIONALS FROM THE COMMUNITY TAKE TO THE ARENA TO TACKLE MENTAL/ BEHAVIORAL CHALLENGES INCLUDING PTSD, ADDICTION, STRESS MANAGEMENT, ABUSE, ADHD, GRIEF, AUTISM, DEPRESSION,TEAMWORK

EAGALA MODEL EQUINE ASSISTED PSYCHOTHERAPY (EAP) AND LEARNING (EAL) AS UTILIZED IN THE TREATMENT OF SURVIVORS IN NEWTOWN SHOOTING TRAGEDY TO BE DEMONSTRATED AT BERKSHIRE EQUESTRIAN CENTER IN RICHMOND, MA

WHO: Hayley Sumner, South Egremont resident, Founder and Executive Director Berkshire HorseWorks, a new venture providing EAGALA Model EAP and EAL services to the Berkshires; Ellen Donaghey, MSW and Jimmy Downes, EAGALA Advanced Certified Equine Specialist, owner Relatively Stable Ct.; Carl Dunham, owner Berkshire Equestrian Center and the Inn at Richmond; first responders, social workers, educators, equestrians, corporate leaders, psychologists.

WHAT: Launch of Berkshire HorseWorks and the introduction of experiential EAGALA Model Equine Assisted Psychotherapy and Learning. Demonstrations of the innate sensitivity of horses as they run free and work with humans in non-mounted activities involving obstacles and props. Facilitated by certified equine specialists and licensed mental health professionals, The Model is increasingly being used in the treatment of veterans, at-risk youth, families and groups as an adjunct or alternative to talk therapy. Berkshire HorseWorks’ programs and wellness retreats offer the tools to cope, heal, compete, challenge, communicate, lead, empathize and thrive in today’s stressful world. Recently featured on reality TV’s “World’s Strictest Parents” and developed to address the need for resources, education and professionalism in the fields of EAP and EAL, EAGALA has set the standard for professional excellence in how horses and humans work together to improve the quality of life and mental health of millions worldwide. In partnership with the Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation (TRF), EAGALA provides an opportunity for a second career for horses retired from racing. EAGALA has more than 3,700 members in 41 countries in Africa, North America, the Middle East, Latin America and Australia. It is not therapeutic riding.

WHEN: Thursday, June 20th, 4-7pm ( First Demo 4:15)

WHERE: Berkshire Equestrian Center, 40 Perry’s Peak Road, Richmond, MA (off 41)


**GREAT VISUALS/INTERVIEWS AVAILABLE**

Please call Hayley at 310 488 9777 to schedule and confirm appointments.
For additional information visit www.berkshirehorseworks.com or www.eagala.org

Press Release – Hayley Sumner to Introduce EAGALA

FROM: Berkshire HorseWorks LLC, EAGALA Certified Program
CONTACT: Hayley Sumner, Hayley@berkshirehorseworks.com, (413) 698-3700


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

BERKSHIRE HORSEWORKS LAUNCHES WITH OPEN HOUSE AND DEMONSTRATION OF EAGALA MODEL EQUINE ASSISTED PSYCHOTHERAPY AND LEARNING ON THURSDAY, JUNE 20TH 4-7PM AT BERKSHIRE EQUESTRIAN CENTER (GREAT BARRINGTON)

EXPERIENTIAL MODALITY IS HIGHLY EFFECTIVE IN THE TREATMENT OF MENTAL HEALTH , HUMAN DEVELOPMENT AND BEHAVIORAL CHALLENGES INCLUDING ADHD, TRAUMA, GRIEF, RESILIENCY, PROBLEM-SOLVING, DEPRESSION, EFFECTIVE COMMUNICATION, ANXIETY, SUBSTANCE ABUSE, BULLYING, TEAMWORK


Great Barrington, MA JUNE 8, 2013 — Berkshire HorseWorks, a new venture owned by Egremont resident and EAGALA Certified Practitioner Hayley Sumner will introduce EAGALA Model Equine Assisted Psychotherapy and Learning to the Berkshires at an Open House/Demonstration at Berkshire Equestrian Center, Thursday, June 20th 4-7pm (40 Perry’s Peak Road, Great Barrington). The program will be operating out of the facilities on an ongoing basis. EAGALA Advanced Certified Equine Specialist Jimmy Downes and Certified Mental Health Professional Ellen Donaghey of Relatively Stable , the team who has been helping in the healing process of the children, families and first responders affected by the Newtown, CT tragedy will be conducting the demonstration.

Unlike therapeutic riding where a client is mounted on a horse, EAGALA Model EAP sessions take place on the ground, are facilitated by both a Licensed Mental Health Professional and a qualified Equine Specialist, are solution-oriented and follow a code of ethics. Horse therapy or EAP can be used as both an adjunct or alternative to talk therapy. Horses often break through the barriers that in more traditional modes can stall individuals, couples, families and groups. EAGALA Certified professionals work with a broad spectrum of behavioral/mental health issues and learning goals including ADHD, autism, depression, addiction, eating disorders, couples therapy, stress management, recidivism, teamwork, sexual abuse, leadership skills and trauma-related disorders.

“The Berkshires are a very healing community. I am hoping the EAGALA programs at Berkshire HorseWorks will augment in a new way, the wellness and vitality of our population both individually and in the workplace – arming all with the tools to cope, heal, compete, communicate and thrive in today’s stressful world. BHW will offer not only EAP and EAL sessions for individuals, couples, veterans, and groups, but also tailored workshops and retreats for corporations, agencies, and school districts. The goal is to collaborate with existing initiatives so as to maximize impact and reach,” explained Sumner.

“Because of their size, innate and acute sensitivity, and non verbal nature, horses have a unique appeal helping clients of all ages become more engaged in the therapeutic process,” said Lynn Thomas, Licensed Clinical Social Worker and founder and Executive Director of EAGALA. “This form of therapy is especially helpful for children and their families as the horses provide an emotionally safe way to project the strong and difficult feelings stemming from trauma and loss.”

Clients, for example, might be charged with the task of helping a horse through an obstacle. Instead of simply talking about their problems or being led to solutions, the client works with the animal to find solutions. The horse acts as teacher and unlocks the client. The animal facilitates emotional breakthroughs, and the effect, therapists report, can be magical.

Why EAGALA?

EAGALA is a nonprofit organization developed in 1999 to address the need for resources, education and professionalism in the fields of Equine Assisted Psychotherapy and Equine Assisted Learning. The association has set the standard for professional excellence in how horses and humans work together to improve the quality of life and mental health of individuals, families and groups worldwide. In partnership with the Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation (TRF), EAGALA provides an opportunity for a second career for horses retired from racing. EAGALA has more than 3,700 members in 41 countries and continues to grow. For more information on EAGALA go to www.eagala.org.

Visit www. berkshirehorseworks.com for more information.

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