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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.