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Institute for Human-Animal Connection

Equine-Assisted Mental Health Practitioner Certificate

A comprehensive and interactive learning opportunity for equine-assisted mental health professionals

The Equine-Assisted Mental Health (EAMH) Practitioner Certificate is a post-masters certificate program for mental health professionals wanting to add equine-assisted work as a treatment strategy to their psychotherapy or counseling practice. The program balances theory with hands-on client work and satisfies the need for education, training and supervision necessary for ethical practice. The certificate program is also open to graduate students in mental health-related masters or doctoral programs and is accessible to international participants.

Delivered through a hybrid mix of distance learning, on-site workshops and supervised client work, the certificate program can be completed in one academic year alongside your practice or studies, regardless of where you live.

The comprehensive program features internationally renowned instructors, guest presenters and one-to-one advising and feedback. A central focus is to understand and provide equine-assisted services that meet the needs of your specific client populations and your professional practice.

The program meets the educational requirements for national board certification through the Certification Board for Equine Interaction Professionals (CBEIP).

Program description

The Equine-Assisted Mental Health Practitioner Certificate program is delivered through three distance learning courses and three residential workshops during one academic year. The program also includes 50 hours of supervised client work and 50 hours of additional trainings.

The program features three central areas of practitioner competencies that appear in each course:

Theory, Ethics, Research, and Knowledge of Field and Profession

A thorough understanding of the field of equine-assisted mental health and its development is created, empowering practitioners to contribute to its future and to build connections to the larger equine-assisted practitioner community.

Delivering Equine-Assisted Treatment and Considerations for Your Practice

Practitioner competency centers on providing ethical and effective services in sustainable ways, both in-session and in your equine-assisted practice overall. This includes facilitation skills (individual and group), treatment planning and design specifically for your client populations, risk management, facility considerations and business models.

Equine-Related Competencies in Equine-Assisted Mental Health

A core part of ethical practice for the equine-assisted practitioner is equine competency. This includes equine welfare as well as selection, assessment, maintenance and training of the therapy horse.

What Makes this program unique?

Rider Hugging Horse     Program Highlights
  • Comprehensive education, training and supervision
  • Balance between theory and practice
  • Distance learning paired with on-site workshops and supervised client work
  • One-to-one advising and feedback
  • Board eligible education and hours
Horses and Goats in Barn Door     Equine Care and Welfare

Understanding equines and their species-specific needs is central to effective, ethical, and relational equine-assisted work. The certificate program emphasizes development of equine competency as an essential part of the equine-assisted practitioner. Previous equine experience is necessary for program admission.

CBEIP logo     Board Certification

The Equine-Assisted Mental Health Practitioner Certificate program meets the educational requirements for national board certification through the Certification Board for Equine Interaction Professionals - CBEIP.

Residential Workshops in Colorado

Three, four-day residential workshops provide opportunity for hands-on, intensive skill building:

Residential Workshop 1:

The focus of this workshop is experiential engagement in a variety of equine-assisted activities while developing understanding about activity design. The beginnings of facilitation practice are introduced.

Residential Workshop 2:

The focus of this workshop is facilitation skill development and other practitioner competencies such as risk management and treatment planning.

Residential Workshop 3:

The focus of this workshop is continued practice and advanced application of equine-assisted mental health as a treatment strategy. Participants have the opportunity to plan and facilitate sessions with clients.

Calendar

COHORT 1:

  • EAMH 1 online: October 2015 - February 2016 (includes Winter Break) (12 weeks)
  • EAMH 2 online: February – May 2016 (12 weeks)
  • EAMH 3 online : June 2016 – August 2016 (10 weeks)
  • Residential Workshop 1: October 2015*
  • Residential Workshop 2: March 2016*
  • Residential Workshop 3: June 2016*

 *Residential Workshops are four-days long and are held in the Denver area. Details will be discussed during phone interviews.


COHORT 2:

  • EAMH 1 online: September 2016 - December 2016 (includes Winter Break) (12 weeks)
  • EAMH 2 online: January 2017 - April 2017 (12 weeks)
  • EAMH 3 online: May 2017 - July 2017 (10 weeks)
  • Residential Workshop 1: September 2016*
  • Residential Workshop 2: March 2017*
  • Residential Workshop 3: June 2017*

 *Residential Workshops are four-days long and are held in the Denver area. Details will be discussed during phone interviews.

eligibility requirements

Eligible applicants to the Equine-Assisted Mental Health Practitioner Certificate program have a master or a doctoral degree from a mental health related program, or are currently a graduate student in such a program. Prior equine experience is necessary for admission.

Mental health related programs include, among others: social work, mental health counseling, marriage and family therapy, addiction counseling, psychology, psychiatry, and psychiatric nursing. Please contact the EAMH Program Coordinator if you are unsure whether your education makes you eligible for the practitioner certificate.

application AND ADMISSIONS

Apply online for the Equine-Assisted Mental Health Practitioner certificate program by clicking here.

 The admission process has two steps:

  1. Submission of completed application form and payment of $25 application fee.
  2. Interview over the phone or in-person with EAMH Program Coordinator.
You will be asked to upload a copy of your master’s diploma (for post-master’s applicants) or an unofficial copy of your transcript (for graduate applicants) from a mental health-related program. You will also be asked to upload your resume. 
The application form contains questions about your prior equine experience. There will be further opportunity to discuss during your interview.

program fees & payment methods

The certificate program fee is $4,800 and registration constitutes an agreement to pay the non-refundable program fee in full. There is also a one-time, non-refundable application fee of $25, due at the time of application.

Payment may be made in full or in installments as follows:

  • $1600 to secure your spot and register for EAMH 1 and Residential Workshop 1
  • $1600 before EAMH 2 and Residential Workshop 2 begin
  • $1600 before EAMH 3 and Residential Workshop 3 begin

Payments are made online by credit/debit card. Special arrangements can be made for third-party payers or for bank account transfers.

FOR MORE INFORMATION

Please contact Nina Ekholm Fry, Director of Equine Programs and EAMH Certificate Program Coordinator, for more information at nina.ekholm-fry@du.edu.

For more details, please visit our dedicated Equine-Assisted Mental Health Practitioners Certificate Program website at: http://portfolio.du.edu/equineassistedmentalhealth

Press Release:  Equine-Assisted Mental Health at University of Denver - New Program Starts in 2015

 For more details and full download of the press release, click here.

 

Photos on this page courtesy of Nina Fuller Photography ©2015