Equine-Assisted Expressive Arts Therapy Level 1 Certificate Program

The Equine-Assisted Expressive Arts Therapy Level 1 (E-A EATx) certificate training through the Trauma-Informed Practices and Expressive Arts Therapy Institute comprises 20 hours of therapeutic horsemanship and experiential learning through an established 6-unit curriculum and corresponding expressive arts exercises (Sykes & Warson, 2021). Attendees will receive a copy of the equine-assisted expressive arts therapy curriculum on site. This training is limited to 15 eligible participants will be held at Legacy Stables in Fort Collins, Colorado. The equine experiential learning curriculum entails: 

1. Predator vs. Prey: Size/body language, vocabulary, humbleness, position in the world, and brain functioning

2. Dependency / Yours/ Theirs: Expectations of roles and importance of self vs. others 

3. Work Together / Non-aggressive: How-when to move to control

4. Mean It / Don’t Be Mean / Set Limits: Healthy limits, safety vs. need vs. want

5. Fear / We All Have It: Using the neocortex to make choices

6. Bring It Together / Control: Round pen/line work to demonstrate 

The expressive arts component will be woven into curriculum combining bilateral gestures and artmaking; visual journaling exercises; fiber arts, nature art; sound, music; breath; and storytelling (lesson plans provided as part of the curriculum). 

The facilitators Elizabeth Warson and Dawn Sykes have been collaborators since 2016 as therapeutic riding instructors for Colorado Division of Youth Corrections, Crime Victim Compensation, individual/family clients, and school-based groups. Both facilitators have a lifetime of work with horses and share a passion for fabric/fiber arts.

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