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TOPIC: AL Trifolium Cura Program

AL Trifolium Cura Program 4 years 8 months ago #225

AL Trifolium Cura Holistic Equine Assisted Therapy Education Program

This program is designed twofold, for people who wish to become professional in equine assisted personal development; and for professional certified psychotherapists who wish to acquire a serious post-training or specialisation in equine assisted therapy
  • personal development assisted by free equines
  • psychotherapy assisted by free equines

In the holistic personal development assisted by free equines program the aim is to develop your own project, to build your activity with solid psychotherapeutic and group dynamic foundations. The certificate issued at the end of the program might be accepted by certain Gestalt institutes as a first cycle. This training is available to all who complete the prerequisites.

In the holistic psychotherapy assisted by free equines program, the aim is to develop your own project and to acquire the capacity of theorico-clinical elaboration based on semiology and phenomenology in interspecies work. We will adjust to your psychotherapy orientation. This training is available to certified psychotherapists with a minimal training of four years, and a training in psychopathology.

About Equine Assisted Therapies
According to psychologist Janice Ritu Esbjörn "There is no specific model for Equine assisted Therapy, for this reason the arrangement of sessions and activities are completely dependent on the creativity and training of the therapist ... The therapists have their unique way of work according to their theoretical approach, their knowledge of equine behavior, their personal history with horses, clients with whom they choose to work etc.. "
In different Equine Assisted Therapies practices we find two constants. First is, even if aproximately a third of the work is done on foot, horses are usually ridden at some time. Secondly, the horse is brought alone in a separated enclosure thus separated from her fellows for the session with a patient and a therapist. The main reason invoked for separating a horse from the herd or tie her up is the security of the person.

The living conditions of equines (and all beings) are critical for their health and well-being, particularly in the therapy work, because the horses kept in cages, used and/or misused respond by quite differently to human contact than those living in species appropriate conditions. This answers the question if the horses are able or competent to facilitate therapeutic care. For if any therapist goes through difficult moments of life and that even in those moments she or he receives his patients, we can not conceive therapeutic work with a colleague or assistant facilitator, even inter-species, which is in a durable state of suffering and even less if it is we who inflict it.

The AL Trifolium Cura holistic perspective
For the sake of coherence and integrity we decided a few years ago to give back freedom to our horses. We don’t ride them anymore. We removed the fences to open one large space. We removed the saddles, bridles, bits, reins, halters and especially all metal, and we opened the doors of the boxes. We offer them as much as possible a life that seems more in accordance to their nature. We allow them to live together, to bond without interfering, to have disputes and special friendships. They live freely on fourty acres of hills, separated by hedges and oak woods, freely guided by laws that escape us « civilized » humans.

When we go to meet them, the horses are free to go or to stay, to refuse the proposed activity (by us), to propose an alternative, to participate or not. We do not use coercion or blackmailing, no food, no strings nor round pen nor any type of fencing to separate them ....

We have observed that the free horses take initiatives and remain in stressful therapeutic situations with some people when they could actually freely go. They seem to know things about us like where we hurt. The mare Queen bumped her head repeatedly in the Felix’s chest for three months, she stopped when doctors discovered him a lung cancer. The colt Rocco pulled with insistance on Gitta’s pants when she trailed at the back of the group, until she told us that she had had her two legs broken precisely there and she could hardly walk down that slope…

We have a great number of clinical examples that show how the encounters with horses are convoking and of high intensity. The interaction freely given by a horse or by a herd demands an immediate realignment of embodied mindfulness and is always totally meaningful in the overall situation.


For professionals we offer specialized advice and theoretical-clinical support based on Gestalt therapy & theory and on phenomenology. We will adjust to your psychotherapeutic branch and fundamental theories to help you build your project.

AL Trifolium Cura Holistic Equine Assisted Therapy group/herd arrangments, methodology & benefits

The group :
  • In the Trifolium Cura group/herd arrangments, the human group sessions within the herd alternate with talk circles in nature and traditional therapeutic group situations
  • All situations are groupal except one individual meeting session with a horse in the presence of the therapist, the other participants watching remotely. This meeting is then worked on within the group.
  • Everyone is free to participate or not the proposals (same as horses).
  • Groups are preferably heterogeneous in terms of gender, age, origin, situation, special needs, etc.
  • A photographer is present, the photos are published with the agreement of the participants.

The talk circles before and after times with horses allow to appreciate what is occurring and how it occurs (mastication), without explaining why nor seeking a cause (non causal). We support the passage of the reason (thought without affect) to embodied thought, we search for the viewpoint at work. We encourage to un-individualise modes, what happens is elaborated "between", it is not about "who is it from", it is about "where does it pass through". We do not seek to define an emerging object or bright figure, we sollicitate the « being » and the « relating », we aim to refine awareness of atmospheres. It is an invitation to experience kairos.

The herd :
Concerning the arrangments with the horses, we have determined 5 fundamentals according to Academia Liberti standards
  • At all times horses have complete freedom to respond or not respond to the invitation to participate in the proposal of humans, and to take initiatives
  • No harness nor any means of coercion shall be used to force the horses to any psychological or physical activity
  • Horses will in no case be separated from the herd, even for a therapy session
  • Horses will not have been ridden nor worked under any circumstance for at least one year
  • Any horse participating in a therapy session will be healthy by species appropriate living conditions, and will have been barefoot for at least one year.


    Methodology :
    The progression in the workshops is based on the meaningful orientation process, according to the gestaltist curve of contacting (pre contact, contact, full contact, post contact)
    • During the pre-contact we support the expression of individuality. We favor proposals that have the group/herd work in a double movement of confluence with a process of individuation. We invite to take the time to feel what is there.
    • During the contact we bring novelty defusing automation, that what is taken for granted (mainly around horses) and personality modes, which allows to go through discomfort, and we support the rise of excitment related to the identification of what is next.
    • Full contact: at one point there is a high intensity convocation of presence. We encourage people to experience the continuity of emotion. We go from ever more perceptive situations and increase the contact areas, and we favour interactions with the horses that support sensations. We invite to pay attention to what is unfinished.
    • During the post contact we encourage to notice groupal identifications which developed from bonding such as "we have become a tribe", or in groups of women who spontaneously call themselves "sisters". We encourage to realize how "I" contributes to "the greater" from observed examples in the herd (personal talents of service to the group), to identify how this group fits into larger social movements and to locate sources of strength to envision the next.

    The benefits

    Observation of refined equine socio-sensual structures recalls the fine pre-conquest matriarchal societies in which specific personal talents are put to the service of the group by functioning simultaneously individualistic and collective.

    The human/horse interpenetration allows humans to experience synchronic (nonverbal) actions of the herd, and tactile communication in a complex flow of collective sentient immediacy.

    With horses strongly convoking exploratory improvisations of high intensity provide a direct experience, these instantly make apparent the (non) limits by the immediacy of equine responses & reactions. This allows adjustment of discrepancies between intention and manifestation.

    Immersing in a herd on large natural spaces increases awareness and sensitivity to bioresonance. Ensue a greater awarenes of the pathogenic life conditions of the present world. This enables concrete choices and adjustments in social, professional, and personal life, lifestyle, behavior etc..

    Horses do not approaching people who are caught in roles and appearances, equines highlight artificial masks through their attitudes and interventions. Emotional coordination with an equine requires a quality of presence as "naked" and authentic as possible, and brings significant emotional rewards.

    Our adult horses met late in life and form a recomposed family herd. The relational dynamics of horses among horses allow human family, gender and group metaphors.

    In the process towards a satisfactory socio-affective coordination within a herd of equines, it is necessary to socialize, to adjust and to interspecies, interrelated & interdependent « herd evolve ». Then the experience becomes a kind of experiential empathetic maelstrom.

    Dominique
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