Hello from Lucy and Mandy (and Katie in the middle:)
Mandy is a current practicing registered health professional (Nurse Practitioner) with more than 20 years working within public and private health settings within Australia and in the UK, predominantly within community counselling, mental health, and addictions nursing settings.
Mandy has tertiary qualifications with three health related Master’s degrees from Adelaide and Canberra and is a Certified Equine and Nature Assisted Psychotherapist Practitioner with the Equine Psychotherapy Institute (EPI) Victoria, Australia. Only EPI trained practitioners can deliver the signature program from the institute developed by Meg Kirby (please see some of her published works below).
Mandy loves horses and their wellbeing and that of her clients is paramount. Through extensive training and an ‘I-Thou’ relationship with horses, they are partners in therapy, no tricks they are what they are and they do what they do. Mandy uses the Equine Assisted Therapy (EAP) scope of practice in her work at EQ Haven and creates safety for clients to explore their feelings, experience challenges, and let go of emotions and achieve calm whilst interacting with horses and nature. Mandy is keenly interested in education and research. Mandy has regular peer and clinical supervision and is currently commencing some research into how equine assisted therapy helps people. Mandy has recently started a Southern NSW and ACT EAP Network for practitioners to connect. During sessions Mandy is curious about clients and what they observe within themselves and that of the horses and this can lead to increased self-awareness and direction for the future. Mandy is the director and principal practitioner with EQ Haven, and all of our certificate and insurances are on display so you can be sure you are receiving a professional service. Both Mandy and Lucy regularly host ‘an Introduction to Equine Assisted Therapy Day’ for potential practitioners across Australia as representatives of the Equine Psychotherapy Institute in the purpose-built stables – ‘Katie’s Kastle’ training room which is also part art and music studio.
Lucy graduated from the University of the Sunshine Coast with a Bachelor of Occupational Therapy with Honours degree, and is a qualified Equine and Nature Psychotherapy Institute Practitioner. Lucy has 6 years experience as an Occupational Therapist, across Paediatrics and Occupational Rehabilitation. Lucy delivers a comprehensive service that incorporates client and family centred approaches to practice and supports clients to reach their goals by embracing her creativity and making a positive impact.
Lucy has volunteered with the Riding for the Disabled Association, and currently spends most of her time working with children and adolescents. Lucy has experience with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), ADHD, Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD), behavioural disorders, cognitive impairment, intellectual disability and a variety of mental health disorders. Lucy has always wanted to work with clients and horses, since she was young enough to understand what horses were and how they helped her. Lucy focuses on building the foundation of every therapy experience – the therapeutic relationship. This extends to her engagement with clients, horses and the client-horse relationship. Lucy has special interest in supporting clients in being able to sense, feel, notice, name and safely and choicefully express their emotions, and empowering clients to learn to self-regulate using nature-based, mindful and sensory strategies. Lucy has a passion for Equine Therapy, and incorporates her Occupational Therapy and Equine training to provide a holistic service and approach to practice, and motivate children, adolescents and adults to meet their goals.
At EQ Haven, we have some wonderful human equine assistants – Dean and Kara. Our assistants help the therapists conduct their sessions by supporting our horses in a variety of ways and for being available for any situation that may arise. We are also supported by horse body workers, barefoot trimmers and Veterinary services from Gundaroo and surrounds.