Intensive family workshops are a powerful tool for families to reconnect and heal from painful conflict, trauma, divorce, substance abuse, and other complex challenges. Through this experiential process, entrenched patterns quickly emerge that are easily identified by family members. Working together with the horses helps families bypass what are often defensive reactions, while providing opportunities to immediately apply new skills.
Using principles of Natural Horsemanship, even the most conflicted families can successfully engage, learn skills of self-regulation, and tangibly experience how these principles parallel their own patterns. Applying this with horses further allows families to develop shared understanding and language to improve their own communication.
What Happens in a Workshop?
In a workshop, you will learn how to:
• Replace old and ineffective patterns of trying to control
• Recognize how old patterns escalate situations
• Apply pressure in ways that still allow for choice
• Respond to resistance in ways that encourage good decisions
• Improve self-regulation skills
• Practice communication with horses and then each other
Most sessions last 2.5 days. Before meeting, we talk with the family and any referral sources/therapists. This way we maximize our time together. Each day, we will spend time on the ground with well-trained horses to learn and practice new skills. We may also spend time riding in our enclosed arena, providing families an opportunity to learn how each responds to new and challenging situations.
We are grateful to Dr. Rebecca Bailey of Transitioning Families for her training and support in this area of specialization. Click here to learn more about her and her program.
A Skype session is conducted with the family to support the integration of new skills. Referral sources and therapists will also be contacted upon request, and more intensive family and parent coaching is also available.
Sandy Newes, PhD
Sandra Newes, Ph.D. is a Licensed Psychologist in Asheville, NC. In her 20+ years of clinical experience with complex clients and families, Dr. Newes has seen firsthand the power of direct experience for transforming relationship patterns. In her private practice, she incorporates experiential, mindfulness, and brain-based approaches into work with clients. She also offers clinical assessment, development, and marketing services for outdoor-based, residential, and multimodal treatment programs.