CORPORATE LEADERSHIP UTILIZING EQUINE ASSISTED LEARNING

Are you a business owner, manager, or executive?  Do you feel that your company or organization could benefit from learning more about how the inner dynamics and behaviors of your business?  If you or your organization would like to experience the type of accelerated learning in areas of team building, leadership and relationship development, then you have come to the right place.  Our Equine Assisted Learning Programs can help you quickly identify strengths, key issues, and how your company operates as a whole.

Mountain Mule Ranch Equine Facilitated Learning programs utilize the O.K. Corral Method of team building and leadership.  Authentic equine-assisted work honors and integrates natural horse and herd behavior as a model for human mental and emotional health using the equine-assisted philosophies developed by Greg Kersten, Founder of Equine Assisted Psychotherapy. Together with your organization, we provide a dynamic process of building leadership and self-awareness skills through interactions with the equines. Managers and leaders must have a strong team with good interpersonal communication skills, as well as the ability to resolve conflicts quickly.  Utilizing our program and interacting with the equines, team members are able to identify and repair maladaptive behaviors that impact trust and cooperation among the team.

WHY ARE EQUINES UNIQUE?

Equine-assisted work honors the natural behavior of equines and herds.  Equines are skilled at keeping themselves safe and adept at survival; their natural behaviors are optimal for mental and physical health.  In many respects, humans have lost the instinct to keep themselves safe and healthy.  We entrust equines to show us the way back to health.  Work and observation in the equine world lends itself to extremely powerful metaphors into our own patterns, strengths, and the nonverbal messages we send out.  Equine-Assisted Learning (EAL) is a field of practice based on the successes of Equine Assisted Psychotherapy.  We have learned that everyone can benefit from equine-assisted work – not just therapy clients.  EAL uses equine-assisted principles and exercises in a variety of “arenas” from corporate retreats, to church groups, personal coaching, parenting and family dynamics and more!

Pressure/Pain:

Awareness of how our equine counterparts respond (physically or mentally) to pressure (physical or emotional) and pain (physical or emotional) can give us insight into our own responses.  Do we know when we are feeling pressure versus pain?  Do we respond appropriately and healthfully?  Equines teach us how to evaluate and respond to the world around us.

Attention/At-Ease: 

Both aspects of life are essential, but not necessarily in equal parts.  Equines have mastered their individual balance between time at attention, and time at-ease. We learn to identify our own needs and imbalances, as well as those of the people around us. This simple, yet profound principle teaches us to be more effective communicators, business people, friends, and human beings.

Re-Circle Process:

New and unknown circumstances elicit a notable response from equines.  Typically physical, this response demonstrates a safe, measured, and therapeutic way for humans to confront the more fearsome aspects of life.  A mental metaphor can be made to signify the physical Re-Circle Process to optimize our way of perceiving and thinking about situations we encounter every day.

Push/Pull: 

Equines provide both physical and emotional metaphors into our own behavioral patterns.  When do we push?  When do we pull?  Do we do one more than the other?  When do we push and when do we pull?  How does our pushing and pulling behavior affect others?

The Nonverbal Zones: 

Do you know what you are saying when you aren’t saying anything?  Equines make good use of their body language to convey the most basic and important messages to each other.  Humans do the same.  Sometimes what our mouths say is not in alignment with what our bodies say.  The nonverbal zones instruct us to be more effective communicators by aligning our verbal and nonverbal messages.

 

Through participation in our Equine Assisted Learning leadership programs, individuals will learn to:

  • Make choices and take actions based on courage and awareness
    verses automatic, ‘learned’ responses.
  • Develop trust in team members.
  • Develop tools that will help members handle uncomfortable or emotionally
    charged situations more efficiently.
  • Develop conflict resolution skills.
  • Overcome fears that might be limiting productivity.
  • Improve productivity, develop a sense of team, and foster partnerships.

WHAT DO WE DO NEXT?

The first step is to identify you or your team’s needs and how equines can help you to accomplish the mission and vision that you have set for yourself and your organization. Call 717-473-4980 or email the office to set up a time to talk about how our equine programs can provide you and your team the relationship building and leadership skills that you need to be successful.

 

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THE PROCESS OF EMDR FOR PTSD AND TRAUMA

What is EMDR?

The mind can often heal itself naturally, in the same way as the body does. Much of this natural coping mechanism occurs during sleep, particularly during rapid eye movement (REM) sleep. Francine Shapiro developed Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) in 1987, utilizing this natural process in order to successfully treat Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Since then, EMDR has been used to effectively treat a wide range of mental health problems.

What happens when you are traumatized?

Most of the time your body routinely manages new information and experiences without you being aware of it.  However, when something out of the ordinary occurs and you are traumatized by an overwhelming event (e.g. a car accident) or by being repeatedly subjected to distress (e.g. childhood neglect), your natural coping mechanism can become overloaded. This overloading can result in disturbing experiences remaining frozen in your brain or being “unprocessed”. Such unprocessed memories and feelings are stored in the limbic system of your brain in a “raw” and emotional form, rather than in a verbal “story” mode.  This limbic system maintains traumatic memories in an isolated memory network that is associated with emotions and physical sensations, and which are disconnected from the brain’s cortex where we use language to store memories. The limbic system’s traumatic memories can be continually triggered when you experience events similar to the difficult experiences you have been through. Often the memory itself is long forgotten, but the painful feelings such as anxiety, panic, anger or despair are continually triggered in the present. Your ability to live in the present and learn from new experiences can therefore become inhibited.  EMDR helps create the connections between your brain’s memory networks, enabling your brain to process the traumatic memory in a very natural way.

What is an EMDR session like?

EMDR utilizes the natural healing ability of your body. After a thorough assessment, you will be asked specific questions about a particular disturbing memory. Eye movements, similar to those during REM sleep, will be recreated simply by asking you to watch the therapist’s finger moving backwards and forwards across your visual field. Sometimes, a bar of moving lights or headphones is used instead. The eye movements will last for a short while and then stop. You will then be asked to report back on the experiences you have had during each of these sets of eye movements.  Experiences during a session may include changes in thoughts, images and feelings.  With repeated sets of eye movements, the memory tends to change in such a way that it loses its painful intensity and simply becomes a neutral memory of an event in the past.  Other associated memories may also heal at the same time. This linking of related memories can lead to a dramatic and rapid improvement in many aspects of your life.

What can EMDR be used for?

In addition to its use for the treatment of Post-traumatic Stress Disorder, EMDR has been successfully used to treat:

  • anxiety and panic attacks
  • complex trauma
  • depression
  • stress
  • phobias
  • sleep problems
  • complicated grief
  • addictions
  • pain relief, phantom limb pain
  • self-esteem and performance anxiety

Can anyone benefit from EMDR?

EMDR can accelerate therapy by resolving the impact of your past traumas and  allowing you to live more fully in the present. It is not, however, appropriate for everyone. The process is rapid, and any disturbing experiences, if they occur at all, last for a comparatively short period of time. Nevertheless, you need to be aware of, and willing to experience, the strong feelings and disturbing thoughts, which sometimes occur during sessions.

How long does treatment take?

EMDR can be brief focused treatment or part of a longer psychotherapy program.  EMDR sessions can be for 60 to 90 minutes.

Will I will remain in control and empowered?

During EMDR treatment, you will remain in control, fully alert and wide-awake. This is not a form of hypnosis and you can stop the process at any time. Throughout the session, the therapist will support and facilitate your own self-healing and intervene as little as possible.  Reprocessing is usually experienced as something that happens spontaneously, and new connections and insights are felt to arise quite naturally from within. As a result, most people experience EMDR as being a natural and very empowering therapy.

What evidence is there that EMDR is a successful treatment?

EMDR is an innovative clinical treatment which has successfully helped over a million individuals. The validity and reliability of EMDR has been established by rigorous research. There are now nineteen controlled studies into EMDR making it the most thoroughly researched method used in the treatment of trauma, and is recommended by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) as an effective treatment for PTSD.