Inspiring Personal and Professional Development

Training & Certification Overview

The HERD Institute® offers Equine-Facilitated Psychotherapy & Learning Certifications for mental health practitioners, coaches, educators, and training professionals. Our training focuses on teaching students the philosophical, theoretical, and experiential process of incorporating equines into working with their specific client populations. Through the help of our herd of horses, students will gain a deeper understanding of how to fully engage their participants. Our certification programs are offered through a hybrid of online and in-person training available throughout the USA, Canada, and the UK.

Foundation Equine-Facilitated Psychotherapy Training (EFP)

Equine-Facilitated Psychotherapy Training for Mental Health Practitioners. This training is our Foundation Level and is comprised of 6 Online Modules (self-directed), 6 Live Webinars, and two 5-day Practicums. Admissions occur in January, March, and September in each year.

Advanced Equine-Facilitated Psychotherapy Training (EFP)

Our Advanced Equine-Facilitated Psychotherapy Certification is for our HERD Foundation EFP Graduates. This training expands on and deepens the learning from our Foundation EFP Certification and is made up of two (2) online modules, four (4) live webinars, and one (1) in person practicum.

Our EFL Foundation Certification combines one online learning module, live webinar, 2 mentoring sessions, written assignment, and one 4-Day in-person Practicum. The program is designed to be accessible and affordable.

Equine-Facilitated Learning Training (EFL) Advanced

Our EFL Advanced Certification advances your understanding of the principles of The HERD Model™. You can begin to offer your services after attaining your EFL Foundation Certification. Completion of EFL Foundation is a prerequisite for EFL Advanced enrollment.

Why Horses?

It is now well evidenced that pets are good for our health. Animals are assisting in therapeutic activities in a variety of settings, from schools, nursing homes, hospitals and prisons, to rehabilitation for veterans. Therapeutic riding improves motor co-ordination and sensory awareness for those with cognitive and physical disabilities. Horses engage us on an empathic, compassionate, emotional level, and heighten our awareness of how we relate to those around us. At The HERD Institute®, we believe that the relational nature of horses can help to facilitate any transitional process, be it at work or at home. We offer Certification Programs in Equine-Facilitated Psychotherapy and Learning for practitioners to work in a range of settings with individuals, couples, families, and groups.

Horses live in the present moment and bring themselves into relationship authentically. Horses are highly attuned to human emotions and challenge us to stay congruent with our feelings when relating with them. In return, they offer us non-judgmental and honest feedback, and teach us to be more aware of the connections between our mind, body, and emotions through our breath and body sensations. This allows us the opportunity to make contact with ourselves and our environment and relate to others in a different way.

What’s the difference between EFP and EFL?

EFP is conducted by a licensed mental health professional. EFL sessions are led by experienced group facilitators, with a background in personal development, corporate training, human resources, or coaching. The focus is on the group and corporate education or individual coaching rather than personal therapy. Practitioners of EFL do not need to be licensed mental health professionals.

We believe that the skills required as an EFP practitioner are very different to those needed to be an effective EFL coach or trainer. While there are overlaps in these skills, the focus and the intention of the sessions are distinct. For this reason, The HERD Institute® offers two separate certifications.

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