Join us at Chinchilla October 13th and 14th

A team of volunteer Qualified Counsellors will be heading to Chinchilla as part of Mental Health week to facilitate FREE Equine Assisted Therapy Sessions.

The event will be hosted by EATA and all funds raised will go to Animal Therapies Limited to help provide support in mental health for rural and remote people.

Sessions will be facilitated at the Chinchilla Showgrounds where our therapists and horses will be ready and waiting to meet you.

All sessions are 1 hour and will be facilitated by a qualified Equine Assisted Mental Health Practitioner. 

Session will be available on the 13th and 14th of October at:

9 am, 10:30 am, 2 pm and 3:30 pm

Meet the Therapists

Chris Swan

Chris is a qualified counsellor specialising in Equine Assisted Therapy, he draws upon Gestalt, Sandplay, Art therapy and is trauma informed.Chris's warm gentle nature and desire to help people from all walks of life ensures clients are held and given space to become more self-aware and self-confident.

Trish (Tricia) Richardson

Equine Assisted Mental Health Practitioner & Counsellor with over 50 years of lived horse experience. Horses have always been a part of this journey and are a fundamental part of Trish's life including work partners on cattle stations and a horse training business.

Rachel Farr

Rachel Farr is a qualified Equine Mental Health Practitioner with a Post Graduate in Community and Youth Work. Rachel has over 20 years industry experience working in the community services field, with significant experience in working with clients who experience mental health, are transitioning out of an institutional setting or suffering with addiction, or looking for strategies for recovery. Rachel uses a gentle, grounded approach alongside her herd of horses.

Sabrina Stephens

Sabrina has a Diploma in Counselling and a certification in Neuroluinguistics Kinesiology. Sabrina provides a trauma informed, safe and compassionate space that invites her clients to discover their true self, and supports them to explore positive changes across all aspects of their life.

Jen Chester

Jen has been working as an Expressive Arts Therapist for 11 years and 5 years ago added Equine Assisted Psychotherapy to her practice. She works with clients of all ages creating a safe, compassionate space to hold the client during a session, which may include Expressive Arts Therapy, mindfulness and connection with the natural world during the time spent with the horses.

Sharon Morissey

Sharon holds a Diploma in Counselling and Equine Assisted Therapy, along with an MBA (Exec), Grad Dip BA, and Grad Cert in Management. Sharon is passionate about her work with her clients and her partner horses. She is flexible and collaborative in her approach ensuring a comfortable and safe environment where her clients can work together on their goals.

Donna Rose

Donna is an Equine Assisted Therapy (EAT) counsellor with recent certificates in Somatic Experiencing and Neuro Affective Touch. Donna’s inspiration to work in EAT came from 5 years of facilitating self-awareness programs through Equine Assisted Learning. Donna supports people to deepen in their capacity to be more present and create opportunities for their own wisdom to arise.

Laurie Fry

Laurie is currently studying with Equine Assisted Therapy Australia RTO no: 41482, to become a qualified equine assisted mental health practitioner. Horses have been a big part of Laurie’s life. Laurie decided to embark on her journey last year to become an Equine Assisted Mental Health Practitioner and combine her two loves of horses and people. Laurie will be in Chinchilla to greet you and make you feel welcome with a warm smile and a cold drink.

Cant attend but still want to help?

All money raised will be allocated to help support people in rural and remote areas. Our aim is to raise enough funds to be able to offer free ongoing sessions to the Chinchilla community and surrounds. These funds will be available via a simple client application process and allocated accordingly. With your help we will be able to continue offering free support.

Equine assisted mental health is an exciting, emerging field and offers potential to both clients and therapists. This therapy is an effective and rewarding way to work with people of all ages, and from all walks of life.

Equine assisted mental health involves the counsellor working with a horse, or a herd of horses, to assist clients in working through their issues and becoming aware of their responses and behaviours. Sessions can provide therapy, support and learning for corporate groups, families, couples, individuals, teens and children.

With equine assisted mental health, no two sessions are the same. Sessions can be very creative and are tailored to the client’s needs, whilst respecting the horse.

Horses are amazing co-therapists. They value relationships and are honest communicators, providing clear feedback. They are also highly perceptive and respond immediately to our body language.

Horses have a highly developed level of awareness and the ability to sense their surroundings. Horses apply this level of perception and awareness in their interactions with people. They respond and give feedback to what is presented, providing a calm, respectful space for us to explore our relationships and ourselves.

Horses are also non- judgemental companions, they accept us and provide a space to just be yourself, a space to relax and feel heard and seen. Horses are great teachers; they naturally embody presence and awareness.

Equine assisted mental health sessions offer so much to participants.

Many people comment that, after a session, they feel calmer and more grounded. They feel clearer about their way forward in situations and better able to navigate tough decisions by gaining much-needed perspective on their lives. Relationships are richer with improved communication, and frustrations are more manageable.

Sessions with the horses teach you a lot about who you are at your core, including how you relate and communicate with the people around you, how you handle problems, where you get stuck in life, what you believe about yourself, and how you might hold yourself back. The sessions also provide you with many skills in mindful living, stress reduction techniques, tips for quieting your inner critic, self-awareness, communication skills, boundary setting, and living authentically.

Horses ask us to show up authentically even when it means we are messy or emotional. Horses can feel if we are not at home in who we are and support us to find the way back to ourself. They provide a safe, gentle and unconditional space for us to fall apart and share our truth, they allow us to really be where we are at.

Everyone who desires a richer life experience can benefit from this type of therapy, even those not interested in horses or those who’ve been afraid of horses. An important facet of the therapy is how you respond when you are in the presence of a horse. Simply being with horses reveals distinctive and significant qualities in each of us. The horses also provide a healing space to just be you and to explore what that means for you.

If you are seeking clarity, direction, and insight this therapy can be useful as a coaching tool. It can also be deeply therapeutic and healing. Research and clinical studies have found Equine Assisted Mental Health sessions to be particularly effective for individuals suffering with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), war veterans, survivors of abuse and trauma, and people battling eating disorders.

Due to it’s unique therapeutic approach, equine assisted mental health sessions are able to support and assist people of all ages with a wide variety of concerns, including:

  • Eating disorders
  • Bullying – both for the committer and the victim
  • Drug and alcohol problems
  • Depression
  • Stress
  • Anxiety
  • Autism and Aspergers
  • ADHD
  • Relationship difficulties
  • Attachment issues – including adoption adjustment issues
  • Low self-esteem
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
  • Behavioural issues
  • Learning issues, and more.

If you are seeking clarity, direction, and insight, this therapy can also be useful as a coaching tool.

You can expect to feel safe and supported throughout the session, both by the therapists and the horses that are there for you. A qualified counsellor who specialises in equine assisted mental health will facilitate your session.

Together, we will begin to focus on your goals for therapy at a pace with which you are comfortable; you are the priority. You will meet the horses with the counsellor and the session may involve you grooming the horses, leading the horses, playing with the horses, simply being with the horses or even engaging with the horses from outside the paddock. You are invited to explore and engage at your own pace and your safety and comfort are our top concerns.

Sessions will take place outside in the fresh air, and one or more horses will participate in the session. The horses are specially trained to be calm, safe horses. You will come to see why we so value their authentic contribution.


Our goal is to empower you with practical life skills.

We provide a gentle, trauma informed approach to counselling.

We work at your pace and offer a personalised approach to work through different issues.

We support you to work with what is happening for you now, become more aware of yourself and your beliefs, uncover your patterns and behaviours and understand the ways that you are holding yourself back or getting stuck.

Each of our practitioners are passionate about supporting you to find an increased sense of well-being in your life.

Our practitioners are trained and qualified therapists, all trauma informed and person centred and offer either equine assisted therapy, art therapy, nature based therapy or room based therapy.

What can you expect at the Chinchilla mental health fundraiser?

We will safely incorporate horses into the therapeutic practice and interventions so that sessions are mutually beneficial for both horse and human.

Body based self awareness to support health and healing through somatic awareness building exercises and mindfulness practices.

Trauma theory and trauma informed practice; our therapists understand how individuals are impacted by trauma and the will apply the principles of trauma informed care.

A basic understanding of neuroscience- understanding the brain and the nervous system.
Relational practice- honouring difference, cultural sensitivity, humility, awareness and safety.

A 1 hour session where you will work with a qualified therapist and a horse. You may or may not interact with the horse, this will be completely up to you and the horse. 

book a session

Our Chinchilla Sessions are now open for booking. Please be aware that we expect the sessions to fill fast. The attending Therapists are volunteering their time, and funding the trip themselves, we therefor hope that if you need to cancel your session you can provide as much notice as possible. 

We look forward to seeing you soon.