Equine-Facilitated Wellness incorporates a range of counselling, education and personal development approaches, strategies and techniques which bring humans and equines together in healing and learning environments.
Terms which are currently used in this area of practice include, amongst other: Equine Facilitate Counselling, Equine Experiential Learning, Equine Assisted Professional Development, Equine Guided Education and Equine Assisted Personal Development.
The Term Equine-Facilitated Wellness (EFW) is intended to encompass all of the above terms.
In EFW, clients will typically work towards therapeutic healing, self awareness and personal growth. This will be facilitated by Certified Equine Facilitated Wellness Practitioners in carefully planned interactions with specially selected horses.
CanTRA's certification in Equine-Facilitated Wellness is based on the principle that there is a team approach to this valued therapy. Since our inception, CanTRA has had high standards of practice regarding safety and professionalism and our primary concern in the development of any CanTRA sanctioned program or even is for the safety of all involved; clients, volunteers, instructors or horses. We recognize that Equine Facilitated Wellness (or programs with a similar focus) is practiced in many countries and with many differing approaches to this therapy. However, the CanTRA vision for EFW is a one-on-one situation with a two person team of the equine and mental health practitioner working as partners with one horse and one client (always wearing a riding helmet whether mounted or not).
In no circumstance does CanTRA condone a situation where more than one unrestrained horse and/or more than one client are in an arena together at one time.
CanTRA enjoys the benefit of a formal working agreement with the Certification Board for Equine Interaction Professionals (CBEIP), an independent, third-party credentialling body based in the USA. Through CBEIP, Canadian candidates for CanTRA EFW certification have access to "Canadianized" versions of the CBEIP credentialling exams for Mental Health and Education Professionals. www.cbeip.org
See CanTRA's article on Disabilities in the summer 2017 issue of the Canadian Psychological Association's magazine www.cpa.ca