About me

Hi, I'm Lavinia, I am a senior accredited and registered psychotherapist with the BACP. I have been working together with my colleague Martha (who is a horse specialist) since 2013, offering Psychotherapy using horses.

Therapy with horses - let me tell you a little more about what to expect.

People are social animals and we communicate primarily with words. However, sometimes we find experiences and feelings difficult or impossible to put into words. We also express a great deal with our bodies.

Horses are also social animals but they are prey animals whose safety depends on successful signal communication with each other. They are primed to 'read' our signal communication and to respond.

We often find that the links between the experience of being with the horses and other elements of clients' lives are surprisingly powerful.

What is psychotherapy with horses used for?

It is helpful in areas of relationship and personal difficulties. These can include: anger management, anxiety, bereavement, combat stress, cultural issues, depression, health-related issues, identity problems, loss, parenting issues, personal development, redundancy, self-esteem, sexual identity, sexuality, sexual abuse, spirituality, stress, trauma and work-related issues.

What is involved in a session?

We begin our sessions with the horses (currently a herd of 6). My colleague Martha is the 'horse specialist' and she leads this part of the session and is responsible for safety throughout. We have a number of options available for you which include:

  • Standing with the horses and doing nothing - horses love doing nothing whereas we humans often need help with this!
  • Grooming - a lovely way to connect with a horse.
  • Take one or two for a walk in the woods; use the arena to discover what it feels like to communicate and negotiate with a horse - learning to stand our ground with a fast animal weighing 500kg can have quite an impact on how we think about ourselves.

In the second part of the session, the client and I have a chance to explore this experience and its associations to the issues and pressures that have brought someone into therapy. Where some clients may find it too overwhelming to be inside one-to-one, we stay outside and talk while grooming a horse.

No experience with horses necessary! 

There is no riding involved and you do not need any prior experience of horses. At least half of each session is outside, and we work in a peaceful, beautiful corner of the countryside - this in itself is also therapeutic.  

If there is anything you are unsure on, or if you have any questions as to whether we can help you, please get in touch and I will be happy to discuss this with you.

Training, qualifications & experience

I am a psychodynamically trained (through WPF North), BACP senior accredited practitioner. Through the Northern School of Child and Adolescent Psychotherapy, I have completed Infant and Young Child Observations and courses on Personality Development, working Psychodynamically with Adolescents and the Systems and Psychodynamics of Work and Organisations. I hold an MBA from Bradford University. I have previously worked in several organisations as a therapist with adults and young adults and held management roles in the last 3 of these.

Martha is a qualified British Horse Society assistant instructor and has trained in Australian Natural Horsemanship with Ken Faulkner. She has an MA in applied drama in the prison and probation services. Separate from the therapy work she is a coach and trainer for people looking for a better relationship with their horse.

Member organisations

Registered / Accredited

Registered / Accredited

Being registered/accredited with a professional body means an individual must have achieved a substantial level of training and experience approved by their member organisation.

BACP

British Association for Counselling & Psychotherapy

BACP is one of the UK’s largest professional bodies for counselling and psychotherapy. Therapists registered with the Association fall into a number of different membership categories such as Individual Member, Registered Member MBACP and Registered Member MBACP (Accred), each standing for different levels of training and experience. MBACP (Accred) and MBACP (Snr Accred) members have achieved a substantial level of training and experience approved by the Association.

Registered members can be found on the BACP Register, which was the first register to achieve Accredited Voluntary Register status issued by the Professional Standards Authority. Individual Members will have completed an appropriate counselling and/or psychotherapy course and started to practise, but will not appear on the BACP Register until they've progressed to Registered Member MBACP status.

All members are bound by a Code of Ethics & Practice and a Complaints Procedure. Accredited by the Professional Standards Authority.

Accredited register membership

British Association for Counselling & Psychotherapy

Accredited Register Scheme

The Accredited Register Scheme was set up in 2013 by the Department of Health (DoH) as a way to recognise organisations that hold voluntary registers which meet certain standards. These standards are set by the Professional Standards Authority (PSA).

This therapist has indicated that they belong to an Accredited Register.

Photos & videos

Fees

Additional information

60 minute session £60

90 minute session £90

We offer a free 30-minute introduction in which to meet us and the horses.

Availability

Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
Morning
Afternoon
Evening
Night

Otley
North Yorkshire
LS21

Type of session

In person