Release, Connect, Grow
Johanna Marie Kalkreuth is a Registered Psychologist and founder of InStep Equine, an equine facilitated wellness program offering individual sessions, workshops and trainings for youth and adults.
Johanna is a life-long horse lover, rider and founder and practitioner of Dynamic Relational Horsemanship. She is a long time student of mindfulness meditation and a certified facilitator for Spacial Dynamics® somatic movement therapy.
Combining mindful movement work with equine work to supplement her strong clinical skills as a psychologist, Johanna’s approach is unique and believes strongly in each individual’s capacity to grow and heal.
Equine Facilitated Counselling (EFC) sessions are unique to the individual(s) present and the particular issues at hand. Sessions generally involve a combination of horse observation, mindfulness and connection work, movement, natural horsemanship, and riding. Experiential work is combined with verbal check-ins and conversations/discussion to facilitate application of equine experiences to everyday life, relationships and the counselling goals that have been identified. No two EFC sessions are alike, as the fundamental goal of the Instep Equine approach is to meet what arises in each moment with the horses, and bring what is needed to facilitate healing.
Children and Adolescents
Equine Facilitated Counselling for young people is particularly effective in that it offers alternative approaches to therapy that are often more suitable for the still developing mind. Through the facilitation of relationship and experiential work with the horses, youth are invited into the kind of connection and awareness that helps them know themselves better. The therapeutic work with horses cultivates the important capacities of connection, empathy, attentiveness, self-awareness, impulse-control, boundaries, and how to both follow and lead, and find what is needed in different situations. Youth often report experiencing safety and connection at the ranch that allows them to access and talk about the more difficult experiences in their lives. And, even if talking is not possible for any reason, being with the horses and hearing about the horses’ stories and relationships often reaches youth in a way that office-based work often does not.
Equine Facilitated Counselling (EFC) provides clients with a unique opportunity for awareness and presence, connection with self and other, and the safe and honest space that the horses hold for important personal insights and profound shifts in habitual ways of being. Working with the horses offers clients not only the important and authentic experience of connecting with the whole self, it facilitates experientially the actualizing of changes that are being sought.
Working with the horses in a group setting provides not only the individual experiences with the horses, but also brings these experiences into a social context. Group work can be facilitated with a variety of different populations and goals, including working with addictions, self-esteem/empowerment, boundaries, relationship, team-building (including corporate team-building), body-image, adolescent issues, etc. The approach to group counselling often involves bringing together various themes and goals to provide an overall therapeutic and personal-growth experience. Groups can be designed as a single-time hourly or daily, or as an ongoing 3 to 12 session weekly/biweekly or monthly.