What is the Shekinah Trust?
We are a charitable trust established in 2012 to facilitate access to Equine Assisted Therapy or Learning for residents of the North West of England.
What is EquineAssisted Therapy and Learning?
Equine Assisted Psychotherapy (EAP) is a form of therapy incorporating horses to assist in emotional growth and learning. It is a collaborative effort between a licensed therapist and a horse professional working with the client and horses to address treatment goals. Because of its intensity and effectiveness, it is considered a short-term, or 'brief' approach.
EAP is experiential in nature. This means that participants learn about themselves and others by participating in activities with the horses, and then processing (or discussing) feelings and behaviour patterns. EAP does not involve riding; work with the horses is done on the ground, with no prior horse knowledge needed.
EAP is a powerful and effective therapeutic approach that can have an incredible impact on idividuals, youth, families and groups. It has been used successfully to address a variety of development needs including behavioural issues, attention deficit disorder, PTSD, substance abuse, eating disorders, depression, anxiety, relationship problems and communication needs.
Equine Assisted Learning (EAL) is similar to EAP, but here the focus is on learning goals.
Non-verbal communication, assertiveness, creative thinking and problem solving, leadership, taking responsibility, teamwork and relationships, confidence and attitude are several examples of the skills which can be developed. EAL still involves the mental health professional and horse professional working with the clients and horses.
The potential applications for both EAP and EAL are limitless!
Why is the Trust needed?
Provision of Equine Assisted Psychotherapy/Learning is a costly business, each session involving as it does, a Mental Health Practitioner, an Equine Specialist and a team of horses. Often, those who could most benefit from it are simply not in a position to pay for it.
The Shekinah Trust has been established in recognition of this with the following aims:
To provide grants for short term therapy for individuals demonstrating both an ability to benefit from EAP/EAL and an inability to pay for it.
To partner with other agencies to establish projects targeting particularly hard to reach groups with short term programmes of EAP/EAL.
To raise and manage funding for the above.
The Shekinah Trustees are committed Christians and see their work in establishing and administering the Trust as motivated by their faith. However, clients of any faith or none are equally welcome, and all EAP/EAL funded by the Trust will be to the strictest professional standards.
You can find more information about EAP by watching the BBC Countryfile episode on 'Mental Health Awareness', first broadcast on 14th May 2023 and available on iPlayer.