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Hybrid Learning Model Beneficial to Equine Learning

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IHAC Comm. Team

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Dr. Vicki Kirsch, Equine-Assisted Mental Health Practitioner '22

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Vicki Kirsch with Brodie the horse

For Dr. Vicki Kirsch, the Equine-Assisted Mental Health (EAMH) Certificate program was life changing. As an Associate Clinical Professor in the Department of Social Work at George Mason University and a private psychotherapist, Kirsch had been looking for a more extensive training program that offered in-depth teaching and learning for integrating equines into mental health practice. With a hybrid model featuring online courses and three, in-person workshops, Kirsch had found a program that offered that deeper learning experience.

When asked about her favorite part of the EAMH program, Kirsch shared, “My most useful experiences included activities during the workshops when we were able to practice treatment modalities live. This practice and the feedback provided gave me a solid footing in growing my practice. Working with the cohort both online and in person provided an intelligent and caring learning environment within which to learn. It was very important to me to study with someone doing research and practicing in the field and [EAMH instructor], Nina Ekholm Fry provided this.”

Having completed the program, Kirsch is now able to integrate equine interactions into her private practice, as well as share the knowledge she has learned in George Mason’s BSW and MSW programs.