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psychology in the Yarra Ranges

Counselling and psychology for individuals looking for support in harnessing wellness.

Welcome to Harnessing Wellness

Harnessing Wellness psychology is a supportive psychological counselling service located in the beautiful Yarra Ranges.

The psychologists working at Harnessing Wellness are registered with the Australia Health Practitioner Regulation Agency and other professional associations.

At Harnessing Wellness, we believe in offering solution-focused, practical, and evidence-based psychological interventions to support mental health and wellness. Our psychologists have experience working in small rural and semi rural communities. Client confidentiality, privacy and emotional wellbeing are paramount at Harnessing Wellness.

Harnessing Wellness also has staff that are involved in collecting data for researching equine assisted therapy, which as an adjunct animal assisted therapy in its infancy in Australia. Currently there is little evidence-based research to support the efficacy of equine assisted therapy, so ongoing research by psychologists is important to validate working with horses in therapy. Anecdotal evidence, with psychology validated assessment tools, suggests equine assisted therapy can support some people.

Harnessing Wellness staff involved in using the scientist practitioner model in researching and offering equine assisted therapy, have refined horsemanship skills and have certificates in animal assisted interventions.

Harnessing Wellness horses and ponies included in equine assisted therapy are well known to the facilitators and selected based on temperament. They have ongoing training, daily equine-human interaction and participate in learning activities. These equines like others will revert to their natural instincts to keep themselves safe and there are risks involved when working with horses.

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Welcome to the Harnessing Wellness website! I’m Naomi, Clinical Director and registered Psychologist of Harnessing Wellness. I believe our work as psychologists is a privilege. Rapport with clients is the basis of the  therapeutic process and without it harnessing wellness may be difficult.

I am a city-born psychologist, however have worked in semi rural and rural communities for almost a decade. The work settings I have gained experience in include disaster recovery, education, organisational psychology, and private practice. The variety of work has given me experience working with people suffering mental health symptoms from life events, grief and loss, domestic violence, bullying, workplace burnout and vicarious trauma. I love offering counselling to semi rural and rural community members.


I believe in offering practical psychological evidence based interventions so people can apply these strategies in their daily life. Continuing education is of significant importance and I have advanced studies in Child and Family Development (certified by CCFD); Perinatal and Postnatal counselling; Disaster Recovery; Neuro-Linguistic Programming(NLP), Sensori- Motor Psychotherapy and I am currently training in Somatic Experiencing. Key interests of mine are psychological wellness, resilience, post trauma recovery and growth, attachment and research. 

I am registered Psychologist with the Psychology Board of Australia; a member of the General Division of Psychological Practise; Australian Association of Psychologists Inc.; Crisis Intervention and Management Australasia (CIMA); and the International Association of Workplace Bullying and Harassment.  The Co-founder and Director of the Equine Assisted Psychologists Association (EAPA), an organisation supporting registered psychologists offering Equine Assisted Psychology.

Equine Assisted Therapy - The Research

In 2010, Naomi was contracted to write and deliver an experiential, trauma-informed equine assisted therapy alternative to room based counselling for those affected by bushfires in Victoria. The before and after group psychological assessments were an increase in well-being and coping for the majority of participants in the eight week program. However, there is a need for continued research using the scientist practitioner model. Validated psychological assessment tools, with client permission, to assist in gathering this data is the way forward.  Harnessing Wellness continues to explore equine assisted therapy as a potential adjunct therapy for psychological wellness for some people.



As the staff at Harnessing Wellness are registered psychologists and trained in horsemanship, equine assisted psychology sessions are theoretically underpinned by psychological theory and evidence based interventions; Wellness theory; trauma sensitive practices and holistic horsemanship to support safe mental health and well-being.

Sessions are generally at liberty with the horses. This approach is a way of being, not a training method, and is about the presence, free choice, flow and communication between the horses and the participant.  Equine-human interactions with our therapy horses and ponies offer lessons in mindfulness, self–respect, clear communication, connection, self-regulation and healthy boundary setting can be explored.

Harnessing Wellness EAP programs offer a practical psychological counselling option for individuals to participate in therapy emotionally, socially, physically and spiritually.

Psychology & Counselling

What thoughts and behaviours are no longer working?  Psychological counselling can provide an emotional safe place to explore barriers to improving mental health. 

Therapeutic Group Programs

Psychological therapeutic group programs are offered to support specific challenges. Groups are confidential & kept small for a personal integrated approach.

Equine Assisted Therapy

Equine Assisted Therapy is an adjunct therapy for those who enjoy counselling outdoors in nature with horses.

Please Watch My Podcast Here.



Room based Psychological Counselling

Psychologists are trained in areas of human development, behavior and mental processes such as thinking, feeling and memory. Practical psychological counselling begins with talking about what is bothering you, and then exploring strategies to support you in these current challenges.


Therapeutic Group Programs

Therapeutic group programs are offered for support around specific challenges. The groups are confidential and kept small for a personal integrated approach. For example:
Stress management, Anxiety Management, Mood Management


Equine Assisted Therapy (EAT) Life Skills based program

The EAT program offered at Harnessing Wellness is developed and theoretically underpinned by positive psychology, wellness theory, trauma sensitive practices, mindfulness and holistic horsemanship. It is a skills-based program to support clients learn mindfulness, emotional regulation and coping strategies.

Facebook Posts

I had the pleasure of presenting at the @animaltherapies conference on Thursday 20.2.20. Here is a photo of the presentation on ‘Clincial applications in Equine Therapy bushfire recovery interventions a case study’. It was a good reminder to keep doing things that are challenging; the reflection of all that I have learnt since 2009; and that animal assisted therapies are growing in Australia. 🐴😊#animalassistedtherapy #therapy #therapypony #equinetherapy #equineasssitedpsychology #equineassistedtherapy #equineassistedlearning #psychology #psychologistsofinstagram ... See MoreSee Less

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Saturday morning here at Harnessing Wellness Equine Therapy #saturday #horsesofinstagram #horses #equinetherapy #therapypony #harnessingwellness #psychologist #psychologistsofinstagram #yarraranges ... See MoreSee Less

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Getting ready for my presentation today at the Animal Assisted Therapy’s conference. Have an active nervous system right now so trying to breathe slowly:)) ... See MoreSee Less

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Have Questions?

Get in Touch

Naomi Rossthorn
Psychologist (AHPRA PSY0001625335)
0407 549 839

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