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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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.
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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.