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psychology in the Yarra Ranges

Counselling and equine assisted psychology for individuals looking for support in harnessing psychological wellness.

Welcome to Harnessing Wellness

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

We offer both traditional room based counselling and alternative experiential equine assisted psychology. We believe in offering solution focused practical evidence based psychological interventions to support mental health and wellness.

Client confidentiality, privacy, emotional and physical safety at Harnessing Wellness are paramount. Our staff are registered practitioners, who if offering equine assisted psychology have refined horsemanship skills and are trained in delivering animal-assisted interventions. Staff adhere to professional codes of conduct and ethics and are members of professional associations.

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

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As a registered Psychologist, I believe my work is a privilege. I have worked in a variety of settings including disaster recovery, education, organizational psychology and private practice. The variety of work has provided experience working with people  suffering mental health symptoms from life events, grief and loss, domestic violence, bullying,  workplace burnout and vicarious trauma.


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.

Why partner with horses?

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 assessment’s inferred an increase in well-being and coping for the majority of participants in the  eight week program period. Naomi has been working in,  researching and presenting on equine assisted therapy programs ever since.  



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.


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.


The Liberty Equine Therapy (LET) is a psychology program developed from eight years of experience in researching, writing & facilitating equine assisted therapy.



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 Psychology (EAP)

Harnessing Wellness EAP is a therapeutic program developed from eight years of experience in researching, writing and facilitating equine assisted therapy groups for individuals, family, and couples.
The EAP program offered at Harnessing Wellness is developed and theoretically underpinned by positive psychology, wellness theory, trauma sensitive practices, mindfulness and holistic horsemanship to support client growth and well-being.

Facebook Posts

Well Happy looked nice, but from his face I think he probably wanted to be back in the paddock with some Lucerne. Which is what happened when we took the ribbons off. We love Happy 😃 ... See MoreSee Less

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So, why work with horses?⁣

Horses are just one of the animals incorporated in animal assisted therapy.⁣

They are large powerful animals, and in the wild they live in herds with defined roles. ⁣

They function together because cooperating means their survival. ⁣

Herd leaders create this cooperation and harmony by establishing boundaries based on respect, trust and discipline.⁣

Every horse has its own personality which means that one approach that works with one horse may not work with another. 🐴⁣

This creates an opportunity for clients to modify their behaviour and the psychologist to observe how the client reacts to the differing personalities of the horses. ⁣

Want to learn more about equine assisted therapy? Read the new blog on my website. Link in bio 👆🏼
... See MoreSee Less

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Playing in the rain. Happy ponies 🙂 #yarraranges ... See MoreSee Less

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Have Questions?

Get in Touch

Naomi Rossthorn
Psychologist (AHPRA PSY0001625335)
0407 549 839

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