What are the fees and what type of payment is accepted at Wholehearted Herd Counseling?
How many sessions are recommended and what is your availability?
What happens in the winter and when it rains?
What if I'm allergic to horses?
What should I wear?
Can I come visit the ranch or volunteer?
Do you work with children with cognitive delays or autism?
Why use horses? I would just say it's because horses are the coolest of all animals... but I may be biased... In reality horses are perfect for work with traumatized children because of the way their brains are wired. They are prey animals so their primary focus is safety and searching for danger. When a person is traumatized their brain regions for safety are "muscled up" and they learn to look out for danger at all times too. That poses a problem because that means the part of the brain for problem solving, language, logic etc. are not as well developed or in use when we are scared. Horses help humans to build those regions of the brain (and their own brain) through connected relationships. Horses are awesome at giving us feedback about how we show up in relationships because they are mindful at all times, also known as attunement in the attachment world. They let us know when we are not calm enough to be around or are denying feelings or are struggling with something. Then we can work on it!
What about horse experience? You do not need to have horse experience to benefit from Equine Assisted Psychotherapy! And if you do have horse experience you can expect to gain insight from this kind of therapy as well. This is not going to be like riding lessons and you will not learn skills in horsemanship. What will happen is you will build relationship skills though friendship with a horse. That may involve riding if your treatment goals would benefit from that, but it is largely work on the ground.
What are the fees and what type of payment is accepted at Wholehearted Herd Counseling? Wholehearted Herd Counseling accepts cash, check, and credit cards (there is an extra service fee of 2.9%). Session fees are $145 for a 75 minute session*. Many private insurances will reimburse you for psychotherapy you pay for and we can provide you with the necessary paperwork for you to reach out to your insurance company to reimburse you directly. Wholehearted Herd Counseling accepts Forward Health for those who do not have another private insurance listed and Forward Health is the sole insurance, such as many foster children. Forward Health sessions are 60 minutes. We do accept donations from the community to go toward session fees for those who cannot afford them. There will be a waiting list to access these services once there is enough funds for a series of sessions. See this page to learn more. *Please note that fees may be subject to slight adjustment depending upon the discretion of Wholehearted Herd Counseling.
How many sessions are recommended and what is your availability? It is recommended that when first starting therapy of any kind you attend weekly for at least 6 weeks. I do require a weekly commitment of that time before taking on a new client. This is to ensure quality relationships are formed with the therapist and horse, which is the vehicle for any healing that will happen. Weekly sessions are recommended in general so that there is less time reviewing what happened between each session and more time getting to work on the real issues. The amount of time it takes for progress to happen depends on your goals and the severity and intensity of the trauma. Wholehearted Herd Counseling, LLC is a part-time counseling practice. Not because we only partly care- but because we do this work personally as well as foster parents ourselves! We are open two days a week and have limited time slots. For the most current availability call 715-200-3838. What happens in the winter and when it rains? In Wisconsin, when we can have four seasons within a week, we just work with it! We may be outside with the horses less than during a sunny summer day, but we think your horse friends deserve us to do our best to be with them. During the winter you can be expected to bring snow-pants and boots and we will do our work that way. With that being said, we work with what is best for the horses and clients. If the weather is severe or during snow days etc. we will work together, if possible, to reschedule your session.
What if I'm allergic to horses? Your therapist will be too! I encourage you to consult with your doctor before starting services and take your prescribed allergy medication regularly. Like always, we should listen to our bodies and stop or take breaks when needed.
What should I wear? We require clients to wear close-toed shoes. No cowboy or cowgirl boots needed (but we will agree it's more fun to). Dress according to the weather. Bring a rain jacket if it's rainy. Bring a coat, snow-pants, and boots when it is snowy.
Can I come visit the ranch or volunteer? The ranch does not allow visitors to protect the confidentiality of our clients. We do occasionally host open houses and group tours so keep an eye on the Instagram page for opportunities to visit the ranch. We are not accepting volunteers for work with clients due to the nature of therapeutic work and confidentiality needs. In the future we would love to consider working with a college intern, however.
Do you work with children with cognitive delays or autism? At Wholehearted Herd Counseling, LLC we treat trauma and attachment issues in children and teens. If trauma/attachment is the primary need for your child and they have autism or cognitive delays, other considerations to see if your child is a good fit for this model are: ability to process verbally, manage stimulating environments, and maintain physical safety around the horses. If autism or cognitive impairments are the primary need for your child and they would like equine therapy, a great service I recommend is Stable Hands in Wausau as it is their mission to serve those with special needs. http://www.stablehandstherapy.com/