Course Description

Equine-Assisted Expressive Arts Therapy Level One Certificate training comprises 20 hours of  therapeutic horsemanship and experiential learning through an established 6-unit curriculum and corresponding expressive arts exercises (Sykes & Warson, 2021) and principles of psychotherapy and counseling. Attendees will receive a copy of the equine-assisted expressive arts therapy curriculum on site. This training is limited to 10 eligible participants will be held at Legacy Stables https://www.legacystables.com/index.html in Fort Collins, Colorado. 

PLEASE NOTE: This training is by application only. If you are accepted, you will receive a link to a separate course site where you can pay the registration fee of $599 and access course materials and additional information.

Participants in this Certificate Course are also required to enroll in the Nature-Based Expressive Arts Therapy Live Webinar Series [dates to be announced] You can register for that webinar series on this Learning Center Site under "Courses."

The equine experiential learning curriculum entails: 

1. Predator vs. Prey: Size/body language, vocabulary, humbleness, position in the world, and brain functioning

2. Dependency / Yours/ Theirs: Expectations of roles and importance of self vs. others 

3. Work Together / Non-aggressive: How-when to move to control

4. Mean It / Don't Be Mean / Set Limits: Healthy limits, safety vs. need vs. want

5. Fear / We All Have It: Using the neocortex to make choices 

6. Bring It Together / Control: Round pen/line work to demonstrate 

The expressive arts component will be woven into curriculum combining bilateral gestures and art making; visual journaling exercises; fiber arts, nature art; sound, music; breath; and storytelling (lesson plans provided as part of the curriculum). 

The Facilitators: Elizabeth Warson and Dawn Sykes have been collaborators since 2016 as therapeutic riding instructors for Colorado Division of Youth Corrections, Crime Victim Compensation, individual/family clients, and school-based groups. Both facilitators have a lifetime of work with horses and share a passion for fabric/fiber arts.  

Dawn Sykes is the owner and operator of Legacy Stables (1996-present), an equine boarding and training facility. Dawn has bred and trained Morgan horses, showed English Pleasure and English Driving. As a certified and licensed teacher (1986-2021), Dawn was a facilitator for the Discovery program (national school-based model), trained in William Glasser’s Choice Theory, and developed an equine science/therapeutic riding program for the Poudre School District. Dawn’s fabric arts have been exhibited in national and international competitions. 

Instructor(s)

Institute Faculty

Elizabeth Warson, PhD

Elizabeth Warson, PhD, ATR-BC, LPC, NCC, EMDR II, EXAT is the founder of American Indian Art Therapy, based on her faculty research associated with the Graduate Art Therapy Programs at George Washington University and Eastern Virginia Medical School (2004-2013). Elizabeth currently resides in northern Colorado where she maintains an equine-assisted and arts-informed private practice, Healing Pathways LLC. As a faculty member for the Trauma-Informed Practices & Expressive Arts Therapy Institute, she teaches in person and online poly-informed, equine-assisted, and bilateral stimulation/sensorimotor-informed expressive arts therapy courses. Since 2003, her research interests comprise stress and pain reduction interventions for American Indian cancer survivors and their family members, culturally responsive stress reduction and visual journaling, and trauma-informed interventions. Elizabeth is a recipient of a 2010 National Endowment for the Arts (folk and traditional art) for a community-driven Coharie Heritage Empowerment Project, focusing on cultural preservation. Elizabeth received her BFA from the Cleveland Institute of Art in 1989 and an M.A. in Art Therapy from Vermont College of Norwich University in 1993. She completed her Ph.D. in Interdisciplinary Studies, with a specialization in research, from the School of Education at Colorado State University in 2008. Elizabeth has presented at regional and national American Indian and Alaska Native conferences on topics related to medical art therapy, stress and pain reduction interventions, culturally-responsive art therapy, visual journaling interventions, and narrative-based art therapy. Her publications comprise over 20 peer-reviewed journal articles and chapters in books. As a professional artist, she has exhibited her sculptural work nationally and internationally and is a recipient of an Ohio Arts Council fellowship award.

Dawn Sykes

Dawn Sykes is the owner and operator of Legacy Stables (1996-present), an equine boarding and training facility. Dawn has bred and trained Morgan horses as well as showed in English Pleasure, Hunter on the Flat, and English Driving. As a certified and licensed teacher (1986-2021), Dawn was a facilitator for the Discovery program (national school-based model), trained in William Glasser’s Choice Theory, and developed an equine science/therapeutic riding program for the Poudre School District. Dawn’s fabric arts have won first place in national and international competitions.

Apply for September 2021 Cohort

Spaces Are Limited! Submit Your Application Soon!

Because participation in this course is limited to 10 learners, the instructors are accepting applications to insure each participant meets the necessary qualifications for this certificate training. When you register for this course, you will be able to download the required application and upload it to the course site for review. 

Course curriculum

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    • Training Content and What to Expect

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Continuing Education

Continuing Education Information

Counselors/National Board for Certified Counselors (NBCC). Trauma-Informed Practices and Expressive Arts Therapy Institute has been approved by NBCC as an Approved Continuing Education Provider, ACEP No. 6557. Programs that do not qualify for NBCC are clearly identified. Trauma-Informed Practices and Expressive Arts Therapy Institute is solely responsible for all aspects of the programs. 

Texas State Board of Examiners of Professional Counselors. Trauma-Informed Practices and Expressive Arts Therapy Institute is an Approved Continuing Education Provider by the Texas State Board of Examiners of Professional Counselors. Our Texas Provider Number is 2318.

Art Therapy Credentials Board [ATCB]. The ATCB recognizes a variety of CEC activities, including those in the areas of professional and mental health counseling. These activities are clearly outlined in their recertification standards provided to all ATR-BCs in their recertification year and on their website. A minimum of six CECs must be earned in the area of ethics each cycle. If you are licensed as an art therapist in your state, please check with your state board to verify what types of CEC activities are acceptable for license renewal.

California Marriage and Family Therapists, Social Workers and Professional Counselors. As of July 1, 2015, the State of California /Board of Behavioral Sciences [BBS] amended its regulations for continuing education providers to include National Board for Certified Counselors (NBCC) as a "board-recognized approval agency." If you are licensed as a marriage and family therapist, social worker, educational psychologist or professional clinical counselor in California, NBCC Approved Continuing Education Providers are recognized by the BBS to fulfill continuing education requirements. As of July 1, 2015, required CE hours can be accumulated through self-study and distance learning. 

In order to obtain your certificate of continuing education, you will be required to complete short online assignments, the required attendance hours, and the course evaluation questions. Upon completion, you will automatically receive your certificate.