How GEIR Began:
Founded in 2008 by Duey Freeman & Joan Rieger, The Gestalt Equine Institute of the Rockies provides the most comprehensive equine-assisted training program available. Having extensive trust, experience and training in both Gestalt and Equine-Assisted Psychotherapy (EAP), the founders wanted to create an opportunity for new and practicing therapists to experience the fullness that equine therapy had to offer. After attending other EAP trainings and feeling dissatisfied in the relational quality of the trainings (especially toward the horses), they decided to bring their cumulative decades of experience together to begin their own institute.
Joan now runs the Gestalt Institute of the Rockies, and 4 faculty members co-teach with Duey at the growing GEIR. Relationship, awareness, exploration, and creativity are at the core of Gestalt Equine Psychotherapy™ - not protocols and step-by-step methods that use the horse. Offering a unique certification in Gestalt Equine Psychotherapy™, participants gain an understanding of the therapeutic relationship between therapist-horse-client, and competency in the essential theoretical concepts and experiential process of Gestalt therapy and Relational Horsemanship methods. GEIR provides extensive training in Gestalt Theory and Practice as well as human development, attachment, somatic therapy, family therapy and ethics. Happy Dog Ranch, with whom we share relational values, is the site of our trainings.
GEIR Faculty from left to right:
Rebecca Frank, MA, LPC: Student Faculty
Megan Powers, MA, LPC: Senior Faculty
Duey Freeman, MA, LPC: Founder & Head Faculty
Lisa Hartwick, MA: Student Faculty
Kimberly Rose, M.Ed, NCC: Admissions Coordinator & Student Faculty
Horses are teachers of self-awareness; they are keenly alert, intuitive, emotional, and authentic animals. Like humans, horses are social beings that live together in herds with defined hierarchies, roles, responsibilities, and relationships very similar to our family systems. Horses maintain a state of constant awareness. Their survival depends on instinctively scanning all aspects of their environment. Interacting with horses can help illuminate our patterns of contact, allowing us to receive direct and immediate feedback from the horse on our intentions, behaviors, and incongruities. Gestalt Equine Psychotherapy™ offers the client new opportunities and choices for relationship and emotional growth.