3 Reasons to Try Gestalt with Horses

This article is part of our Mental Health Awareness Month. Brought to you by Touched by a


It’s been proven time and time again that horses offer tremendous therapeutic value. This has spawned a multitude of equine-assisted therapies over the last few decades. Melisa Pearce, founder of Touched by a Horse, has developed a unique contribution to this space, Equine Gestalt™.

An Equine Gestaltist working with a client with the horse facilitating the session. Photos courtesy of Kimberly Beer.

What is Gestalt?

Gestalt is an experiential process that sees humans all as whole and competent. As we walk through life, we sometimes get disconnected from our authentic self through trauma. Because Gestalt is a non-diagnostic modality, it doesn’t look to “fix” what is “wrong.” Instead, Gestalt seeks to connect us through self-awareness to our authentic self. It renews our wholeness and allows us to live in balance and joy.

Horses are natural Gestaltists who seek to always live in balance. They are also motivated, partially through a means of self-protection, to keep their humans in balance as well. When we are more stable, their stable is a happier place! By modeling horses’ Gestalt ways, as well as using their keen intuition, horses support humans to greater mental and emotional health.

Equine Gestalt partners a human Gestaltist who is familiar with how to guide a client on their journey from disconnection to wholeness with their partner horse Gestaltist. This partner will provide feedback and support to the client throughout the process. The two work together in combination to give the client the best possible outcome to the situation at hand.

In an Gestalt session, you’ll experience a form of therapy that is unlike any other. Photos courtesy of Kimberly Beer.

What really makes the Equine Gestalt Coaching Method® unique and different from other forms of therapy that you may be more familiar with? Here are three reasons gestalt with horses is unique and why you should consider this form of healing.

Non-Traditional Therapy

Yes, you could go to traditional therapy and talk about your feelings and what’s bothering you. However, with Gestalt you’re able to be in an experience where you can finish what’s been unfinished. You can then move on from the trauma that’s holding you back. Gestalt sessions efficiently allow you to feel complete much quicker than traditional therapy.

Built on Wholeness  

Most therapy sessions are built on a model of intellectual understanding. Whereas Gestalt is built on wholeness and coming into your true form. Gestalt provides you with awareness. It forces you to understand all parts of yourself and how they come together and form who you really are.

Figure out the Root of the Problem

By finishing what’s been unfinished with past trauma in your life in two to three Gestalt sessions, you’re able to quickly discover the root of the problem. You will do this by creating your own solution to the situation at hand through experiments suggested by your coach. After you’ve determined the root cause, you’re able to integrate the truth throughout your entire body to cut out the trauma and be done.

If you’re interested in learning more about the Equine Gestalt Coaching Method® or would like to find a coach near you click here.


Related Articles
Beyond the Saddle: Horses Can Improve Your Life in Every Arena
How Horses Heal
How Your Horse Models Good Mental Health Practices for You
Simple Ways to Strengthen the Human-Horse Bond

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