Train to Facilitate

In order to become a TEE Facilitator, both civilians and veterans must have the following:

  • First, a desire to serve veterans or other populations who would benefit from experiential learning and repatterning of current attitudes and behaviors.
  • Second, the emotional maturity required to recognize and handle one’s own triggers in a responsible way, the curiosity to know oneself fully and the capacity to hold space for clients’ emotions…vulnerability, fear, anger, frustration, sadness and grief.  Facilitators also need to know how to ask invitational questions rather than imposing their ideas or analyzing clients.  The ability to ask permission is key.
  • Third, a depth of experience with horses as well as the willingness to learn a new way of being with them.  All must be competent enough to handle emergencies as well as enough respect and appreciation to give program horses the space to participate as co-facilitators in this process. 

The Equus Effect Program is both unique and valuable in terms of its ability to deliver effective and long-lasting benefits to veterans and other populations because:

  • The content of this curriculum focuses on resilience tools and relationship skills that warriors, and others making their way from one lifestage/culture to another, can use to establish healthy, authentic relationships within themselves as well as others with whom they live and work.

The practical, down-to-earth tools we teach are drawn from the following:

  • Internal Family Systems
  • The Masterson Method
  • Polyvagal Theory
  • Heartmath
  • Eponaquest Worldwide
  • Karla McLaren.

The opportunities we give clients to change their habitual ways of thinking, feeling and behaving are introduced and taught from the bottom up.  From direct knowing through experience to learning through didactic presentation of materials,  we offer participants the opportunity to discover for themselves what it is like to lead with their best selves.  Our four-session curriculum also offers clients the opportunity to practice and report on how these changes have impacted their personal and professional lives. 

Since this model is not a medical one and focuses on moving past barriers and resistance to change through direct knowing and group learning, it is also important that both veteran and civilian facilitators appreciate the nature of their own triggers/resistances to new ways of being.  Facilitators are encouraged to describe  both their own forms of resistance to change and how this program has given them tools they need to free up and redirect their energy in more productive ways.

“As from within, so without.”  

Based on our experience over the past five years with this program, we believe that the curriculum itself, our deep understanding of these populations and the credibility we have now established with organizations with whom we collaborate, will provide new facilitators with the opportunity to enjoy ongoing success.

Our program is intended to complement ongoing treatment for trauma, addiction, counseling and professional support systems.  To this end, we always try to introduce our principles and practices by offering an afternoon actual experience to clinicians and mental health providers who work with these populations.

We also ask that clients are in some form of counseling in order to anchor the insights gleaned from their experience with us.  Our aim is to ensure that they continue their journeys with the support of professionals in the healing arts.

We offer our training program on an individual scholarship basis to potential veteran facilitators who  have the capacity to stay grounded and clear in the face of issues linked to military service and to function as both compassionate AND objective observers.

Benefits

Proven and Growing Success – In 2013, we worked with 21 veterans.  As of October 2019, we have seen well over 400 veterans, crime victims, men and women in recovery.

We have created a program that ensures lasting results and complements the efforts of clinicians in a way that everyone involved feels successful and supported.

Deepen Community Connections – Not only does The Equus Effect program training enable you to work with veterans and men and women in recovery, but the curriculum can broaden your reach into other populations in your community who work in highly responsible professions or services: first responders, doctors, nurses, clinicians and caregivers. In addition to developing proficiency at delivering our program however, it is essential that prospective facilitators also have an understanding of the populations they intend to serve.  

Enhance Work with Currently Served Populations – In addition, the application to any of the populations you already reach will most certainly be enhanced by the tools we offer.

Our Approach to Training

We are serious about the structure of our four-session curriculum and know that it works. We also know that results are long lasting and that we can provide potential facilitators with the tools they need (Facilitator’s Guide and ongoing support) to make graduates and the program successful for the veterans and others with whom they work.


To make sure that the investment is worthwhile however, we require prospective facilitators to participate in at least one three-day workshop called Inside The Equus Effect (ITEE) to determine how well this material resonates with each potential facilitator or team. We also take this opportunity to learn more about each person in the group and assess whether or not our approach is a good fit for TEE.  Our introductory workshop Inside The Equus Effect Level I is the minimum required for qualification to attend our full facilitator training.  See Inside The Equus Effect full description. 

For those who are serious about moving ahead with the full training, or simply want to experience a more advanced level of personal growth, we offer Inside The Equus Effect Level II.  Cost for this level of training is applied directly to Full Training Tuition, if participants decide to continue.  

Both Level I and Level II are stand-alone offerings as well. 

The Equus Effect Training is open to 12 participants.
Cost is $4000/person

Please contact Jane Strong at 860-364-9985 or email her for more information.

Skill Development Benefits of This Training

In addition to providing a safe and supportive environment, we understand that working with veterans, and others who have led (or do lead) lives that involve direct or secondary trauma, requires the following:

  • A deep understanding of the difference between facilitating and teaching – as taught during ITEE sessions, for those who are interested in continuing their training
  • Awareness of the nuanced support role you need to play in the ‘journey home’ for people who have been in combat or other high-stress environments
  • Awareness of the nuanced support role you need to play in the ‘journey home’ for people who have been in combat or other high-stress environments
  • Foundational understanding of Somatic Experiencing© work which we provide. Somatic Experiencing (SE) is a client-centered, body-based approach to helping veterans and others resolve issues that remain following various types of trauma and stress. Working with horses and learning how to manage one’s emotions offers trauma survivors the opportunity to experience new ways of viewing themselves, their life situations and their ways of handling current situations
  • Willingness to work with your own blind spots that can keep you from holding the appropriate space for clients around regulating their physical, emotional and mental energy
  • Ability to step back and allow clients to make their own meaning out of experiences. This is a skill and art based on self-awareness, listening and knowing how to ask sensory-based invitational questions … all of which we model and teach.

The Equus Effect Training Program offers the opportunity for graduates to gain a tremendous amount of knowledge and insight, as well as access to these keys to long-lasting change for veterans, and other populations…including themselves. Our aim is to empower clients to become more resilient and develop a capacity for managing their own mental and emotional energy.

If you are interested in learning more, please contact Jane Strong at 860-364-9985 or email her to discuss our Training Program fees and schedules for upcoming workshops.

Graduate Testimonials

You can also talk to graduate facilitators who are now delivering the curriculum. They can offer firsthand insight into the challenges and opportunities for personal and professional growth offered by the experience of taking the training and delivering this program.

Please reach out to Jane Strong at 860-364-9985 or email for their contact info.

Quotes from Graduates of The Equus Effect Training Program

I've noticed that there are many programs put on by well-meaning people without a true understanding of what it means to serve in the military. As a veteran myself, I find them to be either patronizing or assume that all veterans are dysfunctional…as though the word "veteran" was a diagnosis in and of itself.
This program was much more meaningful and respectful than any other I've encountered, to both the population being served and the horses. It has substance without being exaggerated. It was simple but very powerful.
I now feel empowered to go out and deliver this curriculum, something I cannot say for any similar type of training I've been to in the therapeutic horsemanship industry.
I'm excited to use this new style of teaching (facilitating to be exact) and bring it to veterans in a way that values us, the veterans and the horses. I'm also excited about the fact that this program can be replicated at other centers across the country and that these concepts can be brought to all those who want to serve veterans.
As someone who comes from a lifetime of teaching facts and how-to's, I found that this more 'invitational' style of approaching exercises and activities was completely different. The hands-on experience with real veterans as well as the comprehensive Facilitator's Guide gave me what I needed to teach this. – ME
I expected this to be similar to other veteran-focused trainings I've attended on line or in person. It was not. I was amazed at the facilitators' ability to help foster change and get veterans to think in a different way about themselves and their lives without having to say or do too much. – LF
I was amazed at how similar the techniques are to a lot of the most modern theories and interventions. I was also impressed with how clean and simplified it felt. Sometimes I find when people have something that works really well, they want it to seem complicated as if there's something unique about the facilitators that yields such success. I loved how the model humbles us as facilitators and acknowledges our equines for the amazing work they do. – LM

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The Equus Effect is a registered 501(C)(3) corporation. All contributions are 100% tax deductible.

The Equus Effect
37 Drum Road, Sharon, CT 06069
Main Office  (860) 364-5363
Jane Strong  (860) 364-9985
​​David Sonatore  (347) 439-1777
Jesi Sarno  (413) 446-5698
Kelly Hitt  (203) 613-1107

DIRECTIONS:  Please use Google maps with address above!  See map on our Contact Page. 

IMPORTANT!  If using Waze app, set destination to Sharon Town Beach, Mudge Pond Rd., Sharon, CT.