EquiLateral ™
Equine-Assisted EMDR

Esther is the first and currently only mental health professional in Israel to be trained in EquiLateral ™. She is personally trained by the founder of EquiLateral ™, Sarah Jenkins from Chandler, Arizona. 

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Pictured above: Esther Adams-Aharony and Sarah Jenkins in Chandler, Arizona. 

Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing (EMDR) Therapy is a comprehensive & integrative treatment of choice for trauma treatment. This is the first EMDRIA Approved protocol for the integration of Equine-Assisted Psychotherapy (EAP) with EMDR therapy to become Equine-Assisted EMDR (EA-EMDR). Through an equine facilitated approach, participants are taken step-by-step through the eight phases of EMDR in partnership with equine, covering the “how to’s” of integrating EMDR and Equine Assisted Psychotherapy (EAP) via Equine-Assisted EMDR Therapy. 

In 2011 EMDRIA first approved the EquiLateral: Equine-Assisted EMDR Training for EMDR Therapists and Equine-Professionals. The EMDR community was unbelievably supportive, in fact, so much so that Sarah Jenkins has spoken at a multitude of international conferences on EA-EMDR, including but not limited to EMDR International Association (EMDRIA), EMDR Canada, and EMDR Europe, all who welcomed the protocol with open arms.

Our interactions with the horse are a reflection of our deepest struggles to connect with others and ourselves. Presence is necessary for EA-EMDR. Despite having worked with horses for 30 years, I continue to be moved by the extent of healing that can be accomplished when working alongside these creatures, who are frequently our most effective and understanding instructors. Their instinctive and herd-based activities are viewed as organic interactions that can be incorporated into the EMDR therapy phases. Interactions with the horse(s) might be directed or non-directive. Additionally, horsemanship-related principles and instruction may be used, particularly in relation to assisting with the client's present phase of EMDR therapy. During sessions, we will talk about the horse(s) reactions to the client's internal and external experiences, such as licking, chewing, breathing, and blowing out. Our horse(s) are not only introduced as a companion animal or for "visitation" when the client is working through the eight stages of EMDR therapy since EA-EMDR is an example of a goal focused animal-assisted therapy paradigm. In contrast, the current phase of EMDR therapy takes into account both the directive and non-directive equine encounters.