We had the good fortune of connecting with Jennifer Fenton LMFT and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Jennifer, can you talk to us a bit about the social impact of your business?
The greatest barrier to mental health treatment is the mental health system itself. Wait times for appointments are months out, exclusionary diagnostic criteria, interventions to fidelity (cookie cutter care) are failing to address the mental health crisis we face.
At The Equine Healing Collaborative no one is turned away for care. Referrals are addressed within 24-72 hours. There are no exclusions and no one is turned away based on ability to pay.
Equine Assisted Psychotherapy offers a client centered, trauma informed approach meant to meet clients where they are rather than have the clients meet the program.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
The Equine Healing Collaborative was created to provide a path to recovery, self-discovery, personal growth, a re-connection with the natural world, and/or emotional insight and health. The EHC offers more than just traditional talk therapy and utilizes interventions such as equine assisted therapy, mindfulness, and mindful equine massage to promote health and quality of life for individuals seeking change.
The initial concept behind the EHC was that it would be a small private practice and started with me and one horse (Nashville). As I spoke about the EHC to other professionals it became clear that clinicians wanted to learn more and practice themselves. As the EHC grew its clinical base, increasing demand for the service grew as well.
I am most proud of the fact that not only do clients heal, so do clinicians and our equine partners. The rehabilitation is a give and take experience for all involved. Through this mutual healing process, change is permanent and meaningful.
There have been many challenges along the way with running the non profit. Largely financial, however as we have continued to grow our services, our revenues have increased. I’m not really certain how I’ve overcome these challenges other than sheer force of will. I have known that the work we do is meaningful to so many people and to quit or fail is simply not an option.
I would like the world to know how powerful Equine Assisted Psychotherapy can be. The mental health industry has been inundated with “evidence based practices” that do not lead to lasting change, especially for those with chronic trauma. Clinicians at the EHC are trained in metaphorical, psychodynamic, mindful practice. Although we also draw on some of these evidence based practices, we are eclectic in nature allowing our equine partners to reflect back to clients what they need at any given moment.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I would likely take my friend down the coast to Big Sur. We would hike at some of my favorite spots along the way. Garapata State Park, Andrew Molera State Park and have dinner at The River Inn.
And, of course, I would ask my friend to go to the barn with me.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
The two most powerful and influential women in my life have been Eileen Peterson (a lifelong and now deceased friend) and Emilie Martin (a lifelong friend and mentor).
Both of these women fought for social justice throughout their lives. Eileen founded Wild Iris, a domestic violence shelter and services for victims of domestic violence. And Emily has spent her life advocating for social and environmental justice, teaching, and rescuing abused and neglected animals.
Facebook: The Equine Healing Collaborative
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