Helena Botros and the horses she works with in her equine therapy program with Phoenix House.
Helena Botros and the horses she works with in her equine therapy program with Phoenix House. Letea Cavander

Horses show healing power

IN the peace and quiet of a Moore Park Beach farm, Helena Botros leads two horses into an arena and quietly puts them to work.

With a gentle nudge and quiet encouragement, Maleka the white mare starts to perform jumps around the arena.

The horses are part of Phoenix House’s equine assisted therapy program, which has run for about two years.

The program uses the horses during therapy for victims of domestic violence and sexual abuse.

Mrs Botros said the equine assisted therapy was a non-confrontational form of therapy that allowed people to work out their own ways to cope with situations in a safe environment.

“Horses reflect people’s emotions and attitudes even,” she said.

“They can be quite clear about the message they want to deliver.

“Once things happen in a non-confrontational atmosphere, people let their guard down.”

Mrs Botros recently put another feather in her therapy cap, after receiving certification from the Equine Assisted Growth and Learning Association, based in Utah in the United States.

After completing a six-day course with the association in the Sunshine Coast hinterland, and sending a portfolio of her academic achievements and experience in the mental health field to the Utah-based association, she was issued with the rare certification.

As far as Mrs Botros knows, she is only one of about six people in Australia with the qualification.

Fellow Phoenix House worker Annette Cameron was also putting together her portfolio for the same certificate.

If anyone would like more information on Phoenix House programs, or needs to discuss their personal situation, phone 4153 4299.



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