Equine-Facilitated Mental Health

Equine-facilitated mental health (EFMH) is an an unmounted program with an experiential form of psychotherapy, using the natural sensitivity of horses to identify with and respond to emotional and physical changes in humans. UpReach currently contracts with Sarah Jane Chaplin, LCMHC  and Dawn Wyman, LICSW. If you are interested in participating in equine-facilitated mental health, please contact either Sarah Jane Chaplin, LCMHC or Dawn Wyman, LICSW directly

Why horses? Horses are domesticated prey animals and because of this they are extremely sensitive to emotional and physical changes in the human being. The horse, after picking up on the emotional state of the human being, begins to mimic those feelings. This provides both the client and therapist with information about the client's current mood, as well as changes.

Benefits of EFMH:

  • Improvement in critical life and verbal and non-verbal communication skills

  • Strengthened decision-making and problem-solving abilities

  • More conscious awareness of oneself and surroundings

  • Increased focus, attentiveness, self-esteem, and self-confidence

  • Happiness, hope, and peace-of-mind, body and soul


Dawn Wyman, LICSW

Dawn Wyman is a Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker. She enjoys working with individuals across the life span, including children, adolescents, adults and families that are dealing with issues that inhibit growth and well-being. Her specialties include women's issues, adoption, foster care, healthcare, trauma, attachment, LGBT issues, and cultural diversity. Dawn has a special interest in anxiety, depression, grief and loss, adjustment/mood disorders, health and wellness issues. Her approach is solution-focused and includes a strength-based perspective. Narrative therapy, CBT, DBT, mindfulness, play therapy, attachment therapy, motivational interviewing, and psycho-education are often used.