The Polyvagal Equine Institute was designed for all types of people. The webinars and workshops are developed to encourage exploration and awareness of the nervous system’s role in relationships, communication, and overall well-being.

Our webinars inform and educate a variety of populations. Many of the webinars incorporate lessons learned from the founder’s connections and work with horses, and as the title suggests, the life work of Dr. Stephen Porges on the vagus nerve. His theory is well researched and, although seemingly complex, can be simplified to support an awareness of basic human behavior. When the polyvagal approach is presented in an educational format, it promotes insight and an opportunity for participants to learn more about themselves and others. The interaction with horses adds an experiential component, promoting an enhanced opportunity for self-awareness and the possibility of developing tools to support the lessons learned in the workshops or the webinars.

These webinars and workshops are not intended to be therapy. Often, themes and patterns emerge as insight increases. It is the job of the professional facilitators to redirect back to the focus of the workshop. Understanding the application of Polyvagal Theory to daily life does not qualify as therapy. Personal development workshops do not require a professional affiliation. They do require a commitment to openness and a desire to learn. All in-person workshops incorporate some component of equine connection, whether through direct interactions or observation.

Some of the horse-specific workshops are tailor made for professionals choosing to work directly with horses as an occupation or for professional development. There are various trainings designed to enhance the professional development of therapists, social workers, licensed mental health counselors, psychologists, psychiatrists, seasoned recovery coaches, psychiatric nurses, and others in the helping professions. Equine professionals are encouraged to attend as well. The Wisdom of the Horse workshop is one example of a workshop designed to promote professional growth for participants.

The Connection Focused Therapy workshop has a particular focus on the training of horse professionals and licensed mental health providers. This program, created by Linda Kohanov and Dr. Rebecca Bailey, was designed for the treatment of complex trauma cases. Ethical guidelines of the CFT program include a team composed of horse and human specialists to provide treatment and interventions for complex trauma cases.