Introduction to PVEI Foundations (with Deb Dana Bonus): September 20-24


10 in stock


Event Location:
Northern California, contact us for additional details at:

  • September 20-24, 2024
  • 9:30am – 3:30pm each day

Facilitated By:
Dr. Rebecca Bailey has over 30 years of experience in the field and continues to be dedicated to the notion that authenticity, common sense, and kindness are the most important elements of effective treatment. She is a lifelong equestrian and animal lover who believes animals, particularly horses, have much to teach humans about curiosity and compassion.

Margie McDonald is a lifelong accomplished equestrian and horse trainer. She is trained in classical dressage and has applied the teachings to an approach that embodies compassion and connection. Her work has included promoting self-awareness and kindness between horses and humans. She has raised the conscious compassion of numerous equine enthusiasts.

Jaycee Dugard is a survivor of extreme trauma. She feels strongly that without animals in her world, she would not be the person she has become. Thankfully, her recovery included a team of four horses who remain in her life to this day. She has made it her life’s work to support the equine-human connection in tribute to her four teachers.

Deb Dana, LCSW is a clinician, consultant, and author who lectures internationally on ways in which Polyvagal Theory informs work with trauma survivors. She is the developer of the signature Rhythm of Regulation Clinical Training Series and is well known for translating Polyvagal Theory into a language and application that is both understandable and accessible for clinicians and curious people alike.


What will I learn?
Didactic presentations and experiential activities tailored to translate concepts into practical applications for heightened personal and professional presence. Learn how the polyvagal principles bring awareness and understanding of how we experience our perspectives and gain valuable insights into how we can provoke flexibility in our thinking.

How do we do it?
Real-time, in vivo presentations fostering individual and group awareness of the autonomic nervous system’s function and how it translates and impacts the way we perceive our environment.

Who is this workshop for?
Open to anyone seeking to expand or deepen their knowledge of Polyvagal principles, equine interventions, and alleviate burnout and compassion fatigue. This information is exceptionally beneficial for therapists, counselors, coaches, equine specialists, horse professionals, first responders, law enforcement, health providers, educators, and more. No pre-requisite to attend.

Why Attend?
Enhance your personal and professional presence, applying newfound knowledge to improve your existing work. You will learn about the autonomic nervous system, polyvagal principles, and the benefits of animal assisted therapy, enabling you to apply this understanding professionally and in your daily lives.

Included in Package:

  • PVEI Zoom Education (7 hours of pre-recorded topics, including: Animal Assisted Therapy, PVEI Core Concepts and Principles, Role Definition and Informed Consent, Grief and Exploring Perspectives, Trauma Defined and Redefined)
  • 5 days of In-Person Training
  • PVEI Basic Manual
  • Catered Lunch (each day of workshop)


Full Description:
To gain a comprehensive understanding of the science underpinning the effectiveness of equine-assisted psychotherapy and interventions, participants will delve into the intricate interplay between the autonomic nervous system, human behavior, and equine interactions. The exploration includes an in-depth examination of Polyvagal principles, which offer a nuanced perspective on the physiological and psychological dynamics at play during these therapeutic encounters.

This journey into the science behind equine-assisted interventions encompasses didactic presentations and experiential activities. Didactic sessions provide a theoretical framework, elucidating the foundational concepts that form the basis of effective equine-assisted psychotherapy. Concurrently, experiential opportunities offer participants real-time, in vivo experiences, allowing them to witness and engage with the intricate dance of the nervous system in action.

The focus extends beyond mere theoretical knowledge to the practical application of these concepts, emphasizing the operationalization of theories to enhance personal and professional presence. By understanding the intricate workings of the autonomic nervous system and its role in human-equine interactions, participants gain valuable insights into the underlying mechanisms contributing to the efficacy of equine-assisted interventions.

This comprehensive exploration serves as a bridge between scientific understanding and practical implementation, equipping participants with the knowledge and skills to navigate the complexities of equine-assisted psychotherapy. The goal is to empower individuals to apply this newfound understanding to their professional endeavors, fostering a deeper connection between humans and horses in therapeutic settings.

Day 1:

  1. Animal-assisted therapy and its application to trauma and other areas.
  2. Basic polyvagal concepts.
  3. Essentials of respectful horse-human connection.

Day 2:

  1. Rethink your thinking
  2. Art of nonverbal communication and connection
  3. Get to know you: Understand individual nervous systems, personalities, temperaments, and their influence on human/horse interactions

Day 3:

  1. Connect the dots: Polyvagal principles and core beliefs.
  2. Deep dive into the science behind action and reaction.
  3. What's in a name: Understand labels and names and their impact on the nervous system.

Day 4:

  1. Define safety culturally, personally, and practically.
  2. Informed consent and role expectations.
  3. Practice and implement core skills of Polyvagal principles in real-life scenarios.

Day 5:

  1. Engage in experiential activities that bring to life the intricate workings of your autonomic nervous system.
  2. Facilitated by the PVEI team and Deb Dana's expertise in polyvagal theory.
  3. Note: Day 5 (September 24 with Deb Dana) is also available as a 1 day package for $550, here.


PVEI Cancellation Policy:

We understand that unforeseen circumstances may arise, and we aim to accommodate our participants to the best of our ability. Please review our cancellation policy below:

Cancellation More Than 30 Days Before Workshop Start Date:

  • You may either choose to apply your full purchase price to the cost of a different future workshop, subject to availability, or you may request a refund to your original payment method, less a $250 processing fee.

Cancellation Within 30 Days of Workshop Start Date:

  • No refunds will be issued for cancellations made within 30 days of the workshop start date.
  • Participants may apply the fee to the next scheduled workshop, subject to availability. Note: Only one reschedule is permitted per attendee. If you are unable to attend for a second time, no further rescheduling will be permitted and no refund will be issued.

Medical Emergency Exception:

  • In the case of a medical emergency of the participant, participants can request a refund or apply the fee to the next workshop, with appropriate documentation.

Cancellation Process:

  • To cancel your registration, please notify us at as soon as possible.
  • Specify whether you would like to apply the fee to the next workshop or if you are requesting a refund due to a medical emergency.

Refund Processing:

  • Refunds for applicable cases will be processed within 15 business days of request submission.

By registering for the PVEI workshop, you acknowledge and agree to adhere to the terms of this cancellation policy. We appreciate your understanding and cooperation. If you have any questions or need further assistance, please feel free to contact us.

Event Details

Date: September 20, 2024

Start time: 09:30 a.m. PDT

End time: 03:30 p.m. PDT


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