Equine & Animal Assisted Occupational Therapy
Equine and Animal Assisted Occupational Therapy sessions can be facilitated on a 1:1 or in a small group setting. Therapy sessions are located in a rural setting in Portarlington with Therapy approved horses and other animals.
Equine and Animal Assisted Occupational Therapy is unique and can be a positive motivation for participants to engage in therapy and address their goals. This unique form of therapy enables participants to engage in a safe environment where they can self-explore, build self-awareness and feel supported by both the therapist and the animals engaged.
Every Equine and Animal therapy interaction will be different for each participant. Some may benefit from structured sessions where their interactions are hands on - including grooming, touch and leading experiences. Others may benefit from observing the interactions amongst the horses and enjoying the calming and regulated feelings of being in the presence of the horses.
Do you ride the horses?
No, Equine and Animal Assisted Occupational Therapy at Step 2 OT has a therapeutic focus. The horses are not ridden.
Can I Use my NDIs plan to pay for equine & animal assisted occupational therapy?
Equine and Animal Assisted Occupational Therapy is facilitated by an Occupational Therapist therefore if participants have Occupational Therapy goals and funding they can use NDIS funding to access the therapy.
what animals might i see at the farm?
At the farm you might see:
- Fly the therapy dog,
- Baabra the therapy sheep,
- Edna the therapy chicken
- Shifty the therapy Shetland Pony
- Switch the therapy horse
What should i wear?
It's recommended that you wear closed toe shoes and bring a drink bottle. In the winter months it's recommend to wear gumboots if possible.
Is there a toilet at the farm?
Participants can access the public toilet located 200m up the road. It is recommended that participants go to the bathroom before each session to ensure they are maximising their time at the farm.
Can I choose the animals I want to work with?
Step 2 Allied Health encourage participants to express interest in what types of animals they would like to, and feel safe working with. Step 2 Allied Health also allow all animals to have choice in which participants they want to work with, the animals will gravitate towards participants who make them feel safe and respected.
Shamley has completed her Bachelor of Occupational Therapy at Deakin University and her Certificate IV in Disability and Certificate IV in Child Youth and Family Intervention. Throughout the past year Shamley has also become a certified Equine Experiential Learning Facilitator through her training at the Centre for Equine Experiential Learning. She also completed her Level 1 training in Animal Assisted Play Therapy. Horses have always been a big part of Shamley's life and she is excited to be able to incorporate her love of horses with her profession as an Occupational Therapist. She is excited to capitalise on each participants’ unique strengths and needs by utilising person-centered practise and a holistic approach to positively impact all of the participants and families she works with.
Shamley spent six years supporting children and adults in out-of-home care, Shamley has experience using therapeutic techniques to support participants who have experienced complex trauma. She is able to make her participants feel safe by establishing a peaceful, judgment-free environment.
Shamley is dedicated to providing a secure environment for both the individuals and the animals she works with. Shamley recognises the wonderful impact this diverse form of therapy can have on the participants and is excited to share this with others.