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Saturday, August 20, 2011

EAGALA Advanced Training~ The art of improvisation creates great partnerships!

In the Company of Horses Inc. just returned home from the bran new training created by Lynn Thomas, the co-founder of the international certifying body of the Equine Assisted Growth and Learning Association (EAGALA) .
We journeyed to Long Island to Pal O Mine Equestrian Center where we spent three days in the company of fourteen people who came to learn how to create even quicker results facilitating learning by way of the horses!

Any mental health professional who works both in the office and in the arena, knows clients find the solutions to life's problems much quicker in the company of a horse. The horses actually become the human client's  issues on a live storyboard and play out the solutions with them!

On this story board, this little one armed  wooden bunny became their metaphor for  their
"Higher Power"  The horse was labeled as the metaphor "us exploring." 
It's fascinating work and while working through our 'issues' can be challenging it can be lots of fun. What we spent three days practicing was how to be a better facilitator/team member/ listener/ sounding board through the actor's world of improv!

You've seen it on Saturday Night Live when an actor throws out a one liner and another just picks it up and runs with it, then they toss it back and forth until it flows into a whole story. Well, that's an art.  And when there are 14 people doing that on the first day, it's hard!  But by the third day when we were doing it in our own familiar facilitation teams, it was easy and fun and the best part is, it's all about the horses.  So the client gets to explore their own answers to their own questions through the activity of the horses in real time, in real life and the focus is not on them, making the client in the arena feel safer and more willing to map their AHA! moments onto their own lives.

Sometimes over our three day training the team from In the Company of Horses Inc. were the facilitators and sometimes we were the clients.  As clients,we took the opportunity to work out some of the things that seem to be patterns of stagnation in the effort to expand into our neighbors back yard so to speak.

 For twenty years our neighbors have been the Military bases of Ft. Dix and McGuire Air force base. Now merging into a super base including Lakehurst Naval Air Station with the new name JBMDL.  For the past 10 years, our nation has been at war and many of our neighbors have been deployed and returned home with new concerns within their families.

 In the arena back at Pal O Mine there were a herd of donkeys moving around looking very uniform and they reminded us of a regiment of military people.  One thing led to another and before we knew it, we found solutions to our stagnation problem and there were the whole herd of dark grey donkeys in our space!  Now we get to use those new found solutions to help our neighbors!

You have to qualify to do the advanced training, all the info is on the EAGALA site.  I highly recommend it!

1 comment:

  1. very cool, I am really looking forward to an advanced training myself...already repeated level 1 and will do a repeat on 2 - then my plan is to take the advanced...thanks for the post, made me even more excited about it!!!


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