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Black Coral Inc. Visits Hands To Healing

A Team of Professionals – working together to promote hope, healing, and the belief that there is a better way of life. Black Coral Inc. met with Suzanne MacPhail and the people behind Hands to Healing to discuss bringing the Children of Boston the opportunity to bond with our equine friends!

Founded in 1999, the Equine Assisted Growth and Learning Association (EAGALA) is the leading international nonprofit association for professionals incorporating horses to address mental health and personal development needs. Our vision is that every person worldwide will have access to these therapy services known as Equine-Assisted Psychotherapy. There are now over 700 EAGALA programs, with professionals trained and certified through EAGALA, providing services and helping change the lives of people with a diverse range of struggles such as street children in Mexico and South Africa, those suffering from addictions, depression and trauma, and improving relationships in families and groups. EAGALA has over 4,500 members in 50 countries.

Suzanne MacPhail, M.Ed., LMHC had been working as a Licensed Mental Health Clinician for 20 years. In 2015, Suzanne became a Certified Mental Health Specialist - using the EAGALA model. She has been a Massachusetts Licensed Riding Instructor since 2010 and has over 25 years of experience riding and training with horses. Suzanne has been an Adjunct Professor at Cambridge College for over five years and specializes in trauma and substance abuse. Suzanne is working to build a career – using the EAGALA model to assist people who are in need of healing and want to use an alternative approach to therapy, learning and healing. Suzanne has a team of five who work with her. Michael Morin, a Spiritual Healer and Chakra Specialist, Jennifer Kaake, a Mental Health Professional, Alicia Malynn, a Speech Pathologist and has several years of equine experience – riding and training, and Gwen Mahan Ryan, a riding instructor, and specializes in marketing.

EAGALA is a therapeutic approach with the use of the horse (partner). All the work is done on the ground and the outcomes are measured through metaphors, as well as what the client tells through their own experience they share in the ring. As mental health professionals, we must understand and share the fact that people do not want to talk about their trauma. We have learned that there is an alternative approach to healing. It is our responsibility to share our training, knowledge, and expertise to help those in need. We know horses mirror our emotions and feel whatever one might be going through on a given day or in a lifetime of experiences. It is through the horse (partner) that people are able to get in touch with what has been difficult to work through in order to feel at peace and live free of trauma, grief and loss.

EAGALA offers a multitude of sessions, clinics, retreats for practitioners, as well as personal growth and development.

Suzanne and her team are working together to create and be part of an environment that enhances self-awareness, growth, healing, while using a holistic approach.

Alicia Malynn, B.A. in Communication and a concentration in Speech Pathology is an Equine Specialist and comes to us with years of experience training horses – both on the ground and under saddle.

Mike Morin is our Spiritual Healer and has his own business assisting his clients in finding peace through the teaching of Chakras. Mike comes with experience and helping with individual growth and self-awareness.

Jen Kaake, M.A. and Equine Mental Health Professional joins our team with experience in Trauma Informed Care – working with at risk youth, as well as grief and loss, substance abuse and relational issues.

Gwen Mahan Ryan is an Equine Specialist. She comes with years of experience working with horses, as an instructor and rider – she is a visionary and enjoys being part of Equine Therapy and Assisted Learning – while teaching us about the metaphors that continue to come through in the ring.

Mark Tashjian Owner and Operator of The Boston Polo Club has opened his doors to Hands to Healing – believing in the use of Equine Therapy. Mark runs a multi-disciplinary facility in Georgetown, Ma., with 80 stalls, 3 outdoor arenas, and indoor arena, and a new polo field. With this, the Boston Polo expanded to become one of the largest equestrian centers in Massachusetts with instructors and riders specializing in polo, dressage, and hunter/jumpers. Mark has working student opportunities for youth who want to learn about Polo or already have been riding. Mark truly understands the power of healing through Equine Therapy and has been a major support of Hand to Healing.

J Lynda Blake and Michael Thierry of Black coral Inc. met with Suzanne to discuss making Hands to healing a part of their educational tourism platform which will allow students from many Greater Boston Schools and Colleges to get the benefit of Equine healing practices.


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