This page is current as of October 31, 2022
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Current Students (coming soon)
Certification StandardsCertification should not be provided by trainers or training organizations themselves, but by an independent professional association, in order to avoid conflicts of interest and also to set a higher bar around what constitutes a "certification". Because this standard is not consistently applied, there is an astounding amount of variety in the length, quality, and calibre of "certifications" that are available, which cheapens the value of what a certification should be about. As a result, there are certifications that claim to qualify someone to perform a particular role after only a few days, which is problematic on a number of levels. Conversely, there are certificate programs that are far more lengthy, thorough, and of higher quality than some certifications.
What's In a Name?The word "certification" is currently not a guarantee of effectiveness, reputability, or validity - it's a bit of a free for all and the term has become less meaningful as a result. Unfortunately, people who want to fast track their way into a career (without doing the work involved to practice with integrity, ethically, and competently) can do so because of the lack of consistency around what constitutes a certification. Just because someone can do this doesn't mean that they should. A third party certification involves an application process, an assessment of competence through formal evaluation methods, a decision as to whether an individual is certified or certifiable, and requirements for maintaining certification or re-certification. A certification also involves guidelines around the use of the certificate, logo, trademark, and related designation, if applicable. Training is not listed in the ISO/IEC standard of what constitutes a certification - it is a separate process. Whether or not a training leads to a "certification" is not an indicator of said training's value, quality, practical application, effectiveness, or worth in preparing someone for a particular role. For more about this issue, please read the following article by Sue McIntosh, "The Certification Conundrum".
Scope of PracticeThe EQUUSOMA® training offerings do not qualify anyone to call themselves a trauma therapist, psychotherapist, Somatic Experiencing® Practitioner, equine behaviour specialist, horse trainer, and so on. Students and professionals should check with their provincial/state and federal governing bodies and laws to ensure they are complying with standards of practice and legislation governing their profession. Professionals are expected to incorporate EQUUSOMA® in their work in accordance with their scope of practice. For instance, EQUUSOMA® will look different when used by a mental health professional, a life coach, a horse trainer, an equine behaviour consultant, a riding instructor, an equine bodyworker, and so on. People who have not yet obtained a professional scope of practice and are currently students in an educational program that will provide them with a clear scope of practice are welcome to attend EQUUSOMA® trainings and apply the material to the degree that is possible given their student status, provided that they have the approval and support of a supervisor or seek consultation to do so safely and ethically.
Limits of CompetenceSimilar to the Somatic Experiencing® training, people who attend EQUUSOMA® training are responsible for identifying what material they can apply in their scope of practice. Not all material taught in the training will be possible for everyone to apply in the context of their work. Adapting the material based on your scope and context may be required. Everyone who takes EQUUSOMA® training will have a different level of skill, confidence, and integration of the material by the end of the program. This is because everyone has a different nervous system capacity, personality, history of risk and resiliency factors, and current circumstances that influence their learning process. Completing the EQUUSOMA® training and obtaining the ESP designation is not a guarantee of a particular level of competence; further consultation, personal sessions, and learning may be required to support further integration of the material into one's way of being and doing. Continuing education and lifelong learning are required to develop mastery in any particular area of specialty.
Cross-Training and Co-FacilitationWorking with people and equines together in any capacity is also a scope of practice in and of itself. While some professionals offer services by themselves (as a result of having sufficient cross-training and experience in both therapy/experiential learning and in horsemanship/equine science), others work in a co-facilitation team. EQUUSOMA® supports both models of practice. There are benefits and disadvantages to each one, which are explored further in the training. Participating in EQUUSOMA® training with your co-facilitator (if you work in a team model) or with a group of colleagues to ensure consistency and integration in service delivery is encouraged. Discounts are available.
Consultations and Personal SessionsStudents must complete a number of personal sessions of Somatic Experiencing® as well as consultations with EQUUSOMA®-approved professionals to deepen integration of the material, support learning, and foster nervous system repatterining and relational attunement. Growing one's scope of practice in any area takes time and commitment.
The Schlote Psychotherapy Professional Corporation and its agents or representatives make no promises or guarantees as to the recognition, regulation, or accreditation of EQUUSOMA®, the title “EQUUSOMA® Practitioner”, or any such designation within any jurisdiction in Canada or abroad.
Principles and EthicsEQUUSOMA® was developed in alignment with the principles and code of ethics of the Professional Association for Equine-Facilitated Wellness (PRO-EFW), which prioritizes the well-being of the horse in equine interaction programs and promotes trauma-informed practice. Our Code of Ethics and Guidelines for Practice are in development.
Integrative ToolkitsBest practices in trauma-informed care promote an integrative approach, involving different modalities and approaches that can be combined to best meet complex needs. It is not recommended to be a “one-trick pony” in the field of trauma recovery, regardless of species. EQUUSOMA® provides knowledge and skills to enhance existing ways of being and doing the work.
1. Somatic Experiencing®Somatic Experiencing® is a registered trademark of the Foundation for Human Enrichment (administered through Somatic Experiencing® International), in the US, Canada, and other countries. Individuals who are in the process of completing (or who have completed) the EQUUSOMA® training program may not call themselves Somatic Experiencing® Practitioners or claim that they are trained in or offering Somatic Experiencing® unless they have done that training as well. The two processes are separate. It is, however, possible to explain that EQUUSOMA® itself is an approach that is grounded in Somatic Experiencing®. SEI has advised that terms like "Equine-Assisted Somatic Experiencing®" constitute trademark infringement and are not permitted. Individuals who are not trained in EQUUSOMA® but have taken or completed Somatic Experiencing® training and have the requisite additional scopes of practice could describe their work as "Somatic Experiencing® and equine-assisted psychotherapy" or "Somatic Experiencing® with horses" or "Somatic Experiencing®-based horsemanship", and so on.
2. EQUUSOMA®EQUUSOMA® is a registered trademark of the Sarah Schlote and the Schlote Psychotherapy Professional Corporation in Canada, the USA, the EU, and Australia. Individuals who are in the process of completing (or have completed) the Somatic Experiencing® training program may not call themselves EQUUSOMA® Practitioners or claim that they are trained in or offering EQUUSOMA® unless they have done that training as well. The two processes are separate. Individuals who are trained in Somatic Experiencing® and offer equine-assisted interventions of various kinds may not call their work EQUUSOMA® unless they have undertaken the EQUUSOMA® training specifically. An individual who has not taken EQUUSOMA® training but has read about the model and tries to incorporate its principles into their work may indicate that they use certain skills and frameworks inspired by EQUUSOMA®, but not claim to be "trained" in the method or offering EQUUSOMA® sessions.
3. LicensingCompleting EQUUSOMA® training does not allow people to provide training in EQUUSOMA® to others or to use EQUUSOMA® training materials in developing their own training, as this would constitute both trademark and copyright infringement. A formal faculty train the trainer process must be completed in order to obtain a license to teach EQUUSOMA® Individuals who have completed EQUUSOMA® training, faculty, faculty in training, and approved providers may be granted a revocable license to use the methods and materials in the context of their direct client work (sessions, lessons, group workshops, private intensives, etc.), with proper citation. Individuals who wish to provide an introductory presentation about EQUUSOMA® to inform others about the model and how they incorporate it in their work must submit a request to firstname.lastname@example.org to obtain approval of their presentation materials and licensing approval at least 1 month prior to the date of the presentation. A licensing fee applies to those wishing to provide such presentations. The Schlote Psychotherapy Professional Corporation reserves the right to approve or deny any application for a license, and that these these licenses are revocable at the sole and unfettered discretion of Sarah Schlote and the Schlote Psychotherapy Professional Corporation.
- Whether you are attending modules online (Level 1) or in person (Level 2)
- Whether or not you register independently at the full rate or with a co-facilitator or a group at a discounted rate;
- Whether the training is held in Canada (provincial tax applies) or internationally (the cost of travel and accommodations for the facilitation team needs to be considered);
- The rental rate and fees associated with using different equine facilities as venues;
- Your payment method and any associated handling fees;
- The hourly rates of the various personal session and consultation providers you hire and whether or not they need to charge tax (which vary by provider);
- The total number of personal sessions and consultations each student completes; and
- The local exchange rate at the time of calculation.
Sample ScenarioAs of October 2022, the following rates may provide a ballpark sense of the financial investment involved.
- 3 online training modules x $1,500 CAD each = $4,500 CAD* plus applicable taxes/fees
- 10 personal sessions of Somatic Experiencing = $1,500 CAD** plus applicable taxes/fees
- 6 case consultations = $900 CAD** plus applicable taxes/fees
- 4 assignment consultations = $600 CAD** plus applicable taxes/fees
- Average total: $7,500 CAD plus applicable taxes/fees
Level 2: Pricing coming soon!*Two students are selected for an Inclusion Scholarship per cohort. The scholarship covers the fee of tuition for the 3 online modules only. The price of tuition does not cover any make-up time a student may have to complete if they have to miss any portion of the online breakout group (by hiring an approved team member at their hourly rate). **This amount reflects an average rate of $150/hr CAD. Providers set their own pricing, and pricing may vary. Some providers may offer a sliding scale or pro bono services. Many students complete more than the minimum required number of personal sessions and consultations based on their needs.
EQUUSOMA® Horse-Human Trauma RecoveryEQUUSOMA® was developed by Sarah Schlote with the licensing permission of Somatic Experiencing® International. It is an in-depth, integrative professional development training program for professionals working in various equine-human scopes of practice. The entire process consists of nearly 200 hours of online and in-person training, personal sessions, and consultations to support deeper embodiment of the principles and practices as well as nervous system repatterning and relational attunement. EQUUSOMA® is taught in collaboration with faculty-in-training and a team of training assistants from around the world.
EquuscienceEquuscience is was co-founded by Sarah Schlote and neuropsychologist and equine brain researcher Dr. Steve Peters. Equuscience offerings are geared towards a general audience of anyone interested in equines, including horse/donkey/mule/hinny owners, equestrians, and pleasure riders, as well as professionals in a variety of equine-related scopes of practice. The Equuscience Master Class consists of 25+ hours of instruction spread out over 7 months. Equuscience Focus Courses consist of short classes of 2-4 hours each on specialty topics. The Equuscience Retreat consists of 4.5 days of training and experiential learning along with somatic and personal growth opportunities.
Complementary OfferingsSome horse professionals register for Equuscience as a introduction prior to registering for EQUUSOMA®, though this is not required. Conversely, some EQUUSOMA® students register for Equuscience to take advantage of the added perspectives and expertise of Dr. Peters.
- Attending EQUUSOMA® Fundamentals I prior to
- Attending Foundations of Somatic Experiencing® (for students lacking a background in Somatic Experiencing®), prior to
- Attending EQUUSOMA® Fundamentals II.