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The Equine-Assisted Psychotherapy Program at TRRC

What is it? 

In Equine-Assisted Therapy, also known as Equine-Facilitated Psychotherapy, the client interacts and participates in activities with horses that are guided by a licensed mental health professional acting as or in collaboration with credentialed equine professional to achieve their behavioral goals.  


EAT offers clients the opportunity to learn about themselves and about others through experiential activities with their horse partners.  The process involves the client working through challenges to reach their behavior goals. An increased self-awareness occurs with the opportunity to process reactions, thoughts and feelings with the therapists.  Clients continue to work through goals with their horse and therapists that strengthen and empower their ability to handle life transitions, solve problems, manage stress, improve confidence, build relationships, and develop coping skills. The emotional growth and wellness that occurs leads to an ability to navigate through daily life in a healthier way. 

Our Clients

Our therapists work with clients of all ages.  Treatment plans are developed to meet the individual goals of each client.  The program is designed for children starting at the age of 5, adults, families, veterans, the physically challenged, and the elderly.  EAT at our center addresses concerns related to anxiety disorder, depression, trauma, grief and loss, addiction, life transitions, anger management, ADHD and school-related problems such social skills and organizational coaching. In addition, Equine-Assisted activities are often designed to facilitate progress on IEPs or 504 plan goals.

Our Horses

Our horses and ponies at TRRC are chosen for EAT because of their extensive training in our therapeutic riding program and their calm and quiet temperament.  Due their experiences with people of all ages, they are great at providing feedback about their human partner’s feelings and behavior.

Our Expansive Environment

Our therapeutic settings include a bucolic horse farm with trails, flower and vegetable gardens, a therapy suite, a historic bank barn, outdoor, indoor and heated indoor riding areas.

Our Therapists

Psychotherapist Barbara Malavite, M.A., LCPC, LPCC-S


Barbara Malavite is a board certified Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor (LCPC) in the state of Maryland as well a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor Supervisor in the state of Ohio. She recently relocated from Ohio where she had received a dual Master’s degree in both Clinical Counseling and School Counseling from Walsh University. Barbara has certification in trauma-informed practices and brings a diverse background of working with crisis, school systems, law enforcement/court systems and addiction treatment. Barbara and her registered therapy dog, Sophie, have spent many years in several school systems in Ohio helping children of all ages. She has also worked with couples, families and adults with multiple mental health issues as well as substance use disorders. Barbara will be working with the assistance of some of the retired horses at TRRC and focusing on ground activities (riding is not involved.) Barbara has had her own horses in the past; bringing an un

derstanding and appreciation of their healing presence. 

Lisa Henderson Sowers, M.S., M.A./AGS, NCSP, ESMHL, CRI






Lisa has a Master’s degree in Education and School Psychology.  She is a PATH Certified Therapeutic Riding Instructor, Equine Specialist in Mental Health and Learning and a Nationally Certified School Psychologist with over 12 years’ experience of working with children and adults with special needs. While working as a School Psychologist, Lisa has gained experience in individual and group counseling, psychological evaluation as part of the IEP process, trauma-informed service delivery, and consultation with parents and teachers to implement Behavior Intervention Plans. Through Equine-Assisted Activities (mounted and unmounted), Lisa will assist participants’ growth in areas of social interaction, emotional well-being and physical strength. She has been a volunteer and recreational rider at TRRC since in the spring of 2013.  Lisa is looking forward sharing her love of horses with others who can benefit from their ability to heal and remind us to focus on the joy of the moment. 


Contact us

For more information please email or call 410.489.5100

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