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Healing with Horses

An Experiential Group for Survivors of Childhood Trauma

Facilitated by Melanie Marklein, PhD, LCP, Eponaquest Instructor and 
Cynthia Degnan, PhD, LCSW, Trauma Therapist

September 7 - November 9

10-week group
Tuesdays 3:30–5:30pm

This group is open to adults who are dealing with the lasting effects of childhood trauma. People who were physically, verbally, or sexually abused and/or emotionally neglected or abandoned in childhood often struggle with relationships, emotion regulation, self-esteem, and other aspects of functioning in adulthood. In this equine-facilitated psychotherapy group, participants will have an opportunity to interact with horses and one another in ways that promote healing, discovery, and deep connection.

Through activities with the horses, expressive art, journaling, guided meditations, and group discussion, participants will learn to:


  • Set healthy boundaries

  • Establish mutual trust and respect in relationships

  • Get the information in emotions and use it wisely to guide action

  • Use the body as a sensing device

  • Expand awareness and creativity

  • Break out of survival-based (False Self) beliefs and behaviors

  • Practice assertive, non-predatory power in a way that enhances safety and confidence in a relationship

  • Be more present in the moment and in the body

$50/session (can be billed to insurance as group therapy)

  • No horse experience necessary

  • There will be no riding involved

  • Participation is limited to 6 group members (must be 18 or older)

  • Sessions will be held in St. Joseph, just outside of Champaign-Urbana

Please contact Melanie Marklein at or Cynthia Degnan at if you have questions or want to sign up for the group.

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