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									   Local Provider Presents at National
          EAGALA Conference
Melissa Dearmont MSW, LCSW, LMHP, CMSW, EAPI presented at the
National Annual Conference for the Equine Assisted Growth and
Learning Association (EAGALA) in Ogden, Utah March 14 -17th, 2007.
Melissa Dearmont presented “Winning Strategies to Fiscal
Responsibility in Behavioral Health Practice”, drawing on her
experiences in building, managing, and selling mental health
practices. Melissa, a certified equine assisted psychotherapist,
will be presenting a one day version of this program for EAGALA
throughout various parts of the United States.

EAGALA is a non profit organization dedicated to improving the mental
health of individuals, families, and groups around the world by
setting the standard of excellence in Equine Assisted Psychotherapy
and Learning. Equine Assisted Psychotherapy (EAP) is an emerging
field in which horses are used as a tool for emotional growth and
learning. EAP uses a team approach, bringing together a horse
specialist, a licensed therapist and the horses, to assist
individuals and groups. Because of its intensity and effectiveness,
it is considered a short-term, or "brief" approach. It has an
incredible impact on individuals, youth, families, and groups. It is
experiential in nature. This means that participants learn about
themselves and others by participating in activities with the horses,
and then processing (or discussing) feelings, behaviors, and

The focus of EAP involves setting up ground activities involving the
horses which will require the client or group to apply certain
skills. Non-verbal communication, assertiveness, creative thinking
and problem-solving, leadership, work, taking responsibility,
teamwork, relationships, confidence, and attitude are several
examples of the tools utilized and developed by EAP. No experience
with horses is required to participate and all activities are on the
ground. There is no riding in Equine Assisted Psychotherapy.

EAP addresses a variety of mental health and human development needs
including behavioral issues, attention deficit disorder, substance
abuse, eating disorders, abuse issues, depression, anxiety,
relationship/marital/family problems, communication needs, severe
mental illness and many more.
EAP is used by groups to learn different approaches to problem
solving, conflict management skills, improve teamwork, as well as
address many other problems that groups, employees, employers, and
corporations face. Through a collaborative experiential learning
process, people use experience, reflection, generalization, and
application to facilitate learning. The equine-assisted model helps
individuals learn about themselves and others by participating in
activities with the horses and then processing feelings, behaviors,
and patterns, recognizing how these may relate to the workplace or at

Melissa Dearmont is a licensed mental health practitioner. She is
the founder of Midwest Country Clinic, LLC with offices in Burwell
and Bassett, Nebraska. EAP services are offered to individuals and
families who are enrolled in therapy services. Team building and
corporate training services are offered locally and nationally.
Midwest Country Clinic, LLC is one of four facilities in Nebraska
offering Equine Assisted Psychotherapy and Learning. Dearmont’s
co-facilitator, Sherry Jarvis (horse professional), owner of Heart in
Your Hand Horsemanship in Burwell, also attended the conference in
Ogden. Jarvis and Dearmont are planning a number of equine assisted
programs throughout Nebraska in the next few months. Topics such as
“Strengthening Client Relations”, “Introduction to EAP”, and
“Strengthening Marriages” will be offered to Nebraska professionals
and residents.

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