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Connection Is the Gateway to Healing

by Janice Story, Co-founder of The Freedom Way®


When I met Jake at the barn, I instantly sensed his intelligence and wisdom. I knew nothing of his story other than he was married with children, had a high-profile job, and was struggling with substance abuse.


Jake wasn’t a tall man, and when I invited him to step into the stall with Cowboy, a large stout horse, he appeared a bit anxious. However, he was curious about how a horse might help him and so tentatively entered the stall.


To begin our session, I suggested he approach Cowboy and simply touch and pet him. Sensing he wasn’t sure how to do this, I guided Jake through the steps of connecting with Cowboy. In a few moments I could see him begin to relax and become more comfortable.


I took several steps backwards to give the pair space and observe what would unfold. The more Jake relaxed the more the emotions began to stir within him. I gently re-entered their space and asked him what he was thinking and where he was feeling the emotions in his body. I watched his eyes fill with tears as he leaned into Cowboy, resting both his physical weight as well as the emotional weight he’d been carrying on the horse. And then it began to happen. Emotions that had been buried in the dark began to surface.


For the first time in years, he’d found a safe space, a sacred space if you will, to let these highly guarded feelings and memories come forward. Cowboy leaned in as if to stand as guardian and witness, lending Jake his support and strength as the waves of emotion rolled through.


As the tears began to lessen, Jake took a few deep breaths and noticed how different he felt. He knew he had changed. Through tear-filled eyes he shared “I feel like I have lived my whole life looking through a window. I know I was in the picture, but I feel like I wasn’t in the experience. I’ve just been an observer on the outside looking in.”


This awareness was the moment Jake began to heal his life, and his addiction. It was also the moment Jake began to learn how to live in and experience his life.


At The Freedom Way® we know that creating experiences like this for clients can change everything. Breakthroughs happen quicker and deeper for many people through an equine assisted session, versus traditional therapies and modalities alone. In addition, equine assisted coaching sessions allow for a full spectrum experience, i.e., physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual, allowing healing and transformation to happen on various levels simultaneously. We believe to support a person you must address the whole person. Our certification programs are created and taught with this in mind.


If you’re interested in becoming part of this growing field, we invite you to visit our website and schedule a call with us. We’d love to talk with you about your goals and vision, as well as answer any questions.

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