Building Internal Resilience Through Horses – Trauma-Informed Community-Based Experiential Learning for Women is the topic of a presentation to be delivered by Dr. Katia Keefer and Nicole Oattes of Trent University and Jennifer Garland of The Mane Intent on behalf of Kawartha Sexual Assault Centre. The presentation is being shared with participants at this year’s Grounding Trauma – Canada’s Premier Trauma Conference since 2005 hosted by CAST Canada on April 17 & 18, 2018 in Alliston, Ontario.
Our workshop will invite participants to learn how the gentle herd of horses at The Mane Intent is helping young women overcome the impact of violence-based trauma and build their life skills. Building Internal Resilience Through Horses is an innovative community group program that addresses the mental health needs of young women aged 13-18 years who have been victims of or witnessed domestic violence (may be experiencing dating violence) and have or are at risk of child abuse. The project is funded by the Public Health Agency of Canada.
Using trauma-informed principles, the initiative includes 8 weeks of hands on experience of equine-assisted learning, combined with 4 weeks of expressive and psycho-educational workshops, designed to help the young women reduce post-traumatic symptoms, improve mental health, enhance personal coping skills and resilience, while reducing their risk of harm in the future. The workshop will include an overview of the project and its research outcomes to date, as well as a facilitated discussion on how trauma-informed principles can guide the development and delivery of community programs.
Our presentation team includes:
- Jennifer Garland, who serves as Project Manager and Lead Facilitator for Building Internal ResilienceThrough Horses – a project led by Kawartha Sexual Assault Centre in collaboration with The Mane Intent Inc. and Trent University and funded by Public Health Agency of Canada. The Kawartha Sexual Assault Centre (KSAC) is a not-for-profit, charitable organization established to provide sexual assault services and public education in the City of Peterborough, City of Kawartha Lakes and throughout the Counties of Peterborough, Northumberland and Haliburton. KSAC’s mission is to support those affected by sexual violence and to influence social change within our community. Its vision is to be a centre that contributes to the building of a safe and healthy community. Pillars of service are focused on: Prevention, Support, Health and Education. Jennifer is also Owner and Program Director for The Mane Intent Inc., offering Health and Wellness workshops, Coaching, Team Building and Leadership Development working in partnership with horses as natural coaches.
- Dr. Kateryna (Katia) Keefer, who is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Psychology at Trent University and the research lead for Building Internal Resilience Through Horses. Her program of research is focused on the developmental dynamics and applications of socioemotional competencies in the promotion of wellness and resilience across the lifespan. As an emerging scholar, Dr. Keefer has co-authored over 30 journal articles and book chapters on the topics of emotional intelligence, resilience, mental health, and psychological assessment; delivered numerous invited talks and conference presentations on these topics; and co-edited the Springer Handbook of Emotional Intelligence in Education.
- Nicole Oattes, who is a Master’s student and member of the Emotion & Health Lab at Trent University. As part of her studies, Nicole is a research assistant for the Building Internal Resilience through Horses project. Nicole’s research interests include understanding the role of children and adolescents’ socio-emotional competencies in relation to mental health and resilience in hopes of translating this research knowledge into practice.
CAST Canada presents this annual ‘Grounding Trauma’ conference because in their words: “Trauma is a large, complicated issue. We find that people often ignore it and focus on a particular issue and/or approach. Others pedestalize trauma, focusing on it exclusively with such energy other critical parts of the person’s story are missed. Trauma needs to be grounded in the full experience of the individual and approached with balance and openness. And, as trauma is as complicated as life itself and our understanding of it is continuing to grow, an annual conference is intended to bring you quality, leading edge education and an experience that will connect you to others with similar work, and passions.”
For more information on the Grounding Trauma Conference or to register — go here.