Therapeutic Retreat Includes Horses for Healing
Equine (horse) facilitated experiential learning (EFEL) is a relatively new approach to personal therapy that puts people close to these supersensitive and generous animals. Marilyn Kortendick, founder of The Body/Mind/Soul Connection, in Barrington Hills, is a trained EFEL instructor and certified spiritual director who works with her own herd of three horses.
She completed an intensive instructor apprenticeship at Eponaquest, founded by Linda Kohanov, author of The Power of the Herd, more than 15 years ago. Sessions with Kortendick involve a one-on-one encounter with her and a horse for two or three hours in two- and three-week increments plus mail and phone consults; or one- and two-day retreats with other individuals. A two-day retreat for six to eight people is being held on August 22 and 23.
Kortendick states, “Horses are unique. They perceive more about everything, including people, than other animals because they are ‘sentient’ beings, meaning they are keenly in touch with their bodies and their environment, and can mirror our state of being. A horse can sense if what we are feeling internally is not the same as what we’re expressing externally, which helps people to be more aware of whether they are being their authentic selves. This is why horses are used in this work, versus any other animal.”