We often get asked how effective is the Equine Gestalt Coaching Program? In 2017, a research study was done to examine the relationship between coaching sessions using the Equine Gestalt Coaching Method® and clients’ self reported feelings after those sessions.

Statistical analysis indicated that there was an overwhelmingly positive relationship between the EGC Method® used and the client’s feelings post session. Specifically, the EGC Method® clients reported feeling more hopeful about their future and feeling better about themselves. This is notable given that the population involved in the study were homeless and had a significant history of at-risk behaviors.

The Equine Gestalt Coaching Method® is an equine coaching method that was developed by Melisa Pearce, a practicing psychotherapist and life-long horsewoman.

Encouraging Results for a Population of At-Risk Adolescents and Young Adults

According to a study published with the National Institute of Health,  there is a critical need for research, funding and action to address the needs of at-risk populations.

This study was conducted at a large, Colorado nonprofit organization that serves at-risk adolescents and young adults (ages of 12 to 24) who were homeless with significant history of trauma, mental illness and substance abuse.

Researchers used a Likert Item survey of four questions to measure how respondents felt about themselves and their futures after participating in the EGC Method® program.

100% of Randomly Chosen Respondents Experience Improved Ability to See a Positive Future

Seventy-three of the anonymous surveys of all participants were chosen at random. The answers proved to be notably positive and was in congruence with the emotional progress observed in the participants by the facility staff.

The frequency analysis determined the statistical mode, or most frequently occurring responses found in the surveys. The mode for all four questions on the questionnaire was the response “Strongly Agree.”

All remaining responses to all four questions were in the “Agree” category. These results indicated that one hundred percent of the respondents in the sample came out of their EGC Method® with an improved ability to see a positive future and a greater sense of self-awareness.

Laying the Groundwork for Further Research

Equine coaching is a growing profession. Both current practitioners and aspiring student coaches are interested to know just how effective equine coaching is. The good news about this study is that it promises to be just the beginning of such research.

In this case, Jaclyn S. Manzione, M.S was the provider of the EGC Method® sessions for the agency conducting the study. Jaclyn and her husband Tom Manzione, Ph.D, LPCA were very taken by the transformations they were seeing with the clients that were exposed to the  EGC Method® and conducted their own independent study to see how effective the Equine Gestalt Coaching Program was.

While this study was not commissioned by Touched by a Horse®, the company is in the process of implementing a longitudinal study with additional EGC Method® coaches replicating the survey with different populations. Stay tuned!

This study was featured in Horse & Rider Magazine ( July 2018). Jaclyn Manzione can be reached at the Xanthus Center for Equine Gestalt Coaching

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