Friday, April 22, 2016

Road To Repair--Planning For Healing In The Round Pen

Yesterday I spent some time in one of my favorite pastimes--navigating through Ashley Edwards' brilliant mind. Her program, Road to Repair LLC, has two primary components. One is a training program using the horses to teach effective communication skills to professionals who deal with individuals who have suffered severe trauma. They learn more than how to simply avoid using the body language of predators. In that program detectives, prosecutors, victim/witness coordinators, CASA volunteers and others learn how to use prey animal body language to build relationships. It is a powerful, ground breaking program.

I hope that this summer Rebecca Stevenson will be able to use her considerable talents as a film maker to put some of these sessions on video to allow reach a a broader audience.

The "Other Side" is Road To Repair's direct service component. In that program she gives people who have been severely traumatized the opportunity to work with and understand the horses. No formal therapy, or even what might be loosely called counseling--as she said yesterday it is the horse's job to be a horse for the participant and it is her job to simply be human.

The phrase surprised me--never thought of it that way. A horse, a human, and a participant can equal healing. She constantly brings me back to the need to keep the program simple and to allow participants to feel the program instead of simply listening to a program.

She is in a unique position to teach, to share and to heal. She is brilliant. She is articulate. She is courageous.

And she is also recovering from the worst case of abuse that I have ever prosecuted.

And she can talk about it. And she can teach about it.

And when she is in a round pen she can use it to bring healing.

(This is a picture of Ashley and Peter Maxwell, her half Corolla horse that she trained).

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