First Equine-Assisted Motivational Interviewing Training in Africa

Equine-assisted Motivational Interviewing Training at Horses4Hope

1 February 2019, Johannesburg: Horses 4 Hope, a South African non-profit, held the first ever Equine-Assisted Introduction to Motivational Interviewing training in Africa.

Presented by our special guest from Canada – Kris Robins, and Africa’s first Monty Roberts Certified Instructor – Simon Marrier d’Unienville, the 3-day workshop introduced participants to the basic concepts of Motivational Interviewing, a client-centered method of working with others to help them resolve ambivalence about behaviour change.

Kris Robins is a clinical social worker and organizational development trainer & consultant in private practice in Canada, and belongs to the Motivational Interviewing Network of Trainers. She teaches for a variety of Colleges and Universities and has invited many senior leaders & employees to study advanced leadership principles while working in the round pen with equine instructors.

Motivational Interviewing is authored by William R. Miller, Stephen Rollnick and Terri Moyers and has garnered a world-wide following of practitioners from many disciplines. M.I. closely parallels the work of renowned horseman, Monty Roberts, whose non-violent approaches to working with horses and people have also reached around the globe.

Monty’s groundbreaking work with Veterans and other first responders who have post-traumatic stress injuries is currently in science trials to identify why it is so successful in helping participants and their significant others find their resilience and begin a healing process. Of course, Monty’s program rests upon a foundation of equine-assisted learning.

This equine-assisted Motivational Interviewing workshop will be of particular interest to those who are involved in counselling, therapy, teaching, and other programs aimed at helping others identify their own motivation for change. It will also benefit horsemen and women who utilize their horses in service to others and want to learn effective ways of working with people who are involved in a healing process, whether the injuries are physical or psychological.

The workshop held from 7 to 9 January 2019, a first in Africa, focused on the development of Motivational Interviewing skills and the importance of the spirit of working more effectively with people. Social workers from Horses 4 Hope’s partner centres including SANCA, SOS Children’s Villages and Tembisa Child Welfare, took part in the workshop to better equip themselves with the tools needed to provide on-going support to participants in our Lead-Up and Equ-Us workshops.

Comments from the social worker participants included:

“This was the best training that I have ever attended … It was so, so out of this world.  I have benefited a lot actually and I’m taking back to work what I’ve learned.” ~ Penny

“Thank you for all that you have given us.  It has opened a whole new page in my book.” ~ Doreen

Fun and a new learning experience was had by all.