What is the Equine Gestalt Coaching Method?
The Equine Gestalt Coaching Method was developed by Melisa Pearce, a core founder since 1989, of the horse-human healing movement. The experiential nature of the method involves the horse as an active partner with the coach in the client’s exploratory process. The integrative approach of the equine’s interaction combined with positive coaching, somatic awareness guidance and Gestalt methodology, assists the client in examining their life and choices made with a focus on designing a positive future.
What is “Gestalt”?
The word “gestalt” can be defined as “unified whole” which implies wholeness. Gestalt is a type of coaching that deepens our awareness of our thoughts, emotions, and perceptions and how these impact our actions and behaviors. The idea behind Gestalt coaching is that we all have unfinished business caused by unexpressed feelings that are associated with distinct memories or parts of ourselves that we feel are not supported or accepted. These feelings may be resentment, rage, hatred, pain, anxiety, grief, guilt, and abandonment that are not fully experienced in awareness, linger in the background, and are carried into our present life and cause preoccupations and other self-defeating behaviors. Unfinished business will persist until we face and deal with these denied or alienated feelings. Gestalt coaching brings the background into the foreground, and deals with the unfinished business in the present moment. The Gestalt methodologies help us complete and work through our unfinished business and fully experience, accept, and appreciate our complete selves. Gestalt coaching can free us to move past pain, fear, anxiety, depression, or low self-esteem. We can then discover who we really are, and allow ourselves to move forward in a more positive, healthy direction.
Horses operate in the here and now and therefore have little, if any, unfinished business. Therefore, they are magnificent teachers for those of us striving to live in the present moment to manifest our full potential. As prey animals they have a heightened sensitivity to the environment for their survival. Their innate ability to sense others energies gives them the beautiful gift of reflecting our personal strengths and struggles. Insights through the joint work of a coach and a horse can be revealing and life changing.
The work is appropriate for people wanting to work on self-awareness and get past the unfinished business that is keeping them in stuck patterns of behavior, low self-esteem, conflicts with people, or uncomfortable feelings. Once we are fully present in the here and now and we clean up the unfinished business in ourselves, we are able to take responsibility for our responses and actions with more excitement, energy and courage to live life directly. This allows us to have increased compassion, humility, and respect in our most important relationships in life.
Watch this video to learn more about how the EGCMethod works. Click the horse!