Becky Laugel, LCPC #1336

Becky Laugel is a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor with a private practice in Hamilton, Montana. She was first licensed in the mental health field in 1990 and has worked with numerous individuals, families, couples and organizations throughout her career. In addition, she has owned and operated Haven’s Horses, PLLC since 2008. She loves spending time with her family, their animals and being out in nature.

Photo by Tyrone O'Shea

Growing up horseback

I was fortunate to grow up with horses. We had a small band of family horses and I learned through backyard experience, reading and organized groups like 4-H. When I was 8, my first colt was born and he became my project. I spent many hours with and on the back of my horse. We learned about life together, through both difficult and wonderful times. I enjoyed many days racing through fields and vineyards with my friends and cousins. Summer evenings I would go out and lay on his back and look up at the stars.

 

During college, young adulthood and raising families, there was little time or money for horses. Around  midlife, it seemed that men got motorcycles and women found horses. I re-connected with horses and formed another small band of horses. I went to countless conferences, clinics and workshops. I worked with people teaching horsemanship, riding and horse husbandry. In 2008, I went to my first conference for Equine Assisted Psychotherapy (EAP), a budding new field that combined licensed mental health professionals, equine professionals and horses for the purpose of learning, growth and psychological healing. I had found my new pursuit.

 

After training in and learning many different emerging models for EAP, my philosophy evolved into the aspects that truly fit for me. Incorporating horses as an agent for transformation of many psychological and spiritual challenges seemed obvious. I witnessed clients and their ability make changes through their relationship, experiences and connection to these majestic creatures. Horses have life stories and experiences as well, like we do. If we listen and tune in, we will hear it, and see it and we will be the better for it.

Walking a New Path
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Photo by Tom Harris

I don’t ride as much now. I get so much out of my time with them within the herd, mostly on the ground, and just being with them. I am still in awe of their strength, swiftness and pure beauty. My memories of the years horseback bring me joy and I feel fulfilled. Horses made my life better, and so many others….

This setup was a powerful part of healing and the horses truly helped change lives. 

A bond that transcends being horseback.

Photo by Tyrone O'Shea