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Equine assisted social work sessions

Accessing Equine Assisted Social Work Sessions Via the NDIS

The introduction of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) has been beneficial in allowing participants more choice and control in relation to which services participant’s access and finding services that meet their individual needs. It has been wonderful to see those in our community reach out and access alternative forms of therapy. It’s fantastic that Equine Assisted Therapy and Learning can be funded and accessed via the NDIS. 

Once you become an NDIS participant you will be provided with a plan that will cover your needs. This plan will include your goals, supports and services for participants. Services fall into three categories: core, capital and capacity building. Access to Equine Assisted Therapy via the NDIS is possible and many participants are utilising their funding to access these services.

What are Equine Assisted Social Work Sessions?

We know that there are a lot of Equine Assisted Therapy services out there and it can be a little confusing to choose a service that best suits your goals and needs. 

Equine Assisted Social Work sessions offer a professional, evidence based and empowering approach to Counselling, Psychotherapy, and Mental Health that supports clients of all ages in addressing therapeutic or life goals, with horses as assistants and teachers in this process. Equine Assisted Social Work sessions will include an Equine Assisted Therapy model of intervention as well as other evidence-based interventions such as cognitive behaviour therapy, somatic based therapy, narrative therapy, play therapy and of course are always trauma informed and client centred in their approach.

Equine Assisted Learning involves personal development, professional development, social and emotional skills development, while working with horses. Equine Assisted Learning does not include a therapeutic or counselling approach.


equine therapy

Equine Assisted Social Work sessions are for children 5 years and older, young people and adults. No previous horse experience is required.

Sunshine Coast Equine Assisted Therapy offers support for children, young people and adults in the following areas:

  • Children with diagnoses including Autism Spectrum Disorder or ADHD
  • Children and Adults with a disability or mental health diagnosis
  • Support for neurodivergent adults and children.
  • Trauma and PTSD
  • Grief and loss
  • Anxiety and or Depression
  • Social and life skill development
  • School groups
  • Work place groups/teams
  • Group Sessions

Equine Assisted Social Work sessions occur in a paddock and safety guidelines are provided to ensure the safety of all participants including the horse/s. This form of therapy provides experiential learning and healing via mindful, relational experiences with the horse/s including herd meets, liberty meets, grooming, leading and mounted sessions. These relational experiences are tailored to each client’s goals, needs and wants.

The following NDIS line items can be used to access Equine Assisted Social Work Sessions:

  • NDIS Line Item: 15_621_0128_1_3 Assessment Recommendation Therapy or Training – Social Worker

Should you wish to access Equine Assisted Therapy sessions through NDIS ensure that your therapist is an allied health professional- some of the allied health professionals that can bill under NDIS include Psychologists, Occupational Therapists and Counsellors.

As the NDIS is an ever changing and evolving space we always encourage you to check with your Support Coordinator or Local Area Coordinator if you are unsure of what funds you have available to you. If in doubt also ring your local Equine Assisted Therapy service and they may be able to support you with understanding which line items they can charge against. We are hoping that more of the community has an opportunity to access alternative, safe and effective therapeutic modalities such as Equine Assisted Therapy.  

About the author: Jessica Siles

Jessica's childhood passion was to work with both people and animals led her to complete a Bachelor of Social Work in 2009. IShe continued towards her goals and expanded her practice by completing training with the Equine Psychotherapy Institute in 2015. Over the last 13 years Jessica has worked in the Disability Sector, supported families and young people who have experienced trauma as well as working therapeutically with young people who have engaged in harmful sexual behaviours.

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Equine assisted social work sessions