Equine Supported Wellness
We believe that we all have the innate capacity to move towards healing while understanding that wellness involves a holistic approach. Our programs are only able to run because of our equine partners who support our journeys with such grace and dignity. For their gift of presence, we are grateful.
Get to Know Us
Our Equine Supported Wellness programs are run in partnership between Rohan Wood Stables and Clannad Counselling & Consulting Inc.
Rohan Wood's Story
We are an equestrian facility that began originally as a small family hobby farm in 2002. With an entrepreneurial spirit and a heart to strengthen communities, we are a social enterprise seeking to address gaps and needs in our communities. What was initially a small riding school now hosts Eastern Canada's largest Therapeutic Riding School, is home to the Acadia Equestrian team, and is home to several non-profit organizations. We provide programs for people of all ages and abilities with a special focus in providing supports for those who may struggle with mental health. Our horse-centric focus helps to create non-threatening environments intended to foster positive relationships while promoting active lifestyles. In turn, this is bringing communities together and supporting persons of all ages and abilities.
All of our coaches and staff are trained in trauma informed practices and our coaches are certified with Equestrian Canada. We have seen first hand the positive effects of implementing a trauma responsive approach has had on our business, our riders and families.
Our story began in the Fall of 2017 with the desire to become leaders in our community in attachment and trauma responsive practices. In 2018, Clannad partnered with a local equestrian and coach Alissa Cue at Rohan Wood Stables (RWS) to offer comprehensive Equine Supported Wellness programs. Our clinicians and our partners at RWS have all been trained in multiple approaches to Equine Assisted Psychotherapies.
Our intention has always been to create connection through community and learning. Our clinic quickly adopted a social enterprise model in order to reduce barriers to care, maximize impact in our community and address the expanding need. We seek to equip our communities and local organizations with supports that create lasting change and form healthy neighborhoods. Understanding the growing need for accessible mental health services in our community has quickly led us to recognize the increasing need for mental health literacy and therapeutic programs.
Meet our Team
"A successful team is a group of many hands but of one mind" - Bill Bethel
Lead Equine Specialist
EC Competition Coach Specialist
Alissa grew up in a military family and lived coast to coast. She discovered a love of horses at an early age and became an avid equestrian. She bought her first horse in her teens and actively began competing on the Hunter/Jumper Circuit. Alissa started a successful riding school Rohan Wood Stables and helped found the Evangeline Pony Club. Her goal has always been to provide access to horses and opportunities for athletes while actively mentoring emerging new instructors. In 2012, she helped found the Free Spirit Therapeutic Riding Association and became a CanTRA certified Instructor. Alissa believes in providing innovative and inclusive programming that help clients achieve meaningful skills coupled with the opportunity to experience the equestrian sport. FSTRA is now the biggest therapeutic riding center east of Montreal servicing over a hundred clients annually.
In the growing of both the traditional riding school and therapeutic riding program Alissa saw a unique opportunity to build a social enterprise which could serve as a place to build community capacity. She also quickly identified the gap in mental health services in the community and in particular surrounding equestrian sport. In partnership with Clannad Counseling and Consulting together they began to offer mental health services for both individuals, groups, and families. She realized that when you approach coaching through a trauma informed lens and change the language around the sport, athletes are better equipped to be successful.
She now uses this philosophy when mentoring and evaluating coach candidates. She is a current NCCP Learning Facilitator, EC Coach Evaluator and Rookie Rider Facilitator. She continues to sit on numerous Regional boards and committees and also serves as a National Director for the Canadian Pony Club. She actively coaches, trains and competes at her farm in Aylesford.
Clinical Therapeutic Lead
RCT-CCC Registered Counselling Therapist
With a passion for horses and supporting others in their mental health journey, Stephanie brings a desire to advocate for new and innovative ideas and supports in the worlds of equestrian sport and mental health. Stephanie's equestrian experience began as an athlete at the age of 10. She has actively volunteered in a therapeutic riding program and a parent of equestrian athletes. As a clinical therapist working in the mental health field for the past fifteen years, Stephanie has had the opportunity to develop curriculum, educate and support many populations through treatment of various mental health challenges and diagnoses.
As a co-owner in Clannad Counselling & Consulting, she has established an incredible partnership with equine athlete and coach Alissa Cue of Rohan Wood Stables. Together they have established the first Equine Assisted Psychotherapy program in the Annapolis Valley with particular focus on professional excellence (credentials), accessibility, and reducing stigma and other barriers to mental health treatment.
Stephanie is certified in several different Equine Assisted Psychotherapy trainings and certifications. She has collaborated with Alissa Cue and Kathleen Murphy (Clannad Clinician) to develop a unique treatment model that blends attachment theory, developmental trauma physiology, Somatic Experiencing® and the use of horses as our co-therapists. Initiatives and programming have included SPIRIT (funded by Veterans Affairs, Family Wellbeing Fund) for female veteran women and facilitating educational groups through our innovative program entitled, Natural Instincts.
Clinical Team Member
MSW, RSW Clinical Social Worker
Kathleen Murphy is a Clinical Social Worker and one our mental health facilitators for our ESW programs. Through previous employment and volunteer opportunities, Kathleen has seen the profound effect horses have on our sense of wellness and mental health. Growing up around horses Kathleen now has a heart for helping to bridge mental health services to the barn through provision of various Equine Supported Wellness initiatives.
Serving in the non-profit sector for over a decade and experiencing other equine assisted therapies first hand ultimately led Kathleen to pursue her Master in Social Work to become a Clinical Social Worker. Over the past 10 years, Kathleen has been trained in multiple modules of Equine Assisted Psychotherapy as both an Equine Specialist and Mental Health Professional through various EAP trainings and certifications throughout Canada and the United States.
Kathleen employs multiple different approaches in her clinical work including Somatic Experiencing ©, Narrative Therapy, Circle of Security Parenting ©, attachment practices, Gottman Method Couples Therapy, mindfulness and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy.