Back in September, the Psychology team at Langdon hospital arranged a half-day away day retreat around the theme of connection with Horsemanship for Health. Horsemanship for Health is a Community Interest Company based in Teignbridge whose aim is to promote lifelong learning and healthy personal development for people of all ages and social backgrounds through equine and animal assisted education.
The focus of the away day was for the team to deepen their connection to each other and to enquire more deeply into the nature of connection. Horsemanship for Health Director, Belinda Seaward, led the team through a compassion circle enquiry with the horses and ponies present as witnesses. For many team members it was a profoundly emotional experience made especially poignant as so many people have felt disconnected in a number of ways during the current pandemic. Many insights and questions emerged around the many layers of connection, including; openness, vulnerability, authenticity, creativity and professional boundaries.
A beautiful film of the day was created and can be watched below:
Belinda said: "We took a really deep look at connection and it was wonderful to hear the team share their stories and offer insights with such open-heartedness. The horses and ponies were present throughout, demonstrating the profound value of truly being with a person, no matter their life experiences or previous experience with horses. The horses accept people for who they are without judgement in the moment. The team also learnt that working with horses in this way can enable patients to feel a non-judgemental connection and acceptance, supporting patients to feel attuned to themselves and others in ways that they may not have experienced previously. We know the therapeutic impact of this work for Langdon patients who have been coming to the farm for around two years, and it was wonderful to introduce our way of working to the Psychology team who work so closely with the patients."
Given the acknowledged evidence base and the practice based evidence benefits of their work together, colleagues from Langdon hospital and the Horsemanship for Health Team will continue to work together focusing on patient and staff wellbeing.