Equine Facilitated Mental Health & Learning Program

An Introduction to NWESC's EFMHL Program Director

In line with our progressive expansion and development goals, NWESC is thrilled to announce the initiation of our NEW Equine Facilitated Mental Health and Learning Program (EFMHL). Once complete, the EFMHL Program will provide interactive opportunities of growth, learning, and therapy for groups and individuals in the Upper Puget Sound region. Its programs will combine equine-human interactions with counseling-based processing skills to introduce new awareness, improved emotional control, and transformation, while uniquely considering the equine health and well-being at the same time.

Amy SchilderAmy Schilder comes to NWESC with 25 years in experiential educational programming. She also brings a combination of dynamic experience in nonprofit management and in equine-facilitated methods of therapy. She is certified by the Professional Association for Therapeutic Horsemanship (PATH) as an Equine Specialist in Mental Health and Learning (ESMHL), Equine Assisted Growth and Learning Association (EAGALA), and by the Certified Horsemanship Association (CHA).

Our new EFMHL program will complement NWESC’s efforts to promote wellness and stewardship through mutually respectful relationships and reverence – changing the lives of horses and people forever. Amy will be a tremendous asset to the creation and management of this program, and we are very excited to make this program announcement and welcome her to our team!

If you have questions, please contact: info@nwesc.org.

The EFMHL Program


NWESC’s Equine Facilitated Mental Health and Learning (EFMHL) Program serves an essential role in fulfilling the mission and vision of NWESC. The program promotes a mutually beneficial relationship between humans and horses, resulting in healing and wholeness for all involved. By applying a comprehensive understanding of horse wellbeing and social emotional learning, NWESC helps horses and people heal from emotional and physical trauma, transform behaviors and renew their sense of purpose.

A high powered holistic solution for changing your perspective and changing your life.


Our Locations in the Upper Puget Sound Area

We collaborate with a network of NWESC approved off-site locations/herds in Whatcom, Skagit, Snohomish Counties. The locations are chosen based on their ability to partner with NWESC and share mutual stewardship goals and strategies. The structure of each program are chosen based on the convenience and goals of the clients or group.

Our Whole Heart Team

NWESC provides EFMHL through highly experienced practitioners who are certified in EFMHL by the leading international certifying organizations and are highly credentialed mental health professionals whose services are in alignment with the vision and mission of the organization.

At NWESC, the horses are the heart of it!

Through a combination of a small permanent EFMHL herd and our partner herds combined with the ability that the program has to provide emotional rehabilitation and enrichment for rehabilitating horses, all our horses not only offer support to those who need it but are enriched through attention geared toward being mindful and congruent, and an experience that is partnership -based -one of mutual respect and compassion.

Why Horses?

Equine Facilitated Mental Health and Learning (EFMHL) is a trauma-informed, social- emotional learning method being proven to create permanent limbic change. When working with horses, participants are required to access multiple parts of the brain at once, tap into their intuition, to problem solve and to feel deeply, resulting in expedient shifts. When combined with counseling-based processing and instructional skills it significantly increases participants’ awareness and control of their emotions, cognitions, and behaviors.

What we offer…

Individual Empowerment and Therapeutic Programs


Mindset is everything! Take your POWER back, overcome your FEARS and TAKE ACTION by being authentically you!

Private and Group Programs for Women, Men, Teens, Professionals, Couples and Parents…

Find out more HERE or see contact information below.

Community Partnership Programs

We partner with the community to make an impactful difference. NWESC’s EFMHL Program designs custom, trauma-informed, social-emotional learning solutions that strengthen, reinforce and integrate the positive change you are making in our community. From one day intensives to yearlong weekly sessions, our team can to help.


Our EFMHL Whole Heart Team leads schools, families, and community programs to continuously improve and sustain a system of supports in order to meet the social, emotional learning needs of our communities. NWESC specializes in collective impact—inspiring families, child welfare, mental health, social and health services, and schools to meet the needs of the whole person while shifting perspectives and creating awareness of the gifts horses bring and the challenges they face.

Click HERE for more information or see contact information below.

Professional Development Programs


Get out of the office, get down and dirty and GROW your skills! Equine Facilitated Professional Development Trainings for learning valuable skills, building resiliency, mastering mindset, team building and more..!

Click HERE for more information or see contact information below.

Introductory Trauma-Informed Resiliency Trainings going on now!

Click HERE for more information or see contact information below.

What people are saying about EFMHL

“EFMHL is amazing - working with the horses seems so simple from the outside yet the healing and growth of spirit that happens inside is profound! Working with horses allows clients to address important clinical issues in an experiential way. For some clients the equine work helps them work through issues that they are unable to face or even identify in a traditional office setting. For others it is can be great way to enhance insight and achieve results when done in conjunction with traditional therapy. As a therapist I believe 100% in equine work and feel fortunate to have it as part of my clinical toolbox.”

Lori Hartelius, MS, LMHC, CMHS, MHP

30 years in private practice, Mental Health/Wellness Therapist, Tulalip Behavioral Health & Recovery, MSPI Project Coordinator; Snohomish Children’s Wellness Coalition

NWESC Financial Assistance Program

It is our goal to make programs available to people in our community of all socioeconomic levels. Financial assistance is awarded on the ability to pay and NWESC's available funding.

Our Financial Assistance Program for individuals & families, veterans and community partnerships is actively being developed and is only possible through the generosity of our community.

Contact us to donate to the wellbeing of those in our community struggling to recover, cope and thrive.

Contact: Amy Schilder

NWESC EFMHL Program Manager

amy@nwesc.org ∙ (206) 940-8589 ∙ www.nwesc.org

PO Box 1324 ∙ Monroe, WA ∙ 98272

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PO Box 1324 | Monroe, WA 98272 | (206) 940-8589 | info@NWESC.org