About Us

The team delivers incredible, transformational results by practicing solution focused and person centred therapy, which means this technique may help you shift the trauma and negative experiences that stop you from living the life you desire.

Our team have the qualifications, experience, knowledge and commitment to help you achieve the results you seek.
All facilitators are qualified equine therapists, and are experienced in, and practice natural horsemanship.

 

Michelle O’Brien

property owner and lead co-facilitator at Heal@Millbrook.

I’ve always had a passion for horses and working with young people.

I grew up on a farm near Gordon in rural Victoria and we always had horses and I learned how to ride with my sisters.

One of my sisters attended the local Specialist School and occasionally we would have students out to our property. My first memory of working with young people and horses was at 15, when a group of students from my sister’s school came out to ride our horses. I knew then that I wanted to work with young people.

I studied at night whilst working full time then cut “my teeth” working in a residential setting for at risk young people, at night time. Eventually I was able to transition to working with young people full time and left the retail world behind me.

Horses continue to play a large role in our family life and my daughter attended Pony Club and was an avid endurance rider too.

I’ve got quite few credentials under my belt, and have spent much time studying over the years

I have a Cert III in Community Services, a Cert IV in Youth Services and Protective Care, a Diploma in Counselling, Graduate Diploma in Counselling and Family Counselling and am a nationally registered counselor with Australian Counsellors’ Association.

Michelle O’Brien

property owner and lead co-facilitator at Heal@Millbrook.

I’ve always had a passion for horses and working with young people.

I grew up on a farm near Gordon in rural Victoria and we always had horses and I learned how to ride with my sisters.

One of my sisters attended the local Specialist School and occasionally we would have students out to our property. My first memory of working with young people and horses was at 15, when a group of students from my sister’s school came out to ride our horses. I knew then that I wanted to work with young people.

I studied at night whilst working full time then cut “my teeth” working in a residential setting for at risk young people, at night time. Eventually I was able to transition to working with young people full time and left the retail world behind me.

Horses continue to play a large role in our family life and my daughter attended Pony Club and was an avid endurance rider too.

I’ve got quite few credentials under my belt, and have spent much time studying over the years

I have a Cert III in Community Services, a Cert IV in Youth Services and Protective Care, a Diploma in Counselling, Graduate Diploma in Counselling and Family Counselling and am a nationally registered counselor with Australian Counsellors’ Association.

More about Heal and the Team

Whilst working at CAFS (Children and Family Services), as a Family Reconnect Practitioner in 2013, we were encouraged to think of innovative programs to support clients.

At the time, I was working with my colleague Sarah Millar. We identified that young people needed more engaging services to connect with…they were sick of sitting in a room talking to a “specialist”.

The desired results weren’t being achieved and Sarah and I wanted to establish an alternative option for young people that they could really engage with, hence, HEAL was born.

Both Sarah and I went on to become accredited in Equine Assisted Learning and Psychotherapy through EAGALA, which included a two-week reconnaissance to observe and learn some of the leading therapy that was being used in South Carolina, USA.

We both love the results we help people achieve and love working in nature, with our equine team, assisting people on their healing journey.

Let’s not forget our 4-legged co-facilitators in our program, an absolute integral part of the team…specifically seven horses and two donkeys’.

Cindy and Helen are a part of our team too, having joined in 2019 and 2020 respectively.

Cindy is a highly valued Family Therapist, mental health and equine specialist, accredited through EAGALA and is a nationally registered Counsellor. Cindy has over 20 years’ experience working with disadvantaged and marginalized people. This includes working in the homelessness, alcohol/drugs and substance abuse, disability, mental health, and family violence sectors.

Helen joined the Heal@Millbrook team 2020 and brings with her a wealth of knowledge, experience, and expertise. Helen is an accredited mental health and equine specialist through EAGALA and is qualified as an advanced practitioner. She is a nationally registered Counsellor who holds a Graduate Diploma in Counselling and Integrated Psychotherapy. Helen has also studied with the Association of Horsemanship, Safety and Education, completing Levels 1 and 2.

More about Heal and the Team

Whilst working at CAFS (Children and Family Services), as a Family Reconnect Practitioner in 2013, we were encouraged to think of innovative programs to support clients.

At the time, I was working with my colleague Sarah Millar. We identified that young people needed more engaging services to connect with…they were sick of sitting in a room talking to a “specialist”.

The desired results weren’t being achieved and Sarah and I wanted to establish an alternative option for young people that they could really engage with, hence, HEAL was born.

Both Sarah and I went on to become accredited in Equine Assisted Learning and Psychotherapy through EAGALA, which included a two-week reconnaissance to observe and learn some of the leading therapy that was being used in South Carolina, USA.

We both love the results we help people achieve and love working in nature, with our equine team, assisting people on their healing journey.

Let’s not forget our 4-legged co-facilitators in our program, an absolute integral part of the team…specifically seven horses and two donkeys’.

Cindy and Helen are a part of our team too, having joined in 2019 and 2020 respectively.

Cindy is a highly valued Family Therapist, mental health and equine specialist, accredited through EAGALA and is a nationally registered Counsellor. Cindy has over 20 years’ experience working with disadvantaged and marginalized people. This includes working in the homelessness, alcohol/drugs and substance abuse, disability, mental health, and family violence sectors.

Helen joined the Heal@Millbrook team 2020 and brings with her a wealth of knowledge, experience, and expertise. Helen is an accredited mental health and equine specialist through EAGALA and is qualified as an advanced practitioner. She is a nationally registered Counsellor who holds a Graduate Diploma in Counselling and Integrated Psychotherapy. Helen has also studied with the Association of Horsemanship, Safety and Education, completing Levels 1 and 2.

How We Do Things Differently

Not all equine therapists are the same.  Just like all horses are not the same.

How we differ at Heal@Millbrook is through our expertise and qualifications and importantly, we always have two human co-facilitators present for each and every session.

There is no riding of the horses at Heal@Millbrook.

We provide a purposely-built therapeutic environment that protects your privacy and confidentiality.