Laura McFarland, PhD

Laura’s passion and expertise are related to the effective education of adults through transformative learning. Transformative learning is education that impacts not only what we know, but also our understandings of self, of others, and of the belief systems that influence our ways of seeing and being in our personal and professional lives. Transformative learning almost always involves what is understood as a paradigm shift.

Since attending her first NL training in 2010, Laura has been committed to understanding and promoting the paradigm shift that is frequently attributed to Natural Lifemanship by those who undergo training and certification in the model. She is equally committed to furthering the research and evaluation needed to assess the impact of TF-EAP treatment on mental health outcomes and to establish its evidence base. Since childhood, Laura has found deep meaning in her connection with horses and with all of nature. She is profoundly grateful to be in a position to advance a mental health therapy model and a transformative learning approach that are centered on the connection between humans and horses.

Laura completed her doctorate in Multicultural Special Education at The University of Texas at Austin. Much of her work there focused on culturally responsive pedagogy, including the role of critical self-reflection and experiential learning in the preparation of teachers to serve culturally and linguistically diverse youth with and without disabilities.