In any professional field, there are always going to be a slew of terms and acronyms that are routinely used that are unfamiliar to those not in the field. It can unintentionally create an “insider” and “outsider” feel for a person.
We don’t want “insiders” and “outsiders”.
While we do need to be accurate and ethical in our description of services and qualifications, it is our sincerest desire that you feel welcomed, that you feel you belong here, and that you can find your way around. It is also of utmost importance to us that our clients and consumers have the same experience when seeking a professional.
At The Natural Lifemanship Institute, we believe that how we talk about what we do matters. The language we choose to use reflects our intentions, based on our values of connected, healthy relationships.
In order to help you orient not only to the field of equine assisted services at large, but to how Natural Lifemanship specifically speaks about these services, we have created this table. Below you will find the terminology NL uses and our recommendations for how you use this terminology in your practice as you grow with us.
The following diagram explains the collective term of TI-EAS, as well as the more specific modalities of TI-EAT, TF-EAP, and TI-EAL.
TI-EAS is the unifying term we use for all the modalities we certify professionals to practice through Natural Lifemanship. TI-EAS stands for Trauma-Informed Equine Assisted Services and encompasses all the myriad ways professionals can partner with horses in healing or learning environments. This is a collective term––so there are subsets when we get into the specifics of scope of practice and skill sets of the individual professionals guiding the sessions.
Scope of Practice is one’s own limit of skills, knowledge, and professional experience––made up by the activities routinely performed within one’s professional role. One’s scope of practice evolves as new knowledge and experience is acquired through continuing education.
This means that within the umbrella term of TI-EAS, there are a few options for how you would describe your work, and these descriptions are entirely dependent upon your other skills that you bring outside of your training with NL. Natural Lifemanship training alone does not prepare you for doing ethical work with people – it is a perspective and an approach that supports you in being trauma-informed for both humans and horses (and other animals) as you provide the services your other skill sets allow you to provide.
For example, an equine professional can become a Trauma-Informed equine professional (aka Natural Lifemanship certified equine professional) through our training, and will be prepared to assist a therapist, coach, educator, etc in bringing horses into healing/learning sessions with people – or the equine professional can obtain additional training in coaching/education/therapy/etc to provide services solely on their own. Natural Lifemanship training will not prepare an equine professional to become a coach, therapist, or other kind of educator. Visit our certification page to dig deeper into the different paths offered.
A certification with NL does provide a trauma-informed lens for partnering with humans and horses, and pairs with any number of other professions (examples are in the table above) to offer healing/learning sessions to humans.
We use the term “Trauma-Informed” no matter the scope of the professional we train, because our expectations of trauma competency do not change from one practice to the other–– it is our belief that being trauma informed (the details of which you will learn throughout your training with us) is a basic requirement for providing competent and ethical care to anyone. A foundation of knowledge in the science and research that has created trauma informed practices are essential to effective and ethical healing work – therefore our approach to equine assisted services is always trauma informed, no matter who is conducting the session.
How you specifically apply your learning with NL (whether it be therapy, coaching, learning, etc) is largely addressed through practice and consultation, as well as discussion with mentors and supervisors during and after training. Throughout your certification process you will be supported in applying your learning to your specific skill set and scope of practice. The knowledge needed and taught during our trainings will be the same for everyone; the applications of what is learned will be unique to you.
All this terminology can be a little dizzying. Ultimately, it is our hope that this evolution of language in our field will help you find your place here in Natural Lifemanship – one that is relational, ethical, and clear.
We will walk with you every step of the way.