What is Equine Gestalt Coaching?

A common question that is asked of Dr. Wilkinson is “what is this Equine Gestalt Coaching?”  Bottom line, experiencing an EGC session will really bring this method into clearer focus as compared to verbally explaining it. That being said, please watch a wonderful short video that helps to explain all about the EGC Method. (it’s the video to the right)

In brief, Equine Gestalt Coaching is an experiential method of resolving “unfinished business” which can be developed as early as in our childhood to as recent as today.  Gestalt, which means “wholeness,” is a form of therapy that encourages the coach to develop a creative experiment which allows the client – in the present moment – to be safely yet fully immersed into the experience of this unfinished business in order to resolve it. This process allows the Mind, Body and Spirit of the client to heal and thus allowing each individual to move forward. The horses are an integral part of this process of self-discovery and healing.

Utilizing the Gift of Equus to help humans to heal from within.  The horse can co-partner with us to enable people to take steps towards a path of recovery from traumatic experiences, illness, loss, fear and despair thus allowing the Spirit to soar free again.

Melisa Pearce, Touched by a Horse, founder of the EGCMethod© Certification Program.
Combining my love of horses with my love of being a physician, it is easy to see why the Touched By A Horse program, developed by Melisa Pearce, spoke directly to the authentic me.  Melisa Pearce was a Gestalt therapist who noticed that her clients – who were fortunate enough to go to her ranch in Arizona for a few days of intensive therapy, would always feel better and have more resolution after spending time with her horses.  She spent years observing the horses and her clients in order to develop the Equine Gestalt Coaching Method® (EGCM®) which combines both Melisa Pearce’s gestalt training and her years of horsemanship, thus the Equine Gestalt Coaching Method was born.  This is something that she believes in so strongly that she no longer works as a therapist, but instead works as an equine gestalt coach: believing that the power of her co-coach, the horse, heals people more completely than traditional talk therapy.

EGC is a coaching technique that can be applied to a limitless array of problems or situations ( www.egcmethod.com ).  I will work with anyone to tackle whatever issue that is presently in your life – or refer you to a fellow Certified Practitioner.  It is my Vision to help people to move past limiting beliefs that can arise when our lives are affected by illness, injury and/or pain.

I also will be concentrating on working with our Veterans and First Responders: Police, Fire, Rescue and Medical Staff who see horrific things in their work.  Utilizing the horses as a co-partner, EGC is very effective modality to Heal Our Healers.  Having been a volunteer firefighter, volunteer EMT and an ER physician, I feel strongly that the high burnout rate among these professions can be mitigated by partnering with horses to help our rescue workers to move forward from the trauma that we see almost daily: working with these professions will only make them stronger, more resilient and thus able to be fully present for their patients and for their families.

Think about this …

An average of 400 physicians commit suicide annually. That’s over 33 per month.

46% of physicians screen positive for burnout.

Half of Emergency Medicine and Critical Care physicians screen positive for burnout.

37% of EMS professionals have contemplated suicide.

Why what I’m doing is different from other Equine Assisted Progams.

By creating a healing environment with nature, horses and retreat style work we can help develop Resiliency.  Resiliency is a well studied behavioral adaption response to life events — this is something that can be learned at any time..and can be forgotten.  By creating a safe healing place, we can get people back in touch or teach them how to gain resiliency as they move forward.  Resiliency is what gives humans hope and faith — it is why people can forgive other people even if they do not agree with whatever harmful act was committed.  Resiliency gives us the strength to forge ahead and face life’s challenges with strength and courage.


Individual resilience involves behaviors, thoughts, and actions that promote personal wellbeing and mental health. It refers to a person’s ability to withstand, adapt to, and recover from adversity. People can learn coping skills to adapt to stress and maintain or return to a state of mental health wellbeing.

By partnering with horses and nature, we can help ourselves, our Veterans AND our medical/rescue workers to move forward from the trauma that we CAN see almost daily. A horse demands that we be fully honest and step into the moment — to be fully present with the horse is the only way that the horse will acknowledge us.  It is in that moment of stillness that we can see deep within our own selves and learn how to heal from within, to develop resilience which is essential to maintaining a healthy and full life in both work and home.  Working this very unique methodology of EGCM® will allow these professions to become stronger, more resilient and thus able to be fully present for their patients and for their families: benefiting the individual, their families and the people that we treat every day whether it be in the office or on the street.

Partnering with horses is a natural extension of my beliefs that, in order to heal, a person must address all parts of who they are: in Mind, Body and Spirit.