Certification Board for Equine Interaction Professionals


Board of Directors

Nancy Waite-O'Brien, Ph.D.

deprekel Dr. Nancy Waite-O'Brien is a psychologist, educator and author with over 30 years of experience in addiction treatment both in the United States and in the Caribbean. In 2004, she was named one of the sixty most influential women in the field of addiction treatment by Counselor Magazine. She is a frequent lecturer on issues related to women's recovery. She has co-authored texts on adolescent treatment and on women's treatment, taught at Chapman University in Palm Desert, California and published research on shame and depression in early recovery. Dr. Waite-O'Brien was associated with the Betty Ford Center for 18 years and in that capacity oversaw clinical services and training for that organization.

Currently she has a private practice in Palm Desert, California; provides Equine Assisted Therapy to clients of Michael's House, a drug and alcohol treatment program in Palm Springs, California; is adjunct faculty in the Equine Assisted Mental Health concentration of the Counseling Psychology department at Prescott College in Prescott, Arizona; and consults with the Esketemc Native American Tribal community in British Columbia. In this capacity she provides Equine Assisted Education with a focus on recovery from trauma to adults and young people in that community.

Dr. Waite-O'Brien has a taken a broad approach to educating herself in this field. She is a graduate of the EPONA program and has also participated in workshops offered by EGALA, Adventures in Awareness and Horses of the Goddess and her training in Somatic Experiencing allows her to include this awareness in her work with horses and people.

She lives with five horses, a miniature donkey, four dogs and two cats. Two of her horses, Paxil and Zoloft, have been her antidepressants for over 10 years. Her hobby is riding horses in other parts of the world. She has ridden in Ireland, Estonia, Zimbabwe, Botswana and India and hopes to include Peru in her next riding adventure.

Molly DePrekel

Molly DePrekel Molly DePrekel is a psychologist in private practice and is the Clinical Director for Minnesota Linking Individuals, Nature & Critters, Inc. (MN LINC). For the past twelve years, she has utilized the unique relationship people have with animals to assist her in therapy with clients. She has practiced in hospitals, educational settings, mental health facilities, correctional sites, and outreach centers. Her strengths include work with adolescents, families and young women. She completed an internship at Green Chimneys in New York and continues to utilize animals in her therapy work by working with dogs and horses as animal-assisted therapists. She is involved with research in other areas of animal-assisted therapy and is past President of the Equine Facilitated Mental Health Association (EFMHA). She is an EPONA approved instructor and has taught and facilitated workshops and trainings around the country. Molly co-teaches a professional development course in Animal Assisted therapy and Education which is approved for 66 ceu’s with the Minnesota Board of Psychology. Currently Molly works on a farm near Minneapolis and is training in Sensorimotor psychotherapy to expand her understanding of the body/mind connection and animal assisted therapy. Molly lives in Minneapolis with her dog, Mariah, who is her registered therapy dog and Pet Partner® through the Delta Society.

Libby Smith, Ed.D, PhD

deprekelAs the Founder and Director of "Wind Horse Wellness," Dr. Libby (as her students affectionately call her) brings years and years of education, personal experience, and life skills to her business.

Dr. Libby’s educational pursuits have been varied. She holds a Bachelor degree from Northern Arizona University in Applied Sociology with an emphasis in Corrections and Rehabilitations. Her Master's degree is from San Jose State University and is also in Sociology. Her doctoral degree is in Educational Leadership with an emphasis in Health and Sociology and was obtained from Northern Arizona University. Dr. Libby has also earned a Bachelors, Master's, and Ph.D. from the American Institute of Holistic Theology in Birmingham, Alabama. This school is accredited through the National Naturopathic Association.

She is an educator, author, international speaker, mentor, Personal Trainer, Yoga instructor (Kundalini Yoga), and an Ordained Minister. She is certified and licensed in Reiki, Regression Therapy, Synergia, and currently is employed in the Behavioral Health Field as a Clinician.

She has been teaching for seventeen years at two and four year institutions. Her classes include: Human Sexuality, Marriage and Family, Women and Health, General Psychology, Developmental Psychology and Cognitive Psychology, Sociology, Criminology, Education, Lifetime Fitness, and Yoga. Dr. Libby was invited to be a speaker at the International Conference for Science and Consciousness for two consecutive years. Her presentations were in the area of "Social Physics" and "Memes, Mind, and Manifestations."

Dr. Libby been invited and has accepted the offer to become a member of the Certification Board of Equine Interactive Professionals. This is a National Board promoting quality and academic standards to the field of Equine-Assisted Programs.

She has written and published several books which include, "Doc Talks-Pathways Toward Self-Discovery" and "Sex Talks-a Book about Sex and a Whole Lot More." She is currently working on "What’s the Matter?" which she hopes will assist people in discovering and understanding their core beliefs and thoughts, in an effort to improve their lives.

Her personal experiences have given her a deeper understanding of how people feel in a variety of experiences, thus providing her with effective and fast methods for healing others of their emotional and physical imbalances.

She currently lives in Flagstaff, Arizona. Her daughter Stacey and three grandsons live in Wichita, Kansas.

Nina Ekholm Fry, MSSc.

deprekel Nina Ekholm Fry's bio will be available soon.

Jane Hamilton, Ph.D., CEIP-MH

deprekel Jane F. Hamilton is a licensed clinical psychologist, instructor, and psychotherapist. She obtained her PhD in Psychology from Boston College and her Master’s Degree from Harvard University. She has been a practicing psychologist since 1981.

She maintains a clinical private practice in Tucson, where she provides counseling, therapy, assessment, consultation, supervision, training, and continuing education. In addition, she has taught college and graduate level classes in Psychology, Sociology, Professional Development, and Criminal Counseling. She is the Clinical Director of Rancho Bosque, providing equine assisted training programs and various clinical, supervisory, and educational activities.

She is certified in clinical hypnosis as well as equine-assisted therapy. She has been a first grade teacher, a Principle Psychologist at a state institution, and an advisor to a national organization for at-risk adolescents. In addition, she has studied vocal music and singing. She has been a singer and soloist with the premiere women’s choir in Tucson, the Southern Arizona Women’s Chorus. She has served on the board of directors of various community agencies serving the needs of families, women, children, and the arts.

Priscilla Marden, CEIP-ED; ESMHL; PATH Int’l TRI

deprekel Priscilla is an educator and curriculum designer whose focus is on personal empowerment and discovering creative avenues of expression. She is the Co-founder and Executive Director of Horse Warriors™, an equine facilitated mental health and education program in Jackson Hole, WY. She is a lifelong horsewoman, former Pony Clubber, backcountry horseman, Citizen’s Mounted Patrol volunteer and dedicated advocate for equine welfare. Priscilla is a semi-annual presenter at the PATH conferences and is also a professional illustrator and calligrapher.

After 3 years as the head instructor for a traditional therapeutic riding program, she started Horse Warriors™ in 1968, focusing on disenfranchised teens, and quickly grew the program to incorporate parenting education and family communication skills through its Power Ponies™ and Mighty Mustangs™ programs. She served on the EFMHA Board of Directors during its transition period of fully integrating with NARHA (now PATH, International).

Currently the Horse Warriors™ programs have a strong focus on “teaching the teachers”, and offer professional training workshops for EFL/EFP (Horses of the Goddess™) in addition to their multi-year youth and family programs. They also host long and short-term internships for students pursuing careers in EAAT, and work in cooperation with colleges and universities for intern supervision and practicum residencies. Priscilla’s interest is on expanding awareness of the human equine connection for personal healing and global change, and on the importance of heart-centered interactions in relationship. She spends much time designing and implementing curriculum plans tailored to specific educational needs, all of which have a creativity/arts inclusion component.

She lives with her husband, 14 horses, 13 chickens, 2 Corgis, 1 cat, 2 squirrels and an assortment of wild deer on their ranch, The Diamondfly, in Star Valley, WY. Though she loves all the horses, her deepest connections and greatest gratitude for their teaching skills rests with her beloved mustangs, Silver and Gato. She loves creative pursuits, teaching, reading, and spending time with her grown sons and daughter-in-law, and her biological and ‘adopted’ grandchildren.

Kay Trotter, PhD, LPC-S, RPT-S, NCC

trotter2Kay Trotter is a licensed professional counselor and supervisor, registered play therapist and supervisor, a national certified counselor and a certified equine assisted counselor. She holds a doctoral degree from the University of North Texas where she studied and practiced Play Therapy and Equine Assisted Counseling, and has authored articles on both these topics.

Back in 2004, Kay attempted to research empirical data from previous studies on the effectiveness of equine assisted counseling (EAC). To her surprise, there were very few. There was plenty of anecdotal evidence, but Kay could find little significant, credible scientific research supporting the validity of using horses as an adjunct to traditional talk therapy. That discovery made Kay even more committed to conducting clinical trials to determine if horses could, indeed, make a positive therapeutic difference.

At the end of Kay’s 12-week study, the data was clear. Introducing horses into therapy sessions resulted in statistically significant improvements in increasing positive behaviors while also reducing negative behaviors. Kay’s study became ground-breaking research, and one of the first published studies on the effectiveness of EAC. Her findings were published in the Journal of Creativity in Mental Health™, a peer-review publication of the American Counseling Association (ACA). The journal article was based on Kay’s pioneering dissertation, "A Comparative Study of the Efficacy of Group Equine Assisted Counseling With At-Risk Children and Adolescents," and is available for free download from her website at www.kaytrotter.com/epic.htm.

In 2006, Kay founded Equine Partners in Counseling (EPIC) Enterprises. The intent of EPIC is to expand opportunities for licensed mental health practitioners to offer clients unique, clinically proven treatment with measurable results by providing a platform to view, understand, respond and conceptualize clients through an EAC lens. Kay’s not the traditional girl who grew up loving horses, so over the years, Kay’s learned not only what horses can do in a therapeutic setting, but she also has learned how to incorporate horses into the counseling arena. For Kay, not being a "horse person" has actually proved beneficial when speaking to other counselors about equine therapy, because she can let them know from firsthand experience that they don’t need to be professional wranglers to successfully apply this approach. To help other counselors who were learning about EAC, Kay wrote the step-by-step guide, "EPIC Treatment Manual for At-Risk Youth."

Today, Kay is in private practice in Flower Mound, Texas. In this urban suburb of Dallas, Kay runs her own traditional counseling practice along with her equine assisted counseling practice, Mendin’ Fences, where she provides unique counseling services to children, teenagers, and families with behavioral and mental health issues. Kay specializes in working with children, adolescents and adult survivors of childhood abuse and neglect. Kay also has extensive experience counseling individuals, families and couples who are wrestling with abuse, trauma, grief, depression and emotional and behavioral disorders. She is a Christ-centered counselor who believes, with Divine intervention, the foundation of wholeness and healing can begin.


Dr. Trotter is an avid organic gardener whose veggie and flower gardens provide her with a creative canvas to nurture her soul. She is a tree hugger and environmentalist who also enjoys refinishing furniture, cooking gourmet meals, and eating white bread, white rice and white potatoes. Kay regularly plays softball and tennis with her husband, daughter and son-in law. She has been married for more than 20 years and is looking forward to being a grandmother someday (soon!).

Visit Dr. Trotter’s website at www.KayTrotter.com