Kay 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