The HEAL Team

Meet the leads behind The HEAL Team

Leigh Shambo, MSW, LPCC

Leigh Shambo is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor and is widely recognized for authoring HEAL-sponsored research on Equine-Facilitated Psychotherapy (EFP) for treating Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and is regularly invited to teach and facilitate throughout the US, Canada and Europe.

Formerly a professional horse trainer, Leigh discovered that the horses could be teachers in their own right when tragedy required her to face a journey of emotional healing.

Kristin Fernald, MA, HEAL Instructor

Kristin Fernald is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor in the San Juan Islands in Washington State. She has a private practice serving individuals and couples with a specialty in emotional and body-centered psychotherapy.

She offers EFPL services with her herd of 3 horses as part of her psychotherapy practice on Lopez Island. A 2011 HEAL Facilitator Training graduate, she has been teaching HEAL workshops and trainings internationally for 5 years.

Sandy Matts, HEAL Instructor

Sandy Matts has taught riding to hundreds of kids and adults, and also holds a Masters’s degree in counseling psychology. While volunteering at Little Bit Therapeutic Riding Center, Sandy became a NARHA-Certified Instructor.

She is a HEAL Facilitator Training graduate. As the lead therapist and Executive Director of Raven Rock Ranch, she combines all of her passions and talents in one role. Raven Rock Ranch rescues horses and pairs them with at-risk children.

Jeanette Lysell, Assisting Instructor

Jeanette Lysell, directed an equine-facilitated program for people in addiction treatment for 20 years at Oslo University Hospital. She holds a bachelor’s degree in child protection work and has completed the Scandinavian Bodynamic training in trauma therapy.

Jeanette, a 2013 HEAL graduate, now offers EFPL services at her farm to adults and children with special needs.

Norunn Kogstad, MD, Assisting Instructor

Norunn Kogstad owner of Lundehagen Farm specializes in psychiatry and body-oriented psychotherapy. She completed the HEAL training in 2013.

She works for a local hospital and runs a small horse farm in Norway where she lives with her growing family. Norunn is also a Level 1 Centered Riding Instructor. Her EFP practice is focused on leading groups with children and adults.

Polly Burns

Polly Burns is a U.K.C.P registered psychotherapist with 20 years experience of working in the field of trauma. Trained in Nature-Based
Practice, Eco-psychology, and Environmental Arts, Polly is also a licensed Chakradance and Creative Awakenings Facilitator.

She is a 2011 HEAL FTP graduate and combines all these modalities in her EFPL practice, leading retreats and workshops alongside her work with individuals.

David Young

David Young is a researcher, scientist, and horse trainer with HEAL who has studied EFPL extensively. David has started several colts from scratch and he has developed a unique training approach for therapy horses that honors instincts, enhances limbic connectivity, and develops their capacity for seeking, problem-solving, and communication with humans.

David’s strength as a researcher and interest in heart-based biofeedback informs the HEAL Model™ of EFPL with the latest discoveries in the neuroscience of emotional and relational functioning in humans. David serves as an equine specialist for groups, and for marital or family sessions.

Leigh and David, who are married, frequently work as a team in Leigh’s full-time EFPL practice and in HEAL therapy groups and workshops.