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 Designated 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.

HEAL Instructor Kristin Fernald with horse at Human Equine Alliance

Sandy Matts, HEAL Designated 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, HEAL Designated 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.

HEAL Instructor Jeanette Lysell with two horses at Human Equine Alliance

Norunn Kogstad, MD, HEAL Designated 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.

HEAL Assisting Instructor Norunn Kogstad with horse at Human Equine Alliance

David Young (1928-2021) HEAL Contributing Researcher

David Young was a highly-awarded scientist and engineer, who studied EFPL extensively.  His childhood love of horses rekindled in his retirement years, a time when David started several colts from scratch, and developed an interest in the therapeutic potential of EFPL.  His dynamic friendship with Leigh Shambo grew into love and marriage and together they deloped a unique training approach for therapy horses that honors instinct, enhances limbic connectivity, and develops the equine 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.

R.I.P. David Young.  Thank you for your heart for people and horses, and for what you’ve contributed to HEAL!

HEAL Instructor David Young on horseback at Human Equine Alliance