Equine-Assisted EMDR Trainings now open! Learn more

Meet Sarah Jenkins, Creator of the EquiLateral™ Protocol

Horse leaning up and over the railing to nuzzle the cheek of a woman sitting on the top of the rail.

With a thriving private practice in Arizona, Sarah Jenkins, MC, LPC, is an EMDRIA Approved EMDR Training Provider, EMDRIA Approved EMDR Consultant, Certified EMDR therapist, Equine-Assisted Therapist and 200 hour registered yoga teacher. Sarah is also credentialed as a Chartered Psychologist (CPsychol) by the British Psychological Society.

A trauma and dissociation specialist, EMDR therapist for over twenty years, and lifelong horsewoman, Sarah created EquiLateral: The Equine-Assisted EMDR Protocol™. EquiLateral™ became the first EMDRIA Approved protocol for integrating EMDR and equine-assisted interactions, becoming known as Equine-Assisted EMDR (EA-EMDR).  Based on the success of her EA-EMDR protocol, Sarah offers EMDRIA approved workshops and an EMDRIA Approved best practice training EquiLateral™: The Equine-Assisted EMDR Course for EMDR Therapists & Equine Professionals. 

In addition, through her experience in both EMDR and Equine Assisted Therapy, Sarah also offers consultation for those EMDR therapists seeking to expand their skills in utilizing strategies from the perspective of an animal assisted EMDR approach, especially in their work with complex clients. Providing ongoing consultation for those seeking to increase their confidence in utilizing EMDR therapy with complex cases, her expertise includes teaching the application of structural dissociation theory in the treatment of dissociation. Sarah’s EMDRIA Approved EMDR Basic Training also provides attendees with additional curriculum on dissociation and the treatment of complex trauma.

Also a highly sought-after public speaker, Sarah has conducted numerous workshops, presentations, and seminars for a variety of corporations and federally funded organizations as well as spoken about EA-EMDR at numerous national and international conferences including EMDR International Association (EMDRIA), EMDR Canada, and EMDR Europe.  

Keep reading

What causes our systems to use dissociation as a strategy? The fact is, it’s all about attachment and trying to preserve it, but also managing the distress and conflict about that very safe drive to attach. There’s conflict. 
Feeling that our internal state, our emotions, were “held” by others, and processed, was a foundational need in childhood. To process it, as children, we needed the presence of an attuning other in the outside world, our caregiver to “hold” that distress to help us regulate, settle, calm, and let it move through.
When we grow up, our brain has a greater capacity to hold our emotional distress, a larger capacity for processing, and a deeper neuro-network of resources. Essentially, instead of an “espresso” size cup, our brain capacity is of a larger cup that is sturdier, can hold more, and can contain it all. And, while the emotions from our childhoods may seem bigger than we are, and the cup may seem unable to hold it, we can.
If we equestrians and equine-facilitated/assisted practitioners don’t get to this deep layer of material, it will show up in our work with clients and let alone in our horsemanship.  It will show up as the “oh oh” moments where we brace against, perhaps seeing our horses’ ear flick back, perhaps a misstep or stumble, move quickly, or even how we see and react in moments in the arena when we are co-facilitating therapy sessions with horses.