The Mission of the Certification Board for Equine Interaction Professionals (CBEIP) is to promote voluntary, independent certification by examination and verification of professional experience for those who incorporate equines into their mental health or education/coaching practice.

The CBEIP is based in the U.S. with Canadian and Australian representation on the board. Examination is internationally accessible and applicants from all over the world are welcome. The CBEIP provided its first examinations in 2007.

Certified practitioners abide by the CBEIP Code of Ethics.

Board of Directors

The CBEIP Board of Directors actualizes the Mission of the Board.

Stephanie Holdenried , CEIP-ED, Chair

Stephanie Holdenried is a 6th generation partner in a Californian family ranching business. Her primary work, however, is as an equine facilitator. She creates and facilitates programs drawing from life on the land, being in business with family, and a multitude of lessons learned from the horse.  

Stephanie contributes to inspiring the next generation of land stewards and leaders through innovative programs like Marin Ranch School, a learning program for 8-13 year-olds, combining horse-ranch management and on-the-ground horse skills with equine therapy.

She regularly facilitates teens in recovery programs and teaches leadership with horses to kids from underserved communities through Ocean Riders of Marin, where she also serves on the Board of Directors. 

Stephanie continues to expand her work with business leaders, mastermind groups, and ranchers through networking events, private retreats, and one-to-one mentoring.  Stephanie graduated from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo.

Eleni Argy, BA; CEIP-ED

Eleni Argy is the Founder of Sheez Like the Wind Equine Experiences as well as Equine Experience International, based in Sydney, Australia. With an Honors degree in Humanities from Harvard University, further graduate studies in Social Sciences, and a Diploma in Gestalt Therapy, Eleni specializes in working with youth and families through a successful career in community services, mental health support, and education. 

Eleni is a certified Practitioner in Integrative Wellness and Professional Life Coach, as well as a Master Practitioner in Tibetan Usui Reiki. She incorporates holistic health and well-being practices, as well as HeartMath and Post Traumatic Growth principles, into her work with horses and people.

Eleni has devised and facilitated alternative learning programs through countless educational institutions and community organizations worldwide, and has been a lecturer and facilitator in various colleges and universities across the globe. Eleni’s innovative experiential learning programs in Equine Assisted Education, Therapy, and Well-being support an ever-evolving international community, through a global network of humans connecting in a meaningful way with horses.

Janet Schieferdecker, MBA, CEIP-ED, Treasurer

Janet is a leadership development coach and facilitator who works with the help of horses. She is passionate about helping leaders and their organizations shift from reactivity and toxicity to creativity, positivity, and vibrancy.

Janet believes that the most essential way for the world to become balanced is for each of us to embody our highest values. And she has found that partnering with horses enables humans to create a strong body reference experience for how we really want to show up in the world.

In the 20+ years since she left her international corporate career, Janet has coached/trained hundreds of executives worldwide. She holds an MBA from London Business School, is an NLP Master Practitioner, a Certified Equine Interaction Professional (CEIP-ED), and a Horse Dream Licensed Partner.

Anne Barnfield, Ph.D., Secretary

Dr. Anne Barnfield has been a full-time faculty member at Brescia University College since 1995, teaching various psychology courses including introductory, child development, psychology applied to sport, and ethics in psychology. Dr. Barnfield is co-author, with Robert Kail, of the textbook Children and Their Development: Canadian edition, published by Pearson Education Canada.

Before coming to Canada in 1992, Dr. Barnfield worked as a researcher in the Neurochemistry Department of the National Hospital, London, England. Her recent research interests are in the field of behavioral and cognitive effects of sport participation.

Currently, Dr. Barnfield is involved in research on the benefits of sport participation for children, particularly those with special needs, and applications of Equine Assisted Therapy, with a focus on anxiety disorders, particularly PTSD in Military Veterans and First Responders.

This recent research has been run with the aid of SARI Therapeutic Riding (SARI TR), near London, Ontario. Dr. Barnfield holds a B.Sc. from the University of London, Great Britain, and a Ph.D. in Experimental Psychology from the University of Sussex, Great Britain. She is an Associate Professor, Psychology, in the School of Behavioral and Social Sciences, Brescia University College, Affiliated with Western University.

Cathrin Wilbanks, MS, NCC, CEIP

Cathrin serves as a full-time faculty member at Asbury University in Kentucky, teaching in the psychology department and equine program.

Over the last year, Cathrin had the privilege of spearheading a new major in Equine Assisted Services at Asbury. The new major focuses on providing higher education in the field of EAS to students who seek to pursue a career in Adaptive/Therapeutic Riding, Equine-Assisted Therapies, or Equine-Assisted Learning. Developing this program has been a dream come true for Cathrin, who is very passionate about meeting the need for higher education services in the field of EAS for current and future practitioners.

Cathrin was born and raised in Germany and came to the US in pursuit of a BA that provided her with education and training in Equine-Assisted Mental Health at Asbury University and later on an MS in Clinical Mental Health Counseling with a specialization in Equine Assisted Mental Health from Prescott College in AZ. Cathrin then continued to pursue her license as a professional mental health counselor in GA, practicing at community mental health agencies and non-profit programs, offering nature-based psychotherapy and experiential learning services that incorporate equines and other farm animals. Cathrin also assisted in the development of programs that desired to integrate nature-based and animal-assisted mental health services to their existing program offers. Cathrin is a CEIP-MH and also holds a certification in integrative mental health services (CIMHP)

When Cathrin is not working or playing at the farm with her co-worker and co-lecturer, Eclipse, a 25-year-old Shagya Arabian, you will find her somewhere adventuring in the great outdoors with her husband Mike, their two children Micah and Evie, and their trusted canine companions, Layla and Buddy.

Judith Emond, BSW, AMHSW, Masters Family Therapy, Grad Cert Bereavement Counselling, CEIP-MH

Judith is the founder of Heart to Heart Equine Assisted Therapy a service providing psychological therapies in the presence of horses located in rural Victoria, Australia.  Judith is an Accredited Mental Health Social Worker (AASW), Clinical Family Therapist (AAFT), Bereavement Therapist, and Equine Interaction Practitioner- Mental Health.

Judith has extensive counseling experience working with individuals, children, young people, and families and she provides professional clinical/external supervision to allied health and mental health practitioners.

Judith provides evidence-based treatments to deal with emotional and psychological difficulties drawing on a range of treatment modalities such as animal-assisted therapy, somatic experiencing, behavioural and cognitive interventions, relaxation, grounding and mindfulness strategies, social engagement, family relationship therapies, and bereavement interventions.

Including horses in her practice has greatly enhanced the outcomes of service users. Judith is extremely passionate about advocating the unconditional support and spiritual healing that horses offer humans. 

Kathryn Ryan Langdon, MA, LICSW, CEIP-MH 

Kate is the Founder and current Managing Partner of Congruency Psychotherapy, an Equine-Assisted Mental Health Treatment and Learning Center located in rural Minnesota. Kate along with her certified Mental Health colleagues and staff offer mental health treatment and learning within the horse environment and with the inclusion of horses. Kate has worked with adults, families, and children for over 30 years.

She has developed an expertise as a trauma-informed therapist with a specialty in building relationships and working in partnership with adults and families toward behavioral change. 

She is a certified equine-assisted mental health therapist and has extensive training in DBT and EMDR. She has earned master’s degrees from Columbia University and UST/SCU.

Laura McLaughlin, LMFT, LMHC, CEIP-MH (She / Her)

Laura McLaughlin is a licensed marriage and family therapist and a licensed mental health counselor in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Over the last 25 years, she has worked with individuals and families in residential, community, home-based, outpatient and nature-based settings

She owns and operates North Star Guidance Center, Inc. a virtual group practice and Moonlight Ranch, a member of the IAHAIO International Association for Human-Animal Interaction Organizations. Moonlight Ranch hosts four licensed therapists that provide individual and family psychotherapy with animal interactions.

For the last 17 years, Laura has maintained Approved Supervisor Designation through the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy. In addition, she is a member in good standing with the International Society for the Treatment of Trauma and Dissociation, EMDR International Association and the American Hippotherapy Association. In addition to clinical supervision, she currently incorporates equine interaction with psychotherapy treatment modalities such as EMDR, IFS, Mindfulness, DBT, CBT, Somatic Experiencing, Polyvagal Exercises, Relational, Experiential and Narrative therapy. She also offers Neurofeedback and Ketamine Assisted Psychotherapy which are provided independently from traditional equine interaction.

Lindsey Wert, LMFT, CEIP-MH (She / They)

Lindsey is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist located in Petaluma, Ca. Lindsey honors the Coastal Miwok land, also know as Petaluma. She is a Certified Equine Interaction Professional, Ecotherapist, Wilderness First Responder and is certified in EMDR. Lindsey is a HorseDream Partner and using these teachings to inform her work. Lindsey uses an integrative approach to helping those she works with. Her specialties includes sexual abuse and incest survivors, leadership development, eco crisis, complex trauma and eating disorders.

Lindsey’s practice is deeply focused in depth work, personal development, harm reduction and ecological change. Lindsey has a deep interest for those who desire to connect with
animals, nature and the inherent wisdom the resides within each living being. Lindsey uses nature, community, wisdom of Earth and sound clinical practice to help support her clients in getting in touch with their deeper sense of being, embodiment and purpose. Lindsey believes that each person who comes into her office has the capacity to heal and
everything they need within to heal. Her job as a psychotherapist is to support her clients in finding self direction, leadership, wisdom, compassion, grace, humility and resolution in their journey. She believes in the human capacity to love, transform the Self and world through radical self-love and acceptance.

Lindsey has always had an infinity to horses and dogs. She began integrating animals into her therapy work as she felt that being in the office was limiting in what could be offered.
She has found that the integration work and partnership with horses and land has helped support clients in profound ways. She believe in a treatment team approach and believes in and advocate for radial change in our medical and mental health systems, as well as social structures and on our planet.

Past CBEIP Board Chairs

Alyssa Aubrey
Nina Ekholm Fry
Libby Smith
Priscilla Marden
Nancy Waite-O’Brien
Molly DePrekle 
Shanti-Hill Gauer
Don Zimmerman

If you are interested in becoming a board member or serving on a CBEIP committee, please send a letter of inquiry along with your CV to [email protected]

Certification Board of Equine Interaction