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Beth Russell

Executive Director, Founder


Serenity Life is a resource center that provides help to individuals and families in the Kansas and Missouri areas whether they need education, mental health services, leadership development or just basic life obstacle assistance. They offer a full range of Therapeutic sessions for anyone in need. Their program is customized to meet each individual’s situation.

I use traditional “talk” therapy as well as Equine-assisted Psychotherapy.

Why I use horses: After my own childhood trauma, my parents put me in horseback lessons when I was 7 yrs. old. Before the lessons began, doctors told my mother that they believed I was autistic because I wasn’t speaking or connecting with other people. Little did they know I was not autistic; I was highly dissociative because of the trauma.  After the horseback riding lessons, I started to wake up.  No one knew why. I didn’t know why until I went to training with Natural Lifemanship. I learned that connecting in relationship with the horse combined with the rhythmic movement (bilateral stimulation of the brain) will actually heal the brain. So, I was removed from the most severe abuse and placed in horseback riding lessons that were healing my brain.  No one actually knew this. The instructor had no idea what was happening either. Until that training, I had no idea that this heals people and that those lessons healed me.

Three things we must be aware of when riding horses.

  • Our legs/core (body)
  • Our Intention (heart)
  • Our Hands (Strategy brain)

Three things that most people don’t realize about our brains:

  1. We have our Body Brain,
  2. A Heart Brain
  3. A Logic Brain

Trauma dis-integrates these three things. In order for us to heal we must integrate all three of them. So, while riding a horse you naturally use these 3 things together while in a connected relationship with the horse which reintegrates these back together providing healing to your body, heart, and your brain.

Horses are so forgiving when you are in a connected relationship with them.  Because horses are herd animals they seek connection, even if the humans are not using our body or pressure correctly. The horse will move towards connection rather than focusing on what the human is doing incorrectly because connecting is more important to them. This is the same for humans, we are social beings who thrive best in a herd. 

Horses are relational just as we humans are. In most cases that I see, our struggle is about attachment, and how we seek to bond with others.  How we connect. One of my number one principle is “how you do anything is how you do everything” When I see how you show up with the horse, I can see how you handle relationships before you came to see me. Horses are prey animals, so one of the things they need from us is to be congruent.  They need us to match on the inside and the outside.  Predators look nice on the outside but are hungry on the inside, so horses have learned that incongruence is dangerous.  In order to connect with a horse, you need to be present, not pretending you are some way that you are not.  If you come to a horse and you tell them that you are afraid, they will honor that, and move into a connecting relationship with you and then they will protect you.  So, when we work with a client and a horse, the person is learning to connect in a congruent way. This experience offers insight into how to create healthy connection with others.  Working with horses with Equine therapy the healing is so much faster and so much deeper and makes a higher impact than some of the other therapy I practice.  Instead of just sitting on a couch talking about growth or change, the client engages in experiences that heal the heart and the brain while building a beautiful relationship with a horse!

If you would like more information or know someone in need. You can contact

Beth Russell