As a Physician with a Masters in Clinical Psychology from the University of Leuven, Dr. Van Reepingen has worked in various healthcare settings and has over 25 years of experience with coaching, therapy, and medicine.
In addition, Dr. Van Reepingen has particular expertise in corporate coaching, team building, and leadership coaching. With its fresh look and out of the box thinking, she often brings horse coaching a totally new and inspiring perspective. We had an opportunity to ask Dr Van Reepingen a few questions in regard to why she thinks horses are important to personal and professional training.
A: I have been passionate about horses since childhood. My other passion is people, and figuring out what drives them and what makes them happy or unhappy. I am a psychologist, coach, and doctor. When I finally had my first horse, one who was deemed “difficult”, I learned a lot about myself during my attempts to train him. I experienced firsthand how horses mirror people. This wisdom and shared experiences became my new mission, and that is how I began coaching through horses.
Q: What is the main achievement that HorseDream attempts to gain through their work?
A: Leadership. This is an important skill that can be enhanced with practice. We are seeking to create healthy leaders and to empower physicians. My mission is to inspire as many people and organizations with the help of my four-legged co-coach, in order to make this world a place of harmony, freedom, and respect.
Q: What are some of the challenges people face when achieving leadership skills?
A: We aim to achieve a balance between one’s personal life and their practice, while still offering the best work for patients. Many people struggle with the work-life balance. We are always working in reaction to others, but most importantly, we are seeking to find this balance between work and life and be proactive about it.
Q: Why should physicians adapt their current leadership role?
A: The world is now an information highway, creating change from a very hierarchical model where the physician has all the knowledge and power, to a more equal relationship. Historically, physicians possessed all the knowledge of their practice and patients followed blindly. Nowadays, with access to a range of information, the patient may be viewed as more equal to the physician. Therefore, the physician needs to adapt to this changing relationship.
We cross cultures daily, with people from different places and spaces and mind sets, and we need to better manage how we bridge these cultures and communicate in a better way to achieve mutual goals.
Q: How can leadership be taught through horses?
A: We all have a leader within ourselves. Through the professional development model of equine assisted education, there can be a deep impact in the way we interact with and provide leadership to others in our lives and in our practice. Horses approach each moment as an urgent one. The horses are a mirror to us, in the here and now, helping us to translate inner leadership into more concrete results, helping us to recognize what positive leadership and communication can look like, and the impact it can make in the way we work and live.
It doesn’t matter what exercise we are doing with the horses, from the moment we interact, the horse will help each of us discover what we need to work on in that moment, to make the changes we need to improve our leadership and communication with others.
We developed coaching programs to help you to attain the life and work that you want. Our team of coaching horses and ourselves are ready to support you with the dedication and commitment necessary to help you find your path. Coaching horses mirror what you do, what you think, and what you feel. They work with what happens in the here and now, and see particularly what is the missing link in your path to happiness in your life and positive professional outcomes.
Q: How can I benefit from equine assisted education?
A: As professionals providing health care, counselling and psychotherapy, we are very oriented to the other and to what happens around us and especially what other people bring to the interaction. To be a leader and find those boundaries we have to be proactive. How do we keep our integrity in a psychological way when confronted with a lot of pain and fear? Equine assisted education provides a way for medical professionals, psychotherapists and counsellors to grow both professionally and personally, and can be translated immediately into our daily practice. This training will help you to find the leader from within, to support yourself first and then support those you serve.
Through hands-on exercises with the horses, coaching delivers honest and unbiased responses through the horses. The horses provide you with instant feedback on whether or not you present credible, enthusiastic and visionary leadership and coherent teamwork. They hand you ways to improve and grow. The programs we offer through HorseDream and KIVIK are not about talking, they are about doing. By focusing on actions and trying solutions and working with feedback, you will benefit with personal and professional growth.