FAQs

If you are experiencing an emergency, please call 911 or go to your nearest emergency room.

Where are you located?

We are located at Haven Oaks Farm. 46 Reynolds Rd. Fort Edward, NY 12828

Where is the reception area?

Clients are welcome at the farm! Please follow the signs through the large gate. Take a right at the end of the first barn. You’ll see the sign for the reception area on the door. Come on in, grab a coffee or tea, make yourself comfortable, and enjoy your time at the farm! Parents are welcome to wait in the reception area or their car while their child engages in their therapy session.

What kind of therapy do you offer?

We offer in-person sessions for both equine therapy and office-based therapy, as well as telehealth sessions by phone or video. You can book everything through the patient portal except sessions that are one-on-one with a specific horse because we need to be sure that the horse you’d like to work with is available.

Contact information:

Please be aware that we are all seeing clients throughout the day, and we also model a healthy work/life balance, so there may be a delay in our ability to respond to you. For urgent matters, please email and/or text your therapist.

If you are experiencing an emergency, please call 911 or go to your nearest emergency room.

Olivia R., Office Manager, Referrals and general questions:

Email (preferred): Assistant@AdirondackEAP.com

Call/Text: (518) 338-6956

Fax: (518) 747-2194

Shannon Brock, LCSWR, Director/Therapist:

Email (preferred): Shannon@AdirondackEAP.com

Call/Text: (518) 573-0239

Richelle Parulski, LCSW, Therapist

Email (preferred): Richelle@AdirondackEAP.com

Call/Text: (518) 760-3476

Michele Armstrong, LCSW, Therapist

Email (preferred): Michele@AdirondackEAP.com

Call/Text (518) 760-1699

Sue and Jim Hooper, Haven Oaks Farm Owners

Email: HavenOaksFarm@gmail.com

Call/Text: (518) 852-6345

Video telehealth links:

Shannon: https://doxy.me/adkeap

Richelle: https://doxy.me/RichelleAEAP

Michele: https://doxy.me/MicheleAEAP

 

Link to Patient Portal (for current clients ONLY):

https://adirondackeap.janeapp.com/

What is Equine Assisted Psychotherapy?

Equine therapy is mental health therapy, and therefore, anyone with mental health concerns may benefit.

We accept adults and children ages 8+. We accept most insurances. Insurances accepted are listed below.

Please click on the Our Model tab for more detailed information about equine assisted psychotherapy.

Equine Assisted Psychotherapy is provided by a licensed therapist with the assistance of horses. Our licensed therapists, Shannon Brock, LCSWR; Richelle Parulski, LCSW; and Michelle Armstrong, LCSW, partner with horses to engage the client in real-life, real-time experiences designed to provide unique, effective therapeutic benefits.

What is the admissions process?

Referrals are appreciated, but not required.

Providers may submit a referral form or clients can self-refer.

Clients who are self-referred should reach out via email to Olivia at assistant@adirondackeap.com to get started.

We will first ask a few preliminary questions. Following that, we will run your insurance to verify your coverage and benefits*. Once that’s done, we require intake paperwork to be completed on our patient portal. The information is reviewed by the Director and, if we are accepting the client, a therapist will be assigned and an intake session will be scheduled. Admission is not guaranteed.

*Insurance Disclaimer: A quote of benefits and/or authorization does not guarantee payment or verify eligibility. Payment of benefits are subject to all terms, conditions, limitations, and exclusions of the member’s contract at the time of service. Any and all services not covered by an individual’s insurance are required to be paid by the individual to whom services are rendered. We highly recommend that individuals reach out to their insurance company to independently verify their coverage for outpatient mental health therapy in a provider’s office.

Do you accept insurance?

We currently accept most plans through the following insurance carriers:

  • BlueShield of Northeastern New York
  • Lifetime Benefit Solutions
  • Fidelis
  • Aetna
  • HighMark (formerly BlueShield of Northeastern NY)
  • Nationwide Blue Cross/BlueShield plans
  • Empire BC/BS
  • CDPHP
  • MVP
  • Cigna/Evernorth

This list is subject to change. If we do not accept your insurance, see below for tips on how to advocate with your insurance company for out-of-network benefits.

Insurance Disclaimer: A quote of benefits and/or authorization does not guarantee payment or verify eligibility. Payment of benefits are subject to all terms, conditions, limitations, and exclusions of the member’s contract at the time of service. Any and all services not covered by an individual’s insurance are required to be paid by the individual to whom services are rendered. We highly recommend that individuals reach out to their insurance company to independently verify their coverage for outpatient mental health therapy in a provider’s office and/or telehealth.

Will insurance cover equine therapy if I also see another therapist?

Yes. You can see as many therapists as you’d like, as long as you don’t see them on the same day.

Are you hiring:

We are not currently hiring for administrative assistants, equine specialists, or equine-assisted therapists. If that changes, we will update this site, as well as the Facebook page. Employment opportunities are also posted on Indeed.

How do I support the Inherit the Gold Foundation? How do I apply for a scholarship for equine assisted psychotherapy?

The Inherit the Gold Foundation is a registered 501(c)3 nonprofit organization helping horses and people.

The foundations rescues, retrains, and rehomes race horses, and also provides scholarships to Adirondack Equine Assisted Psychotherapy for under- or uninsured individuals. You can make a tax deductible donation or apply to be considered for the Equine Therapy Scholarship at www.InheritTheGold.org.

You can also visit the Adirondack EAP store and the Inherit the Gold Foundation store for cool merchandise. All proceeds benefit the Inherit the Gold Foundation!

Do you take volunteers/interns?

We do not currently take volunteers or interns. If that changes, we will announce it on our Facebook page. We recommend reaching out to A Dapple A Day therapeutic riding, Nipper Knolls therapeutic riding, or Old Friends at Cabin Creek for volunteer opportunities.

Can I come visit the farm?

The farm is private, and we do not allow visitors.

We do occasionally host open houses and group tours. Any opportunities to visit the farm will be posted on the Facebook page.

Are sessions private?

Haven Oaks is a working farm, as well as a therapeutic farm, so there will often be staff and other therapists around the barn. We work hard to maintain your privacy by giving you plenty of space, so in general, we will not approach you while you are on the farm (unless you look like you need our help). We understand that everyone has varying levels of comfort with socialization, and that therapy is a sacred space. We are usually working or with another client if you see us on the farm, so feel free to wave if you’d like, and understand if we can’t stop to chat.

What kind of therapy do you offer?

We offer in-person sessions for both equine therapy and office-based therapy, as well as telehealth sessions by phone or video. You can book everything through the patient portal except sessions that are one-on-one with a specific horse because we need to be sure that the horse you’d like to work with is available.

Can I sit in on a session to see if I like it? Can I stop by and check the place out?

No, please do not come to the farm uninvited. Therapy is private, and is protected by HIPAA, a federal law ensuring privacy for medical clients. Observing a therapy session is strictly forbidden. The farm is private, and we diligently protect the safety, privacy, and well-being of all of our clients and animals.

How can I start my own equine therapy business?

Equine assisted psychotherapy is provided by licensed, board-certified mental health therapists who specialize in equine assisted psychotherapy. While we appreciate your interest in learning more about EAP, we currently receive such a high volume of calls and emails asking for direction and consultation that we are no longer able to provide the level of individualized attention that we have in the past.  For resources, we highly recommend Shannon Knapp’s books, Horse Sense, Business Sense, and More Than A Mirror for lots of great information and useful tips. Natural Lifemanship, Inc. offers a variety of excellent trainings and educational opportunities. If you’d like an individual 50-minute consultation via Zoom with Shannon, or to provide questions for her to answer via email, we can help with that. Consultation fees are $250 and are due at the time of booking.

What makes Adirondack Equine Assisted Psychotherapy, LCSW, different from other therapy?

At Adirondack EAP, a licensed mental health therapist with many years of education and clinical experience teams with horses to provide a unique, effective counseling experience to children, adults, and families.

While horses are inherently therapeutic, it is vital that mental health therapy be provided by a trained and board-certified (human) clinician, and that equine assisted psychotherapy be provided by a licensed therapist who is additionally trained and specializes in EAP.

How do I get a referral?

You can contact our offices directly via email at Assistant@adirondackeap.com or by phone at (518) 338-6956.  Some insurance companies require a physician’s referral in order to consider reimbursement for services, so please be informed about the requirements of your specific policy.

In the case of a physician or provider referral, please direct them to the following Referral Forms. A release of information will be expected from any referring agency to ensure HIPAA compliance.

What is the cost of sessions?

We currently accept most plans through the following insurance carriers:

  • BlueShield of Northeastern New York
  • Lifetime Benefit Solutions
  • Fidelis
  • Aetna
  • HighMark (formerly BlueShield of Northeastern NY)
  • Nationwide Blue Cross/BlueShield plans
  • Empire BC/BS
  • CDPHP
  • MVP
  • Cigna/Evernorth

Insurance coverage varies according to clients’ individual policies. If a client has an insurance that we don’t accept, many policies include direct reimbursement to the client for therapy given by an out-of-network provider. Please read below for assistance with this process.

Session fees for out-of-pocket payments not covered by insurance are $160 per 50-minute session.

The Inherit The Gold Foundation provides assistance to individuals who are uninsured or under-insured. Please contact them directly to apply for consideration for this scholarships.

What can I expect in sessions? How often do you meet? Do you operate in the winter?

Most of our work with the horses will be on the ground, in specific exercises designed to maximize the therapeutic experience for the client and support attaining goals outlined in his or her individual treatment plan. There is an aspect of TF-EAP called Rhythmic Riding, where horseback riding occurs. This is not recreational riding. RR is a therapeutic intervention designed specifically for mental health therapy and is only utilized if it is therapeutically indicated.

If Rhythmic Riding is to be part of a client’s treatment plan, that will be discussed well in advance of the riding, and is almost always preceded by extensive ground work. There may be instances where a session will require more of a traditional office-based setting or via remote telehealth, and interaction with the horses will not occur. Communication with the client and their family will be ongoing so that everyone knows what to expect.

We typically meet on a weekly basis, although individual clients may have different needs.

We operate year-round, with accommodations made for severe weather that may include briefly transitioning to telehealth and/or office-based therapy sessions.

Telehealth and office-based sessions are offered in addition to in-person sessions at any time, if a client prefers.

Do you offer telehealth sessions by phone or video?

Phone/video telehealth sessions are available in addition to in-person sessions at any time. If a client would like to switch to telehealth, they can do so at any time, as long as they inform their therapist in advance.

Will we ride horses in session?

If your treatment plan includes rhythmic riding, this would be something we will discuss in session well before you were scheduled to ride. Most people do not ever ride the horses.

There is an aspect of TF-EAP called Rhythmic Riding, where horseback riding occurs. RR is a therapeutic intervention specifically designed for mental health therapy. This is not recreational riding.  RR is only utilized for very specific treatment interventions. There may be instances where a client may not be appropriate for this aspect of treatment.

What should I wear for sessions?

Please dress to be outside, protect your feet, and wear something you don’t mind getting dirty. When you’re interacting with live animals, there is always the chance for getting mud, dust, and horse hair on your clothes and shoes, so please dress accordingly. Wear closed-toed, closed-back, sturdy shoes. Boots with a slight heel are preferable but not required unless you are riding. Crocs, flip flops, ballet flats, and any other light footwear is not allowed. Feel free to wear rain coats, hats, snow suits, etc, for your comfort in all weather.

Do you operate in the winter? Are sessions held outside?

We operate year round. Accommodations are made for the health and safety of our horses, clinicians, barn staff, and clients in the event of severe weather. This may include a brief transition to telehealth and/or office-based therapy sessions, as appropriate. We do hold sessions outside, either in the barn or out in the open.

I am concerned about confidentiality. Will there be other people getting therapy at the same time as me?

Privacy and confidentiality are part of our client agreement, and are expected from every client. Your session is private, although you may see other clients, farm staff, or clinicians while you are at the farm. We make every effort to keep everyone feeling safe and supported, so if you have a concern, please bring it to the attention of your clinician or the clinical director.

Will I have to wear a helmet?

We require helmets for everyone under age 18 during the entire time that they are on the farm. We provide helmets. Clients over age 18 can choose to wear helmets during ground work. Helmets are required for everyone during all mounted work.

Do I need to buy my own helmet?

You are welcome to purchase your own helmet. We provide helmets. All helmets must meet ASTM / SEI certified equestrian standards.

What happens if there is bad weather?

Safety is our number one priority, so in the case of severe weather, we may switch to telehealth or office-based therapy sessions.

What if I’m allergic to horses or have medical concerns?

We do not have medical staff on the premises so please consult your physician about whether you can safely participate in equine assisted psychotherapy.

I don’t know anything about horses and I’m afraid of them. Can I still participate in EAP?

Yes! Prior horse experience is not at all required. Being nervous or scared about being around horses can actually provide a great starting place for progress in therapy. We will work together to help you with this.

I want to take riding lessons/learn horsemanship. Should I do EAP instead?

Absolutely not. EAP is NOT riding lessons. If you are looking for riding lessons, there are many excellent riding facilities in the area.

I have a lot of experience with horses. Can I get anything out of EAP?

Absolutely. We interact with horses in a way that you are not likely to have experienced before and will be engaging in exercises that will allow you to interact with the horses in a unique and therapeutic fashion.

You don’t accept my insurance. How do I advocate for myself with my insurance company to get out-of-network coverage?

It is important that you understand the rights and benefits of your individual health plan. There is a wide variety of coverage scope throughout the industry and aspects of your policy may vary from others who have insurance, even if it is with the same company. Please remember that if you determine an out-of-network direct reimbursement rate and plan with your insurance company, this is between you and that company.  We do not have the staff to negotiate with insurance companies on your behalf so if you wish to seek direct reimbursement for sessions, you will need to contact your insurer directly.

Here are some tips to help you navigate the system.

  • Most insurance cards will have a customer service number on the card. Please contact them BEFORE you start therapy so that you are well informed. Be aware that mental health benefits can vary from medical benefits. Have the insurance company send you written confirmation of any agreements made and bring them to your first session.
  • When you call, make sure you have paper and pen to take notes about which number you called, who you spoke with, their direct line and extension and what they said. Record the time and date that you called, so that if there is ever a problem, you have good records. It can also make it easier when you have to call back if you write down the “option” numbers so that you can enter them more quickly next time.
  • Ask to speak with someone about coverage for mental health (some insurers call it “behavioral health” or “psychotherapy”) benefits. You are not asking about coverage for equine therapy. That is a model of therapy, not a billing code.
  • Explain that you wish to receive mental health therapy from an out-of-network provider and ask them what they will do about reimbursing you directly.  If you need my NPI number or CPT codes that we use, please contact me directly.
  • Request written requirements for clinical information that your insurer will require for reimbursement. We can provide a Superbill upon request.
  • Ask if an “out-of-network” benefit exists on your plan.
  • Make sure you write down the person you are speaking with and their direct call back information
  • If you have trouble or feel you are entitled to further information or coverage, feel free to ask for a supervisor.
  • Your insurance company is in the business of making the consumer happy. Be persistent!
  • If you receive your insurance through an employer, the Human Resources department may be helpful with negotiating services through your insurance carrier. The insurance carrier wants to keep your employer happy so they continue to use them for insurance and your employer wants to have happy and healthy employees, so both will likely be motivated to see you satisfied.
  • When they ask you why you do not want to use other services, let them know if your doctor has specifically recommended you to AEAP. Explain that equine assisted psychotherapy is unique, effective, and offers experiential therapy which has yielded promising results in many scientific studies.
  • Ask questions, explore option and request reviews of decisions if at first you do not get the outcome you’re seeking.