Dr Kathy Goggin
I can hardly recall the time before I loved horses – hobby horses, ponies at the amusement park, the hard-working livery horses at the stable near my childhood home. And I can hardly believe that it is thirty years since I earned my doctorate in clinical psychology. Harder still to believe the unexpected good fortune that has brought together two things that I love, that bring me joy – horses and my work as a psychologist.
After a lifetime lived and a lifetime practicing psychology in Chicago, my path has now lead me to Wisconsin. I decided to move in 2017 because I wanted to live closer to nature and its beauty. And because living here allows me to practice equine assisted psychotherapy. A dream I could barely have dreamt, where my passion for my work and for horses come together.
Professionally, although my path has been focused on the ‘regular’ practice of clinical psychology, I have always also maintained an interest in traditional healing practices and the intersection of mind-body-spirit in resolving distress and creating health. Those interests lead me to become involved with North and South American native peoples; I have been honored to participate in many ceremonies over the years and have travelled twice to Peru for ceremonies aimed at individual healing and healing of our mother, the earth. My journey, personally and professionally, has always included doing my own personal ‘work’, being mindful of my own need to grow and learn and become more fully the person I am meant to be. Horses have always been helpers on that path, and have appeared when I most needed their loving presence.
I have always considered it a privilege to walk along for a time with people as they journey through life, and to offer expertise and assistance in identifying the obstacles that prevent the fullest expression of their most essential self, their spirit. Sometimes people seek services because a major event has upended their world, their understanding of themselves and the life they have always known. Or because they have come to see a pattern that they live and re-live, again and again. The very thing they most fear and least desire keeps happening, resulting in frustration and disappointment and a weariness in the soul. Or they simply feel lost and a deep longing for a calling they do not yet recognize. So-called symptoms are a communication from the self to the self. As a therapist, I help to translate that message so that you are free to choose a different, more fulfilling path, one with less strain and greater joy.
Horses are remarkable companions on the journey. Horses are completely without judgment or agenda; they are always in the moment. Because they are prey animals – meaning they are threatened by predators – they have evolved to be exquisitely sensitive to reading the moods and motives of others. The presence that horses bring to all relationships is calming and grounding and can foster a deep sense of safety and belonging, an aspect of herd dynamics. All these qualities, and many more, allow for the creation of a unique opportunity for profound change and growth; for a unique experience of relationship where we begin to see the patterns that keep us stuck, and learn new pathways for moving forward. I would consider it a privilege to work with you and the horses on your personal journey.
Please see the sections on this website concerning equine assisted therapy, trauma work and EMDR for more information. And please feel free to contact me directly to discuss your needs and concerns.