Awakening your Authentic Self: Enhancing Multicultural Awareness through Interactions with Horses
Rana Banaja, Ph.D.

Purpose: Our creation of the workshop is informed by the recognition of the lack of attention in the literature to multicultural family therapists’ struggles and strengths, as well as the importance of therapists’ cultural awareness in the therapeutic context (Banaja, 2019).

Design/methodology/Approach: This article describes an equine facilitated experiential workshop developed by the authors to facilitate deepened understandings of clinicians’ struggles and strengths.

Findings: The experiential, equine facilitated workshop shed light on multi-cultural awareness through allowing the therapists to intentionally explore their struggles of adapting their multicultural self with their therapeutic knowledge of family therapy. This workshop also helped multicultural therapists to discover and utilize their authentic resources. To do so, we invited the participants to examine and process their unique multicultural elements of the self, (e.g. gender, race, ethnicity, knowledge, etc.), in relation to the therapeutic process.

Originality/value: Being aware of personal epistemology can allow therapists to process how their personal and cultural aspects of self are present in their work with clients. Therapists then can further their curiosity about their cultural presence and influence in the therapeutic context and consider ways they can utilize these cultural aspects as therapists.