Clinical psychologists Dr. Paul Haefner of Loudoun County, Va., and Dr. Julie Lipovsky of Isle of Palms S.C., have been appointed to the Scientific Committee of Horses and Humans Research Foundation.
This international foundation, head-quartered in Cleveland, Ohio, funds equine assisted activities and therapies research to validate the benefits and improve best practices in this rapidly growing field.
Haefner and Lipovsky join a team of leading researchers and experts from equine-assisted activities and related fields, who assist the board in scientific strategic decisions and grant application assessment.
Haefner has been in private clinical practice since 1994. In the last decade, his practice has focused on both sport psychology consultation with equestrians and equine assisted psychotherapy with individuals, families, and groups. He is certified through Equine Assisted Growth and Learning Association as both a mental health and equine specialist. He currently serves as EAGALA’s research committee chairperson.
Lipovsky is a professor of psychology at The Citadel and is board certified in clinical psychology and in clinical child and adolescent psychology. She is co-founder and clinical director of Lowcountry Equine-Assisted Psychotherapy, a non-profit organization providing equine-assisted psychotherapy to children, youth, and families in the Lowcountry of South Carolina.
Lipovsky's experience with and observations of equine-assisted psychotherapy compel her to support research that will provide scientific evidence of its benefits to those with psychological needs. “I want to see the clinical work done with horses validated scientifically to raise the legitimacy of our field and to ensure that what we do really is effective.”